One of the common subjects of discussion among local residents, business owners and visitors to Frenchtown is parking. Most people complain that "There's just not enough", but that is not necessarily true.
In fact, of all the river towns in our area - from Milford to Lambertville & New Hope, Frenchtown has the most FREE (2-hour limit
So. This page is under development and its purpose is to comment on parking issues and inform our visitors of where they can leave their vehicles as they wander the street(s) of this charming little "horse and buggy" town... Watch for photos and a map of local parking options coming soon.
I've already spoken to the Boro Clerk and Chief of Police - and a few local property owners about this - and have endured years of conversations about parking issues from local business people. The result is this web page about "parking in Frenchtown" so that we'll all have a central reference that will answer questions such as yours.
So. That said, here we go:
Take a look at our aerial photograph - http://www.frenchtown.com/aerial/french33.v1.jpg
and the downtown map: http://www.frenchtown.com/fbpa/Mapref.htm
(These pages will open in a new window for you.)
Here's a list of good places to park:
1) The first place to mention is down by the river bridge - aka 'River Road'. (Top left of photo, left on map) We have parking along the (mostly gravel) lane next to the river. There is room there for 20-30 cars. This lot is very popular for bicyclists who cruise the "tow path" (which is actually the old railroad right-of-way). Just hope that you get there first. This area has not been repaved for years and is mostly gravel. Plans are under way to invest $1 million dollars for improved parking and development along the river front. Watch of updates as this project evolves...
River Road Parking Lot - next to the River in Frenchtown
2) Next place to look would be the paved parking just above (higher ground east of) River Road - on Front Street. It's recently been paved as public parking and offers 13-14 public parking spaces, including some assigned to motorcycles. But watch out for the 'reserved' (gravel) spaces owned by the Bridge Cafe. Don't park there unless you stop in for lunch.
Front Street Parking - Motocycles, too. Above River Road, opposite the Frenchtown Inn
3) Another 'official' parking area is bottom right of the photo, top right on the map - next to the Citgo Gas Station at the end of Route 12 where it comes into town from the east. This space is often full - in-town residents park here, but you might find 2-5 spaces open here at any time.
4) Kathee's General Store on Kingwood Ave/Route 12 - bottom of photo, near #'s 40, 41 on map. This is just open space and in no way prepared or official, but it's large. You might want to check in with Kathee at the store, but as far as I know, no one gets ticketed there.. Just don't park in the customer parking spaces in front of the store.
5) Although it's closed on Sunday, and the spaces are a temptation, avoid the Post Office parking spaces. These are definately 'off the list' (at least for now..)
6) Sorry, the church lots are pretty full on Sunday, and we have no information about them on other days...
7) There is parallel street parking in front of all of the stores, but they go fast, and there is a two hour limit. There are also 4-5 spaces on the site of the old gas station on Bridge Street - (#43 on map), just below dead center in the photo. There is also parking inside the barriers for motorcycles on weekends.
8) If you can't find what you need in the downtown area, you can head up the Milford Road (Harrison Street) to Plessy Field (aka "Old Frenchtown Field)", up by the grammar school (#7 on the map, off the photo to the right - north of downtown.)
There is a new official boro parking lot behind Plessy Field. It's also gravel, but they have room for probably 30 cars down near the "Tow Path" (old Railroad right of way) near the river, and there's a small picnic area as well.
Just be sure not to park on the grassy area of the field itself. - And watch the lot up by the road. It's private property and parking there is by permission only.
Plessy Field - aka "Old Frenchtown Field" - plenty of parking down by the river and bike path.
(a 5-minute walk to the downtown area)
From the Plessy Field Parking area, you have the option to get a ride into town, walk past the old Victorian houses or take the wooded, scenic trail along the river. It only takes a few minutes to get into the downtown area, and it's a very pleasant walk.
In both cases, it is a walk back into town, but it's an enjoyable walk and worth the 5 minutes to stretch your legs - and to know that your cars are safely parked away from the (possibly) crowded downtown and tourists... ;)
And, for overnight parking, you will need to get a permit. Contact the Boro Hall for details.
You might also want to check back here again for updates as this issue continues to develop and keep our attention...
Oh - and one last note:
Here is a Correction - (updated May 10, 2006) based upon the 1995 Parking Ordinance:
The official word from Police Chief Al Kurelyka:
The normal 2 hour parking limit on the streets and Boro lots
In other words, don't plan on leaving your car on any street parking space for more than two hours; you may be ticketed. For a visit to town of more than two hours, use one of the boro spaces - River Road, Front Street (behind the Bridge Cafe), the public lot next to the Citgo or the Plessy Field Park lot.
Watch here for photos and a map - and official Boro/Police Department notices to come.
April 14, 2006 updated May 10, 2006
webmaster's disclaimer: This information was gathered by your webmaster as a service to residents and visitors. It is not authoritative, but does it's best to inform the public, based on what we know. Please be sure to check with Boro officials (996-4524) to resolve any unanswered questions about parking in Frenchtown. - Alan