Sunday, September 30, 2018

Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher: "The End of Free Parking Starts Monday, 10/1"

Official release:

 
 
Dear friends and neighbors:  
The Administration announced Friday evening its plan to roll out new metered parking city-wide for visitors to Hoboken starting Monday, October 1st.  This will convert all four-hour, free parking on non-resident sides of the street to metered, four-hour parking.  Effectively this means an end to free parking in Hoboken between 9am and 9pm, Monday through Saturday.  Visitors, like residents, will now be required to pay for parking.  
  • NOTE: The rollout will begin from 8th – 13th, between Washington and Bloomfield.
  • At this time, this will be the only area affected.
As part of the roll out, the City is piloting the use of virtual meters via mobile payment zones instead of having physical parking meters.  Visitors will be able to pay for parking using the mobile app or by calling the meter provider ParkMobile.  Although as of this writing, no signs have been posted in the area first affected, be on the lookout for a sign that will look something like this:
 
How will this affect you and your visitors?
  • No changes for those with resident stickers; business, temporary, senior or other permits; or visitor permits or hangtags.
  • For visitors with no hangtag or permit:
  • On the non-resident side only, where there is a "WHITE" sign, will still be able to park for 4 hours, however, will be required to pay the “meter”. 
  • No other changes.
Click HERE for more information on the plan from the City.
 
Why didn’t you receive a Nixle / Community Alert from the Administration about this important change?
Good question.  I, like the majority of the City Council, when presented by the Administration with voting on any and all changes to our parking laws have insisted on effective communication as part of any roll out.  Our parking situation is chaotic enough without a stealth law change that will potentially cause people to be ticketed and fined.  
This roll out came with no notice as the Administration grapples with reduced parking revenue due to the prolonged timing of and disruption caused by the Washington St. Project.  When I asked for an alert to be sent, and not just postings to social media given the immediacy of the change and the potential risk of penalties for visitors, I was told that “FB and Twitter analytics” suggest “the word is getting out” and that “the biggest impact of this change is for visitors, not residents”.  
Maybe you feel differently and I am more of a Luddite than you, but I just disagree with this across the board.  And I feel that it is residents' visitors who are most impacted so residents are who should be told.  
Nonetheless, the change is happening.  We were also told by the Administration that there will be a short period where warnings will be issued, prior to any ticketing - so if you live in the area of the initial roll out and you didn't tell your friends or contractors about the change, don't worry.  Yet.  
What is my view on charging more for parking?
  • I am personally supportive of visitors paying for parking just like residents do and voted in favor of this in 2016.   However, I am concerned that these changes are just another blow to our businesses on and near Washington St. and the timing of this change couldn’t be worse as the Washington St. Project continues north.
  • I did not vote in favor of the virtual meters as I think this is going to be confusing and difficult for some people / generations who are not as technically sophisticated.  But I do see the benefit of not adding more vertical clutter to our already crowded sidewalks.  These virtual meters have been successful in other cities so I will keep an open mind and remain optimistic.   
  • And when the ordinances with parking rate increases come back for City Council consideration (they were carried at the last meeting), unless there are parallel, pro-business programs like a free “Shop Hop”, a validated parking program and/or holiday advertising program, I do not see myself supporting any meaningful increase in parking rates until the Washington St. Project is completed sometime in 2019. 
I know that the Administration is meeting tomorrow to discuss future communications relating to the continued roll out of this program so I will continue to provide updates as and when I have them.  
As always, feel free to reach out if you want to discuss this further, or anything else, by email or by phone 201/208-1674.  And please forward this to anyone you think would benefit from hearing about this.  IN PARTICULAR TO YOUR NEIGHBORS IN THE AREAS MENTIONED ABOVE THAT WILL BE AFFECTED BEGINNING MONDAY.
 
TiffanieFisher
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward
 
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