I am writing to clarify inaccuracies in a letter published last week by Brian Battaglia, a Washington Street merchant and President of the Hoboken Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Battaglia incorrectly stated that "no notice or warning" was given to local businesses about the City's "Resident Only" parking program that was adopted approximately two years ago.
To the best of my knowledge, the Chamber of Commerce was advised and consulted over two years ago that the City was planning to adopt this measure to provide much-needed parking spaces dedicated for Hoboken residents. As a result of these discussions, Bloomfield and Hudson Streets, the two streets closest to commercial businesses on Washington Street, were exempted from this program. Perhaps, Mr. Battaglia should have spoken to his predecessor at the Chamber before making this assertion.
Hoboken is not suffering a loss of parking for merchants and their customers. In fact, a parking space needs analysis I commissioned shortly after joining the Parking Utility determined that on any given day, there are more than 1,000 empty spaces nearby in the municipal garages, at different times of the day.
Merchants may be better served by two simple recommendations. First, they should encourage their employees to park in these lots to free up spaces for customers. The locations and rates are available on the City's website, www.hobokennj.org . Second, merchants should tell their suppliers to schedule all deliveries before 10 am to discourage large delivery trucks, like flatbeds, from taking multiple parking spaces. Mr. Battaglia, on your block alone, there are five designated loading zones, many of which are used for deliveries well into the afternoon.
I believe that our parking laws should be in the best interest of all Hoboken residents, both motorists and pedestrians. I intend to implement parking recommendations outlined in the new Master Plan, which serve to meet this goal. In accordance with the Hoboken Police Department, the Parking Utility will vigorously ticket and tow vehicles parked at fire hydrants and ticket in cross walks and bus stops, all of which pose a public safety hazard and are a hindrance to pedestrians and motor vehicle operators.
The Parking Utility is willing to work with any special interest group; that's why the City formed the Hoboken Parking Committee, which is comprised of a cross section of this community, including merchants. We will continue to keep the best interests of our entire community in mind when it comes to navigating our City's streets.
Hoboken Parking Utility