The Hoboken Health Department will host a free rabies vaccination clinic for dogs and cats on Saturday, January 23, 2016 from 11am to 2pm. The clinic will take place at the Multi-Service Center, located at 124 Grand Street. All dogs and cats must be securely fastened with a collar and leash or in a carrier and accompanied by an adult. Dog owners must have a 2016 Hoboken dog license which can be obtained on site. Proof of Hoboken residency is required. License fees are $10 if the pet is spayed/neutered and $14 for non-spayed/neutered. Click here to view the flyer with additional important information.
Last week, the contractor hired by Hudson County for the Observer Highway repaving project completed the paving of Observer Highway from Hudson Street to just west of Henderson Street. The project contract runs through April 2016, and additional work to complete the project is ongoing.
What is the purpose of the project?
Between 2010 and 2012, there were an average of 37 crashes per year along Observer Highway, making it one of the most dangerous roads in Hoboken. The project is designed to reduce the high crash rate, improve traffic conditions, and improve pedestrian safety.
When will the new traffic lights be activated?
The new signals are a key component of optimizing traffic conditions. New traffic signals have been installed at Bloomfield Street and Park Avenue, and outdated signals at Henderson Street, Willow Avenue, and Washington Street were replaced with modern signals. Wiring and activation of the new signals is underway and is expected to be completed in the next four weeks. Until the new signals are activated, the existing traffic signal at Observer Highway and Henderson Street/Marin Boulevard will be adjusted to allow for more efficient traffic flow. Police officers will be on hand on Monday to observe conditions and assist with the flow of traffic during peak periods if needed.
How will the changes affect traffic?
Once the new traffic signals are activated and the old signals are deactivated and removed, the timing of all signals will be optimized and coordinated to improve traffic conditions, particularly during peak hours. A detailed traffic analysis has been conducted indicating that travel times will be improved as a result of the roadway redesign.
The creation of dedicated left turn lanes will remove turning vehicles from through traffic, reducing backups and rear-end crashes and improving the efficiency and capacity of the roadway. Traffic cameras at intersections will activate left turn phases based on traffic volumes. Combined with the optimization of signal timing, average wait times at Observer Highway/Henderson Street are estimated to be reduced by 78% during the morning peak and by 59% during the evening peak.
When will the striping be completed?
Striping, including crosswalks, parking lanes, and dedicated turning lanes, is expected to be completed by the end of next week.
When will parking be permitted on Observer Highway?
Parking is currently permitted on the north side of Observer Highway for those with a valid Resident Parking Permit. Parking will be permitted on the south side of Observer Highway for those with a Resident Parking Permit once striping is completed in the days ahead. Those without permits or with other types of permits (business, visitor, etc) may not park along Observer Highway.
How does the project improve pedestrian safety?
Prior to the project, there was only one pedestrian crossing along Observer Highway between Washington Street and Henderson Street (at Willow Avenue), road crossings were considerably longer, and there was no protected sidewalk between Observer Highway and Newark street to the east of the firehouse. The project added pedestrian countdown timers to all signalized intersections (which will be active when the new signals are activated), high visibility crosswalks at all intersections with reduced crossing distances, new concrete pedestrian islands and ADA curb ramps, and created a new sidewalk on the north side of the intersection with Henderson Street, providing safe haven for pedestrians walking on the south side of Newark Street.
When will Vezzetti Way be paved?
The priority for the project was to complete paving of Observer Highway prior to the cold weather when paving is no longer possible. To date, Vezzetti Way has been partially paved and a 25 foot portion of Bloomfield Street also remains unpaved. The contractor is required to complete the project by April 2016. Striping of the pedestrian/bicycle path will take place once paving of Vezzetti Way is complete.
To encourage local shopping this holiday season, the City of Hoboken is offering up to 4 hours of free garage parking in municipal garages B (28 2nd St), D (215 Hudson St), and Midtown (371 4th St) every Saturday and Sunday from December 5, 2015 through January 3, 2016 and every day from December 21 through December 25 for visitors who come to Hoboken to shop or dine. Parking meters are free on Sundays.
