Dear friends and neighbors:
The City announced this morning that given the offer to suspend Eminent Domain proceedings on Union Dry Dock, Governor Murphy and NJ Transit have responded saying they will delay the NJ Transit Board meeting that was to be held tomorrow at 2pm. Currently the delay is just one day, but the City Council will be voting at our council meeting tomorrow night on the suspension of ED and if successful, the NJ Transit special meeting will be canceled altogether.
What does this mean?
Effectively this now allows all parties to work together to find an acceptable solution that supports ferry operations and respects the long term interests of our community. In a nutshell, unless other alternatives are considered than just Bayonne vs. UDD, this pits the profitability of NYWW vs. Hoboken’s community interests because if NYWW doesn't want to go to Bayonne, that may drive the outcome. But, there are other alternatives that should and hopefully will be considered like our own Lackawana terminal (which is owned by NJ Transit), various New York locations, and / or splitting NYWW operations across multiple sites.
What this doesn’t mean…
It doesn’t mean that our fight is over. NYWW has to be out of their existing location by June 1st. The only current location that is secure for them to relocate their operations is Union Dry Dock. I am certain they will be moving forward to prepare the site for their occupation. In parallel, we rely heavily upon the Governor’s office, NJ Transit, the City of Bayonne, Port Authority and our own elected officials to work towards finding another location/solution. There is not a lot of time and maintaining service for 30,000 commuters will be at the forefront of the discussions.
First, City Council has to approve suspending Eminent Domain. I have been speaking with Mayor Bhalla, his staff and several of my council colleagues about suspending eminent domain since last Thursday. Although it would never have been my first choice, I felt it was a necessary step in these discussions given the alternative was that NJ Transit would acquire the site and we would lose control forever. I cannot speak for my council colleagues specifically, but I am optimistic we will see consensus support for this.
What can you do?
I have received emails from many of you with different views on this topic. And it is really important that you continue to express your views – whatever they may be. What is critical is that we advocate for what is important to Hoboken so it has a place in the discussion. If we don’t advocate for ourselves, we can’t expect that others will either. So stay engaged and informed. Like and share content from various social media sites that will be actively working on and following this:
- Hoboken Residents for a Public Waterfront
- Fund for a Better Waterfront
Also, continue to “write or call your representatives” and encourage them to find a solution that benefits everyone. Tell them why the waterfront in Hoboken is important to you.
- Governor Murphy - http://nj.gov/governor/contact/ (Topic: Transportation; Sub-topic: NJ Transit; subject line: NJT acquisition of former Union Dry Dock site in Hoboken)
- Senator Stack - SenStack@njleg.org
- Mayor Bhalla – firstname.lastname@example.org
Again, I am committed to completing our waterfront – whether it takes one day or five years (or longer). But I am also completely committed to doing what it takes to make sure we maintain and hopefully expand (not shrink) reliable sources of transportation. With NYWW/UDD this is currently a conflict, but one I will work hard to help resolve.
I will continue to keep everyone posted as events unfold. Please feel free to email me or call me at 201/208-1674 if you have any questions of comments or want to discuss any of this.
Hoboken City Council, 2nd Ward
Engage. Inform. Advocate.“More Voices are Better”