Hoboken had requested a traffic light almost 3 years ago and word is the county will finally install one at Jackson and Newark in the Spring of 2013; don't hold your breath because it could be delayed, finances over practicality. Yes, traffic is a mess on Jackson and for years traffic engineers have focused on moving cars when they should be focused on moving people.
Now, at last, the city has a traffic engineer who understands the big picture and strives to make the streets safe and functional for all of us, those who go about our business on bicycles, on foot, via public/mass transit and in cars. The city has since taken proactive measures to change the traffic pattern in an effort to slowing down the mass rush of traffic to alleviate car vs. car and car vs. pedestrian/bike accidents. The new traffic pattern reduces what were 2 to 3 lanes of cars/trucks and buses to a roadway that restores parking on both sides of the street, provides a much need bicycle lane and provides a single lane of moving traffic like most roadways in Hoboken.
Our residents shouldn't have to fear their lives crossing any street in Hoboken. Jackson Street is our Queens Blvd. in which many residents are in accidents and some cases with fatal results. For his troubles, Director Ian Sacs and Mayor Zimmer are being treated as though they were out to inconvenience motorists; furthest thing from the truth. They were looking at the bigger picture, safe coexistence for all.
4th Ward Councilman Tim Occipinti is on a grand stand mission to have the roadway traffic pattern changes the City recently made returned to the prior mass confusion and often times scary “wild-wild west” it had been for years. This change would greatly endanger our residents and affects the children and parents of the 4th ward.
Councilman Occipinti is taking the side of motorists who are complaining that their drive time from Jersey Ave. through Jackson Street to Paterson Plank Road during the a.m. and p.m. rush hour has been grossly elongated backing up cars south of the train trestle into Hoboken. Director Sacs has test driven the drive a few times since the recent traffic changes. The impact of this change adds about 7-12 minutes onto the motorist travel time; this change makes it safer for our residents to negotiate street crossings in that area. What is more important, 7-12 extra minutes of travel time or the safety of our residents? I ask you as a rational resident.
Perhaps mass transit for which Hoboken is best suited might be a more viable option or car sharing programs rather than clogging our roadways with solo occupant vehicles.
Have a better idea, be heard and contact the City’s transportation/parking office with constructive options as I am sure Mr Sacs is open to hearing positive options.