Hoboken business owners enraged over bike lane placement in redevelopment plan

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The Hoboken City Council held a special meeting to discuss the Washington Street Redevelopment Plan proposed by T&M Design Group, where the majority of business owners blasted the plan for its placement of bike lanes.

The $15 million project proposes repaving Washington Street, a renovation of water and power main breaks, bike lanes, changed driving and parking lanes, as well as newly designed landscapes for Washington Street.

Representatives for the T&M Design Group gave a presentation for the proposed plan in front of city council and a full house of concerned residence and business owners showing the new concept for Washington Street.

One of the major changes that would come would be the addition of a 6-foot bike lane on both sides of Washington Street which would ultimately eliminate double parking, a common practice for shoppers, which is a major concern for most business owners.

Former Mayor David Roberts addressed city council and the public to stress dire need to rejuvenate Washington Street but to keep in mind the lifestyle of Hoboken businesses for what they are, “Redoing Washington Street is a very important undertaking” later adding.

“I’m here tonight because I thought as this plan was going to substantially impact many of these families and business owners in particular,” he began.

“There isn’t a place in this plan where a car can stop, run out pick up a sandwich, dry cleaning, drop off a child or senior, there’s just no place to do that and I think that’s worthy of your oversight, many business owners are concerned about that and anxious, so am I.”

Eugene Flinn, owner of Amanda’s, Café Elysian, and Shnackenberg’s proposed moving bike lanes off of Washington Street and away from the heavy flow of business stating.

“We want an appropriate place for the bikes to be for safety for everyone’s safety. There’s buses, there’s delivers, there’s tractor trailers that come on Washington Street”, later adding “Let’s move with this plan with an amendment that we move the bike lanes off of Washington Street to make it safer for bikers themselves.”

Armando Luis, owner of Sparrows Wine and Liquor Company and La Isla Restaurant, stressed the usefulness of the ability to double park for his companies but for all businesses on Washington Street as well.

“The biking lane between the side walk and the parking spaces is a bad idea, it is an idea that will probably paralyze my business,” Luis said. “Between La Isla and Sparrow alone there is almost 12 to perhaps 24 hours a week of unloading depending on the seasons.”

Later adding, “If this plan goes into effect every single delivery will have to be made from a delivery space, the guy delivering a pizza, the guy delivering an envelope, the FedEx truck, if his only option is to drop off from a drop off zone, he will be there for an hour.”

Ernie Reyes, from Ace Hardware, had attended a previous redesign meeting and posed a question asking whether the bike lanes were being put in place to encourage biking or to eliminate double parking, and according to Reyes, the answer he was given was to “eliminate double parking.”

Reyes later added, “There’s a Home Depot less than a mile from my store, it has parking, its free parking. You will significantly impact my business if you take away that incremental parking, that temporary two-minute parking.”

Hoboken City Council, who were in the council chambers until after midnight, will vote on this matter on February 10th during a special meeting.

36 COMMENTS

  1. You gotta love how the admin followers, ie DeFusco and Baptista, start conversations w , “let’s dispel this fallacy…” regarding an evidence-based fact and then go on to spin their own fallacies. Inexperienced, opinionated youth with little public sector knowledge, seeking political careers or careers in the limelight, are almost as dangerous as the corrupt admin that uses them a pawns. The entire meeting is on ustream.

  2. more bike lanes, more bikes lanes! screw you bisness owner and pizza guy, screw you, more bike lanes, moorrrreeee bike lanes

  3. Dear failed Council candidate Melissa Blanco,

    As somebody who was unable to get enough signatures to stand for election, you really shouldn’t talk about anyone else’s ability. Last night you were removed from the Council chamber by an officer and then returned to deliver an incomprehensible rant. Let’s see what the Council actually decides in the coming weeks before your imagination spins things further.

