Parking boots in Hoboken have to stop!

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?

23 Responses

  1. john14 says:

    Immobilizing a vehicle is borderline theft. I cannot think of a single reason to support such a policy.

  2. prag says:

    I’m for boots for non-resident parking violations but AGAINST for all other violations like overtime meter etc.

  3. john14 says:

    Anchoring the car down doesn’t help residents find spots. The non-resident violators should be towed to the yard in Hoboken. There was nothing wrong with the way they used to do it. Now it is a giant clusterfuck.

  4. briank says:

    Any dense city in the country with lack of parking will tow and/or boot. Go to NYC. Go to Chicago. Go to Boston. It’s all the same as Hoboken.
    As a resident who pays an awful lot of property taxes, I want aggressive enforcement of people parking in resident zones as should other residents who follow the rules- whether they are visitors, workers too cheap to pay for a business permit, or scofflaws who haven’t paid past due tickets they should be booted. Also, you can more widely, cheaply, and more evenly enforce the law via boots than towing (can’t always get a car out of a tight spot, it closes down the street for a half hour, etc- imagine te chaos of 15 tow tricks operating in a one hour span vs one HPU minivan booting 15 cars). Cars parked illegally and unsafely in crosswalks however SHOULD be not just ticketed but also towed.
    Commenter John is correct that a boot doesn’t immediately free up a spot, bit after a while people will realize that the city aggressively enforces its resident parking rules and will not park there. The city garages are dirt cheap compared to garage parking in other cities. If someone doesn’t want to pay that, and parks in the resident parking, I have no sympathy.

    • showme789 says:

      LMAO…you’re comparing Hoboken to NYC, Chicago and Boston? Get over yourself. This is a one mile square town that doesn’t come close to being a major city. The problem in Hoboken now is that because people like you have bought into the hype, you really believe you’re living in a world class city. Just because you over paid for your condo and get taxed to the hilt doesn’t mean you’re not being bilked! [quote comment=”222788″]Any dense city in the country with lack of parking will tow and/or boot. Go to NYC. Go to Chicago. Go to Boston. It’s all the same as Hoboken. As a resident who pays an awful lot of property taxes, I want aggressive enforcement of people parking in resident zones as should other residents who follow the rules- whether they are visitors, workers too cheap to pay for a business permit, or scofflaws who haven’t paid past due tickets they should be booted. Also, you can more widely, cheaply, and more evenly enforce the law via boots than towing (can’t always get a car out of a tight spot, it closes down the street for a half hour, etc- imagine te chaos of 15 tow tricks operating in a one hour span vs one HPU minivan booting 15 cars). Cars parked illegally and unsafely in crosswalks however SHOULD be not just ticketed but also towed. Commenter John is correct that a boot doesn’t immediately free up a spot, bit after a while people will realize that the city aggressively enforces its resident parking rules and will not park there. The city garages are dirt cheap compared to garage parking in other cities. If someone doesn’t want to pay that, and parks in the resident parking, I have no sympathy.[/quote]

      • ac687 says:

        Why is it so hard to follow the parking rules? I’ve lived in Hoboken for 2+ years and have never received a parking ticket. Sometimes I have to walk a bit farther to park, but that’s part of city living. People need to grow up and stop complaining. If you can’t figure out how to park legally you probably shouldn’t have a driver’s license.[quote comment=”222794″]LMAO…you’re comparing Hoboken to NYC, Chicago and Boston? Get over yourself. This is a one mile square town that doesn’t come close to being a major city. The problem in Hoboken now is that because people like you have bought into the hype, you really believe you’re living in a world class city. Just because you over paid for your condo and get taxed to the hilt doesn’t mean you’re not being bilked![/quote]

      • briank says:

        Glad you had a good laugh.
        I never said that hoboken is a world class city, but let’s not let facts get in the way of a good insult, or that hoboken is desirable or not. That is not the issue. But consider this re: parking situation:
        Hoboken density: 39,000 people/square mile
        New York: 26,000
        Chicago: 12,000
        Boston: 12,200
        I could care less if you want to make fun of hoboken, but the facts point to a very specific need to manage the parking situation. Hoboken faces greater challenges re: parking than even these large cities i mentioned. If you don’t mind having to circle around for 30 minutes looking for parking when you get home on a Saturday afternoon because visitors parked in the residential zone, that’s fine with me. I just expect the city to enforce the rules so that residents don’t have to struggle as much to find parking. Not sure where the controversy is there. [quote comment=”222794″]LMAO…you’re comparing Hoboken to NYC, Chicago and Boston? Get over yourself. This is a one mile square town that doesn’t come close to being a major city. The problem in Hoboken now is that because people like you have bought into the hype, you really believe you’re living in a world class city. Just because you over paid for your condo and get taxed to the hilt doesn’t mean you’re not being bilked![/quote]

      • animal_lover says:

        SHOWME, be gentle wBrianK, he may have some sort of virus to the brain.[quote comment=”222794″]LMAO…you’re comparing Hoboken to NYC, Chicago and Boston? Get over yourself. This is a one mile square town that doesn’t come close to being a major city. The problem in Hoboken now is that because people like you have bought into the hype, you really believe you’re living in a world class city. Just because you over paid for your condo and get taxed to the hilt doesn’t mean you’re not being bilked![/quote]

      • briank says:

