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Construction to Begin on Complete Streets Redesign of Observer Highway

Observer Highway Plan
Beginning on or about Monday, April 27, 2015, construction will begin on the Observer Highway complete streets redesign project. The improvements along Observer Highway will include new synchronized traffic signals and dedicated left turn lanes that will create a more organized, efficient, and safer driving experience. Between 2010 and 2012, there were an average of 37 crashes per year along Observer Highway. The new design will reduce traffic delays and prevent collisions. Along with these essential changes, the Observer Highway and Vezzetti Way corridor will be converted to a more pedestrian-friendly street with new, redesigned crosswalk signals and other pedestrian safety improvements as well as a two-way protected bike lane.

“I am very proud that this project, fully-funded through grants, will create an attractive and safe gateway into Hoboken for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transit riders of all ages and abilities,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “While the main purpose of this project is to make the street safer, it will also have the benefit of reducing traffic delays along one of our busiest corridors.”

The project, which will also include a redesign of a portion of Newark Street later this year, costs $2.7 million and is completely funded by grants. The majority of the funding was secured by Senator Robert Menendez through a $2 million Congressional earmark for Observer Highway and a $240,000 earmark for Newark Street. Hoboken was fortunate to have access to these funds as cities across the United States are now no longer afforded Congressional earmarks. Read the rest of this entry »

Sinatra Park Café “Blue Eyes” Ribbon Cutting on Friday, April 17

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The Sinatra Park café on the Hoboken waterfront will celebrate a soft opening as the Blue Eyes Restaurant with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5:00pm on Friday, April 17, 2015. The restaurant will be fully open starting on Sunday, April 19, 2015.

Blue Eyes is an Italian eatery and café boasting a wood burning oven which will offer wood-fired pizzas, pasta, appetizers, paninis, desserts, gelato, and assorted coffees. The waterfront restaurant will also serve wine and beer and will have outdoor seating in the spring and summer months.

Restaurant hours and menu are available online at the Blue Eyes website: www.blueeyeshoboken.com. The Sinatra Café building is owned by the City of Hoboken and leased through a public bidding process.

Statement from Mayor Zimmer and Police Chief Ferrante


Last night, multiple police agencies responded to a bomb threat called into Hoboken Police Headquarters. The threat was made to 66 Willow Ave, the Neumann Leathers building in southern Hoboken, and police took the threat seriously and took all necessary precautions to protect the safety of residents. The building was searched multiple times by the police and was deemed to be neutralized from any threat. Due to the investigation, Observer Highway was closed to traffic and reopened early Sunday morning, once the police determined it was safe for the public.

The Hoboken Police Department is still investigating the person who called in the threat, and is working with the Hudson County Prosecutor’s office and the FBI Joint Terrorism Taskforce to determine where the call came from.

Police Chief Ken Ferrante gave the following account: At approximately 7:35 p.m., a call was made into police headquarters from a male who stated that he had a bomb and threatened to blow up 66 Willow Ave. Police responded immediately and began an evacuation of the building. Upon completion of the evacuation, the individual called police headquarters again and threatened to kill himself and police, after thanking the police for evacuating the building. The individual further stated that he had several weapons and bombs, and again threatened the life of police officers.

A series of phone calls continued with a multitude of threats and demands. Based on the severity of the threats, the area surrounding the Neumann Leathers building, which is a large factory and home to over 45 artist and music studios, was shut down. Observer Highway, Newark Street and Willow Avenue were closed and a frozen zone was placed around the building. During the night, the Port Authority Emergency Services Unit performed critical services as the officers performed three searches of the building for the individual and then went in a fourth time with bomb sniffing dogs from New Jersey Transit Police, Jersey City Police and the Hudson County Sheriff’s Department. At 2:30 a.m. the scene was deemed to be clear and safe.  Read the rest of this entry »

Update on Police Activity in Southern Hoboken


Based on a phone call made by an individual to the Hoboken Police Department, multiple law enforcement agencies responded to a bomb threat in southern Hoboken. Police are taking the call seriously and certain roads were closed as a precaution to ensure the safety of the community. A series of checks of the building have proved negative, but law enforcement is still investigating the call. Additional information regarding this situation will be provided as soon as possible. The following roads will remain closed until further notice:

  • Observer Highway (from Park Ave to Henderson St/Marin Blvd)
  • Willow Avenue (from 1st St to Observer Hwy)
  • Newark Street (from Jefferson St to Willow Ave)

Drivers are advised to expect traffic delays and to seek alternate routes if possible.

