By NANETTE LoBIONDO GALLOWAY
LONGPORT – There’s a new parking pattern now in effect in the half-block long business district in Longport. The angled parking spaces have been eliminated and motorists are now required to parallel park in front of three businesses on Atlantic Avenue between 24th and 25th avenues.
The change was a requirement of the recent Atlantic Avenue road improvement project, which was funded through a state grant. The angled parking configuration did not comply with current state traffic regulations, borough engineer Ed Dennis Jr. said last October when revised configuration was discussed.
The change was also made to accommodate eateries Ozzie’s Luncheonette and Catch restaurant, which each requested approval to install awnings to protect customers dining outdoors during the busy summer season.
The revision provided enough room to make the area more pedestrian and business friendly by adding 8 feet more to the existing sidewalk. The change allowed the roadway to have a striped bicycle lane, making the roadway safer for all travelers.
Likie Nika, who owns Ozzie’s, said there would be a large awning erected to accommodate both restaurants, plus six tables with chairs so people can pick the amount of sun they want.
“It really doesn’t change things much, but pedestrians will have a nice walking area,” she said.
Some of her customers are less than thrilled about the change, “but they understand there was no other way to do it,” she said.
Longport Police will be helpful in getting people acclimated to the change and will not be issuing tickets initially.
“That’s very courteous and helpful of them,” Nika said.
Although the change eliminated four angled parking spaces on the commercial side of the avenue, the borough picked up three angled spaces on the ocean side of Atlantic Avenue between 24th and 25th avenues, where some angled parking already exists.
Officials said the change complies with the borough’s state approved Municipal Beach Access Plan, which regulates public parking for beachgoers in resort towns.
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