Automatic booting ends in Hoboken; Offending vehicles get 72 hours to move before boot or tow
Jul 17, 2014 | 4365 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HOBOKEN -- The city of Hoboken no longer boots cars caught parking illegally in a permit zone for the first time—at least, not without warning them beforehand. In an interview on Tuesday, Mayor Dawn Zimmer said the Hoboken Parking Utility has instituted a system that gives drivers of illegally parked vehicles a ticket along with a written notice that they have 72 hours to move their car or face booting or towing.

In June, the Hoboken Reporter covered the city’s plans to institute a summons and warning system for residents with expired permits, first revealed at a City Council meeting and confirmed by the mayor. When the changes were finally rolled out in July, vehicles with no permit or an expired business or visitor permit were included as well.

Some public officials have argued that Hoboken’s use of boots is in violation of state law. A 1985 New Jersey law authorizes municipalities to use boots on vehicles with outstanding warrants, though it does not explicitly forbid booting in other contexts.

If Hoboken’s booting policy is in fact illegal, the changes made in July will not bring it into compliance.

Given the sometimes charged debate over Hoboken’s use of parking boots, the change has garnered surprisingly little reaction from the community so far. “I’ve seen one or two people tweet about it,” said Juan Melli, Zimmer’s spokesperson.

Zimmer hopes to move forward with a master parking plan that could change much more than just booting rules in the near future. Potential solutions to the city’s parking woes were presented at a meeting on June 11, and a survey seeking public feedback was closed three weeks ago.

Zimmer expects the master plan to be finalized this year. She said summer vacation scheduling has prevented the city council’s transportation subcommittee from meeting with Arup, the planning firm hired by the city, to start the next stage.

Implementation of that plan could require new ordinances, changes to existing laws, and bonds for things like new parking garages.

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