Now WPIX News jumps on the Hoboken parking hell-hole bandwagon

12/17/2011 Update:

More major NYC news outlets following Hoboken411′s lead about the criminal parking practices here in town.

The city still claims they’re not doing it for revenue generation, but we all know that’s a giant lie they’ll never come clean on. Also, now there is talk that this practice of enforcing this “4 hour stop watch” may in fact be WRONG – and a class-action lawsuit may be next.

This WPIX piece had some good sound bites from residents, but the FOX 5 News investigation was much more thorough.

Overzealous parking enforcement hurts Hoboken businesses

12/16/2011 Update:

Local business owner James Mastro (from the Guitar Bar) copied Hoboken411 on a letter he sent to Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Parking Czar Ian Sacs – upset that the city continues to uphold it’s bad reputation for parking robbery – and not doing anything to encourage shoppers to spend their money in Hoboken.

“I’m sure by now you heard WCBS Radio’s news story on the confusing parking issues here in Hoboken. Following on the heels of Fox News report on the same matter recently, the timing couldn’t be worse for Hoboken and its businesses. The same businesses that not only bring in much needed revenue to the city, but also employ many of its residents. The timing for these stories – which coincides with the much stricter enforcing of these parking rules – couldn’t be worse. This is the time of year where it’s “make-or-break” for many businesses, and I know I’m not alone when I say this has not been a good holiday season for us to date, and I know the stricter enforcement of these rules are part of the problem.

But much of what HPU is enforcing now does not have the infrastructure to back it up.

I disagree with what you referred to as the “dwell time” (the average time that a visitor spends in a town) supporting the 2-hour time limit per day on meters that you said is sufficient for most out-of-towners. But if not mistaken, I believe you said a study of dwell time for Hoboken has not been done in many years, if at all. Hoboken is a destination city; people do not drive here to buy a gallon of milk and thenleave.

The 4-hour limit on side streets per day is hurtful. I’m all for making people move their cars if they are in one spot longer then that time; but if they truly are willing to move their cars after 4-hours and look for another spot, then they surely are here for a purpose: be it shopping, seeing a doctor, etc. The argument that this law has been on the books since 2001 does not mean that it’s a fair law. I assume that one of the reasons this 4-hour limit is enforced is because the HPU trucks with cameras have no way of knowing if a car moved or not – only being capable of logging in a total time for a vehicle’s stay in town (as Fox’s report painfully showed). Though you referred to it as “old school,” I wonder if the simple way of chalking a tire wouldn’t be a better and fairer way of keeping tabs on vehicles.

Many towns offer free or discount holiday street parking – even Hoboken did several years ago. Bloomfield puts bags over its meters; Montclair offers 2 free hours. When we met, you did say HPU’s sole purpose was not to generate revenue. Well, I’d like to believe that and see if something can be done to only help businesses during this remaining holiday season.

Surely if revenue’s not an issue, then a 2-hour “free parking” could easily be added on to a vehicle that has already displayed a 2-hour parking voucher in it’s window. This, I feel, would not only help businesses, but also help improve a tarnished view that this city has generated in the past few weeks. It would be a great gesture of goodwill to work with the people that work in this town.

James Mastro
Guitar Bar & Guitar Bar Jr

Fox 5 News updates Hoboken parking story

12/15/2011 Update:

Update to the parking story Fox 5 News did before Thanksgiving.

Hoboken Parking Ticket Headaches: MyFoxNY.com

Other cities let you “feed the meter” via cell phone!

Really – that 4 hour parking rule has to be unconstitutional. Heck – even progressive cities like San Francisco are now allowing you to pay by smartphone (even as little as for 5 minutes!)

Hoboken Parking Woes Highlighted on Fox 5 News Tonight!

11/21/2011 Update:

There is no doubt that the parking racket taking place in Hoboken is making residents frustrated and angry. So much so, that Fox 5 News is airing an investigative report on their 10pm broadcast.

See video below!

Hoboken Parking Ticket Headaches: MyFoxNY.com

Parking Enforcement in Hoboken – City Hall buddies get free pass

10/28/2011:

This Hertz on Demand car at 11th & Hudson was illegally parked for over 12 hours today – blatantly five feet into the yellow curb zone.

Meanwhile, residents get ticketed for being just an inch over. I guess the kickbacks that the Hertz executives gave to privileged City Hall members paid off.

Hoboken ramps up “hidden tax” pickpocketing of residents & visitors

10/26/2011 Update:

The city of Hoboken (most likely due to their inability to manage a municipal budget), has begun pulling out all the stops in terms of taking even more money from hard-working residents, shoppers, visitors and workers.

Recently, the HPU extended the hours in which they ticket & boot cars into the early AM – and even more so, have started going on a massive “BOOT CAMPAIGN” on practically every street in town.

Visitors beware – you will be shafted out of around $200

You know how posted speed limits on highways are either 55 or 65mph? But most people usually go around 10mph over the limit, but don’t get ball-busted by cops – even if they’re tracking speed on radar. It’s sort of a common courtesy as long as you don’t do 100mph and drive like a moron.

