The City of Hoboken is rolling out a slew of new parking reforms at the beginning of next month, including a benefit district and virtual visitor permits.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The initiatives, which were approved by city council late last year, aim to improve on-street parking availability in business districts.
This includes the launching of a new and improved â€œvirtualâ€ visitor permit system that allows visitor permits to be purchased and activated online, and the reintroduction of the â€œDaily Debit Programâ€ to provide cheap, daily garage parking for Hoboken business employees – as opposed to taking up on street parking.
To that end, the city is preparing to launch the first Parking Benefit District in New Jersey.
A Parking Benefit District is a geographic area where parking revenues are collected and reinvested into economic development initiatives designed to attract customers to business districts.
Through this initiative, the city expects to invest approximately $250,000 into Parking Benefit District projects in Year 1 with a goal of investing a minimum of $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 over five years.
Types of projects that will be eligible for Parking Benefit District funding include public transportation, parking technology and infrastructure (parking app, repairs and modernization of garages, etc.), streetscape improvements (planters, public seating, new signage, etc.), green infrastructure (street trees, rain gardens, etc.), and safety improvements to streets.
For Year 1 of the Parking Benefit District, the City is preparing to use parking revenues for the following initiatives:
A free Hop bus service
New Hop buses
Mobile parking app
Streetscape enhancements on Washington Street
Free Hop bus service will begin Monday, March 4. Other target Year 1 projects will be subject to council approval.
Also close to launch is The Daily Debit Program, which provides $5 a day parking for Hoboken business employees in Garage B (28 2nd St), Garage D (215 Hudson St), Midtown Garage (371 4th St), and Lot 3 (1301 Jefferson St), is now accepting new customers into the program on a first-come, first-serve basis until program capacity limits are reached.
For more information, please contact the Hoboken Parking Utility at 201-653-1919 or visit www.hobokennj.gov/parking-center.
Additionally, the Hoboken Parking Utility is preparing to upgrade its visitor permits from scratch-off hang-tags to online “virtual permits.”
With the new virtual visitor permits, Hoboken residents will no longer need to physically go to the HPU Customer Service window to pick-up scratch off hang-tags; instead, residents with active HPU Online accounts will be able to purchase and activate visitor permits for their guests online from the comfort of their home, or anywhere with an internet connection.
The virtual visitor permits will also include new customer-friendly features such as notification reminders before the visitor permits expire.
Hang-tag permits will continue to be accepted during a transition phase. More information about the new virtual visitor permits will be announced in the coming weeks.
Additionally, back in November, the city council approved a series of initiatives to address parking pricing imbalances, improve curbside parking availability, and attract more customers to the cityâ€™s business districts.
The first initiative aims to achieve parking policy best practice of 85 percent occupancy rates on-street, which means one-to-two parking spaces should be consistently available on each block within business districts.
To accomplish that, on-street parking rates will be changed to between $0.50 and $0.90 for 15 minutes, which are similar to rates in Atlantic City, New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Boston, Miami, Seattle, San Francisco, and other cities.
Click here for a map of the updated dynamic pricing zones.
The second initiative will decrease parking rates in Garage B, Garage D, and Midtown Garage for the first hour to encourage more short-term visitors arriving by car to park in garages.
Time limits in all existing metered parking zones will also be standardized to four hours, and on some commercial or retail blocks meter hours will be extended to midnight to improve curbside parking availability near businesses open after 9:00 pm.
As is the current policy, individuals with a resident parking permit will not need to pay to park on the visitor sides of permit parking zones (white sign, green lettering). The fee of $15 per year for a residential parking permit remains unchanged.
More information can be found on the FAQ section at the bottom of this page.