8/17/2010 Update:

Who is checking up on Hertz?

Y’know, each week, I get quite a few emails from frustrated car-owning Hoboken residents who either cannot find a practical reason to use the Hertz on Demand (formerly Connect by Hertz) Corner Cars or hate the fact that the spots cost the billion dollar company only $100 a month while they reap massive profits. Most often, it’s a basic email conversation between us.

However, I’ve been getting more emails as of late, indicating how trashy the spots look – while the rest of the street that was cleaned by the street cleaners looked respectable. Here’s a prime example. This Hertz Corner Cars location near Park and Sixth was cluttered with rubbish, cups, and more.

  • Who at city hall allowed Hertz to “promise” they’d clean the spots only twice a month?
  • Why not every week like the street cleaners? Heck, for the lost parking ticket revenue, these spots should be cleaned DAILY!
  • How come there’s no financial ramification for failure to comply? Look at this crap!

SEE PREVIOUS GARBAGE UPDATE AFTER THE JUMP!

6/30/2010:

Street cleaning frustrates many residents

You ever forget to move your car for street cleaning in Hoboken? Only to rush to move it right after the sweeper passes – and you find a $45 ticket stuck on the car? If that’s not bad enough – you see that the sweeper sometimes leaves more of a mess behind. Frustrating, eh?

Since the Connect by Hertz Corner Cars launched in Hoboken recently – Hoboken411 has been receiving a steady stream of concerns about this community car sharing program that city transportation czar Ian Sacs said will “remove 750 cars from the streets.”

So far, about 100 residents have signed up to the program, but no cars have been relinquished.

As you can see from the current Hoboken411 poll – about 60% of respondents use a car daily or often enough to make the program unaffordable. 20% only use their cars sporadically, but about half of those have private parking spaces, and 20% don’t have a car at all.

Part of the agreement with the city, Hertz pays a “whopping” $100 per spot per month, but is completely exempt from street cleaning regulations. They’re supposed to “clean” the spots manually themselves.

Some comments from the residents I’ve spoken with:

  • “Only $100 a month? I’d pay double that to have my own private spot in front of my apartment!”
  • “Who inspects the cleanliness of the parking spots? What’s the fine for non-compliance? Why can’t I be exempt from street cleaning if I sweep my spot too?”

In the long run, supposed to benefit residents

I can understand why bending the rules for Hertz frustrates drivers. Because the city doles out parking summonses like candy from a Pez dispenser. However, it seems to me that the concept behind this Corner Cars program, is so lazy residents don’t have to walk more than a block or two before they can sit down again and drive wherever they’re going. This program wouldn’t work without making allowances such as this. You don’t see the city promoting the 43 Zip Cars we have at various locations throughout town, do you?

However, why stop there? Here are some other concepts to consider;

  • Let’s eliminate street sweepers altogether! Encourage the community to sweep the streets themselves. More money in the pockets of residents to spend at local businesses, right? Well, not really – because the millions of dollars in revenue that stuffs city coffers would be gone, and then we’d probably have another tax increase.
  • Hey, isn’t Ian Sacs a fan-boy for bicycles? Can’t we create a giant parking lot with 100′s of bike racks? Make people bike to the Hertz Cars instead of taking valuable spots from residents.
  • Make EVERY SPOT private in Hoboken. I estimate at least 7,000 street parking spots. That’s over $8 million in annual revenue. Who wouldn’t want that? Build a giant parking garage for visitors, and run that silly shuttle all day and night. There’d be plenty of money left over to help with budgetary problems. Heck, throw in some Pedi-Cabs for good measure. Speaking of Pedi-Cabs, why’d the put a moratorium on those? I digress, but this city is so filled with contradictions, it gives me a headache.
Hoboken NJ

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