Thursday, September 25, 2014

If Truman gave them "hell" in Hoboken

"I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell.”
            President Harry Truman

If Harry Truman wasn’t a midwestern take no guff kind of guy and found himself making noise in the political sphere of Hoboken, he’d be surprised how true his words applied today.

Hoboken has a unique mixture of narcissistic political entitlement. Truth is often ignored or flatly condemned as lies. The arrogance of some in the Old Guard repeatedly leads them down the road of excess. Whether there’s an election in sight or not, it’s money and power always lighting up their eyes and their decadent souls. You can't convince them otherwise. 

The levers of government are viewed as mere formality to enrichment, by hook or by crook. There's no interest to discuss policy with you, earn your vote or support. They'd sooner see you ignorantly write a check asking why taxes are so high and retreat back into the solitude of your life than argue why. Are Hoboken taxpayers remotely aware Hudson County taxes are now the largest local government bill two years running? 

Who do you think has been holding the line here in Hoboken the last five years? The double digit decrease puts Hoboken in a select group of a handful in the entire state of over 500 municipalities.

When it comes to speech in Hoboken, there's some well heeled people with a totalitarian streak a mile square large.
The democratization via "the internets" has driven them to crassly using the courts to level the playing field. 


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HOBOKEN INTRODUCES FINAL WASHINGTON STREET REDESIGN PLAN

City of Hoboken announces:


Bird’s-Eye View Rendering of Washington Street (Downtown)

The City of Hoboken has completed a conceptual design for the “complete street” redesign of Washington Street. The design was presented at the final public meeting on September 23, 2014.

“I thank the community for providing their input on this important project through public meetings, focus groups, and surveys,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “This plan builds on our award-winning main street by improving pedestrian safety and traffic flow, enhancing mobility for all users, and supporting local businesses. Now that we have community consensus, I look forward to working with the City Council and hope they will fully support this important project so it can be completed as quickly as possible.”

Complete streets are roadways designed for safe, attractive, and comfortable travel by users of all ages and abilities. The City’s plan proposes upgrading Washington Street with safety improvements and enhancements to get around safely on foot, bicycle, car, or public transportation. By providing safe and equitable travel for everyone—including children, families, older adults, and people with disabilities—complete streets stimulate active, healthy behavior, reduce automotive traffic and pollution, encourage more foot traffic to businesses, and enhance interaction on Hoboken’s vital main street.

Highlights of the final concept plan include:
Improved Road Operations & Traffic Flow
·         Roadway resurfacing for entire corridor
·         Designated commercial loading zones with time restrictions
·         Short-term parking for quick errands
·         Numbered parking spaces for quicker & easier parking and payment
·         New traffic signals and timing increase corridor average speed from 6-8mph to 8-12mph
·         Parallel and angled parking maintained on both sides of the street
·         Back-in angled parking for safer parking

Improved Pedestrian Safety & Lighting
·         State of the art signal design to ensure visibility for all users of the street
·         Pedestrian countdown signal heads
·         Improved lighting at intersections
·         Refurbish or replace existing street lighting to better illuminate sidewalk and reduce glare upwards
·         Concrete curb extensions at corners reduce crossing distances by almost 50% (from 50 ft to 26 ft) and provide additional space for pedestrian amenities
·         New high visibility, skid-resistant, retro-reflective crosswalks
·         Reconstructed curb ramps for improved ADA accessibility

 Streetscape Improvements for Aesthetics, Livability & Economic Vitality
·         New concrete sidewalks
·         New light poles and fixtures for improved street lighting
·         New benches and solar/smart trash receptacles, street trees
·         City-wide wayfinding signage

Increased Mobility & Transit Access
·         Redesigned "portal" style bus shelters
·         Protected bicycle lanes physically separated from motor vehicle traffic to accommodate all skill levels currently riding on sidewalk
·         New custom bicycle racks

Landscaping & Stormwater Management
·         Replacement of damaged and missing street trees
·         Improved street tree pit design for tree health and aesthetics
·         Green infrastructure to capture stormwater runoff: rain gardens at corners and expanded street tree pits

The plan will be presented to the City Council in October. The preliminary estimate for the complete plan is $14 million, and the City will seek State and Federal grants combined with bond funding to finance the project. Funding is already in place for completing the final engineering design and construction plans. The next steps in the project include:

·         Pre-Design Phase: coordination with utility upgrades, PSE&G lighting coordination, geotechnical investigations, stormwater/drainage analysis): (est: 3-4 months)
·         Final Survey/Preliminary & Final Engineering Design & Construction Plans (est: additional 6-8 months)
·         Construction (est: additional 12 months)

Additional project information is available at www.hobokennj.org/washingtonstreet.