Hoboken double parking: What to do?

5/11/2010 Update:

Still double parking after all these years

Hoboken resident waits too long to hear from Transportation Director Ian Sacs - Hoboken double parking: What to do?A couple weeks ago, this story was published because a Hoboken resident had some problems with the double-parkers on Adams Street (one of the widest streets in Hoboken, BTW).

The reader complained that there’s a constant stream of parking offenders that get chased away by PD – only to return a short time later.

I spoke with Police Chief Anthony Falco – and personally overheard some increased enforcement over the Hoboken411 Live Police and Fire Action Channel. This seemed to last for a few days at least.

However, the reader is still quite upset – because she’s sent both Chief Falco, and Parking Czar Ian Sacs multiple messages, and has not received the courtesy of a response to her concerns in 30 days!

Double Parking Karma in full effect, though…

Ironically, a nasty double-parked car accident happened on Washington Street this past Sunday Morning.

A double parked car on Washington Street between 11th and 10th got it’s door ripped off by a passing motorist. Too bad.

Thank God the door didn’t jettison off and become a flying death projectile for a nearby pedestrian!

Hoboken double parked car gets door ripped off on Washington Street - Hoboken double parking: What to do?

SEE ORIGINAL STORY AFTER THE JUMP!

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4/29/2010:

Face it, in cities like Hoboken – double parking is 100% inevitable. And one Hoboken411 reader is so upset about one particular area on Adams St. between 4th and 5th – that they wrote a letter to Police Chief Anthony P. Falco this month:

Double Parked Cars on Adams Street in Hoboken NJ - Hoboken double parking: What to do?

They keep coming back!

“I have lived in Hoboken since the end of 2006 and have noticed a dangerous pattern. It is not uncommon for people to double park on Adams, which makes it very difficult for drivers and pedestrians to see if there is any traffic traveling north bound before crossing Adams. I have often called to report this and the police have responded promptly and gotten the violators to move along.

The pattern I have observed is while they temporary fix the problem, the double parkers are back in very little time. There is no motive for them to obey the law, because I have never seen any one get a ticket for double parking. I would like to suggest that tickets be issued, to encourage the rules be followed. While this pattern of not issuing tickets does not represent explicit permission to violate the law, I feel some people take it to be implicit permission.”

I spoke with Chief Falco this week, and he informed me that “a memo was sent out” instructing officers to pay more careful attention to problematic double-parking areas, to “clean them up.”

The double parking problem isn’t black & white

The city doesn’t have enough street parking, and garage parking is either unaffordable or inconvenient. An no, everyone isn’t giving up their cars and switching to bicycles simultaneously. Not gonna happen (in this century for that matter). So we’ll have to manage for the time being. But who are these double parkers, and why?

  • Short-term, purpose-driven: These double parkers include food delivery drivers, locals looking to unload heavy packages or run into a store to pick something up quick.
  • Lazy, or “everyone else is doing it”: Those that don’t want to spend a few minutes looking for a legit spot, or just pull behind the line of cars ahead them that are already double-parked.
  • “I’m gonna just park here and hang out”: Then of course, you have those that consider a double-parked car the same as a regular parked car. Often leaving it unattended for hours on end.

Additionally, the streets in Hoboken vary in width greatly. Some are barely wide enough for a car to drive down (10th between Wash & Bloom), and others have enormous space, where even emergency vehicles can pass through with ease (like Adams St. mentioned above).

Selective enforcement isn’t right either

Sure that stretch on Adams is a big double-parking zone, usually because of Fiore’s Deli (or the Russo Civic Center when it was open). And I’ve heard on the Hoboken411 Live Police and Fire Action Channel that the HPD has been sweeping the problem areas more frequently.

However, that doesn’t eliminate the problem altogether, just one area. Take a look at this busy intersection at 7th and Washington yesterday afternoon. At around 3pm, busy parents double park to pick their kids up from All Saints. Should that also be cracked down on? Or because “we’re doing it for children,” it should be OK?

Hoboken double parking all saints 7th and washington - Hoboken double parking: What to do?

What are some solutions?

As it stands now, the double parking ordinance is unified across the board. It’s just not permitted in Hoboken. However, the Hoboken Police offers many courtesies because they know the difficulties involved with parking citywide – and as long as the driver responds quickly and moves their vehicle, they move along. But why not fine tune the law a bit? Here are some suggestions:

  • Zero Tolerance Zones: Certain streets should not permit double parking, like Washington St. The most traveled road in the city, with the biggest pedestrian concentration, and highest safety risk. Stop with the daily “sweeps” and just ticket and tow all double parkers. Same goes for any street in Hoboken where double-parkers are within, say 50 feet of an intersection (to improve visibility and emergency vehicles turning.)
  • Moderate Zones: Most other streets in town, would be considered OK for short-term double parking. Police can squeal their sirens if necessary, but no harsh enforcement except for blatant long-term abusers.
  • Allowed Zones: I keep referring to Adams St., but that road is so wide – Double parking should be allowed without fear of ticketing and towing. Same goes for other wide streets, or lesser traveled strips (uptown for instance). Perhaps make it mandatory for the driver to leave a cell number in the windshield in case the blocked-in car needs to move.

I just came up with these ideas off the top of my head, but there needs to be some way to free up Hoboken’s Police officers for more important tasks than chasing drivers around the city.

Can you make any positive, long-term suggestions for this ongoing problem?

RELATED: See this great Hoboken411 double parking video from 2007!

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animal_lover
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