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First. Why do we need to pay for street parking?

Basically it is a fee to make sure you are a legitimate resident of the city of Hoboken who wants to park a car, registered in NJ to park here. The fee orginally was simply $15, and living here since 1995 it's always been that cost. 

I'm someone that doesn't believe that street parking should be free. I think we have an issue of supply and demand. Our supply is the number of parking spots that are available on our streets. The demand is the number of people who want to park on the street, which is cheaper than renting or buying a dedicated parking spot.

Also we live in a city where you have homeowners, renters and people who live in subsidized housing.

I own my home. I pay my taxes every year. My taxes go to various city services to support things I need and things my neighbor may need. My taxes pay for children, which I do not have, to go to school everyday. I'm fine with my taxes helping others. People who rent say, "Well my rent goes to paying taxes!" - that's not 100% true especially for those who live in PILOT buildings that paid a fee years ago instead of paying taxes for city services like the rest of us. We have many, many buildings in Hoboken today that do not pay a dime in taxes for over 20 years. Also we have people who live in subsidized housing with Federal and state funds - are they paying their fair share in taxes?

But I don't agree that my taxes need to be used for your car ownership. I lived here for 20+ years without needing a car. I have done the math before of what it costs to own a car, insurance, parking, gas and compared those costs with public transportation, short-term rentals (ZipCar) and long-term rentals (Avis). 

The proposal the other day to city council was raising the free from $15 a year (4 cents a day) to $300 a year (.82 cents a day). The first reaction is, "Why raise it at all?"

Currently I estimate we have about 10,000 registered cars in Hoboken. At $15 each, we get $150,000 a year from that revenue. If it was raised to $300 a year, it would generate $3 MILLION dollars a year. What could we do with $3m a year?

First, I would think we need more municipal garages. If we used the $3m a year to pay for the construction of garages, that would mean more parking for residents and visitors. Also, garages would generate revenue from people parking in them. Less cars on the street, and more revenue for the city. That's a win-win. 

Second, i'd like to see our streets pristine. I'd like to see them pothole free and paved on a regular schedule. Also, I would suggest we use the funds to fix our sewer system, which is in dire need to be upgraded.

Third, raising the fee to $300 a year, someone might reconsider their "need" for a car and try to live, like I did, without a car. Having a car is freedom and while you can't argue that it is pretty nice to have that freedom, I found that saving thousands of dollars a year in not owning a car was one of the key reasons why I was able to save enough money to buy a condo and fund my retirement in my 401K. Small price to pay for those things. 

Even after reading this you still believe it is a "cash grab", ask yourself one question:
Is it really TOO MUCH to pay .82 cents a day to own a car in Hoboken if you know that the money would go to fund parking garages, pave our streets and fix our constantly breaking sewer system? 

I have been shouting from the rooftops about how much I love Hamilton Pork in Jersey City. Probably the best BBQ I have had in NYC and I have been to many "great" places that never held up for me, like Blue Smoke, Dinosaur BBQ, Mighty Quinn's. Also lots of newer BBQ places opening up in Williamsburg and I haven't been to those, either.

But for our neck of the woods, its fantastic. Everything there I have tried is great, from the Parish Pig Pulled Pork Sandwich, to the Kung Pow Wings. Its less than a mile from Hoboken, and fairly easy to get there - especially if someone in City Hall can talk to someone in Jersey City about making Coles Ave more bike and pedestrian friendly.

But the best part is an experience the other day. I ordered delivery from them using Seamless. Tryin' to keep it paleo with meats and other gluten-free choices. If you don't know Seamless works as a middleman between restaurant-delivery-customer. The restaurant doesn't deliver the food, Seamless has drivers who do this.

My order was at 8:30pm and "estimated" delivery was 9:20 to 9:30. OK 1 hour, it was longer than I liked, but I could wait (and yes, was being lazy). 9:30 rolled around and I figured I wouldn't say anything until 10.

10pm rolled around and I called the restaurant. The girl who answered the phone apologized and said that the food should be there in 5-10 minutes. By 10:20, the food wasn't there. I called again. Asked to cancel the order, I would just order from somewhere else.

The manager picks up, and begins with apologies. I jump in and say, "Look no offense I love your place, but its been 2 hours and I doubt my food is even warm anymore."

He counters and says, "I will fire you up a new order and deliver it right now. Free of charge."

I tell him that don't worry about delivering it, I can hop in my car and I can be there in less than 10 minutes (I was hungry!).

I ride over there, wait a few minutes and two managers (owners?) step outside where I am waiting and again are very nice - explaining how they have no control over the delivery guys and that being a Friday night "might have slipped between the cracks". I wasn't there to raise hell, shit happens, I worked in the restaurant and bartending industry my whole life. We chat a bit more, I gush about how much I love their restaurant and how part of me wished I bought a home in Hamilton Park over Hoboken, because of how many nice restaurants have been opening.

They were very nice and hand me my order and a gift card. Wow, wasn't expecting that, but I figured it was a $5 off my next meal. I get home and look at the gift card, it was $40 bucks. I definitely wasn't expecting that. A free meal plus a gift card. 

I was frankly amazed. Kudos to them and their organization.

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