Bogus curb tickets in Hoboken?

Is parking on a Hoboken curb considered a sidewalk?

NJ transportation statutes suggest that in general, curbs should be between 4-6 inches in height. And naturally, if you were parallel parking next to a properly installed curb, you’ll certainly know if you’ve driven into it.

There are so many “curbs” in Hoboken that are either worn out completely, or so level with the street you won’t even feel that you’ve driven over one. This happened to Hoboken411 reader Dana, and she got whacked with a $56 ticket. Read on to read her woes…

“This is in regards to a ticket I received last Wednesday afternoon. When I came home from work last week, I parallel parked between 3rd and 4th on Hudson Street and when I got out of my car, I noticed my right rear car tire was slightly on the curb—but since the curb is so slanted (as many curbs in Hoboken are) I didn’t think anything of it and went up to my apartment. However, when I returned about 2 hours later to head to a rehearsal dinner, there was a parking ticket on my windshield and the $56 offense was “illegally parking on the sidewalk.” I’ll gladly admit when I’m wrong, however, I feel this ticket is completely bogus. First of all, I wasn’t parked on the “sidewalk” and second of all, I wasn’t obstructing pedestrian traffic whatsoever. I feel that this is just another way that Hoboken, Mayor Zimmer and the out-of-control HPU is robbing long-time residents of their money.

I wanted to contact you so you could make other residents aware that HPU is going around ticketing people for this and wanted to see if this has happened to anyone else. I also wanted to know if it is in fact “illegal” if one tire is just slightly on a curb that is slanted in the first place. Has this happened to anyone else? Should I attempt to fight the ticket?”

411 note: I guess the question at hand is – where does the “sidewalk” end?

One would think it ends exactly where the curb starts, since NJ law specifies the curb as a completely separate entity to sidewalk.

(And the photo above wasn’t Dana’s car – it was a similarly parked car I found after receiving her email… This car, however – didn’t receive a ticket because they had “LE” Law Enforcement plates…)

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22 Comments on "Bogus curb tickets in Hoboken?"


Member
briank
3 years 22 days ago

If the HPU employees have quotas, why aren’t they just standing outside Benny Tudino’s and handing out tickets for double parking? The entire block is double parked, bringing Washington St to a near standstill.
Loved the girl yesterday morning at 8:30 who double parked her little SUV outside of Starbucks on Washington so she would not have to walk. Half the block was open for parking but it would have meant walking 30 feet. Instead someone in Starbucks had to wait for her lazy a$$ to get her coffee and move her car.

Member
YouStayCl@ssyHoboken
3 years 22 days ago

I’m assuming that’s a rhetorical question, but I’ll venture a couple thoughts.. 1) double parking makes the street safer for jaywalking pedestrians by slowing down traffic, 2) keeping business healthy and commerce flowing is more important than alleviating occasional personal annoyances.. I think in a way those new meters enhance the double-parking problem, as in your SBUX example.[quote comment=”216729″]If the HPU employees have quotas, why aren’t they just standing outside Benny Tudino’s and handing out tickets for double parking? The entire block is double parked, bringing Washington St to a near standstill.Loved the girl yesterday morning at 8:30 who double parked her little SUV outside of Starbucks on Washington so she would not have to walk. Half the block was open for parking but it would have meant walking 30 feet. Instead someone in Starbucks had to wait for her lazy a$$ to get her coffee and move her car.[/quote]

Member
YouStayCl@ssyHoboken
3 years 22 days ago

Agree 100% that bikes are more of a sidewalk obstruction, and compared to enforcement of real moving violations regarding stop signs and crosswalks, this is petty stuff. But the law is reasonably clear and those PEOs and their managers are being measured for ‘efficiency’ and that means the more tickets they write per hour the better they look.

Member
animal_lover
3 years 23 days ago

This ticketing is absurd in that there are so many actual obstructions on the side walk such as bikes chained to fences.

Member
3 years 23 days ago

If there is any hint of a curb or anything resembling a curd you make sure you stay 6 inches from it. Remember you have the HPA with their draconian attitude and you know about this attitude and you still take the chance, again pay the man.

Member
3 years 23 days ago

OOPS, thats curb[quote comment=”216719″]If there is any hint of a curb or anything resembling a curd you make sure you stay 6 inches from it. Remember you have the HPA with their draconian attitude and you know about this attitude and you still take the chance, again pay the man.[/quote]

Member
doogie04
3 years 23 days ago

411, to clarify: For the sake of parking violations NJ law does not distinguish between the curb and sidewalk.

The relevant section of Municipal Regulations (Article 1, Chapter 190 Vehicles & Traffic)(http://www.ecode360.com/15236785). That section (§ 190-2) specifies that Hoboken’s regulations are not exclusive, and further states that more restrictive laws & regulations control.Hoboken’s regulations do not have a definition for curb or sidewalk (§ 190-1), but point to NJ law N.J.S.A. 39:1-1 (http://bit.ly/RAuXIr) for definitions.

The section does not define “Curb”. Since it isn’t defined for us, the dictionary definition of “curb” is “a rim, especially of joined stones or concrete, along a street or roadway, forming an edge for a sidewalk. ”

N.J.S.A. 39:1-1 does, however, defines sidewalk as :

“Sidewalk” means that portion of a highway intended for the
use of pedestrians, between the curb line or the lateral line of
a shoulder, or if none, the lateral line of the roadway and the
adjacent right-of-way line.

So the sidewalk extends to the “curb line”, but is that the outer (roadway) or inner (sidewalk) edge? It’s not defined, but lets look at the rest of the language. Well, it’s arguable that the curb is intended for “use of pedestrians” as the surface is inline and continuous with other portions of the sidewalk. That points to the outer edge. Further supporting that idea, the sidewalk extends to “the lateral line of the shoulder” or the “lateral line of the roadway”. The state was kind enough to tell us what “Shoulder” and “Roadway” mean:

“Shoulder” means that portion of the highway, exclusive of
and bordering the roadway, designed for emergency use but
not ordinarily to be used for vehicular travel.”

“Roadway” means that portion of a highway improved,
designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive
of the berm or shoulder.

It’s a bit incredulous for anyone to argue that that a portion of the curb, no matter how shallow, is part of the “shoulder” because we understand that a shoulder is designed for “emergency use” and everwhere we encourage car usage is, well, flat, and not 6″ vertical lips (even if the one in question was shallower). Similarly, on a road without a shoulder the end of the roadway is “the portion….ordinarily used for vehicular travel”. We don’t ordinarily use the curb for vehicular travel. This post is running on a bit at this point, but if you look at how intersections are defined they use the outer side of the curb as well.

So lets turn back to the car on the curb. Yes it was pissy to issue a ticket. Nevertheless, the The list of motor vehicle ticket violations published by NJ state courts (http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/mcs/svbs_12-03/pt1_a.pdf) lists 39:4-138(f) Improper Parking on Sidewalk. That segment of the code (http://bit.ly/N4BwCd) is titled: “Places where parking prohibited” In relevant part the statute reads :

Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic … no operator
of a vehicle shall stand or park the vehicle in any of the following places:

(f)On a sidewalk;

So we know the sidewalk extends to the outside curb line. This includes what we think of as the curb. Parking isn’t allowed on curbs.

So in this particular case, NJ Law does not separates curb and sidewalk.