Hoboken needs a redesign of its traffic and parking plan. Since the latest overhaul of the city’s streets and parking, residents have had to endure ever increasing traffic jams in the bottlenecks of the city’s entrance and exit points. Bike lanes were built with little regard for their effect on vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and some lane markings make traffic worse rather than better. These redesign efforts have resulted in excessive wait times that impede the efficient movement of buses and vehicular traffic, along with law enforcement and emergency vehicles. This white paper discusses the Team Romano plan for addressing Hoboken's transportation infrastructure issues.
Over the last several years, the City administration has made a concerted effort toward making Hoboken a more bicycle-friendly city however this came with unintended consequences that must be addressed. On Observer Highway, for example, one vehicular traffic lane was removed to create a dedicated Class I bike lane and parking spaces. However, the way this was accomplished was to underutilize the vehicular right of way which exacerbated traffic during peak driving hours. Roads throughout the city with the higher rates of traffic need to be re-examined.
Observer Highway is a thoroughfare, and is meant to efficiently move traffic into and out of the city. The removal of one lane to create space for a Class I bike lane has resulted in dead space that would have been better served easing traffic congestion. There are numerous other examples throughout Hoboken where the necessary and noble goal of creating a safe network of bike lanes was implemented in ways that needlessly exacerbated traffic congestion and impeded traffic flow.
The economic health of the city is also hampered by traffic and parking congestion. Hoboken is a vibrant, energetic and desirable city, capable of attracting visitors and boosting our local economy. The city offers some of the best dining, shopping and entertainment in the region. However, our traffic and parking problems serve to deter visitors from coming to our city. Because we neighbor Jersey City and New York City, Hoboken needs to remain an attractive destination for shoppers and restaurant goers in order to compete. Our transportation network must spur economic growth and support our small business owners; not make their jobs harder.
Working with the city council and engineers of traffic and parking, the Romano team will work to:
In conclusion, we must make Hoboken a city where people can efficiently move about, using all means of transportation. The city cannot afford to lose potential residents, business owners, or visitors due to these issues. Hoboken needs a blueprint for change that meets the needs of all of our constituents, whether they are motorists, mass transit riders, pedestrians or cyclists. By doing so, we will bolster the economic health and quality of life for everyone in Hoboken.