Reverse Parking Debacle in Hoboken

Reverse Parking on Madison {reverted back}

Welp – took a while, but the “reverse parking” debacle on Madison Street near the Shoprite has been reverted back to standard parallel parking. We’ll see what happens next.

Just hope the myriad of lines on the pavement don’t give anyone seizures or other confusing optical illusions that would cause them to careen onto the curb…

Reverse Parking Debacle over in Hoboken NJ on Madison Street - Reverse Parking Debacle in Hoboken

Hoboken botches another: Reverse Parking on Madison

9/25/2013 Update:

Sometimes the mockeries in Hoboken come so fast and furious – you actually don’t have time to blurt them out simultaneously. That would be too much “mockery” for one person to handle at once. So like a doctor-ordered “slow drip” of Hoboken mockery, here is today’s “dose:” The reverse parking spots on Madison Streets between 12th and 13th Streets.

You see, as we understand it – the city went ahead and made all sorts of “changes” to the parking in this location. The left side of this northbound street was converted to “reverse parking” (or as we call it “parallel parking for retards”). For one – they left one side of the street completely vulnerable to pedestrians getting struck by cars, and two – this was done without ordinance and now has to be rectified. Who does that?

reverse parking botched in Hoboken NJ Madison Street - Reverse Parking Debacle in Hoboken

Who pays for reverse parking debacle on Madison Street?

Take a look at this video clip. Room 84 owner Joe Branco makes a very good point. This is government waste. This “rushed” job by the parking director (under the supervision of Mayor Stan Grossbard Dawn Zimmer) was an act of haste. Now, most likely, the Hoboken property taxpayers will have to absorb the cost of whatever corrections need to be made.

Reality – what can and should be done about parking in Hoboken?

These numbers may not be completely up to date – but from what I roughly recall, Hoboken only has on-street parking for about 4,000 cars. With apparently over 10,000 actual cars in town (and 16,000 permits issued per year including business permits) – finding a spot if you don’t own one in a garage is a hell-storm. These numbers will most certainly grow as new buildings get built at a break-neck pace. How do you handle this growth and volume effectively?

Below, I’ve assembled some observations, common sense tips and ideas that may or may not help the parking situation in Hoboken. It’s possible the parking problems may never be alleviated. Maybe they’ll get worse. Perhaps that’s a stance we should take and figure out simply how to make life less stressful in general. Or not.

  • My first point is important. The city has valiantly tried to “get people out of their cars,” via the Hertz 24/7 On Demand type car-sharing. I agree this has *some* useful applications for *some* people, but it is not a sensible short-term plan – and as we’ve pointed out previously – people love the freedom and individuality of having their OWN car that is not shared by others. You can’t win. Not for now, at least – you might have to wait till the younger generations are sufficiently indoctrinated into not comprehending what personal, individual ownership is all about. Then, maybe you have a chance. Patience, rabbit, patience.

OK – now that we know we have a problem for the foreseeable future – what do you do? What are some of the previously discussed options for alleviating the parking debacle? Let’s dissect some options…

  1. “Build more garages.” And I mean on the outskirts of town. Closest to any entry and exit points. I’m all for this option, actually. I’ve heard opposition to this – where progressives will say “build it they will come,” as in “if we have more parking spots we’ll have more problems with visitors taking the spots, Hoboken will be even more packed with morons.” Well – these garages I speak of should be mostly for residents with cars. Let the visitors have the parking on street so they can quickly support local businesses. And would local shops complain if Hoboken became known for it’s easy parking and great stores? Didn’t think so.
  2. Create an ordinance for developers to provide more accessible parking. I feel very strongly about this idea. I forget the actual ordinance number for “parking spots / total units” ratio in most new apartment buildings. But I vaguely recall it’s around 1.2 parking spots per unit (for buildings with on-site “garage” parking.) That is insane! The number should be more like 3 or 4 or even 5 spots per unit. Because with each unit they build, that brings in friends, family and other visitors to town. The current ordinance is outdated, and should consider the expanding population and the need for affordable parking. Wouldn’t it be great if each new building had plenty of affordable spots for nearby residents? Yeah, I know – “pipe dream…”
  3. Make city garages for residents AFFORDABLE. I mean $100 a month or even less. Why not $50 a month? Or even $1 a day at $30 a month? A lot more acceptance, and less cars on the street. And less rules and regulations, time restrictions and all that other micro-managing bullshit. It ends up backfiring every time in the long run.
  4. Speaking of cars on the street… Bring back simple, cheap meters – and less draconian enforcement. With the advent of the Robotic Parking Death Machines, it has only complicated parking without preventing tire boots and angry visitors that will never return to Hoboken again after getting socked with a $300 penalty after just wanting a scoop of Rita’s Ice on a nice summer afternoon. Talk about alienating visitors. Instead of trying to be a perfectionist control-freak, why not be more tolerant and let people enjoy the city without a financial black eye and bad memory? (Oh yeah, I forgot – you need to pickpocket visitors and residents to line city coffers – sorry Dawn… lost that memo…)
  5. Stop development. I put this last – because if the city cannot intelligently revise ordinances to FORCE developers to sensibly augment the parking inventory MASSIVELY in Hoboken as they add human bodies and cars – then there is an alternative. Put the kibosh on development until a sensible transportation and parking plan is realized. But this is last resort, I guess.

Growth + Hoboken + Mile Square = no happy ending

As I pointed out above – getting people out of their cars isn’t working. Won’t work for the short term. Unless fuel goes to $8 a gallon for a few years, or some sun spot wipes out all modern devices – we’re stuck in this predicament for a while. I have some non-outlandish ideas above – and I’m hoping someone can discuss them intelligently. It’s not about bikes, or new-fangled “eco-friendly” methods that will solve this quagmire. Just take a look around. Thousands of new neighbors will be pouring in very soon. By 2020 – we’ll be at probably 60,000 to 65,000 residents. With the exact same linear miles of roadways. Who do you thank for that “urban planning” genius?

Anyway, here’s a replay from a post we did back a few years ago where Rabbi Daniel Lapin talked about getting “normal” people to surrender their cars isn’t as easy as it sounds on paper:

Enjoy the rest of your “Hump Day” Hoboken!

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Forcing developers to provide more parking will do nothing unless the tenants are forced to use the buildings parking.


I don’t see how you can enforce ANY tenant to use building parking. Although developers provide building parking, in most cases, there are additional fees for it’s use. Most probably feel why spend an additional 100-200 bucks a month when the streets are free.[quote comment=”221745″]Forcing developers to provide more parking will do nothing unless the tenants are forced to use the buildings parking.[/quote]


In a way, you can force it by changing the way residential permits are issued, and changing the way street parking zones are defined. e.g., if you live in a certain zone, you are issued a resident permit for that specific zone.[quote comment=”221747″]I don’t see how you can enforce ANY tenant to use building parking. Although developers provide building parking, in most cases, there are additional fees for it’s use. Most probably feel why spend an additional 100-200 bucks a month when the streets are free.[/quote]


About ten years ago when the Hoboken master plan was drafted, parking was “the number one complaint registered in our resident surveys.” (quoting the MP) I think we would see similar feedback today, but I haven’t heard much talk of parking from the current politicians or challengers.