Sunday, April 3, 2016

Parking in Jersey City


As a city dweller, car ownership is a luxury and a headache.

One of the biggest advantages of living in the Downtown area of Jersey City is that I don't need a car. So, I made it a point not to own a car, however, my partner owns one, and it doesn't work out to his advantage. Why? Because parking is a nightmare.



GARAGE vs. ZONE PARKING

Car owners of Jersey City have two options to park their vehicles, either they pay a monthly fee in a parking garage or pay an annual fee for an on the street parking permit. 

Monthly parking ranges from $200 - $300 a month. Permit parking is $5 for the year, $1 for seniors and $250 a year for nonresidence.

Residents of JC, who prefers to park on the streets, have to park in their respective zones. For example, if you live in Zone 4 you will get a permit that specifies where you're allowed to park.

To get a permit, JC Residents will need proof of residency and vehicle registration. This all has to be done Monday thru Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm at the Jersey City Parking Authority located at 394 Central Avenue.

Unfortunately, at the time my partner applied for the permit, he was unable to obtain one online. One would think, in a world driven by technology, you should be able to pay for a permit online.

THE PERFECT SPOT

If you drive to work Monday thru Friday, you're up against time to find the perfect spot at the height of evening rush hour. Anytime after 5 pm, you're going to have to circle the block and your designated zone for at least 15 minutes to find a spot.

The weekends tend to be worse. Nonresidence flood the streets with their personal vehicles and locals are left circling for a perfect spot, especially in the Powerhouse Art District, for 30 minutes or more.

PARKING VIOLATION

Just like NYC, there's alternate side parking for street cleaning days. I've seen little golf cart sized cop cars following behind the city cleaning trucks and ticketing any vehicle that was in the way between the times listed on the parking signs. 

The signs are clear, and I guess some residence either forgot to move their cars or didn't think they would get ticketed.

However, some signs aren't so clear. My partner got ticked twice for being parked in a spot that appeared to be a loading zone. However, the sign read "PARK AT YOUR OWN RISK." When he did, my partner got ticketed. Twice. 

On this particular week, he didn't need to drive the car for a couple of days. I noticed something stuck on his windshield from our seventh-floor apartment. Two tickets, one on a Tuesday and the second on a Wednesday. The total came to $103.

Fighting the tickets in court was an option, but it wasn't worth missing two days of work for it. Now if there is ever a next time, we will appear in court because it's a bunch of bullshit. Either make the signage to that spot entirely clear that parking isn't allowed or have the owners to the "loading docks" pay for that spot during their "loading" hours.

VISITORS PARKING

When visitors come over, I try to guide them to the best place to park. When all else fails, I tell them to park in the Shop Rite parking lot, and we'll figure out the parking situation later. 

Our overnight guests sometimes get lucky and find a parking spot close by. But I always steer them to the overnight parking lot where they have to pay $12 - $24 for the night. 

Jersey City does have overnight on the street parking permits, but you have to go to the Parking Authority or call them at 201.653.6969, to purchase them. Hoboken, which is two towns over, offers their visitors parking pass online. 
"Tisk, tisk Jersey City government. When will you catch up with technology?"
PARKING SOLUTION

There's an easy fix to the parking fiasco in JC. Residents need to get rid of their additional vehicles. Yes, you read that right. I said vehicles! Why one household owns more than one car in a densely populated city puzzles me to the fullest. 

(Mayor  Fulop)
On Jan. 26, 2016, Mayor Steven Fulop held a Town Hall Meeting at Grace Church Van Vorst, where he addressed residents who were unhappy with parking throughout the city. He said the city doesn't plan on adding any more parking garages because then "we'll have an even bigger problem." 

The bigger issue Mayor Fulop was referring to are visitors making JC a weekend destination and residents buying more vehicles. He tried to explain there are metropolitan cities that are increasing their public transportation to minimize the number of cars on the road.

This all makes perfect sense, and I agree with the Mayor. Other Jersey City dwellers with cars, we're not convinced. They want the big city life and their cars too.

Well, I'm glad I don't have to worry about parking. I'll just continue to tap my Smart Link Card to get to and from my day job in NYC. And I'll be happy to continue to share my living experience as a Jersey City Resident with you. You'll know who I am. I'll be the one taking long walks and enjoying trips on the Light Rail with a camera, a pen and a pad in my hands. 

Do you have a solution to the parking chaos in Jersey City? E-mail your comments to TheJCResident@gmail.com or leave your comments below.

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3 comments:

  1. I have extra daily visitor parking permits for sale at face value $5 - save the headache of having to go to the parking authority to purchase them (the only place they are sold!). https://newjersey.craigslist.org/for/6029668090.html

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    1. Hey JCParking, We were trying to get your info for visitor parking permits. Do you have a new link?

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