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Westfield — Letters to the Editor

Downtown Westfield's Head-On Parking Policy Unfair to Visitors

Mark Elphick

Thursday, January 30, 2014 • 1:55pm

Dear Mayor Skibitsky:

I wanted to take a moment to tell you how unfair I think your town’s policy on Head On Parking only is for visitors to your town who miss the limited signage in your parking lots. I chose to support Westfield and have my company Christmas celebration party at Limani Seafood because I always hear what a nice town it is and I wanted to make it special for our team.  I received a ticket (number 028716) for $35 dollars for backing my car into the parking space.

There have been many studies showing that backing into parking spaces may be safer and can reduce what are known as “backover crashes” in parking lots. To me it’s common sense that backing up into a space, when you are acclimated to driving your car, is safer than the alternative.

http://theweek.com/article/index/212052/why-back-in-parking-is-safer

“The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2001 and 2002 found that 14 percent of all damage claims involved crashes in parking lots (some number of which must have involved vehicles moving in and out of spaces).” Further, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a report to Congress last year estimated that “backover crashes,” as they are officially known, “cause at least 183 fatalities annually” as well as approximately 7000 injuries…”   

I see no reason for Westfield to be ticketing visitors to your town who are not familiar with this law without at least a warning. I had planned on fighting this ticket out of principle but have little to gain here by taking more time away from my job. Instead I am choosing to let you know my experience in your town.

I appreciate your consideration on this matter.

Best Regards,

Mark Elphick

Somerset, NJ

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