Although the overhaul of the 14th Street Viaduct has been a necessary evil for anyone traveling from Union City/Jersey Heights to Hoboken, statements made by our elected officials are a bit misleading! I am puzzled why cars get first priority and issues that affect pedestrians are secondary or not considered at all. So much for experts and their much tooted research! U.S. Sen. Booker, the mayors of both Hoboken and Jersey City and our own U.S. Rep. Sires should not be so generous with their praise, as pedestrians are not safe walking this bridge.
I invite any of the politicians, developers, and designers to walk the viaduct on a hot sunny afternoon! You would be covered with dust and dirt, your lungs inside and your nostrils on the outside, and you would fear for your life as one car after the other passes you at 40 mph, 2-3 feet away from you. God forbid you stumble and step down from the narrow sidewalk! What ever happened to pedestrian safety? During the construction of the south lane there was a walkway with a concrete barrier, making me, the pedestrian feel much safer. I was hoping that this would stay when the renovation was completed! The same goes for the walkways on Manhattan Avenue, both directions.
The article states that this renovation improves the accessibility between Union City/Jersey Heights and Hoboken. Unfortunately, as a user of public transportation, the only option (other than walking) is the 22 NJ Transit bus operated by Academy (subsidized by our taxes). It is never on time and often doesn’t come at all. NJ Transit blames it on Academy and Academy blames it on NJ Transit! A shuttle from the UC Post Office to the PATH Station that runs frequently like the jitneys on Bergenline and New York Ave. would serve us better.
It is beyond me that Hoboken refuses to increase service to enable shoppers and diners to enjoy what Hoboken offers. With parking being impossible in Hoboken, driving is not the best option. More frequent public transport and allowing jitney busses would bring more people to the establishments; that would definitely improve the connection between the cities on top of the Palisades and Hoboken!
Another point I’d like to make: Mayor Stack mentioned to me that Union City’s investment of $1 million for the Yardley Stairs was disappointing because of the little use the stairs get. Why? You take your life into your hands when you reach the bottom to cross over Manhattan Ave., and you are still faced with the dangerous walk on the viaduct. It would be a no-brainer to extend these stairs to the new developments underneath the bridge enabling pedestrians to access that area without traveling all the way down the viaduct and then back towards the Palisades to reach the only cinema in the area you can visit without a car. That would definitely “improve connections” and increase usage!