The Hoboken City Council approved a measure to add more parking meters throughout the city in hopes of generating $1.3 million in revenue that would be allocated towards infrastructure improvements.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The measure, which was passed by a vote of 7-2 – Councilmen Ruben Ramos and Peter Cunningham voted no – makes it so that all visitor parking spots will have meters in the near future.
Furthermore, anyone with a valid Hoboken parking permit (resident, business, visitor, senior, etc.) will be able to continue to park without paying the meter.
The decision comes following a recommendation made by Hoboken’s Parking Master Plan and a pilot program that has been in place for several years in northern parts of the city, including various streets in northwest Hoboken around 15th Street and along northern Hudson Street.
“Saying it’s hard to find parking on the downtown residential streets that I represent is an understatement,” 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco said in a statement. “In the first ward, we regularly compete with visitors who violate the four-hour limit, and I’m not okay looking the other way while the needs of my neighbors are put second.”
“City-wide meters will not only increase churn and availability of spots, but also aid in enforcement while generating money exclusively for transportation and infrastructure related initiatives, like repaving and updating our aging municipal garages.”
DeFusco is also the chairman of the council’s Transportation and Parking Subcommittee.
3rd Ward Councilman Mike Russo, once a staunch critic of the Mayor Dawn Zimmer administration, also voiced his support for the plan.
“For years I have been advocating for this idea as a way to protect resident parking and to simplify our parking regulations, and I am glad to see it moving forward,” he said in the same statement.
“This will help us to address our transportation challenges from both a parking demand and infrastructure perspective.”
Cunningham, who represents the 5th Ward, said in a letter last week that he was against the plan since it does not “fit with the historic charm of our neighborhoods.”
He also said in the letter he would’ve preferred a “pay by plate” program which would allow drivers to pay for parking with a smart phone app, therefore eliminating the necessity for a parking meter.
Zimmer added that without finding new sources of income, it would take the Mile Square City half a century to repave their roads.
“New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund is facing serious challenges, but even with the current annual funding we receive, it would take us 50 years just to repave all our roads,” the mayor said in a prepared statement.
“Obviously that would be completely unacceptable, and therefore it is important that the City be able to invest every year in our transportation and critical infrastructure needs.”
The city estimates that the new parking meters will generate $1.3 million in revenue a year.
Speaking with Hudson County View at her re-election fundraiser last week, Zimmer went into a little more detail about the city’s infrastructure improvements, including park renovations and the $12 million Washington Street redesign plan.
The city clerk’s office said this morning that an Open Public Records Act request would have to be filed to obtain a copy of the passed resolution.
An extensive breakdown of the city’s current parking meter situation can be read on their official website.
Multiple members of the Hoboken council could not be reached for additional comments this morning.