Parking in a bustling college town is more convenient and less challenging these days, thanks to accessible pay lots and smart meters for on- and off-street parking.
Downtown Newark offers three gated pay-to-park lots on Main Street, including a new entrance off Center Street into Lot 3. Plus, there are dozens of friendly merchants who validate for customers.
“From the moment we opened our doors, parking was a priority for us,” says Bryan Jariwala, general manager at Taverna, located at 121 E. Main St. “We wanted to make it easy for our guests to come and enjoy a pleasant experience with us.”
So when Ricky Nietubicz, administrator of the Downtown Newark Partnership, suggested the restaurant participate in a program offering validation for parking, Taverna owner Carl Georigi immediately agreed.
“It gives our guests a sense of comfort,” Jariwala says. “They can park in the lot directly across the street from us and enjoy their meal and drinks with no worries about parking.”
More than 60 businesses have followed suit, paying part or all the costs of parking. Lot parking costs 50 cents per half hour. All metered parking is $1.25 an hour.
Taverna does not track how many patrons validate for parking, “but we know it’s a high percentage because of the volume of requests we get for validating,” he says.
The installation of smart meters for on-street parking means visitors no longer have to scramble for change. The new meters, currently in a pilot program, accept credit cards for up to two hours of parking and will be installed throughout downtown later this year.