“Hoboken is a great place to shop, dine, and enjoy this holiday season,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “There are so many ways to get here by public transportation, and for those who drive, we have convenient options including valet parking and free garages for holiday shoppers.”
To receive up to 4 hours of free garage parking, visitors must present to the parking attendant receipts totaling at least $25 from any Hoboken business(es) during these hours. Any time beyond 4 hours will be charged at the regular rate.
As another convenient parking option, valet parking is available year-round for a flat rate of $15 on Fridays (7pm-3am), Saturdays (11am-3am), and Sundays (11am-8pm) at three locations: 58 3rd Street (between Washington St & Hudson St), 76 River Street, and 525 Sinatra Drive.
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 Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 2:00 pm in the City Council Chambers at Hoboken City Hall, 94 Washington Street.
William Rozmester will be promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief, and Anibal Vasquez will be promoted to the rank of Captain. Two graduates from the Fire Academy, Christopher Markey and Nico Ratto will be sworn in as Firefighters. Recently retired Battalion Chief Paul Kasely will be honored for his service to the community.
The City of Hoboken has completed the draft Neumann Leathers Redevelopment Plan, which seeks to preserve and rehabilitate the existing Neumann Leathers industrial complex and protect and enhance the existing artist community. In addition, the plan would create new retail spaces and affordable housing, add public open spaces, reduce localized flooding, and extend the street grid at Grand Street.
“Just a few years ago, this historic property faced the threat of demolition and the artist community within it lived in fear of an uncertain future,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “This plan would restore an important part of our industrial past, protect the artists and industrial uses that enrich our community, and create a vibrant mixed-use block with street level retail and plazas activated by artists and musicians.”
The plan, which is being released to the public and City Council and is being shared informally with the Planning Board, can be downloaded at: www.hobokennj.org/docs/communitydev/Neumann-Leathers-Redevelopment-Plan-Draft-10-15-15.pdf. The plan will be introduced for first reading at the City Council meeting on November 4th.
The plan would require the preservation and adaptive reuse of the historic buildings, using site characteristics such as the smoke stack, cobbled drives, exposed steel, oversized doorways and loading portals as design elements to help integrate the architecture of the past and present. The industrial arts, fine arts, artisan and industrial uses will be protected and encouraged to thrive. Existing industrial rent levels would be maintained to retain the current tenants. The cost for the renovations and maintained rent levels will be offset and balanced by new construction of a mix of uses, including residential, commercial, retail, and parking. The preservation and expansion of small scale industrial uses is consistent with recommendations in a recently-completed report on Small Scale Manufacturing in Hoboken which can be downloaded at: www.hobokennj.org/docs/communitydev/Hoboken-Small-Manufacturing-Memo.pdf.
Residents Urged to Review Emergency Plans and Be Prepared
The City of Hoboken Office of Emergency Management is monitoring forecasts and making preparations for two major weather systems likely to impact our area. The threat of major coastal flooding, very heavy rainfall, and inland flooding has increased for Friday and Saturday, associated with the current storm system in advance of Hurricane Joaquin. Six to eight inches of additional rain are possible in the next week. The National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Advisory from Thursday 6am to Friday 6am and a Coastal Flood Watch from Friday 6am to 6pm. Hurricane Joaquin may impact the region on Sunday and into early next week and could lead to major to record flooding depending on its trajectory and strength. Prior to the possible impacts from Hurricane Joaquin, several days of heavy rain will saturate the ground and high tides caused by strong winds could make it difficult for the sewer system to naturally drain into the river.
“We are closely tracking weather forecasts, talking to experts at Stevens, and planning for a serious one-two punch from back-to-back storm systems that could cause serious flooding from late Thursday into early next week,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Our Office of Emergency Management team is coordinating with all departments and agencies and making preparations to ensure the safety of our community. Most importantly, now is the time for residents to make sure that they have a plan in place and are prepared for all possibilities.”
