Resolution To Allow For Free Holiday Parking Fails In Tie Vote

The Hoboken City Council voted 4-4 for the measure.

A resolution that would allow for free parking citywide during the holiday season failed Wednesday night in a tie vote.

The Hoboken City Council voted 4-4 on the measure that would have suspended parking for the two weeks before Christmas.

Councilwoman Theresa Castellano sponsored the resolution. She said Hoboken is suffering from a negative image problem.

"People thought we were under mud and water and desolate," she said.

She argued that it would be a boon for local businesses and restaurants that suffered losses during Hurricane Sandy and continue to struggle due to the indefinite closure of the Hoboken PATH station.

Councilman Ravinder Bhalla warned that there could be abuses. He said drivers would take advantage of the situation and leave their cars in the same spot for hours without sponsoring Hoboken businesses.

The city has traditionally offered free parking during the two weeks before Christmas, Castellano said. Last year, parking was suspended for only one week due to an oversight.

Hoboken is still offering free four-hour parking in municipal garages for those who spend at least $20 at local restaurants and businesses for the entire month of December.

CaptJackd December 06, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Free 4-hr garage parking is definitely the way to go. Welcoming signage would be nice.
Ojo Rojo December 06, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Yes, with that receipt though b/c that will prevent abuse. It would make more sense to stamp the receipt rather than take it b/c anyone needing to exchange an item will need a receipt to do it.
XJS December 06, 2012 at 02:59 PM
I think the free four hour parking covers it. The end.
oldguard December 06, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Right Ravi, commuters would park and take the PATH...oh, wait - nevermind. An extra week would have been beneficial, but small businesses that have been crushed by the storm will never know. Poor job by the CC.
Ojo Rojo December 06, 2012 at 04:45 PM
The ferry works just fine and plenty of people drive and pay to park to take the ferry just up River Road from us. They could just as easily do it here if parking were free. They also could take the bus. More than a few towns regulate parking specifically to prevent people from driving to their communities & parking for free on city streets near mass transit lines.
Michael Angelo Bosch December 06, 2012 at 05:21 PM
they failed us we should fail them come next election. these greedy politicians only think of the monetary bottom line regardless of how they spin it. couldn't even approve a temporary parking measure for two week's for the holidays shows that they have no regards for the people therefore hobokenites should show them how we feel come election time.
Hobbs December 06, 2012 at 05:33 PM
As we have repeatedly seen Mrs. Castellano, like the rest of the City Council minority really just wants to stir the pot with a scheme that even they understand is not good for Hoboken but are looking for some press to they can use in their constant political attacks. I will agree however Mrs, Castellano that Hoboken has suffered from a negative image.....much of which imo can be traced back to her family and political cronies. Free parking in the muni garages is the correct way.
DaHorsey, SmartyJones of MSV December 06, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Hey oldguard, Definitely was pushed hard to make all parking free on Washington St. in December by Castellano and Russo. Others don't feel it aids businesses just turn Hoboken's main street into a parking lot. Sniping got a bit rough. More on this issue and the meeting at: http://www.hobokenhorse.com/2012/12/council-differs-on-free-parking-plans.html
XJS December 06, 2012 at 06:17 PM
You're wrong.
David A. Liebler December 06, 2012 at 07:28 PM
When disasters happen, it is good to have our city officials run ads and promote that everything is fine and that Hoboken is back in business. Where is the PR? Hoboken is still suffering from a business level and no one is helping to get the word out that Hoboken is fine!
Captain Kirk December 06, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Well, if you're concerned about local economy, we used to have an event that brought thousands of people from around the region, visitors from outside the city, and they would dump well North of a million dollars on the local economy, and that was just in cover charges, before one drink was poured, or one slice was served. We decided we didnt want that money from out of town. Not just the administration, the bar owners too. Bad idea.
Jon Jon December 06, 2012 at 08:08 PM
hoboken is so overated!
Jabberwock December 07, 2012 at 04:04 AM
I kinda liked the free parking during Christmas, nice to get a "merry christmas ticket" instead of a parking ticket but, we don't have parking meters anymore - would they have put a big ribbon around the muni meters? After all is said and done, I don't think the 4-hours free parking in the garage will help the businesses either - - just some more rules rules rules. Do we really have to control everything?
Rory Chadwick December 07, 2012 at 01:51 PM
I was disappointed to learn councilwoman Castellano wants this, it seems like she is the only one on Washington St that wants this, all the business owners I spoke to didn't want the free street parking. The fact is the free garage parking is an added bonus, people will still pay for the meters. Doing it the other way means our customers have to be inconvenienced if people abuse the street parking which historically has been abused. I'm starting to get a feeling that certain members of the council are doing this so that we as shop owners will fail and we as a business community will hold the city accountable while certain council people feel they've gained a political edge. Stop playing politics with our businesses.
