MontClairVoyant: A Parking Lot Controversy Is ‘In the Books’

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
The MPL was to be closed to cars for about a year starting Monday, January 4, before pressure forced a brief postponement. Thoughts?

Sincerely,
Mo Ter-Vehicle

I had no idea cars were allowed inside the Montclair Public Library. Explains why 30-minute browsing is limited to the first floor.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Sheesh — the just-mentioned MPL is the Midtown Parking Lot, site of a future parking deck that’s part of the ongoing “arts district” development. Comment?

Sincerely,
Moe Ter-Vehicle

The fencing-in of that Glenridge Avenue lot could harm nearby businesses, a number of which are already struggling during COVID. Misery heaped on misery — and, yes, I borrowed Stephen King’s “Misery” after driving (carefully) through the library’s front door.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Why not delay the lot’s closing — a closing previously postponed for the recent holiday season — until vaccinations make a big dent in COVID later this year?

Sincerely,
Wiser After Pfizer

There’s also a big dent in my car from a library collision with “War and Peace,” even as the further delay you suggest is a good idea and quite affordable for big developers — none of whom merit Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” title.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
The lot’s previous January 4-scheduled shutdown featured inadequate notice (though that’s in dispute) and inadequate replacement parking. Plus the closing will mean no walkway to Bloomfield Avenue, and finding a new place for garbage, and…

Sincerely,
Don’t Walk This Way

…Diamond Cycle customers not being able to test-ride bikes in the lot, and people having to carry their cats farther to reach Cameron Animal Hospital. Heck, kitties become twice as heavy when toted anywhere near Guerriero Gelato.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Let’s discuss the brief delay in the lot’s closing after pressure that included a petition effort by business owners. Will the postponement allow time for a new “arts district” parking deck or two to open to help with replacement parking?

Sincerely,
Bea Leaguered

Seems to be the case, though there are worries that those other parking options would be pricier. Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Nickeled and Dimed” ended up on my car hood at the library, but developers are into larger sums.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Meanwhile, stressed business owners and residents on/near Bloomfield Avenue have been dealing with the construction of other parts of the way-too-big “arts district” for a long time. What can be done?

Sincerely,
Construction Eruption

Given that 10 percent affordable housing is required for some Montclair projects, 10 percent of tranquilizers should be affordable, too.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Meanwhile, the Township Council is considering a measure that would delay the start date for using gas-powered leaf blowers from March 1 to April 1, make the morning times to first wield those contraptions one hour later, and fine violators. Reaction?

Sincerely,
Exhaust Is Exhausting

Not an ideal measure but better than the current rules, says Councilman Peter Yacobellis — who also helped in delaying the closing of the MPL lot. I realize saying “MPL lot” is like saying “Midtown Parking Lot lot,” but I assure you I won’t repeat repeat words words again again.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Why do you dislike gas-powered leaf blowers?

Sincerely,
‘The Hate U Give’

For two of these three reasons: They’re very noisy, they’re major polluters, and they’re too big to be repurposed as Pilot G-2 pens.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Plus students are learning at home and many more adults are working at home, so less din is welcome. Speaking of students, isn’t it great that members of Montclair High’s Helping Hands Club raised over $1,400 for the Transgender Law Center?

Sincerely,
Jenna Riss

Yes! I’m constantly impressed with our town’s students. And with the parents of those students, and the grandparents of those students, and the great-grandparents of those students, and the medieval ancestors of those students, and Adam and Eve, and —

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Shush! Don’t you know when to stop? Trump doesn’t, because his endless criminal blathering about non-existent election fraud was probably one reason why Democrats did better than expected in the Georgia runoffs. Agree?

Sincerely,
Bennett on U.S. Senate

I do. Just don’t expect any Montclair restaurants to offer a Macon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. They’re busy worrying about COVID, parking, and cars smacking into cookbooks in the library.

 

 

Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.

 

 

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