The City has plans in place to activate an Emergency Operations Center and relocate flood-prone public safety operations if necessary. The City’s high water vehicle is ready to be deployed if needed, along with several small boats. The City will be moving municipal vehicles to higher ground along Washington Street between Observer Highway and 2nd Street as well as 13th Street to 14th Street. In addition, the City is pre-positioning backup generators, filling a potable water tank, and coordinating plans to open a shelter and distribution center if necessary.
The Hoboken Police Department’s Waterfront and Parks Unit bicycle patrol officers and Traffic Bureau will soon begin the next phase of its bicycle education and enforcement campaign. In prior months, the Police Department focused efforts on bicycle deliveries, leading to a major decrease in complaints received regarding bicycle deliveries over the summer.
State law grants bicyclists all the rights and duties of motor vehicle drivers and requires them to follow all state and local automobile driving laws. City code permits bicycles on sidewalks, however bicyclists must always yield to pedestrians and ride no faster than pedestrian walking speed. State law also requires those under 17 to wear a helmet. Police officers on bicycles will focus education and enforcement efforts on those who are riding recklessly on sidewalks, riding the wrong way on one-way streets, and ignoring red lights and stop signs. The Police Department and Parking Utility will also enforce illegal parking that obstructs bicycle lanes which creates safety hazards by forcing bicyclists into traffic.
“With the increase in bicycling in Hoboken, kids back at school, and the upcoming launch of a bike share program, we want to remind the community about the rules of the road and make sure that everyone is riding safely,” said Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante. “Every officer in our Waterfront and Parks Unit patrols on bike, understands the challenges faced by bicyclists and all road users, and will be using a common sense approach to educate riders and enforce rules to ensure everyone’s safety.”
In the spring, the Police Department met with restaurants that conduct food deliveries by bicycle to educate them about bicycle rules. Delivery riders were also provided with reflective vests for added visibility at night. The Hudson Bike Share program will advise riders to dismount and walk their bicycle if they need to use the sidewalk.
Draft Scoping Document for Environmental Impact Statement Available for Review
All members of the community are invited to attend a public scoping meeting for the Rebuild by Design Hudson River project (Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge) which will be held on September 24, 2015 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm at the Hoboken Multi Service Center, located at 124 Grand Street. The meeting will be an opportunity for the public to provide input on the project scope and priorities.
“Community involvement and participation in this early part of the process, where we set the scope for the project, is so important,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Besides being a legally-necessary step towards using these federal funds, the decisions we make today will set the direction for the project and greatly impact the flood resiliency plan that is finalized and implemented in the years ahead.”
The State of New Jersey was awarded $230 million in federal funds through the Rebuild by Design competition to plan, design, and construct the Hudson River (Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge) project designed to protect Hoboken, Weehawken, and northern Jersey City from flooding.
The project team, which is led by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), is currently performing a feasibility study and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The feasibility study is an analysis of the ability to complete a project successfully, taking into account legal, economic, technological, scheduling and other factors. The EIS is a document prepared to describe the effects for proposed activities on the natural and physical environment and the relationship of people with that environment. The public meeting is an opportunity to comment on the Scoping document currently being written for the Environmental Impact Statement.
Update: REMINDER: PSE&G has begun the second phase of milling and paving work to repair trenches created during the installation of new gas mains as part of the Energy Strong program. The project is replacing 31,000 linear feet of low pressure old cast iron mains in or near flood areas with new plastic pipe which operate at a higher pressure that prevents water from entering mains, increasing the reliability of gas service.
Parking will be prohibited on both sides of the street during milling and paving work. Please note that the following schedule is weather-permitting and subject to change:
Monday, August 31, 2015
Park Avenue (11th St to 14th St)
Monroe St (6th St to 8th St)
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Monroe St (6th St to 8th St)
6th St (Jackson St to Willow Ave)
6th St (Hudson St to Bloomfield St)
Wednesday September 2, 2015
6th St (Bloomfield St to Willow Ave)
Willow Ave (6th St to 11th St)
12th St (Bloomfield St to Willow Ave)
Thursday September 3, 2015
Park Ave (11th St to 14th St)
Garden St (11th St to 14th St)
13th St (Bloomfield St to Willow Ave)
14th St (Washington St to Willow Ave)
PSE&G will begin the second phase of milling and paving work to repair trenches created during the installation of new gas mains as part of the Energy Strong program. Work on additional streets will be announced in the near future. Parking will be prohibited on both sides of the street during milling and paving.
