Hoboken Intersection Parking: Part I
Seeing that the topic of pedestrian safety is hot this week, wanted to add one more suggestion to this intersection issue: Extend the curbs out at each corner! Such as this location by Church Towers on 5th and Clinton Street. At the very least, roll these out at the “top 20” most dangerous and narrow intersections. Other than the cost to implement and reduced revenue for the city, what problems do you think these would pose?
Safety or money? What is more important to the City of Hoboken?
This past Sunday night, I overheard the Hoboken Police issue DOZENS of tickets for vehicles parked near the crosswalks of intersections. It got me thinking (which could be dangerous) that this problem can be rectified in some way. But that led to more thinking and analysis (which is even more dangerous). Thus, this post about parking.
I believe there is more than meets the eye regarding the issue we have with the intersections here in Hoboken, and something needs to be done about it. Whether it be at City Council meetings, new ordinances, new garages, traffic control, better communication and signage or all of the above.
Let’s discuss some of the fuzzy math I’ve come up with.
For starters, there are close to 200 intersections in Hoboken.
For estimating purposes, I’ve averaged that there are approximately 6 potentially illegal spots at each intersection (minus the non “+” intersections and fire hydrants).
That leaves around 1200 spots prone to ticketing and towing. Hold that thought.
Next, I’ve come up with a LOW estimate of about 50 tickets a day issued by both the Hoboken Parking Utility and the Police combined. That’s a little more than two an hour. At $54 per ticket that totals a shade under 1 million dollars annually. This is not including revenue earned by the towing company for any cars that are hooked. At a 25% tow rate, let’s add another 3 or 4 hundred thousand dollars. A lot of money. Hold that thought too.
Pedestrian and driver safety. With many intersections blocked, it poses serious safety issues for pedestrians and drivers alike. Drivers cannot see around the corner often, and there are frequent accidents at intersections. And since cars block the view of pedestrians, it’s a regular occurance that there is some kind of close-call between the two, even human fatalities, which happened downtown a few years ago.
So where does that leave us?
Well, if logic prevailed, the priority would be to put an END to illegal parking near intersections. Not fruity lines on the curb, or even re-painting the curbs super-bright yellow. That doesn’t seem to be enough to stop the people from breaking the law anyway. If you really want to make a difference, you need to think outside of the box.
I have a few suggestions to throw out there.
1) Put specifc signs at each corner that say: “No Parking Here To Corner”, like this one at 11th and Hudson. Would require re-configuration of current signage. How many people know the 16 foot rule? What is the difference between the little while spray-painted line on the curb and the yellow? But as you can see, no one pays attention.
2) In addition to repainting the yellow curb, why not add that BOX that is used for many fire hydrant locations? This would be an added deterrence to parking there, since it adds a mental element “hey, my car is ON the box”. I think it might work.
3) Since it’s highly unrealistic that we’d get get an ideal adherence level to the above suggestions, why not make it IMPOSSIBLE to park near the intersection? There are many ways, such as rubber barriers or even metal stumps that could keep these areas free of vision-impeding cars or trucks. I personally like the rubber ones, because if emergency vehicles such as fire trucks need to go there, they can drive over them with minimal or no damage. The only drawbacks may be street cleaning and snow removal.
But of course, ADDED COST and LESS REVENUE from tickets and towing may make this highly unlikely? Plus, where will the privileged people of Hoboken get to park when there is none?
Naturally, this would eliminate over 1000 illegal “parking spots” (temporary or not). What other problems would that cause? The mayhem that ensues during the “musical parking spots” in the evening would certainly be increased. Maybe more people would invest in garage parking. Who knows. It’s a very difficult decision to make in such a densely populated city with limited parking available. But it’s only getting worse the more buildings they put up.
Anyone have any suggestions?
So my open questions to the “powers that be” in Hoboken are:
– How much is a human life worth?
– Are you willing to give up a million or more dollars in revenue for the sake of overall safety?
– Would you like to take progressive steps at being a better community overall?
– Do you give a crap that people are breaking the law and putting people in danger? Or do you drool over the gobs of cash coming in annually?
– Speedbumps were a start, what next?
Heck, they could even turn this into a political ploy for all I care. “We fixed Hoboken and made it safer”. Whatever it takes, this nonsense has to stop. Get off your asses and do something about it. Now.