More parking is coming to Bayonne, although no construction or redevelopment will be required.
Starting Feb. 24, Mayor Jimmy Davis announced that applications for parking in front of driveways in Bayonne will be available for residents at the Parking Utility Office at city hall.
As previously reported by the Hudson Reporter, there are some 5,000 private driveways in Bayonne and scarce parking space. Residents often like to park in front of their driveways, much to the irritation of their parking-starved neighbors.
The measure is designed to aid residents with multiple cars. But Bayonne, like most cities, was not designed to accommodate a lot of cars, let alone multiple-car households.
“The truth is that when we were kids, we didn’t have two, three cars in the family,” said Bayonne City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski in 2018 when the idea for parking-in-front-of-driveway permits was introduced. “People used to share cars, although many people are going back to fewer cars, especially near the light rails.”
Not only did most families generally have only one car, but the family could park it on the street, in front of the house, in alleys behind the house, on the side of the house, in a detached garage, in front of the driveway—basically in any space not used by pedestrians.
Since 1960, U.S. population rose by about 180 percent, while the number of cars rose by more than 350 percent, according to U.S. Census and Department of Transportation data. A simultaneous increase in the supply of cars and decrease in park-able space results in parking scarcity, which brings the city to the current moment.
Parking in front of driveways is technically illegal, but rarely enforced. Police are sometimes called to resolve the disputes, while rifts between neighbors can devolve and spread into other confrontations. Meanwhile, social media pages are littered with photos of perceived parking wrongs, as motorists circle the block looking for spots.
Initially, there was an uproar over the notion of parking in front of driveways, because the city said it would cost $50 for parking-in-front-of-driveways permits.
According to Mayor Davis, the permits will be free. Enforcement of the new parking rules will begin on Friday, May 1.
The city council passed an ordinance in 2019 that will allow parking in front of driveways under certain conditions. As a result, the Parking Utility is finally starting the application process.
Bayonne residents who own driveways are in luck. Parking in front of your driveway will now be permitted under certain circumstances.
Permits properly displayed
“Parking shall be permitted in front of private driveways whenever both the motor vehicle and driveway involved are owned by the same person, whenever the motor vehicle is owned by a member of the same household as the owner of the private driveway, or whenever the owner of the private driveway authorizes the parking of a motor vehicle in front of the private driveway, and where such parking is not otherwise prohibited and the permitting thereof would not interfere with the normal and or safe flow of traffic,” according to the ordinance.
The ordinance states that properly displayed permits will be needed in vehicles that are parked in front of driveways, in addition to other requirements.
“A motor vehicle shall not be permitted to be parked in front of a private driveway unless the owner of the private driveway or a member of the owner’s family has been issued a valid permit and the permit is properly displayed, or unless the owner has authorized another party to use and display the owner’s permit for parking in front of the private driveway, and the permit is valid and properly displayed,” the ordinance states.
The ordinance provides details about numbers of permits per household, the size of permits, and their method of display. Most homeowners with driveways will receive up to three permits for parking in front of their driveways if their applications are approved.
“An owner of a private driveway shall be eligible to apply for up to three permits for his own motor vehicles or for use by other parties authorized by the owner to park in front of the private driveway,” the ordinance states. “Each member of the owner’s household who owns a motor vehicle shall also be eligible to apply for a permit issued under this section.”
The ordinance describes the permits as being “5 ½ inches by 8 ½ inches in size,” and says that they “shall bear an appropriate certification of authenticity and shall be displayed prominently within the vehicle when it is parked so as to be seen from the middle of the street.”
Application forms can be picked up at the parking utility, in Room 13 in city hall, at 630 Avenue C. Residents can also download application forms from the City of Bayonne website online at www.bayonnenj.org.
According to the mayor, completed applications must include an attached current proof of Bayonne residency such as a PSE&G bill, a cable television bill, a property tax bill, or a water bill.
Completed applications and the proof of residency may be dropped off in person at the parking utility or mailed to its office. Office hours are Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., except on holidays.
For more information, call the parking utility by telephone at 201-858-6061.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Dan Israel can be reached at email@example.com.