How would you solve the Hoboken parking problem?

How would you solve the Hoboken parking problem?

Think about all the “solutions” current and previous politicians have come up with to solve the Hoboken parking problem.

NONE of them have worked whatsoever.

Some may have had good intentions, like:

(mental coercion) – “CORNER CARS!”

(mental coercion) – “RIDE YOUR BIKES!”

There are more – but those are (currently) the most prevalent. And of course, there are “app-cabs” as I like to call them, like Uber and Lyft. But there is NO WAY those models will last. Look at this post for some raw truth about it.

But there is a real quagmire….

hoboken parking problem bigger garages are needed

On-street parking spaces outnumber parking permits

Roughly – there are about 10,000 street parking spots in Hoboken, yet over 15,000 Hoboken Parking Permits are issued.

That leaves about a third of the paid parking permit residents forced to PAY for parking elsewhere.

Let that sink in for a minute.

And while that sinks in – let me explain a major reason why this conundrum exists today. It has to do with “planning” decades ago.

For the past five or 10 administrations (or more) – not one of them thought about the “future impacts” of development. Especially when it came to “where do the cars go?

Keep in mind that no matter how much social programming has existed – people, understandably still love the freedom of personal transportation.

So these planning people across multiple (left and right leaning) administrations came up with some stupid metric that all new buildings that had parking garages needed to have (something around) 1.2 parking spots per UNIT.

That math (whether it was 1.2 or 1.5 or even 2.0) inevitably lead to our current clusterfuck of cars.

What SHOULD have happened 10 administrations ago – was that all new buildings with parking garages – should have had (at least) three spots per unit – and probably up to FIVE spots per unit. With a majority going to other customers.

Yes, that would have delayed the ROI for developers – but it would have created an amazingly better parking situation in Hoboken. Probably 10 or 20 thousand additional parking spaces – and fewer people as well.

Maybe the height restriction could have been loosened as well. Instead of five stories, maybe six or seven to accommodate and meet in the middle.

Whatever. This is 20/20 vision of the past.

But what can we do NOW to solve this problem?

Here’s one idea I came up with.

A 10,000 spot residential long-term parking garage.
This can be done.

My idea is a ten-thousand spot residential ONLY parking garage uptown. Maybe at the Academy lot.

The concept is as follows.

  • A lottery-based system allows for residents to apply for a spot in this long-term multi-story garage. Who cares how tall it is, as long as it allows for ten thousand cars.
  • Next step – is to make the garage FREE for all residents that get accepted to the lottery.

However – there is a CLAUSE in the free part.

You’re only allowed to remove and re-park your car FOUR times per month. That’s once per week to run your errands. It obviously would not work well for commuters.

Each time beyond that – you’ll have to pay a fee. My first guess was $100 each time.

What does that accomplish?

Many things.

1. It reduces vehicular trips. People will plan accordingly in order to avoid the $100 fee for the fifth trip and beyond.

2. It encourages ride sharing. “Hey, I’m on my last free monthly trip out of the garage – who wants to go shopping?” You can imagine how many people will do that to avoid paying that penalty.

3. It will eventually earn the city money. Some people cannot (or care not to) worry about how many times the use their car. And they might have a lot of extra money. The garage would probably still generate a million or more dollars per year. Even if most people only take it one extra time.

So what will happen with all that street parking now empty?

Ah Hah! – this is the big unknown.

The city could leave one side of the street for “resident only” parking – and the rest of the spots for VISITORS ONLY (no residents allowed). Imagine room for 5,000 visitor cars per day? That would be AMAZING for local businesses!

Or at the very least – “30-minute parking ONLY” for residents that need to move heavy objects, etc.

Or open up the visitor side to residents between midnight and 9 am or something similar.

Use a camera-based system to issue summonses for those that violate.

I don’t know – this was just off the top of my head. But I can imagine seeing a HUGE benefit if this was implemented. And it’d be adopted MUCH MORE WIDELY than bicycles or rent-a-cars.

But like most other brilliant ideas that benefit humanity – this will fall by the wayside – because of GREED.

Enjoy your afternoon!

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017 1:43 pm

Do you have any idea how big a 10,000 car garage would need to be? It would no way fit in the old academy lots. To put it in perspective, it would be the around the 5th largest parking garage in the US.. The 8 story Garage 1450 Washington has a bit over 1000 spaces, the 1200 Jefferson Garage has 800..

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