But you ever reach one of those communities where they give you tickets even if you’re 0.5 mph over the limit? It’s usually a sign that a city is desperate for money – and is exactly what’s happening with the parking here in town.

Various streets have posted 2hr (metered) or 4hr (non-metered) limits, even though the meter regulations don’t really specify *exactly* what that means.

Now, the HPU employees were instructed by Traffic Czar Ian “I assault people” Sacs to enter license plates into their fruity little handheld computers, and if they see the cars anywhere in town after the stated “limit,” they get ticketed and booted. Dozens of Hoboken411 readers chimed in last week – saying they literally saw hundreds of booted cars around town. A noticeable uptick in parking raping and pillaging “enforcement.”

Note that this system does NOT take into consideration if a driver MOVED his or her car – and re-parked it later, and can be considered illegal to ticket and boot. The only way the HPU can prove if you parked for more than 4 hours is to film the car the entire time.

Anyone that gets this type of summons should fight it in court with that argument. Since you’re innocent until proven guilty – ask them to provide indisputable proof that you didn’t move the car.

Stealing from drivers is bad for the local economy

Ticketing and booting cars does NOT free up parking. In fact, it locks parking spots EVEN LONGER as the driver now has to deal with the debacle of paying the fine, and unlocking the boot on their car.

Then, it actually creates more traffic and pollution as these cars now have to drive around to RETURN these criminal clamps or pay even more fines for keeping what they never wanted on their cars in the first place.

Lastly, as the city steals more and more money from the pockets of residents and shoppers who normally inject much needed capital into the local economy, there may be a point in the future where this actually HURTS local businesses due to the decreased spending power of all the folks punished by city hall.

For what? So the Mayor can offer more pay raises to her friends who do her dirty work? What happened to protests at City Hall?

Hoboken parking rules make a whole lot of nonsense

6/28/2011 Update:

Hoboken411 reader Jay added a bit to the nonsensical parking time-limit situation in Hoboken, saying the notice the city issued recently wasn’t up to par regarding the actual law.

“If you read the ordinances that the city referenced to, there is nothing in the ordinance that states you are LIMITED to 2-4hr parking at the designated meter or throughout other parts of town. Unless I missed something it does not state that you can not move your car to another meter, continue to place more money in the current meter or that your parking limitations are limited to a 2 or 4hr period throughout Hoboken, NJ. The ordinance states that the METER is designated areas will have either a 2 or 4hr period of operation time.

If you look at the actual Meter, it states “2hr. Maximum Parking Time” which is required to indicate to the user of its limit but nowhere does it state you can’t move or place more coins in.

Another Hoboken blunder. Go figure!”

Hoboken set to ramp up parking pick-pocketing!

6/15/2011:

Cars all over Hoboken are getting notes put on them – a “warning” about the parking time restrictions. Referencing ordinances 140-3 and 190-6.2

Interestingly – if you read Ordinance 140 more thoroughly – it looks quite outdated! Talk about “dimes” in the meters? 360 minute parking? $1000 parking tickets? WTF?

Obviously, the 47% property tax increase wasn’t enough for these guys to hire all their friends – so they’re jacking up the revenue machine lickety split!

You can stay 4 hours in Hoboken – then you must leave town!

Hoboken411 reader Jerry has a “parking casualty” to share with you all – about how the Hoboken Parking Utility just wants to rob you of your hard earned money.

Ridiculous Hoboken parking rules make no sense!

“I can’t express how angry I am. I had to write in so hopefully the rest of Hoboken’s residents and frequent visitors can truly understand how dumb this town’s parking laws are. Here’s a re-cap of my day today (6/14/2011).

I work here in town close to 10th and Willow and got in town around 8:30 AM. Moved my car around 10 AM for street cleaning. I parked on 10th and Clinton. Around 12:30 PM, went home (Jersey City Heights) for lunch for about an hour. I returned back to work at 1:30, parking again at 10th and Willow, because that’s where there were open spots.

I got booted at 2:17 PM for supposedly being there over 4 hours. Clearly I wasn’t. When I spoke to Maryann at Hoboken Parking Authority, she said that the 4 hour rule applies all over town and that it doesn’t matter if I moved, left and then came back. So, according to the City of Hoboken, it is against the law to visit and park anywhere in town where there’s a 4 hour limit. I guess if you park in one of these spots for 4 hours, you have to leave for the rest of the day?

She recommended that if I work in town and am going to park (anywhere in town) for 4 hours or more, that I should get a permit. Yet, they do not pro-rate the cost. Renewal is in September so I’d have to pay the full amount now and also in September.

I have no idea how ANY of this makes sense to any logical person. Maryann from the Hoboken Parking authority gave me the usual runaround, treating me like I was a complete idiot and in the wrong, saying that there’s nothing she can do about it and that I should take it to court; then it’s up to the judge.

My questions are:

  • Does this make sense to anyone other than the parking authority? Does it even make sense to them?
  • How is it possible to get ahead working in such an environment? Am I in the wrong at all? If so, let me know b/c I can’t wrap my head around this logically.
  • Lastly, what can we do to change ridiculous laws that don’t make sense?

Do you think it’s creepy that the city has a stop watch on your car – and follows you around keeping track of the minutes you’re within city limits?