Milling is scheduled to take place August 26, 2015 through August 28, 2015, weather permitting, on the following streets:
• 6th St from Jackson St to Hudson St
• Willow Ave from 6th St to 11th St
• Garden St from 11th St to 14th St
• 12th St from Bloomfield St to Willow Ave
• 13th St from Bloomfield St to Garden St
• 14th St from Washington St to Willow Ave
PSE&G is working to complete repairs on these roads prior to the start of the school year. Temporary No Parking signs are posted on these streets for August 26th through August 28th. Once milling work is completed on a street, the No Parking signs on that street will be taken down and parking will be permitted on that street.
Paving of these streets is scheduled to take place the week of August 31, 2015. The schedule is weather permitting and subject to change.
‘Resiliency Park’ Would Hold at Least 1 Million Gallons of Stormwater to Alleviate Flooding
The City of Hoboken is moving forward to acquire a 6-acre undeveloped property in northwest Hoboken for use as a large “resiliency park” with at least 1 million gallons of integrated flood mitigation capacity. A portion of the property would also be designed with a municipal parking garage, potentially with rooftop recreation or other public amenities. The property is currently owned by BASF (previously Henkel/Cognis), and the project is one of three “resiliency parks” planned as part of the Rebuild by Design flood resiliency plan.
“This six-acre property is the City’s last remaining option for acquiring such a large amount of contiguous land for open space, and it would provide Hoboken with a unique opportunity to address three of our most pressing challenges – flooding, open space, and parking,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Creating Hoboken’s largest park – the same size as Pier A – would provide much-needed open space in western Hoboken, take pressure off our other overcrowded parks, and complement our flood resiliency strategy by being designed to hold at least 1 million gallons of stormwater runoff. It would also add parking capacity by creating Hoboken’s first municipal garage in northwest Hoboken.”
The Hoboken City Council previously authorized the use of eminent domain to acquire the BASF property for open space and authorized the City’s application for low-interest funding from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT) for acquisition of the property. NJEIT loans provide 0% interest on 75% of the loan amount, market rate interest on the remainder, and 19% principal forgiveness.
At the upcoming Council meeting on Wednesday, September 2nd, the City Council will be asked to vote on three separate measures to 1) authorize the use of eminent domain to acquire the northern parcel of the property for a parking garage 2) authorize a $1.6 million Hoboken Parking Utility bond for land acquisition and engineering costs for detailed design of a parking structure, and 3) authorize a $16.7 million bond ordinance to acquire the larger portion of the BASF property for open space, park design and engineering costs, and for construction costs of the Southwest Park. NJEIT would purchase the bond to provide the low-interest loan to the City.
Update on Southwest Park
Construction of Hoboken’s Southwest Park, which is also designed to hold over 200,000 gallons of stormwater runoff, is scheduled to begin this fall. An archeological review of the site needed to be completed prior to construction. The City Council previously authorized applying for a low-interest loan from the NJEIT for design and construction of the park. The final conceptual plan is available at www.hobokennj.org/swpark.
Update on 7th Street & Jackson Street Park and Plaza
The Hoboken community is invited to a public meeting hosted by the City Council Community Development Subcomittee to discuss a proposed finalized redevelopment project at 7th Street and Jackson Street adjacent to the Monroe Center as part of the Northwest Redevelopment Area. The project proposes approximately 2 acres of public parks and open space, a municipal gymnasium, advanced stormwater detention to assist in flood mitigation efforts as part of the City’s comprehensive Rebuild by Design plan, and mixed use residential and retail components along the western portion of the site, next to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail line. The meeting will take place on Monday, August 31, 2015 at the Jubilee Center, located at 601 Jackson Street and will begin at 7:00pm with a presentation of the project followed by a question and answer period.