Parking relief coming to drivers in Hoboken

February 15, 2012 4:36:07 AM PST
Hoboken, a notoriously difficult place to find parking, is getting hundreds of new on-street parking spaces.

People love living in Hoboken because of the close proximity to Manhattan and the young and hip atmosphere, but many hate the parking situation. Now, the city is adding close to 900 new spaces.

There are 10,000 cars in Hoboken and 16,000 parking permits. It's like a jigsaw puzzle, where the pieces just don't fit.

"Typically, if I leave work at a normal hour, it's not that bad to find a parking space," resident Darrin Blanco said. "But sometimes I spend over an hour just circling the block."

The 850 new spaces are being created from previously forbidden zones near crosswalks. New Jersey state law previously prohibited parking within 25 feet of an intersection, but a change in the law now allows municipalities to re-evaluate those areas.

"We decided on 15 feet," Hoboken City Councilman Peter Cunningham said. "Because that was the safest distance that we could allow people to park closest to a corner, so that we can allow our public safety vehicles to navigate those corners when there is an emergency."

After six months of research by the police and fire department, it was decided that parking will be allowed within 15 feet of the intersection on the outbound streets, freeing up four spaces. Motorists can only park there overnight, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. when school is in session.

Long-time business owners are hoping that the extra spots will bring in more customers.

"We have a lot of people from out of town that come, and then then their first question is 'Where do we park?'" business owner Steven Truglio said. "It's tough."

When school is over, those parking spaces will be available all the time. So officials are expecting the extra spots will be an even bigger help in the summer.

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