I write to discuss the rush-hour conflict between pedestrian and vehicle traffic near the Hoboken PATH station. The daily scrum of foot traffic vs. auto traffic is a dangerous situation that is going to cause a serious injury or death. Hoboken needs a grid of traffic signals, with explicit and easily viewed pedestrian Walk/Don't Walk signals, on Hudson and River Streets at each intersection with Hudson Place, Newark Street and First Street. Temporary use of traffic police may suffice until the signals can be installed but there is no satisfactory solution short of installing permanent traffic signals.
Hoboken's rule requiring cars to stop for pedestrians at all intersections is admirable, but it is manifestly unreasonable to rely on that rule at these intersections, during rush hour. Cars need to move, people need to move and buses need to move. There is a constant, unending stream of pedestrians to/from the PATH station. There is also a constant, unending stream of buses, shuttles and private auto traffic through the PATH area. It takes only one pedestrian to exercise a veto over the movement of all auto traffic, and it takes only one distracted driver to cause a fatal collision. People on both sides are in a rush to get to work and have to fight for the slightest of gaps in the conflicting flow, with no controls other than good will and vigilance by the drivers of the buses, shuttles and cars.
Someone is going to die as a result of this unregulated conflict. Frankly, it is astounding that more people have not already been killed in this free-for-all.
City, county and/or state agencies are hereby on notice that the pedestrian/auto conflict at these intersections is a manifestly unreasonable and unsafe situation. We need traffic signals near the PATH, and we need them now. If it is the opinion of the relevant local or state government(s) that Hoboken needs no additional traffic control at these corners, then it is their obligation to respond to the public, proffering relevant scientific data showing that the traffic flow at these corners is still within the bounds of customary, reasonable and safe patterns, as recognized by national and international specialists on the subject of traffic and pedestrian safety.