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Public Meeting to Be Held for Western Edge Redevelopment Plan

Western-Edge-Map
The general public is invited to a community meeting regarding the Western Edge Redevelopment Plan on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 7:00pm at the Jubilee Center at 601 Jackson Street in Hoboken.

Maser, the City’s planner, has prepared the Redevelopment Plan for the Western Edge Redevelopment Area with input from Mayor Zimmer and the Hoboken City Council North Subcommittee and is seeking additional input from the community. The Western Edge was designated as an Area in Need of Redevelopment by the City of Hoboken in 2007. The area consists of approximately 11.15 acres on four separate properties located in the western portion of the City of Hoboken at the foot of the Palisades.

The Western Edge Redevelopment Plan provides a framework for the redevelopment of a number of properties in the northwestern portion of the City in proximity to the Ninth Street Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Station. It sets forth standards and guidelines for land use and design, circulation and parking, and open space and recreation. The Redevelopment Plan incorporates flood management strategies outlined in the Rebuild by Design “Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge” plan.

At the community meeting on May 21st, there will be a presentation and an opportunity for attendees to ask questions of the City’s professionals regarding the Redevelopment Plan. Click here to view the draft plan (revised to include educational uses).

Mayor Zimmer Calls on Port Authority to Reverse Hoboken PATH Service Cuts

Hoboken PATH
14% Service Reduction Without Public Process as Ridership Grows 11% in Two Years

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer wrote to Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chairman John Degnan to urge the organization to reverse the recent PATH service cuts for Hoboken that were implemented on April 26, 2015 with no public process. The City of Hoboken learned about the issue due to complaints from residents who noticed the change in service.

“It won’t surprise anyone who has tried to squeeze onto a rush hour PATH train to learn that ridership at Hoboken has grown 11 percent in the last two years – more than at any other station in the State,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “We should be talking about adding more capacity, yet the Port Authority cut rush hour service by 14 percent overnight with no public input. It defies all logic. In Hoboken, we have created a walk-friendly, transit-friendly, mixed-use community, but our residents and our economy are completely undermined by this action. Enough with the service cuts, enough with the short-sightedness. Let’s invest in a 21st century transportation system that will truly support our growing region.”

The service change reduces peak service on the Hoboken to 33rd Street line by 14%. Between 7:30am and 9:30am, service from Hoboken to 33rd Street has been cut from 19 trains to 16 trains. From 4:30pm to 6:45pm, service from 33rd Street to Hoboken was reduced from 24 trains to 21 trains. Late evening service from 9pm to midnight was reduced from 11 trains to 9 trains.

“I would invite any of these decision makers to come along for a ride on the PATH during the morning commute from Hoboken and provide their honest assessment as to whether or not the system needs more or fewer trains,” said Hoboken Council President Ravinder Bhalla. “Residents who keep their cars off the road and use public transit are repeatedly being punished with fare hikes, overcrowded trains, and threats to their primary mode of transportation. I fail to comprehend how an increase in ridership leads to a decrease in services. I find it unacceptable that while the Port Authority spends billions on other projects, they are penny-pinching in Hoboken, punishing their most loyal customers. I hope the Port Authority will reverse this decision and invest in a transportation system that rewards riders.”

Ridership at the Hoboken PATH station has increased by 11 percent since 2012. According to publicly available Port Authority data, the Hoboken PATH station had an average of 19,890 passengers per day in 2012 and 22,078 passengers per day in 2014.

Mayor Zimmer’s letter to the Port Authority can be found at: www.hobokennj.org/docs/mayor/5-18-15-Letter-Zimmer-Degnan.pdf

PATH Service Schedules
February 8, 2015
April 26, 2015

PATH Ridership Reports
2012
2013
2014

Hoboken Repaving Construction Schedule (May 15-19)


As part of the City of Hoboken’s street resurfacing program which will include more than 50 blocks of roadway in 2015, paving work will take place on Friday, May 15, 2015 on Jackson Street from Paterson Avenue to 6th Street.

