By Christopher Sheldon
Parking meters will be installed throughout the Long Branch oceanfront area in 2014.
The meters would be similar to those used in Asbury Park near the boardwalk and on Cookman Avenue.
Each space would be striped and numbered and people who wish to park in them would pay at a meter with either coins, dollars or a credit card. Motorists can even use their smart phone in order to add time.
Long Branch Business Administrator Howard Woolley said the meters could be installed and operational by as early as May.
The parking meters will likely be located in the following streets and areas:
• Pier Village
• Brighton Avenue and West End Avenue east of Ocean Boulevard
• Ocean Avenue between North Bath Avenue and South Bath Avenue on the west side of the street only.
• South Bath Avenue
• Morris Avenue
• Madison Avenue (east of McKinley Street only)
• Ocean Avenue from Seven Presidents Park to Atlantic Avenue (east side of the street only)
The council has also mentioned that there could be spaces on both sides of Ocean Avenue from Avenel Boulevard to Atlantic Avenue.
The city passed an $855,000 bond ordinance for the meters in 2012, purchased them and placed them in storage after deciding to not use them in 2013.
"The council and I want to make a summer day in Long Branch as easy as possible," Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider said on his Facebook page last year.
Woolley said the council did not want to install the meters the summer after Hurricane Sandy to make life easier on residents and businesses still recovering from the storm.
Woolley said the council will have enact an ordinance outlining the final parking meter plan before the meters can be installed. The parking plan could be altered by the council, but he said the council would likely stick to plan discussed in 2012 which had the meters in operation from May 15 (if they are installed before that time) through Sept. 30.
The parking meters would cost $1 per hour on weekdays and $2 per hour on weekends and holidays and be in operation from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in all areas except Pier Village.
The meters in Pier Village could be in operation longer and the council has juggled the possibility of having them operate from either 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. or 9 a.m. to midnight.