Events of the week have left me feeling out of sorts. Despite that, I will try to post some thoughts.
Because all my health providers have moved out of Plainfield and I gave up driving a while ago, I rely on taxis to get to their offices. Ironically, most were on Park Avenue and are still on Park Avenue, just further down. It cost me $30 in taxi fare to get to the dentist who used to be in the 1000 block, but is now in the 3800 block in North Edison. I call the same Plainfield taxi company to take me there and pick me up later. The same goes for the doctor's office in South Plainfield on Park Avenue ($20 round trip) and the surgeon in Edison and the medical lab ($30 each). If those towns had an ordinance restricting out-of-town pickup, I would have a big problem.
It is a fact of life for many Plainfielders that they must use taxis to go shopping, visit medical offices or just get together with friends. The economic battle between licensed Plainfield drivers and out-of-town taxi companies is unfortunate and complicated. If increasing the number of licenses would help, maybe it should be tried before going to the extreme of ejecting passengers and towing at the owner's expense. Some commenters suspect the matter hinges on political donations, which I hope is not true. There must be a common-sense solution that will be fair to all the taxi companies as well as to the hundreds of customers that need taxis. I think those who called for more time to study the situation have a point.
No Overnight Parking on Certain Streets
As I understood this discussion item Monday, some landlords are not permitting parking on the premises, forcing people to park on the street. The vehicles then get in the way of street cleaners and snow plows or otherwise interfere with use of the streets.
At some point, any multi-family residential building was required to provide parking. New landlords may try to monetize parking, but is it legal? Each landlord is supposed to file contact information with the city. These documents used to be on file in the City Clerk's office. Probably the original requirements are lost in storage somewhere, but just by the number and type of units there should be a minimum number of parking spaces that can be calculated. Multi-family owners could be made aware of the parking requirement rather than leaving the poor car owner to be tossed back and forth between the city and landlord over parking. Here again there is a perception that landlords can sometimes do what they want if they pay tribute politically, but what about the tenant who lives here and votes?
Elected officials who badger professionals at council meetings and fight with colleagues on camera may think they are showing strength, but the public by and large is sick of the drama. Sure, they can get a few whoops and murmurs from their buddies, but those who choose to put on a show do little for the image of Plainfield. All members of the governing body should be considerate to each other.
This weekend we go back to Daylight Saving Time at 2 a.m. Saturday. One big nor'easter may hit us on Tuesday and then maybe we can head into Spring on March 20. I for one will be very happy to get out in the yard and welcome the season. It is also the date of the Persian New Year, Nowruz, a holiday observed by many nations and cultures that was also celebrated at the White House annually during the Obama administration. Look it up, it's interesting, though probably not going to be at the White House this year.