Bayonne mayoral candidate Jason O’Donnell and his running mates are calling for several measures to alleviate parking woes such as pre-painted spots, shuttle buses and parking decks.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
â€œBayonne residents have been overtaxed and overburdened with footing the bill for tax breaks for wealthy developers, lawsuit settlements and mediocre infrastructure like the potholes all over the city. Fixing the parking problem in Bayonne doesnâ€™t mean charging people another tax to park on their own property,” the five-person team of O’Donnell, Dan Ward, Melissa Enriquez-Rada, Matt Klimansky, Sharma Montgomery and Kevin Kuhl said in a joint statement.
“â€˜Walking the driveway tax backâ€™ doesnâ€™t mean anything when the people who voted to do it are saying they will revisit it in six months if they get another four-year term. Our parking plan combines a commonsense use of pre-existing resources, strategic partnerships, smarter long-term planning and the will to solve the problem with no additional cost to taxpayers.â€
The slate also said they would use information technology to track who parking permits are issued to, allow free parking for residents who need a spot in front of their driveways and working with NJ Transit to provide a commuter shuttle to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail.
They also making a commitment to reviewing prohibited parking areas, as well as submitting a request for proposals so the city can work with an engineer to maximize parking in each ward.
The O’Donnell team’s parking plans comes in light of a spat between the former Assemblyman and Council President Sharon Nadrowski over a “driveway tax” introduced by the governing body last month.
The measure would have potentially cost residents $50 to park their cars in front of their driveways, but the council reconsidered after hearing a number of public complaints and Nadrowski said the city will conduct a six-month review before introducing anything similar.
Davis campaign spokesman Phil Swibinski brushed off the notion that the incumbents would have ever allowed the tax to come to fruition.
“Mayor Davis has made it very clear that he will veto any driveway parking measure that includes a tax or fee on residents and the City Council has no intention of ever instituting any fee for residents to park in front of their driveway, so this so-called ‘plan’ is really just another dishonest attempt by the O’Donnell campaign to revive a dead issue and mislead voters,” he said.
“O’Donnell has spent this entire campaign doing nothing but attack Mayor Davis and this is just more of the same failed strategy.”
Editor’s Note: This story has updated with a comment from the Davis campaign.