NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Anticipating a large amount of auto and pedestrian traffic before, during, and after Saturday's first-ever Big 10 Rutgers football game against Penn State, police have ordered no parking on the vast majority on Easton Avenue.
Starting 8am on Saturday until 4am Sunday, parking on Easton Avenue between Somerset Street and Landing Lane will be off-limits. The road is typically free to park on with the exception of two blocks between Hamilton and Somerset Streets.
Police would not say whether this type of change might be expected during future sold out Rutgers home games. The team is now playing in a new athletic conference that is expected to bring more attention to the university's sporting events.
The city states the main reason for this closure is because of the heavy traffic of emergency vehicles down Easton Ave due to the proximity of both Robert Wood Johnson Hospital and St Peter’s University Hospital.
The hospitals, themselves are preparing for a potential increase in emergency room visits.
"It has been determined that the prohibition of parked vehicles in the posted location(s) during the posted times will provide easier access and mobility for emergency vehicles."
In order to ensure emergency vehicles will be able to travel freely during the event, parking has been restricted along this corridor during the 20 hour period.
Many people are upset about the closure and recent hikes in prices for parking, and it is unclear if this will be a standard policy during Rutgers home games.
“The Rutgers ‘Big 10’ football is new to us,” says Captain J.T. Miller of New Brunswick Police Department. “After this weekend is over, we will evaluate how it went and plan appropriately for the next one.”
The closure, despite having its benefits to public safety and health, will force many individuals to utilize the newly implemented parking meters on College Avenue, which will cost 10$ for a 24-hour period.