City invokes radical parking changes
Today, Mayor Dave Roberts and the City Council of Hoboken announced a bold initiative to answer residents’ complaints about the lack of parking in town: A parking moratorium effective immediately.
Sharp permit price increases
“After looking for parking in my own neighborhood for over an hour last month, I can finally relate to what people have been saying for years” said Mayor Roberts, who nearly suffered a heart attack during his five-block walk to his Hudson Street home. His plan was to spread out parking throughout the city by putting a steep premium on the ability to park near the populated areas.
Starting today, all new yearly and temporary parking permits will be issued in two zones. From Hudson to Madison Streets costs $2000 per year, or $50 per day, and everything west will remain the same. “I anticipate this new ordinance will limit further congestion in the “heart” of the city.”
On top of the new permit pricing structure, new parking meter rates also went into effect. Instead of the usual quarter for 20 minutes of parking, and up to two hours in some areas, the rates are now 25 cents per minute, with a 20 minute limit. “That’s insane,” said 1st Ward Councilwoman and Council President Theresa Castellano, who was the sole vote against the new ordinance. “My constituents are very busy and don’t have time nor the energy to feed the meters so often, as well as lug rolls of quarter around with them everywhere!”
When asked why they voted for the ordinance, both council members Peter Cunningham and Beth Mason agreed, “Hey, we have less meters. What do we care?” Cunningham later added, “Our city is getting really chubby, we are helping the general health of the population by adopting this ordinance.”
City workers who collect the money from the meters (who requested anonymity) are very upset. “We’re going to need back and knee surgery in a couple months with all these coins we have to lug to bank. And twice a day? When will I get to take a nap?”
The debate over the meter increase is far from over, as some who opposed it feel the city will be hurt financially. “15 bucks an hour for a meter?” said one Hoboken cop, “we make more money ticketing double parkers, why would we want to make it easier to find a spot?”
Others also thought the increased walking, and much-reduced traffic would hurt Hoboken University Medical Center as well. “Stuck pedestrians are 20 percent of our annual revenue,” said one hospital administrator. “I guess we’ll have figure out a way to increase shootings and stabbings.”
Additionally, four new 24-hour “money vans” were added to the fleet to crack down on offenders… with heavy fines for permit violators. People parking in the wrong zone now get a $1000 ticket. Additionally, the city expects the violations to be alarmingly high during the first year, and have built a 14-story tow storage building to accommodate, angering many anti-redevelopment groups. Roberts said “unless you want impounded cars on your precious parks, it had to be done.”
Politics as usual
On the political front, At-large councilman Peter Cammarano confused everyone, by starting two competing “stop the hike” campaigns himself. “Stop the walking hike” and “stop the driving hike” but was unable to even explain one or the other further, as residents were puzzled at what his message actually was. At the meeting he flipped a coin and voted for the parking increase, saying “I’m glad I can take credit, for whatever this thing-a-ma-bob is.”
Councilman Giacci, as always, had zero input and had to have his pulse checked three times during the meeting to ensure he was still alive.
Terry LaBruno was involved in the most bizarre action of the night, getting so steamed at 4th Ward Councilwoman Dawn Zimmer for no apparent reason, yelling so loud she dislodged her left eyeball. She was rushed to HUMC where they accidentally performed a c-section instead of tending to her damaged eye. The resulting lawsuit is thought to potentially bankrupt the recently overhauled hospital and pave way for new 33-story apartment buildings (See inset: “300-foot tall roof-top parks are dangerous for kids”)
Michael Russo had no official comment, because he ate five Fiore’s roast beef sandwiches during the meeting, and voted by giving a gravy-soaked “thumbs up.”
Ruben Ramos was mysteriously absent from the meeting, but was last seen getting in a NYC yellow cab.