Thursday, April 8, 2010

Viaduct adjustment to better balance users

City of Hoboken announces:


Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise has committed to increased pedestrian safety measures on the proposed 14th Street Viaduct Replacement Project, announced Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

The County has proposed narrowing vehicular lanes on the reconstructed viaduct to provide an additional four feet of shoulder area that will provide an additional buffer between the travel lanes and the sidewalk.

“At this stage of the project, it is important to implement all possible measures to ensure the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists,” said Mayor Zimmer. “The viaduct is a heavily used gateway to our community. I thank the County Executive and his staff for incorporating additional safety precautions.”

The change comes two months after project engineers met with Mayor Zimmer and residents who expressed concerns over pedestrian and bicycle safety on the planned structure at a community forum. “The new structure at 14th Street, with wider sidewalks, the proposed shoulder area and new traffic calming elements will be a step toward that goal,” DeGise said in a letter to Mayor Zimmer.

The County has a June 30th deadline to complete the final design of the $45 million federally funded viaduct project. Project engineers would like to break ground on the two-year project in early 2011. The current structure will remain open during the construction phase.

The County estimates that approximately 20,000 vehicles use the viaduct daily, which connects Hoboken with Union City and Jersey City. An engineering study determined it to be “fracture critical.”

Hear ye, hear ye...

Friends, Romans, and Hobokenites: lend me your ears.  Although the poorly planned and executed resolution (item 39) on limiting public speech at City Council meetings was tabled last night and sent to committee for reworking, the hot air flowed ever so lovingly with the warm air outdoors.

The best result from this exercise: more than a dozen people came out to speak against the notion the public is a good place to start on limiting the endlessly long meetings.  There's plenty to be done among the Council themselves.  How about starting with limiting their comments?  That would at least end the grandstanding that goes on even when an election is nowhere in sight.  Even better, it would force members to apply their words wisely.  In addition, the idea of moving the public portion to the beginning is an excellent one and widely supported, however unless the resolution pack is going to provide more detail in a clearly understandable way for the public - those efforts and effectiveness will be lost.  As Hoboken resident Jim Doyle pointed out, the lack of detail doesn't help the public to understand what the agenda items are all about.

Grafix Avenger has hit a nerve and MSV has to note the irony of proclaiming victimhood among the small angry "I'd have a top job in City Hall" man club if Beth Mason had been elected - all the while defending and espousing censorship at the uptown hate merchant of Hoboken411.  It's one thing to be a hypocrite and quite another to write the political commentary there as "news" and then respond to it in a family effort of multiple screen names in a ceaseless push of propaganda on behalf of the never ending Mason will obtain high office or we'll die trying campaign.  How much has this political family been paid by Councilwoman Mason since 2009 for their hatchet work?  Can hatred alone be enough to keep the unemployed that busy?  Da Horsey calls it a pick'em.

Related: The Hudson Reporter has a pretty good companion piece on this issue.  Although the example cited is very good, it's still somewhat concerning that the most political people with long storied political histories seem to be quoted among the more than a dozen folks who came out to speak on the resolution.  MSV thinks the local news outlets should be more careful about that and hopes in the future they will.

Another citizen "Meet the candidates" Kids First event

MSV received this notice of another Kids First BoE meet the candidate series:

Thursday, April 15th, Miriam and I will be hosting a meet and greet with the Kids First slate for the upcoming Board of Education election on April 20th.  The event will take place in the Sky Club lobby (700 1st Street) from 7-9pm.

As many of you know, the Board of Education plays such a significant role in our community as it oversees the quality of education for our city’s schools, as well as being the recipient of 
1/3 of our taxes.  A well run school system gives the children a better education, while at the same time it also increases property values.

Regardless of whether or not you have children in the school system, or you’re a homeowner, or if you just recently moved to town and renting a 2 bedroom apartment uptown with a friend, you should definitely let your voice be heard on 
election day, April 20th.

So please come and meet the candidates next Thursday, the 15th, and hear from them how they’re working hard to
 improve the school system and eliminate wasteful spending.

The Kids First candidates include:
Rose Marie Markle (current Board President)
Irene Sobolov (current Board member)
Leon Gold
Jean Marie Mitchell

As with any event Miriam and I throw, there will be a variety of snacks including 
wine and cheese, as well as Miriam’s FAMOUS homemade bite-size CUPCAKES!

If you have any little ones or friends who may be interested, please bring them with.  Look forward to seeing you all on the 15th.

- Rami & Miriam Pinchevsky


Who loves the Boss?

by David Dening

Native son Bruce Springsteen is revered in New Jersey coming up from the watering holes of Asbury Park and writing many an iconic song weaved into the fabric of life for many of its residents over decades. To ask who loves Bruce on the political side of the fence in NJ equally creates a long list of fans including the current Governor. Who else loves Bruce?

A lot more New Jersey politicians apparently. But it's not all about the love of music and unfortunately, from an ethics standpoint, some of these pols aren't willing to wait in line like regular fans of The Boss, instead they've used a state agency to access tickets. A Businessweek article yesterday exposes tickets given last year to top New Jersey officials before they were sold to the public. Ironically this occurred while New Jersey was suing ticket brokers over sales practices.

The top ticket recipients takers all have Hoboken ties.

The number one ticket taker is state Senator Paul Sarlo who received 66 tickets. Sarlo should be well known to Hobokenites now for his attempts to pass a bill that would allow New Jersey Transit to build a monstrosity,  a building up to eighty stories high over the rail yard without Hoboken's approval blotting out sunshine over the whole southern end of town and obliterating the towns's character in the process.

In second place for most Bruce loving pol is former state senate president Richard Codey with 60 tickets. Codey made a visit to Hoboken last summer to endorse Peter Cammarano in the mayoral runoff. He also gave $5500 to Cammarano's Mayoral campaign.

Finally, Hoboken resident, former governor, Jon Corzine rounds out the top three. He received 57 tickets. He also has eclectic tastes; among the tickets were three to a Jonas Brothers concert.

The chairwoman of the state Ethics Commission is calling for an investigation and Governor Christie has ordered a review of the policy.  The winds of change blowing through New Jersey have begun.  Godspeed.