Ojo Rojo December 07, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Liebler, I know you are fully in cahoots w/ the likes of Mason & the Russos but it is not the government's place to subsidize things. You want advertising then find funding for it. You want the city to run ads promoting Hoboken then how about you lead the charge on coming up with a tax on businesses like yours to pay for that advertising budget.
Ojo Rojo December 07, 2012 at 01:58 PM
I think anyone that needs free parking to justify coming to Hoboken to do their shopping is likely to not spend enough money to help the local economy much at all especially when you consider how many malls w/ free parking litter our region.
Ojo Rojo December 07, 2012 at 05:27 PM
She is nuts. Every bartender, waitress, hair stylist and cashier in town would love to park all day on Washington right in place of their place of employment and that would completely deny the use of those spots for customers. We would see a month of nothing but abuse of the free parking and she darn well knows it.
demosthenes December 07, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Perhaps if one or two business owner had come to the City Council meeting and presented that point of view, Ms. Castellano and her cohorts would have understood that this silly grandstanding is not fooling anyone and comes with a political cost. But no one did so Hoboken was treated to another hour of useless bloviating about a proposal that would have helped no one when there are so many people and businesses actually in need of help. The Hoboken business community has only itself to blame for the MORT monster it helped create, and it has only itself to blame if it is unwilling to speak up and be heard when issues that affect its interests are discussed.
Rory Chadwick December 07, 2012 at 06:57 PM
I tried to make the meeting but couldn't and had sent an email out to 55 other business owners in town about the meeting, I see nobody went. I had emailed councilman Mello my concerns though, I hope they were addressed. The street parking is already abused up on Washington Street. I think one of the biggest problems is the metered spots are not included in the 4 hour rule. Only non metered spots are covered. With this being the case, on my block alone there are 8 cars parked on the event side of Washington that belong to employees of business on my block. I understand if someone is handicapped or impaired however making it free will only allow everyone to abuse the spots. It is true, it's political grandstanding. Some council members want us to not make money, then those who don't know the political scene will blame the mayor and the council of no will feel good about it. Now that they've attempted to sandbag me, I will sandbag back and if you know me I'm not afraid to speak my mind.
cassandra December 07, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Amen! It has lost all its charm and character; now just another neighborhood of nyc. Although the "new" hoboken has made me rich, I would rather be poorer and have the old town back. i guess you can't fight "progress".
demosthenes December 07, 2012 at 10:21 PM
My point was directed more toward the 55 people you e-mailed than to you. The silence is deafening. Where were the voices of the business community when MORT blocked the repaving of Washington Street? Many in the business community seem to feel it is more important to give political cover to MORT than to speak up for their own interests, apparently believing MORT would "take care" of them after they get rid of Zimmer. Well, anyone who still thinks MORT will be getting rid of Zimmer is an imbecile and if the business community won't advocate loudly and publicly for its own interests and directly call out MORT for its antics then they will have no one to blame but themselves when MORT screws them while claiming to be helping them.
Michael Angelo Bosch December 07, 2012 at 10:25 PM
I love progress as much as the next guy and for a town as small as Hoboken we have to remember what makes it RICH. and it's it's people , without them we are still in the dark so if we the business owners politicians and investors can't find viable solutions to make our residents happier and more appreciated they will go else wear and if you sent out a city wide opinion letter to all of Hoboken you will find 95% will unanimously disapprove of the parking arrangements made for the city.therefore it is up to our leaders to look for ways to make it possible without draining the pockets of it's residents with high monthly or annually charges to find parking. and that wasn't even the issue here it was concerning the temporary free parking for the Holidays and they couldn't even try and accommodate them for that, how narrow minded and self centered can they get?
Rory Chadwick December 07, 2012 at 11:20 PM
@demo I don't think that its that the business owners don't want to go, I think it's more of 2 factors. 1 being some people feel if they speak up then there could be some sort of retaliation. We all know in this town if you pick a side or preach one side there will be blogs and people that just make stuff up, so some people fear that. Then there are the people who have sadly given up hope in town and just go about doing for them and not participating in events or situations like this where voicing an opinion can be heard. I see it every year, less and less businesses want to be involved. With lots of failed campaigns in the past people just aren't gun ho about things anymore. While a few of us do our best to change that, the show of hands from the businesses hasn't been what it should be.


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