I am led to believe now that Ian Sacs was not just the director of the Hoboken Parking Utility and Transportation, he was also “a people mover.” And I find that odd since this civil servant forgot that he worked for the public and could not communicate with the average Hoboken resident let alone elected officials and community leaders. Clearly, his objective was to integrate the automobiles, bicycles and pedestrians into a harmonious, holistic model. Pretty soon, I expected that we would put gates up on the entrances to Hoboken so we could control the flow of cars and ration their numbers at any given time. Or to take away swatches of streetscape like Manhattan did to Broadway in Times Square and place picnic tables there. Wouldn’t you like to dine on Jackson Street between Observer Highway and Newark Avenue? The ambience is so inviting. It’s unfortunate that there are too many cars coming in and out of Hoboken. Let’s just frustrate the drivers so they stew in traffic and pollute our air with exhaust fumes that the pedestrians and bicyclists can inhale as they walk and drive by.
Here in New Jersey, some streets in some towns are not crossable for pedestrians. Drive along Route 22, which runs through Newark, Hillside and Union, to name a few towns. City and state officials do not want pedestrians crossing them and going over the concrete barriers in the middle of the highway so they put fences atop them. You do not see people walking along the Garden State Parkway, a quite scenic road. Let’s admit that crossing Observer at Jackson is not suitable for pedestrians. Pedestrians can cross to the other side of Observer where there is no intersection at safe spots and walk straight out or in to Hoboken.
Cars bring people and revenue into Hoboken either through people who live, work or study here or people visiting our wonderful restaurants, bars and shops, which employ lots of people. Trucks need to deliver all kinds of goods. And without these cars, the Parking Utility would not be able to exist since they benefit from exorbitant fines and fees. May Ian Sacs find greener pastures where ever he goes. And may his biggest problem be dealing with horses. There’s a part of them they’ll identify with him.
Fr. Alexander M. Santora