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Look Hard Enough, You’ll Find a Sign

October 7, 2007

Bills Point of View:


Feather_pen_ink_3_4Gloucester City NJ (posted here October 7, 2007)--Great-Grand "Pappy" Cleary told me a tale about a time when horse and wagon were the means of transportation in Gloucester City. He said residents were not allowed to park on the buggy path on two days of the month.

Pappy said, "On those days between the hours of 1 PM - 3 PM employees from the Public Works Department could be seen walking the cobble streets with a broom cleaning up after the horses."

I thought the story was just a tale. That is until the other day when I discovered this sign. The writing on it is barely visible because of the rust. But if you look real close it appears to say No Parking on the 2nd - 4th Thurs.  Pappy passed away in 1970 at the age of 102. If he was still here I would have to ask how people remembered if it was the 2nd or 4th Thursday.  Did everyone carry a calendar in their back pockets?

Pappy also told me he was faster than a speeding train, and could leap tall buildings. But I will save that story for another time.

If you are interested, the sign can be found near the intersection of MillerMondays_photos_021Avenue and Weston Avenue. I am hoping Mayor James will instruct Public Works Superintendent James Johnson to take the sign down and give it to the City Historical Society. It should be preserved for future generations.

Speaking of No Parking signs were you aware that residents living on certain streets are not subjected to the $25 fine for parking their cars in the street on sweeper days?

That is correct.

Those who reside on Miller, Weston, Clover, Goldy Drive, Edwards Drive, Gehrig, Park Avenue, Batezel, Spruce, Cypress, Maple, Walnut, Chestnut, Oriental, Holly, Thompson, Sherwood, Greenwood, Rosalind, Highland Blvd., Sylvan, and Orlando get a free pass. Mind you the residents are not doing anything wrong. There are no signs on any of these streets (except for the one in the photo) warning residents about No Parking like there are in other areas of our City.

It makes one wonder how long this has been allowed to exist? What City official/Department was responsible in instituting the policy in the first place? Why is it some residents have to worry about moving their cars two days a week or be fined; and other residents are given a free pass.

If we look at the condition and wording on the sign in the photo I would surmise it has existed for decades. What is your guess?

Mayor and members of council have told me to be patient. New signs are coming. And changes in the No Parking ordinance may also be on the horizon.

What is your opinion?


Comments posted October 2007:


Good Job! said...

I can't believe that with all of the people complaining about this outdated sweeper tax, that the mayor and council hasn't said a word about this. I know the Mayor and Council read this, is it too much to ask for a response? I don't think that the public is simply asking for you to install signs in the area that don't have any, I think it's pretty clear, we want ALL of the signs GONE! We want the Sweepers, the Meter Maid Gone, we want all of the wasted tax money going into this Tax Scam on our poorest sections of the city! It's JUST NOT FAIR! Why are you so quiet about this subject, all of you sure wanted your 15 minutes of fame when it came to hearing how you should be elected and how your going to fix these out dated systems. 
Come on, if you don't have the guts to respond to all of us who have posted on this subject at least quietly do away with all this non-sense and I for one won't be complaining anymore!

Tom Gurick, former Freeholder said...

NO PARKING should be repealed! I’m talking about the current system of “sweeper ordinances” that appear to target only certain sections of the city. 
There is a no-parking sign directly in front of my house (I know what it feels like) but, I also see that the signs are not placed in other parts of town.
The problem is not with the street sweeper, the problem is with the ordinance, and how it is enforced. There is a strong appearance of selective enforcement. Now, this may not be the case…but it looks that way.
Some smart lawyer could easily argue that since the law does not specify the reason for the no-parking (we know its for the sweeper) the law is capricious and arbitrary.
The City will argue that the streets must be cleaned and we need the revenue for the city coffers. Well, there are ways to do that. We all want clean streets. Here are some suggestions.
First, change the ordinance to reflect that it is for street sweeping on specific times and days. Then, coordinate Public Works and Parking Enforcement so that if there is a day when the sweeper is down for repairs, or there is 8” of snow on the ground, there is a temporary moratorium on tickets. With the advent of certain “instant messaging” technologies, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
Second, cut the fines to $10.00. The cost of a fine now is $25.00, and that is OUTRAGIOUS!
Third, a system of parking permits could be considered. This is done, and done successfully throughout other communities here in Camden County. This would assure the City’s treasury of a renewable and consistent steam of revenue and assist the parking authority.
Lastly, signage should be fair and equal throughout the city. That way, we can all help to make our streets safe and clean! 
The time for REPEAL is NOW!
Tom Gurick
Frm. Freeholder

Bravo ! said...

Bravo, Tom Gurick, for your ideas and well written letter! There is certainly discrimination against the West side of town which seems to get the majority of the sweeper tickets. Perhaps those of us who live on this side of town need to unite and file a class action suit, especially since the sweeper DOES NOT clean the streets on a consistent basis, but tickets are issued on a consistent basis. I have no intention of letting this topic die down.

Conks said...

I remember putting that sign in the ground when I had to do my "Hours".I think Cohan helped me.

Stupid Ordinance said...

What you are saying is what any politician would want to do, meet everyone half way. That is not an option in my opinion this time around, lowering the ticket price and installing signs where they are missing in other areas of town isn't a viable option in a all fairness this ordinance, sweeper and anything to do with it should be abolished period. Tom, I see how you're trying to support keeping our streets clean via the sweeper, keeping the parking maid employed, basically wasting our tax dollars as usual. If other city's can have clean street with out a sweeper, I'm sure that we can to, or do you think we have such dirty streets this is a must have? I for one could go without having the sweeper leave more dirt in front of my home than was there before it came by.

And Parking Permits Tom? What do you want to create more red tape and bureaucracy? Tom, will I need a parking permit if I want to pull over on water street? LOL! What's next, Parking Meters, parking lot attendants at city owned lots for us to pay for parking too, how about setting up some tolls too they'll go along great with the new billboards, kind of like how the Port Authority works, you have to pay one way, to get out of NJ, we could set it up to Pay to get out of Gloucester City. Real bright idea w/ that Traffic Light on Market and Kings Hwy, they're already talking about getting rid of that waste, did you read about that here on Cleary's Notebook?
Tom, I'm not trying to bash you personally either, I know for a fact you have done some good things for both Gloucester City and Camden County, but people always remember the bad things, and this Parking Issue is a Bad thing, and should be COMPLETELY DONE AWAY WITH!
I guess none of the current elected officials care enough about this to entertain the thought of responding and saying hey tough luck, or that they're "looking into it" lol my personal favorite, not enough people are voicing there opinion for them to give it a second thought, Thank You Tom for giving us your input, I just don't think we can afford this waste of money, and taxing us for having a car to dare park on a city street in the poorest parts of the city.
Who is a Lame Duck on this issue, does Rocky, Elsie or Jean have anything to say since those newly elected aren't responding to the VOTERS on this subject! Disgruntled

Just be fair said...

While you are on street sweepers, why is it that (As the sign reads) the street sweeper will come around every other Thursday on the east side? There are times on the east side when the weather is perfect you will not see a sweeper for 3 to 4 weeks. I would not have a problem paying for a ticket if the street is swept once a week like the west side.

Sue said...

This is what I call "Selective Enforcement". I will be the first one to say I voted for this current admin hoping that things would change and I know it takes time. But this is a glaring inequity and should be given priority. I happen to live on a street that has a "no parking" sign. I think I paid over $100 in fines last year and yes it is my fault b/c I know I need to move my car. But...on those days that I called out of work because I was sick, the last thing I wanted to do in the dead of winter was get out of bed to move my car! Do away with the whole thing. I agree with the person who said the sweeper leaves more dirt then it picks up!
I don't know what to do about it -- maybe someone should start an online petition that people can sign. But only half the town gets tickets, so only half the town cares.

An old "in towner" now "outta towner" said...


I visited your site and enjoyed it. However, I am writing to say that I enjoyed reading your column in the GCN last week regarding the parking signs and the sweeper. My mother is very grateful that you address this issue. I thank you for this but more importantly I want to thank you for your "point of view" column regarding issues around town. Your column enlightens us about the shady dealings and sometimes back door politics(mostly in the past) that have occurred in the town. Boy if we only knew then what we know now.
I leave that town everyday at 4pm. So why do I care? Because I do, born and raised in Gloucester and I want to see the town progress(not where it has been heading). It was a great town with great people in it and I want to see it get back there.

. .........An old "in towner" now "outta towner"



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