A balanced Corner Cars program could work

Dear Editor,
Thank you for E. Assata Wright’s Jan. 23 article about Hoboken’s HertzConnect/Corner Cars program. ZipCars and the HertzConnect program are nice, convenient ways to encourage short term car rental instead of car ownership in our town.
Whenever the necessity to give up 42 public street parking spaces was questioned, the administration claimed it is required and played on the fear that we must permanently cede our public street parking to Hertz, lest Hoboken be found in “breach of contract.” Your article made clear that Hertz is flexible; they run HertzConnect in many cities successfully and frequently use private/public partnerships to find parking in non-public spaces.
It is obviously the administration’s overall agenda that created the necessity to give up the street parking spaces.
We have heard glowing reports of how many people signed up and how many people gave up their parking permits to get the incentive packages. We have heard from one couple that gave up their leased car (and their spot in a garage) as corner car members. We have not seen any actual usage data and corner car spots are left snowbound. Before we make the street parking permanent, the City Council needs to get real usage data. We should also investigate alternatives to street parking – many local businesses with parking lots could use the potential extra traffic to their stores as well as the marketing visibility garnered as participants in the program.
Perhaps the community should be delighted our current administration has a plan. Conversely, we should feel betrayed because the administration lied to us to sell their agenda instead of engaging in a dialogue about the options available. We should learn from other cities to create workable compromises that will create the right balance of on and off street parking for this program in Hoboken.


John Stevens Keim

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