Residents who park in municipal garages won’t have to crack open their wallets and shell out more dough now that the Hoboken City Council approved a three-year moratorium on a citywide increase at municipal parking garages.
This came after the council voted in November on several parking ordinances, one of which increased the price of parking in municipal garages because they are approximately “30 percent below market rate.” Revenue from the increase was intended to be reinvested in improvements to the garages.
The new rates for monthly standard municipal parking garage passes for residents at Garage B, Garage D, Garage G, and Midtown, increased from $235 to $250; $185 to $240; $160 to $200; and $185 to $235, respectively. The Garden Street garage remains the same at $200.
“The parking rate hike is another tiny step in a trajectory this town has taken over the last four decades of gradual and relentless gentrification leading to ever greater displacement.” — Martin Anderson
After several residents complained that the increase was too high, the council passed an ordinance which created a three-year moratorium for residents who already have a monthly garage permit as of Dec. 31, 2018 effectively grandfathering them in for the next three years to the same rate they were already paying.
It also provides seniors, veterans, and individuals with disabilities a reduced monthly parking garage fee.
They would pay $190 in Garage B, $145 in Garage D, $120 in Garage G, and $145 in the Midtown Garage.
While many members of the public thanked the council for approving the ordinance, several residents were concerned that it does not indicate what happens after the three years are up.
“My main concern now is what will happen after three years,” said Eileen Carvalho a resident of 1 Marine View Plaza. “People are talking about an increase but is it 5 percent? Is it CPI? What are you considering doing?”
Martin Anderson, a resident of 37 years, questioned if the garages need to be brought up to market rate. He said he felt this was another way the city was attempting to drive out the middle class.
“The parking rate hike is another tiny step in a trajectory this town has taken over the last four decades of gradual and relentless gentrification leading to ever greater displacement,” he said. “Hoboken is inexorably moving toward one percenter-only status, now also pushing out the middle class, most of the working class and poor having been ejected already.”
He said he wished the council would “always weigh the sociological costs” when making decisions concerning Hoboken’s future.
Councilman Michael Russo who is on the Parking and Transportation Subcommittee said he and his council colleagues will go to the drawing board to determine what may happen after the three-year moratorium ends.
During the Jan. 16 council meeting, the council also discussed payroll issues and rehabilitating Court Street and Castle Point Terrace.
The council and members of the public heard presentations by city consultants on the possible renovations and rehabilitation of two of the city’s most historic streets, Court Street and Castle Point Terrace.
Currently, many of the historic yellow bricks on Castle Pointe Terrace and the stone setts of Court Street are missing, paved over, or cracked; the roads are pitted and uneven causing ponding.
Castle Point Terrace is a historic yellow brick street behind Hudson Street that extends from Eighth Street north to Elysian Park. It was laid in yellow brick in 1909 at the request of the residents who lived there.
At the meeting, the consultants explained that the chosen design alternative would re-lay the usable existing brick and replace missing bricks with either historic replacements or newly fashioned bricks designed to match the existing yellow color of the road.
She said the design also removed the bump-out or curb extension at the intersection on Eighth Street.
The city’s consultant, Jaclyn Flor of ENGenuity Infrastructure, estimated that about 50 percent of the existing brick is salvageable and 50 percent would need to be replaced.
Court Street is a 7.5 block street between Washington and Hudson streets from about Newark Street to Seventh Street.
The street is paved with squared blocks of stone or “setts,” which have sometimes been referred to as cobblestone or Belgian blocks.
Court Street was likely paved with stone setts from local quarries in the late 1800s and was built as an alley to act as a service entrance for people who lived along Hudson and Washington streets.
At the meeting, the consultants presented a new concept to repair Court Street.
Adam Gibson of Kimley Horn, who worked on the project, said after hearing from members of the public they decided to present a concept which would re-lay the sets to the edges of both sides of the ally while keeping existing driveways and aprons apart from the ones that need repair.
“Where you see a concrete apron there today there would be a concrete apron tomorrow,” Gibson said.
“The concrete aprons that are along the side where people put a lot of their plants and chairs and tables for them to sit outside makes really the character of Hoboken and what it is today,” Gibson added.
He estimated that about 4,000 square yards of setts are reusable but that they will need an estimated 765 square yards of setts to complete the project.
He also recommended adding stop signs at the intersections to improve safety.
Following the presentation, the council unanimously passed two resolutions authorizing the city to submit grant applications to the Hudson County Open Space and Historic Preservation grant program to help pay for the projects.
Flor said Court Street would cost an estimated $2.8 million to reconstruct and about six months to eight months to complete. She said Castle Point Terrace will also cost an estimated $2.8 million and will take about six months to complete.
Marilyn Baer can be reached at email@example.com