I recently attended a meeting of the Hoboken Planning Board to present a strategy to eliminate much of the traffic congestion created by Stevens Institute of Technology on local residential streets. The public meeting was designed to discuss Stevens' proposed five-year master plan for development on the campus. However, the most important reason for the public hearing was to hear how its plan will affect the residents of Hoboken.
Traffic congestion and parking in the area has reached a crisis proportion. Local residents have lost hundreds of on-street parking to out-of-town students and employees. Traffic congestion on Hudson Street and the cross streets from First Street to 14th Street often produce gridlock that slows emergency vehicles trying to get to their destination. Pedestrians often face a challenge just crossing an intersection in the area.
My proposal changes the main entrance and traffic flow to Stevens. This plan would divert the estimated 1,100 vehicles day flowing in and out of Stevens off Hoboken's interior streets, except for emergency vehicles. Traffic to and from Stevens would flow along a totally new traffic pattern. The new traffic flow wold start in Weehawken and travel through an already existing road behind the Tea Building, continue to another existing road behind the Shipyard, and through a road that will travel behind Maxwell House that connects directly to Sinatra Drive, utilizing exterior city roads only!! A roadway would be built on existing road infrastructure behind the Tea House and Shipyard. All of Stevens' on-street parking permits would be returned to the City of Hoboken and all of Stevens' parking needs will have to be contained within the school boundaries.
Part of Stevens' Master Plan calls for the construction of the new parking garage next to the new Babbio Center. This garage will be used to supplement Stevens' parking needs on campus, eliminating on-street parking by its students and employees. No one wants additional construction on the waterfront, but the parking garage solves the pressing problem of traffic congestion.
I am presently in dialogue with Stevens and look forward to a continued dialogue with the residents of Hoboken and anyone else that would like to participate.
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