There are actually 5 different curb colors to look out for throughout Hoboken, each with different meaning. Let’s go through each of them one by one.
These are rather straight forward. Just as a red light and a red stop sign mean “stop”, the red curb colors mean “stop trying to park here.” Parking in front of a curb with red paint is not allowed in any circumstance. These are reserved for emergency and municipal response vehicles. This is why you sometimes see an HPU van parked in these spots (though I’m not saying that that’s always the case). If you are not an emergency or HPU vehicle, don’t park in front of the red curb colors or you will be towed.
These spots are a little more complex. You cannot park in front of yellow painted curbs except in certain circumstances, namely loading and extended parking hours. We all know what loading is, but what the heck are extended parking hours?
Extended parking hours are basically an exception to an NJ State parking rule. According to this rule, no vehicles are allowed to park within 25 feet of an intersection or within 50 feet of a stop sign on inbound street sections. This is meant to provide better visibility of oncoming traffic, pedestrians, or bikes when crossing an intersection. However, a recent change has allowed for municipalities to change this parking distance restriction during the hours that school is not in session.
Hoboken, therefore, has changed this rule to restrict parking to 15 feet from crosswalks on “outbound” street segments and 25 feet from crosswalks on “inbound” street segments during certain times. “Outbound” meaning as you drive away from an intersection, “inbound” meaning as you approach an intersection. The hours in which this is allowed are between 7pm and 7am, and also on days when public schools are not in session.
Here’s a diagram from the Hoboken Government website that illustrates this rule with the associated curb colors:
So to sum up, if it is between 7am and 7pm on a day when public school is in session, do not park in front of the yellow curb or you will be towed. Otherwise, if it is between 7pm and 7am, or if public school is not in session today, then you may feel free.
Note: If you see a yellow curb in front of a fir hydrant, it does not matter the time of day, do NOT block the fire hydrant.
Back to an easy curb color. If you see green paint on a curb, these spots are reserved for car-sharing vehicles only. Unless your car is one that you rent periodically and share with about 40 other people, do not park here.
Just like blue paint in a parking lot, these spots are reserved for the handicapped. However, there needs to be some clarification here. As I discussed on the parking permits page, these spots are not just open to anyone with a handicap sticker. These are spots that a particular person has had reserved for themselves due to their handicap. This is normally made clear on the sign associated with the blue paint. If this is not your reserved space, do not park here or you are subject to towing.
You may sometimes see white paint on a curb when trying to park. I’m not sure why they put this in certain places, however, white paint is simply the same as a plain unpainted curb. If you see white paint or if there is no paint at all, you simply adhere to the rules of whatever parking zone you’re in.
Note: Please be aware that these curb colors are simply for guidance. What I mean is: Hoboken has made it clear that while they will do their best to maintain these colors and to paint them on each intersection, they do not guarantee that the paint will actually be present or completely visible on every street corner. Therefore, if you don’t see paint, use your judgement to determine if you are in fact far enough from the intersection. Likewise, if you do see paint, but it seems to be wearing away or not completely visible, don’t think that you’ll be able to fight a ticket by saying that the space wasn’t clearly marked. It will not work out in your favor.
Questions? Something to add? Email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And don’t forget to download the Hoboken Parking Helper application for Android and iPhone to make your parking headaches disappear.