        Personal insults instead of any facts seems to be the SOP among most commenters on here. Shall we call HPD Nazis for enforcing drunk driving laws? Shall we lash out at the building department for making sure that rental apartments have smoke detectors? Once again I ask: where are your facts and why do you insult instead of addressing a very straightforward issue at hand? Nice try. Let’s meet for a drink and discuss real facts instead of your useless anonymous insults. [quote comment=”222798″]SHOWME, be gentle wBrianK, he may have some sort of virus to the brain.[/quote]

      • joey maxim says:

        strange ..those who bark rant scream seem to be the minority…keep in mind the incumbent was relected..as well as the the admistration..majority..it is like singing to the choir..Take it day by day and be glad you all saw another day.. 😯 [quote comment=”222801″]Personal insults instead of any facts seems to be the SOP among most commenters on here. Shall we call HPD Nazis for enforcing drunk driving laws? Shall we lash out at the building department for making sure that rental apartments have smoke detectors? Once again I ask: where are your facts and why do you insult instead of addressing a very straightforward issue at hand? Nice try. Let’s meet for a drink and discuss real facts instead of your useless anonymous insults.[/quote]

  5. showme789 says:

    I have to agree with you that Hoboken is killing business with the over regulation of parking. There was a time when our friends loved meeting us for dinner in local restaurants, now whenever we’re going to get together, we have to go to some suburban restaurant to meet up. Usually it’s a group of 10 or more and it’s pretty sad to see that money going elsewhere.
    Even on ordinary weekends when it’s just a few of us, we’re rarely meeting in Hoboken anymore. Between parking, high rents on Washington Street and greedy realtors, this City is becoming a model of planned obsolescence.

  6. ralyn says:

    Booting should be used in the cases where someone owes over a certain amount of money for tickets. There should be a booting threshold, for resident or visitor. Then there should be a time where any cars with boots get towed, maybe a day or something. I’ve witnessed parking authority booting cars the last couple of weeks with resident stickers, and I looked at the ticket and it was for parking in resident spots. I asked a PA worker if it was an expired sticker, he said yes but didn’t know how long ago it expired. So it could have expired the day before for all they know. They shouldn’t be booting people for that, give the person a ticket a day until they hit a certain amount and then boot.

  7. animal_lover says:

    I started thinking Hoboken is a town of masochist. They allow the City to rip them off continuously,
    -towing for street cleaning when the streets are filthy
    -booting cars when there it servers no purpose other than budget padding
    – produces poor relationships business and personal because the crazy signs
    – allows their right of passage to be regularly blocked by carriages and bicycles
    – don’t care about the exposure and liabilities that the City creates but not providing essential services
    – allow the City an open check book with zero accountabilities for defense lawyers for Zimmer.

    And yes I am tired of the asses who take up for Zimmer and say prove it! Is this enough?? :roll:

  8. homeworld says:

    Just two cars to an impound like NYC does. Free up parking for residents.

  9. animal_lover says:

    Joey, maybe you should spend a few moments in the Parking Utility office and hear the numerous sordid stories and complaints.

    • joey maxim says:

      I totatly agree with the poster just saying ..tough owning a vehicle today.[quote comment=”222817″]Joey, maybe you should spend a few moments in the Parking Utility office and hear the numerous sordid stories and complaints.[/quote]

    • joey maxim says:

      animal lover yes I have spent an hour in the basement waiting to renue my permit.If you notice they have retired policemen standing watch over civilians in event theres a problem[quote comment=”222817″]Joey, maybe you should spend a few moments in the Parking Utility office and hear the numerous sordid stories and complaints.[/quote]

  10. YouStayCl@ssyHoboken says:

    Good to hear the CC is taking action on parking. Keep the boot for scofflaws, though.

    • whineanddineinhob says:

      The “only” cc. members you can thank so far are Castellano and Mason for supporting this issue. Do you really think the “godzimmer” machine is going to rob her majesty of this revenue?[quote comment=”223225″]Good to hear the CC is taking action on parking. Keep the boot for scofflaws, though.[/quote]

      • joey maxim says:

        if im not mistaken I believe the two c c members are out numbered..At one time think it was former Mayor Roberts that incorporated the city with the then parking aurthority.As a kid I recall pd ticketing the meters which were around 2.00 at the time..As for garages to park weekly is not cheap..Secondly the robotic garage is out of their mind with$$ as well as the lipton tea lot when last told was 250.00 per month..thats a car payment. If anyone had to retrieve their vehicle in nyc on 90th street is like a nightmare..Was told the reason this all began was 40 years ago people were pkg in Hoboken to go to their jobs in nyc tying up spaces for locals..Now its become a clusterf****k..Again be carefull for I think many are singing to the choir. + one has to worry the car is not stolen or stripped.wow[quote comment=”223227″]The “only” cc. members you can thank so far are Castellano and Mason for supporting this issue. Do you really think the “godzimmer” machine is going to rob her majesty of this revenue?[/quote]

  11. animal_lover says:

    Expect a County balanced budget through booting and towing if Zimmer’s endorsed candidate were to gain a Freeholder seat.

  12. briank says:

    If the city cant boot, they at least need to boost the fine for illegally parking in a resident only zone to at least $100. The boots definitely work as a deterrent to keep people from taking up resident spots. You don’t see people parking in fire hydrant zones in NYC because the fine is $115. If people know the fine for parking in a resident zone will cost them $100+, they might think twice about taking a resident spot and instead use one of the very convenient (and a lot cheaper than heavy fine) garages.

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