Does Mayor Turner really believe the road along the brownstones is a major improvement? If you truly see this area in your mind's eye (since no model of this development has been produced for the town to see), it is obvious the road is being built only for the convenience of the brownstone owners. No one will want to drive down to the waterfront park if there is no convenient place to park. If this new road is so wonderful, and the Mayor and developer agree it is the best of all plans, then why in the world would they revert back to an inferior plan as threatened?
Friends of the Weehawken Waterfront (FWW) has a lawsuit against both plans. Neither makes sense without on-street parking. The Mayor claims: "This is what FWW negotiated with the developer." No way! We asked for a bona fide public amenity with bona fide accessibility! Why is the Mayor of Weehawken part of a plan to privatize the waterfront? Where are the 240 parking spaces the Mayor claims are part of Phase I anyway? We know they aren't along the waterfront road.
Why didn't the Mayor require the developer to produce a GIS study so that he and the planning board could examine building density (seven will be 10 or more stories tall), intersections and traffic patterns? More than half of 30 people you polled had little or no knowledge of the full details of the project, but 75 percent say traffic is their top concern.
Why didn't the Mayor make it clear to his constituency just how we are going to access the waterfront? There are no plans to build an elevator for pedestrians to get to the light rail, ferry, waterfront park and retail. The Mayor actually rejected NJ Transit's suggestion to build one. Union City, in contrast, will get two elevators built by NJ transit, at 9th Street in Hoboken and 48th and Bergenline. Why should Union City get two and Weehawken none?
FWW is not against development. We hired renowned urban planner Craig Whitaker to help prepare a world-class waterfront development plan that would allow Roseland to make just as much money as their current plan but with lower buildings.
This poorly conceived development will cause years of traffic congestion, worsening air quality, higher taxes, poor access to the waterfront and blocked panoramic views. If fighting for my community to get the best possible development means being labeled a "zealot", so be it.
I feel we've all been sold down the river.
Member, Friends of the Weehawken Waterfront