Hoboken Public Library Newsletter for April

The latest Hoboken Public Library newsletter is now available.

Hoboken Launches one of First Residential Compost Programs in New Jersey

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The City of Hoboken is partnering with the Community Compost Company to implement one of New Jersey’s first residential composting programs. The program offers residential pickup service now and will offer drop spots at three locations in Hoboken starting in June.

“Hoboken is proud to be a leader in sustainability with the first residential composting program in Hudson County and one of the first in New Jersey,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, composting could save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. While it costs us $100 per ton to dispose of trash in a landfill, it would only cost about $40 per ton to dispose our food waste at a composting facility. We especially look forward to partnering with schools, food establishments, and larger apartment buildings to address our largest sources of food waste.”

Residents can choose compost pick-up service for $20-35/month, or on Saturdays beginning in June, residents can bring their separated food scraps and other organic materials to one of three drop spot locations in Hoboken for free. Residents may bring their materials in any containers they choose, however garbage bags and non-compostable refuse will not be accepted. Residents can visit www.communitycompostco.com to sign up for pick-up service or to get more information about drop spot locations and timing. Businesses and organizations interested in composting should email info@communitycompostco.com to discuss services.

“We’re very excited to work with the City of Hoboken to expand our organics recycling program,” says Eileen Banyra, Owner of Community Compost Co. “It is absolutely the right place at the right time to advance such a program. Bringing awareness to the complexities surrounding food waste and the benefits of composting is key to our mission.”

Garbage from Hoboken is transported to a landfill in West Virginia and tipping fees alone cost $100 per ton of waste. Separating organic materials for composting is an easy way to divert waste from the landfill and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in addition to helping the City of Hoboken save money by cutting down on landfill fees and the volume and frequency of garbage collection.

Community Compost Company takes collected food scraps to farms where they are recycled into compost, which is used to fertilize the soil.

What can you compost?
All food (including fruits, vegetables, meat, bones, dairy, grains, eggshells, coffee grounds), food-soiled paper, napkins, paper towels, uncoated paper, plates, and tea bags.

What can’t you compost?
Plastic, metal (aluminum foil, staples in tea bags), Styrofoam, liquids, frozen food boxes, chemicals, compostable plastics.

Join Hoboken & Stevens Institute of Technology to End Sexual Violence

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Take Back The Night® is an international event and non-profit organization committed to ending sexual violence in all forms, including sexual assault, sexual abuse, dating violence, and domestic violence. Supporters can join together and bring awareness to sexual violence through events held in more than 30 countries annually, including marches, rallies and vigils intended as a protest and direct action against rape and other forms of sexual violence.

The Take Back The Night Foundation was founded in 2001 when a group of women who had participated in the earliest Take Back The Night marches came together in support of the events held throughout the United States and the world. The mission of Take Back the Night has since grown to encompass all forms of violence against all persons, though sexual violence against women is still a top focus.

CarePoint Health and Stevens Institute of Technology have united to support this movement and invite you to join us on April 21, 2015 to Take Back the Night. We will march on Stevens campus to Pier A, where supporters will participate in chants and a moment of silence, and hear speeches from survivors of sexual assault.

We invite you to become part of the solution and help put an end to sexual violence. Join with CarePoint Health to take a stand and break the silence.

