Bayonne is ushering in more changes to parking, the most notable being an increase to many fines for violations.
The City Council adopted four ordinances and introduced another two relating to parking at its November meeting. This followed the adoption of two ordinances in October, related to the clarification of the industrial zoning parking requirement and the removal of the fee schedule that could be paid if there was a parking deficiency for buildings in certain zoning districts.
The first parking ordinance adopted by the council in November authorized the creation of a loading zone for Hudson Milestones on the north side of Gertrude street from Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The loading zone would being at a point 113 west of the northwest corner of Kennedy Boulevard and Gertrude Street and extending 50 feet west from there.
Parking violation fees increased
For the second adopted ordinance, Law Director Jay Coffey said during the public hearing that the city was increasing fines for parking violations. He said certain ones had not been updated in 20 years.
“In the review with the Municipal Court, there were amendments to the fines,” Coffey said. “We’re raising most of them $1 or $2, in one case there’s $3 or $4. But for the most part, they’re minimal changes to the fees.”
Resident Gail Godesky asked if that included fines for parking in yellow lines, in front of fire hydrants, and double parking. She said that those situations occur often in the city.
Coffey confirmed there are already “substantial penalties for all of those.” City Council President Gary La Pelusa said that those things, as well as parking in a bus stop, were included in the ordinance.
Godesky said then it was a matter of enforcement. She added: “The law is there and the ordinance is there.”
Coffey said the city already had the ordinance in place, this was just increasing the fees although some are statutory and can’t be raised by the city. La Pelusa added that many haven’t been changed in a while, noting that he was told the last time the fees were changed was in 2014.
The ordinance raises the fines for traffic violations, and will go into effect January 1, 2023.
Most fees were increased by a few dollars, except for one. The largest increase was for violations of parking prohibited for street cleaning from $23 to $50. Fines for violations of handicapped parking remain the same at $250.
Temporary parking prohibition changes made in ordinance
The third ordinance adopted by the council pertained to the temporary parking prohibition for snow plowing and removal, special events, emergencies and or construction related activities, as well as parking meter bags.
During the public hearing, Godesky asked if this pertained to Kennedy Boulevard since many events occur there. She described the current snow removal following storms by Hudson County on the county road as abysmal and wanted to ensure residents on the Boulevard were serviced this year.
La Pelusa said that Kennedy is still a county road regarding snow removal, but that this applied to other instances. He noted: “This ordinance is for representatives of repair, construction, contractor individuals.”
Godesky interjected that the ordinance includes snow plowing. Coffey said that this pertains more so to contractors taking up parking space during work as opposed to snow removal.
“In the case of special instances, like PSE&G, Fletcher Kramer… this is pertinent to them rendering services and what they have to do or not do,” Coffey said. “And then if there is a construction crew out there, and somebody violates the terms…”
Godesky jumped in again to asked if things shooting movies in the city would qualify as special events per the ordinance. Coffey said that they would.
“Does it have to do with the movie that’s being done downtown, where people couldn’t vote?” Godesky said.
“If it’s a special event, maybe it’ll be covered under here,” Coffey said. “If [it’s] impacting traffic, then yes.”
Changing the fee structure for contractors using parking spaces
Godesky then took issue with parking in the city overall. La Pelusa reiterated that this was more about fees paid by contractors for using parking spaces while rendering certain services and less about providing parking.
“People couldn’t vote because they were getting yelled at for double parking,” Godesky said. “They had a gazillion cones and residents didn’t have any place to park. The kids are off from school this week, so the parents may be off as well. So we have to think outside the box and look forward and not just for that time period. So please take that into consideration.”
“This ordinance is more about fee structure for when services have to be rendered for those garbage containers and things like that,” La Pelusa concluded.
According to the ordinance, “whenever it becomes necessary for representatives of Verizon, Public Service Electric and Gas Company, any service, repair, or construction contractor or individuals having temporary specific need to use a parking metered space… for a vehicle, dumpster or storage for longer than the allotted time prescribed by this article, then parking meter bags… may be issued upon approval of a Metered Parking Space Agreement by the Bayonne Parking Utility. The ordinance adds the use zoned residential space to the municipal code, and that no-parking signs may also be issued.” It also adds that approval may now be granted by the Bayonne Police Department.
The ordinance states the fee for the use of parking meter bags is $10 per 24-hour period. The ordinance adds that is for a single head meter, and that it costs $20 per 24-hour period for a double-headed meter.
The fee will be charged until the time of the return of the parking meter bags. The ordinance adds that the fee for a no-parking sign will be $25 per day.
Other parking changes in the ordinance and other ordinances
The ordinances changes the rates for time limited metered parking on a public street from $0.10 for each 10 minutes to $0.25 for each 15 minutes. It also adds that no vehicle can park at a meter on a public street for more than two hours.
For temporary parking permits, the ordinance changed their validity from 30 days to 21 days
The ordinance adds that permit fees are now $5 per residential parking permit. A senior discount of 2 free passes will be available to any resident 62 years or older.
According to the ordinance, it is $5 per temporary visitor parking permit. It is $200 per non-resident parking permit which is valid for one year.
For time limit metered parking lots, the ordinance changes the rate from $0.50 for each hour to $0.50 for 30 minutes. There will be a ten-hour limit.
For Permit Parking Lots, the ordinance increased the fee of $75 per month for a daily permit fee to $150, and from $35 per month for a night lot permit to $70. The Parking Utility issues monthly parking lot permits not to exceed 40% of the total number of parking spaces in the lots under its jurisdiction except in the two lots located on East 26th Street north and south sides between Broadway and Avenue E.
The fourth ordinance adopted deleted a number of restricted zones for handicapped parking spaces across the city. The first introduced ordinance would add one handicapped parking space on Avenue E. These type of ordinances are typical occurrences at the monthly council meetings.
The other introduced ordinance would include 1 Port Lincoln Road, the site of the future UPS Logistics Center in Bayonne, into the regulations for the movement and parking on all private property. The next meeting will be held on December 14 at 7 p.m. at City Hall at 630 Avenue C, with more information on bayonnenj.org.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.