A month after making parking reforms, Hoboken council to vote on more changes


Just under a month after the city announced new parking reforms, which included “dynamic pricing zones,” the city council will vote on a measure that would make more changes after some residents and business owners expressed their dismay with the new system.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“We all know parking in Hoboken can be challenging. The modified meter rates were intended to increase parking turnover throughout our city, but especially in commercial areas,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in a statement.

“Since this started, I’ve heard from many residents, business owners and visitors alike about the financial hardship this has caused. As Mayor, I take these concerns very seriously. I believe it’s critical to consider feedback, both good and bad, as we enact public policy.”

Bhalla continued that since “it is evident that further consideration is required,” he met with 3rd Ward Councilman Mike Russo, the chair of the council subcommittee on parking and transportation, who agreed to introduce local legislation at tomorrow’s meeting.

According to Bhalla, the resolution will make two major changes: allowing Hoboken residents with the appropriate parking permit to park at a metered location for free and decrease metered parking rates back to $1 an hour for everyone else.

“At the end of the day, it is my job to put Hoboken residents first. We will continue to try new things and look to innovative solutions to solve our problems, but I also look to you to help drive our City to reach its highest potential,” he added.

Last month, the city announced that dynamic pricing zones would change on street parking prices to anywhere between 50 to 90 cents for every 15 minutes, depending on the area of the city.

In a joint statement, Councilman Ruben Ramos and Mike DeFusco, who opposed the initial parking changes, applauded the mayor for being flexible, though still chided him for thinking the initial changes would work out.

“We are happy the Mayor now sees what the numerous residents who opposed this plan and the members of the Council who voted no saw from the beginning — that raising parking rates up to 260% with no improvements to the overall system and no new parking availability is outrageous,” they said.

“We should be encouraging people to visit, shop and dine in our city and enjoy all it has to offer as opposed to creating even more obstacles for businesses to succeed, which the Bhalla parking rate hikes would have done.”

The city council meets tomorrow at City Hall, 94 Washington St., at 7 p.m.

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  1. This is deja vu all over again.

    Back in 2008 the City Council voted to modestly increase the cost of a resident parking permit. From a responsible public policy perspective, the question was not whether to raise the cost of the permit, but whether the increase approved was sufficient. For some perspective, the low permit fee doesn’t even cover the cost of administering the permit system and is indisoutably a major contributing factor in Hoboken’s parking problem.

    A few weeks later, in what can only be called an act of complete political cowardice, the Council unanimously reversed itself, repealing the ordinance and keeping the fee unchanged. Both then Councilwoman Zimmer and then and current Councilman Cunningham voted to repeal, despite knowing full well that it was the wrong choice, a vote dictated by political cowardice not legitimate public policy concerns.

    Mayor Zimmer always regretted that vote (cast very early in her career), considering it the most cowardly and least defensible vote she ever cast on the City Council.

    Food for thought.