Timeline (times are all estimates)
6:00 p.m. — Meet at Davis Lawn and Welcome
6:30 p.m. — March from Stevens campus to Pier A
7:00 p.m. — Arrive at the Pier (note: we will observe a moment of silence at point of arrival)
7:10 p.m. — Opening speeches by Dr. Meika Roberson and Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer
7:30 p.m. — Survivor Speeches and Speak Out
7:40 p.m. — Final remarks
7:45 p.m. — Song selection: “Black Bird” performed by Stevens President’s Ensemble
7:50 p.m. — Conclusion of events

The walk from Stevens to Pier A is uneven and contains steps. If you have a stroller or a wheelchair, or if you struggle with steps, you are welcome to meet us directly at Pier A at 7:00pm. You are also welcome to join the march at any time during the route (agenda above). Parking in Hoboken is limited and there is no parking available on the Stevens campus.

Public Hearing to be Held for Southwest Resiliency Park


Please be advised that the City of Hoboken has applied to the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program (NJEIFP) for a low interest loan to construct a Southwest Resiliency Park on Block 12 (Lots 1-7, 9 and 12-18).  The proposed park will feature passive recreational space, green infrastructure (rain gardens, shade tree pits, porous pavers, a cistern for rainwater harvesting and reuse) and an underground detention system to reduce stormwater run-off and localized flooding.  The engineer’s estimate of probable construction costs is approximately $3,676,967.  The City’s low interest loan application to the NJEIFP, including a 20% contingency, is for a total Not-To-Exceed amount of $4,840,151.  The City must conduct a public hearing pursuant to NJAC 7:22-10.10 to solicit input from the affected public.  The City will conduct the public hearing on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Multi-Service Center, located at 124 Grand Street, Hoboken, NJ.  Copies of the planning document, plans, construction drawings and cost estimates may be viewed on the City’s internet website or in the Office of the Municipal Manager, located in City Hall, 94 Washington Street, Hoboken, NJ.  Written comments may also be submitted to smarks@hobokennj.gov.

Downloads
90% design plans for the Southwest Resiliency Park (44 MB pdf)
NJEIP Planning Report (97 MB pdf)

Second Public Meeting to be Held for 1st Street Streetscape Improvements & City-wide Wayfinding Project


Members of the Hoboken community are invited to the second public meeting for the First Street Streetscape Revitalization and city-wide wayfinding Project. The meeting will take place on Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 7:00pm in the Multi Service Center (124 Grand St) community room. T&M Associates and its sub-consultant M studio will present 50% design plans for the project.

Streetscape revitalization for First Street will span 12 blocks from Paterson Avenue to Bloomfield Street and will include rain gardens, curb extensions, wayfinding signage, new benches, bike parking, trash and recycling receptacles, ADA accessible curb ramps, shade trees, and banners. The meeting will review the 50% complete plans with the public and show how the feedback from the first public meeting has been incorporated.

In order to implement the design, construction, and installation of a cohesive city-wide wayfinding system, a comprehensive brand identity is being designed for the City’s wayfinding signage. Stakeholder interviews, online surveys and focus group collaboration efforts have been conducted to incorporate public input on the brand concept. The brand concepts include a logo, tagline, specified font families, and color palettes. At this meeting, the results of this feedback and the evolved brand concepts will be presented and will be shown on preliminary wayfinding signage, which includes gateway signage, directional blades, and kiosks. Feedback from the second meeting will be used to further refine and finalize the brand concept to be presented at the third public meeting.

“We thank the more than 50 committed residents who lent their time and expertise through an online focus group to provide feedback and help revise the brand concepts as part of the extensive public design process,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “We invite everyone involved so far and anyone who hasn’t yet been part of the process to attend the next meeting and help finalize a design in the weeks ahead.”

Hoboken Community Invited to Fire Department Promotions Ceremony

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The City of Hoboken invites all members of the public to attend a promotions ceremony for members of the Hoboken Fire Department. The ceremony will be held on Friday, March 20th, 2015 at 1:30pm in the City Council Chambers at Hoboken City Hall, 94 Washington Street.

Firefighters Matthew Markey and Walter J. Lehbrink will be promoted to the rank of Fire Captain. Recently retired firefighters Alexander Badamo and Thomas Cutillo will also be honored for their service to the community.

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