Firemen want night parking plan doused

Princeton Packet
24 August, 1984

Firemen want night parking plan doused
By Maria LoBiondo, Staff Writer

Local firefighters have gone on record opposing the current resident push for overnight parking in Princeton Borough.

Allowing cars on borough streets nightly will slow response time to fires and restrict access to hydrants and driveways, according to a memo sent to mayor and council.

“If there was a fire on Bank Street (at night), we wouldn’t be able to get down with the ladder truck, and it’s doubtful some pumpers would be able to make it,” according to Fire Chief Clint Groover.

“Now it’s a piece of cake. With overnight parking, it’ll hinder us. The cars slow us down,” he added.

During the day, the department has worked out plans to handle structure fires with cars parked on the street, the chief said.

In Bank Street’s case, engines would back up to hydrants on Chambers and Nassau streets and ground ladders would be used.

But fire officials said this would be a bigger problem to repeat at night.

Local statistics show 80 percent of structure fires occur between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to Peter Hodge, second assistant fire chief.

The most important piece of equipment firefighters use at night is the aerial scope, which needs “a tremendous amount of room in order to maneuver and operate,” fire officials contend.

The stabilizer jacks on both sides of this truck need 8 feet on either side, they say.

Even so, resident Diana Radcliffe has four volunteers and is hoping for more to help survey residents living in properties without driveways on their parking needs.

She anticipates it will take several weeks to canvass the borough and compile the information needed to present a basis for amending the current ordinance.

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