Now the NJ State Assembly is also getting in on Parking Boot action…

NJ State Assemblymen against aggressive parking boot policies

NJ Assembly parking boot bill A3225Bi-partisan legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia (D-33), Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-13) and Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-25; bill sponsor) will tighten and clarify the rules concerning immobilization, commonly referred to as booting. This measure makes it clear municipalities are prohibited from making, amending, or enforcing an ordinance that authorizes the booting of a motor vehicle under any circumstance other than when there is an outstanding warrant against the motor vehicle. The bill comes on the heels of press reports questioning the legality of the city of Hoboken’s booting policy.

Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia, a longtime Hoboken resident, says the legislation should clear up any grey area in the state law and put the brakes on overly aggressive municipal ordinances that harm motorists and businesses. “For far too long, visitors and Hoboken residents have been subjected to a draconian booting policy that penalizes even those who have no outstanding warrants. This appears to be a predatory practice that is designed to fill city coffers. If creating more parking for our residents is the goal the city would be towing vehicles that violate local parking ordinances to free up spaces. However, as currently enforced, it seems that visitors are being deterred from patronizing our local businesses for fear it could prove to be a costly mistake if they park in the wrong spot.”

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, who has been a vocal critic of red light cameras, is also taking aim at unfair booting policies. “It’s really a shame we would need a law like this in the first place. The fact that common human decency alone isn’t enough to persuade the people perpetuating this rip off to stop immediately, says something sad about the individuals in charge.”

Wilson Vega Jr., a Weehawken resident who says his pregnant wife had a harrowing experience when her car was booted in Hoboken recently, applauds this bi-partisan bill. “It’s bad enough my pregnant wife had to pay a hefty fine, she also had to return the boot or wait several hours until someone could come get it,” said Vega. “It’s outrageous.”

“This is just a blatant abuse of motorists,” said O’Scanlon. “You’ve got handicapped people, senior citizens returning from dinner, single women, anybody really.”

The cost for a booting bill can exceed $200. “That’s a financial hardship for many residents,” said Garcia. “And if you don’t have a credit card to make the payment by phone, you could be stranded.”

The bill, A-3225, is expected to considered by a legislative committee in the coming weeks.

Will parking boots “get the boot” in Hoboken?

5/31/2014 Update:

Some “news coverage” about the parking boot fiasco in Hoboken. Anyone taking bets on how this will be stymied by the administration? Or will they finally do the right thing?

Move to ban parking boots in Hoboken, NJ

5/29/2014:

A couple months ago, Hoboken411 published this editorial calling for the outright banning of (what we feel are illegal) parking boots in Hoboken. They don’t improve the parking situation, and just stuff city coffers and strengthen the bad reputation Hoboken has for their vehicular robbery.

Now, two city council members are moving forward with a proposal to eliminate them all together. We’ll see how much static they get from the Zimmer administration and cache of lawyers. If this doesn’t pass (for whatever bullshit “excuse” they conjure up), you know who to blame.

Mason & Castellano sponsor ordinance to rid Hoboken of parking boots

Banning Parking Boots in Hoboken NJAt the Hoboken City Council meeting on June 4th, 2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason and 1st Ward Councilwoman Theresa Castellano are co-sponsoring an ordinance to eliminate the practice of booting cars in Hoboken.

Numerous news reports highlighted the predatory practice of parking boots and the negative impact it has on the community. Many local business owners expressed concerns that the booting policy dissuades patrons from coming to Hoboken. In addition, the practice of booting cars late at night can potentially leave drivers stranded and even forced to spend the night on the street.

“If someone parks illegally, the City of Hoboken should ticket that driver,” Councilwoman Mason said. “But the practice of booting cars for the sake of generating revenue is overly harsh and mean spirited. It sends a message to local businesses that City Hall does not want to help attract patrons to Hoboken and it sends a message to residents that family and friends who visit them are seen as easy marks for City Hall to exploit for revenue.”

In January 2012, Fox 5 featured a story on Hoboken’s unfair parking laws. Mayor Zimmer and then Council President Peter Cunningham promised to fix both Hoboken’s parking laws and update confusing parking signage. To date nothing has been done to correct these parking law problems or fix the signage.

“For over two years now all we’ve heard is talk from the Mayor and her supporters on the Council, but nothing has been done,” Councilwoman Castellano said. “We have the opportunity to correct a wrong that has done harm to our residents and local businesses for far too long. I hope the Council members who vote in lock step with the Mayor will put politics aside and do the right thing for the people of Hoboken. It’s time to reboot Hoboken’s nonsensical parking law.”

The next City Council meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 4th at 7:00PM at City Hall located at 94 Washington Street in Hoboken.

{Down with} Hoboken Parking Boots!

3/17/2014:

Back in the day, if you parked illegally – you’d get a parking ticket (a nominal fee for your ignorance or error). If you didn’t pay that parking ticket in time, you’d risk having your license suspended. That was the brunt of parking “offenses.”

Then at some point, some brilliant “lawmakers” started towing the cars – in the name of making that spot available for “legitimate” parkers. Fine, but the entire city certainly wasn’t a “tow away zone,” just critical areas.

Fast forward to 2014, and we’ve gotten to the point where ANYONE that parks “illegally” ANYWHERE will receive (on top of already outrageous parking fines), a lovely parking boot on their car. Not only do they have to pay to “unlock it,” they also have to schlep it back to the city (or face additional hefty penalties!) Plus, the one “logical” reason for towing the car is now gone, as the booted car still takes up a valuable parking spot. The only “winner” is the city.

Look at this poor car on the very edge of Hoboken, far from local businesses. And they still receive a boot:

Parking Boots in Hoboken NJ

Top 3 reasons to rid Hoboken of Parking Boots

Why should we eliminate parking boots in Hoboken?

  1. Better economy. Parking boots KILL businesses. Disgruntled visitors often NEVER RETURN to Hoboken if they’ve been pickpocket hundreds of dollars for a minor parking violation.
  2. Improved reputation. The less “tweeting” and bad news social media updates about parking boots the better.
  3. Make the city work harder. Less parking revenue means the city might be forced to cut back on expenditures and learn how to work more efficiently.

I’m not promoting this idea – but if the city is absolutely desperate for the money – one last-ditch alternative is to raise parking ticket fines while eliminating boots. Any way to get those horrid boots out of the equation would be better than the current situation.

Are you for or against parking boots?