Union County officials reported that the Linden Police Department has announced a new parking enforcement initiative in an effort to curb illegal parking in the community.
According to officials, the initiative involves the installation of Municipal Parking Services (MPS) "Safety Sticks" at five locations in the downtown area to help combat illegal parking in restricted areas, such as near fire hydrants and crosswalks.
"Illegal parking, especially in the downtown area, makes our streets more dangerous for pedestrians, contributes to congestion, and is consistently among the most common frustrations cited by drivers," said Police Chief David Hart.
"This technology will help reduce these violations by allowing for increased enforcement at no extra cost to the city."
Safety Stick devices do not indiscriminately capture or store any license plate data; a vehicle must be stopped in a restricted area longer than a designated period of time before the vehicle will be considered a violation, officials say.
A Parking Enforcement Officer will review every alleged violation and determine if a summons is appropriate.
Officials said the City Council approved the deployment of the devices in June.
Installation is currently underway at designated locations of N. Wood Ave, including portions of W. Blancke St. and E. Price St. Other locations may be added based on the program's effectiveness.
"Over the past several years, we have taken significant steps to make our streets safer, especially for pedestrians," added Chief Hart.
"This technology has reduced violations by as much as 95% in some areas, and we are confident they will be an effective tool here in Linden as well."
The devices are expected to be functional in the coming weeks, however, tickets are not likely to be issued until October, according to officials.
"Our goal is to change driver behavior, so we want people to get familiar with how the system works before we start issuing tickets," said Chief Hart.
Drivers are encouraged to be mindful of all parking laws, officials stated.
Officials say some of the most common violations include double parking, blocking a crosswalk, and parking within 50 feet of a stop sign, 25 feet of a crosswalk, 10 feet of a fire hydrant, or within an intersection.