Hoboken is a wonderful place to live, and it’s in part because we have so many great restaurants and outdoor cafes, excellent shopping, art galleries, studios, and more. That’s why it’s so important to maintain and improve Washington Street, the hub of our community’s social and commercial life.
This week we introduced a streets improvement bond to begin the process of upgrading and modernizing the entire length of Washington Street, including repaving the road, installing modern traffic signals with pedestrian countdown timers, and installing ADA-compliant crosswalks and ramps. The bond also pays for designing Sinatra Drive so that, like our waterfront south of 4th Street, central Sinatra Drive can become a model waterfront that is safe and enjoyable for all. And it will cover design costs the city must incur in order to secure more than $2 million in federal funding for safety improvements to Observer Highway and Newark Streets.
I thank the broad range of community groups who have expressed their support as well as the six City Council members who voted yes on first reading. I hope all will support this important effort when it is voted on second reading at the Aug. 15 meeting.
In addition to improving our streets for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers, we must also provide other options, including a reliable shuttle bus system, for those who are not able to or do not wish to drive.
Unfortunately, the existing Hop and Senior buses are very old, break down regularly, and need to be taken out of service for repairs. As many have experienced in the last few weeks, the air conditioning is not functioning correctly. I recognize that this is not fair to our residents or the employees who operate the buses.
My administration recently tried to address this by buying new buses with a bond, but the City Council would not approve this request (the vote was 5-4, however 6 votes are required to bond). As a result, we are now working on a variety of different approaches to improve the situation, which unfortunately may take some time.
I believe that the Hop and Senior Shuttle are important services for our community and critical to reducing congestion and improving quality of life. Please know that I am doing everything I can to make our Hop and Senior Shuttle system more reliable, efficient, comfortable, and accessible to all.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer