Mayor Michele Dale is dealing with the problems people say they encounter when attempting to park vehicles in the Shop Rite parking lot at the intersection of Union Valley and Marshall Hill Road.
After nearly taking a fall herself when she stepped off a curb, Dale joined others who have expressed safety concerns.
The parking lot is owned by the Inserra family and the mayor has contacted them with some suggestions she believes will make getting to the stores a lot easier and safer.
During a recent West Milford Township Council meeting, Dale said that the parking spaces are too narrow for many people.
For example, expectant mothers and those with small children strapped in seat belts for safe travel do not have the space they need to exit vehicles after parking.
The larger designed vehicles of today also need more parking space than is currently available in the alignment.
Dale said she realized that the Planning Board, in considering the Inserra application to increase the size of the local shopping center, was required to give assurances that a certain number of parking spaces would be available per square feet of the store space.
Her suggestions to make the parking lot friendlier for those who are having difficulty navigating it were sent to Inserra.
She’s proposing a special parking section with more room allotted in the parking spaces, located in a separate area of the parking lot.
A bit of extra walking for those using it could result if it is approved.
Although it was not mentioned at the council meeting, senior citizens have said they have safety issues with the configuration of the lot with its planting areas and garden spots.
One senior who asked that her named not be printed said she has a problem running over the Belgian Block curbing every time she goes there.
The Planning Board, concerned with aesthetics and appearance of the shopping center, required the owner to comply with the goal of a "picturesque parking lot" and they did.
The mayor will report the response she receives from Inserra.