On Monday, May 18, paving will begin at 8:00am on 4th Street between Jackson Street and Monroe Street. In order to minimize traffic disruptions, paving of the southernmost section of Jackson Street from Newark Avenue to Paterson Avenue is scheduled to take place beginning at approximately 9:30am following the morning rush hour. The work is expected to last several hours. During this time, Jackson Street will be closed between Newark Avenue and Paterson Avenue. Through traffic will be permitted on Newark Avenue, but turns will not be permitted onto Jackson Street. Through traffic crossing over Jackson Street will not be permitted along Observer Highway or Paterson Avenue. The road will be reopened as quickly as possible once the asphalt has set, however there is a possibility that it will remain closed through the evening rush hour, so drivers should expect delays and plan alternate routes.

If time allows on Monday, following the paving of Jackson Street from Newark Avenue to Paterson Avenue, the contractor will begin paving on Monroe Street from Paterson Avenue to 3rd Street. On Tuesday, May 19, the contractor will complete the paving on Monroe Street from Paterson Avenue to 3rd Street and pave 5th Street from Jackson Street to Madison Street. Please note that there will be multiple roads closed to traffic while the pavement cools.

The Jackson Street repaving project originally included work at the intersection with 1st Street as part of the 1st Street streetscape revitalization. Due to multiple utility conflicts, it will not be possible to install the planned rain garden curb extension at the intersection of 1st Street and Jackson Street. Other improvements will be made to the intersection instead including a bioswale along the Jackson Street sidewalk, the addition of a new tree in an existing empty tree pit, replacement and expansion of broken sidewalk, and an epoxy gravel curb extension with street planters and stanchions for improved pedestrian safety.

Hoboken Repaving Construction Schedule


As part of the City of Hoboken’s street resurfacing program which will include more than 50 blocks of roadway in 2015, milling work will take place on the following dates:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015:
– Jackson St from Newark Ave. to 6th St.

Thursday, May 14, 2015:
– Monroe St. from Paterson Ave. to 3rd St.
– 4th St. from Monroe St. to Jackson St.
– 5th St. from Jackson St. to Madison St.

Additional updates will be provided in the days ahead.

Two Month Hoboken Investigation Leads to 15 Arrests

HPD
Hoboken Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante announced the arrests of 15 individuals for various narcotics violations in the Hoboken Housing Authority area in Hoboken. All but one of the arrests occurred on May 8, 2015, while the other occurred on May 6, 2015. The arrests took place after a two-month investigation that was performed by a collaborative effort between the Hoboken Police Narcotics Unit and the Hudson County Prosecutors Office Narcotics Task Force. The arrests followed multiple complaints by residents, stating that West Side Plaza, the strip mall with several restaurants and stores had been overrun by those who were allegedly dealing drugs in front of those stores. The investigation immediately showed an open air drug market had formed at 301 Jackson Street. The investigation also spread to several other areas around the Hoboken Housing Authority and the City of Hoboken.

“I want to thank Chief Ferrante, the Hoboken Police Department, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, the Hudson County Sheriffs Office, NJ Transit Police, and agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for working together as a team on this important investigation to ensure that every Hoboken resident feels safe in their neighborhood,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “This investigation began in response to community concerns, and I thank all the residents who raised their voices about public safety. I am proud that under the leadership of Chief Ferrante and the Hoboken Police Department, we are working proactively and collaboratively with the community and other law enforcement agencies to keep our community safe.”

Construction to Begin on Complete Streets Redesign of Observer Highway

Observer Highway Plan
UPDATE: The contractor has advised that the revised start date for the project will be postponed one week to Monday, May 4, 2015.

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.

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. 

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 Launches one of First Residential Compost Programs in New Jersey

CCC

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.

Hoboken Community Invited to Fire Department Promotions Ceremony

GROUP D

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.