    • You believe and circulate Zimmer lies. I got well over 100 and the corrupt admin refused to accept. The enitre process took less than 10 hours when speaking w constituents. But you don’t care about the people because your only purpose is to act as an admin henchperson You apparently think enough to create passwords w my name – a bit obsessed, no? Have some courage and use you own name. Stop w the false accusations, Mr/Ms Henchperson.

    • Injuries from Hoboken lack of health and safety, medical records, videos – all evidence shear fabrication according to henchpersons. Get real, this will be a referendum if the people’s mandate is not adhered to.

  4. Enough already with the damn bike lanes. Nobody uses them and everyone is not 25 yrs old and wants to ride them. There are enough bike lanes already. And bikers are driving on the No bike lanes . This is a mass. Why does the administration feel the need to change everything about Hoboken??? It is enough already. Also, Hoboken residents have lost many parking spots because of all the driveways now on residential streets because of the indoor parking garages. Now the bike lanes. It’s s damn shame that I am forced to pay for a garage. Hoboken born and raised are being pushed out. Thanks city council for getting rid of us. It’s a shame that I don’t feel like I belong in my own hometown.

    • “Enough already with the damn bike lanes. Nobody uses them”

      I use them, I know several other people that use the lanes.

      “everyone is not 25 yrs old and wants to ride them.”

      I guess my 65 year old father should hang up his bicycle (and I thought you said nobody uses them)

      “There are enough bike lanes already”

      Yes unprotected paint on the ground, oh lord they have completely changed the road by adding paint.

      “This is a mass”

      What?

      “Why does the administration feel the need to change everything about Hoboken”

      Because change is the only constant in the world. That and the town is growing and getting younger.

      “Hoboken residents have lost many parking spots because of all the driveways now on residential streets because of the indoor parking garages”

      I actually don’t disagree with you there. Driveways are the scourge of urban existence.

      “Now the bike lanes. It’s s damn shame that I am forced to pay for a garage.”

      The proposed design will not affect residential parking, only commercial.

      “Hoboken born and raised are being pushed out. Thanks city council for getting rid of us. It’s a shame that I don’t feel like I belong in my own hometown.”

      Honestly, unless it’s affecting your taxes or rent, nothing is forcing you out.

  5. Im forced to pay for a spot i cant even get a Hoboken Sticker all because my dad is the co-signer of my car and i was born and raised here then for them to tell me that i need to only put my car in the spot and that parking authority gives out 68.00 dollar tickets if the plate dont match with what they have on file get rid of zimmer and will get back our old home shes has gone on to far with this bull****

    • If you live in Hoboken and have a car why can’t you get a parking permit?

      My guess is your car is not registered in Hoboken. If that is the case you have absolutely no right to complain. Register the car here, don’t commit insurance fraud and you’ll be fine

  6. Good idea. We need to eliminate double parking on Washington street. It has become so congested, buses take twice as long because cars are sometimes even triple parked.
    Funny how in NYC or other cities in Europe businesses can flourish without double parking.

    You would think the right to park your car was in the Constitution. Walk – it’s good for you.

  7. DO NOT VOTE FOR ZIMMER ON THE NEXT ELECTION AND THESE SHENANIGANS WILL STOP! ALREADY NEARLY A MILLION DOLLARS WASTED ON THE REDESIGN ALONE.

  8. Bike lanes are completely impractical for Washingtin Street. If anyone questions the problems that might occur, try driving down Observer Highway during rush hour. I still don’t understand the reconfiguration of it. I would hate to live with the inconvenience of another nonsensical plan. We are now a thriving little city, an urban environment, not a quaint suburb. Let’s hope the council listens to at least the business owners or we’ll be seeing more empty store fronts and we’ll be once again forced to take our business elsewhere. Bike along the beautiful waterfront or walk the streets of Hoboken. It is only a mile square. Let businesses thrive along Washington Street.

    • “If anyone questions the problems that might occur, try driving down Observer Highway during rush hour”

      OH doesn’t have a protected bikelane, so the comparison is poor.

      “We are now a thriving little city, an urban environment, not a quaint suburb”

      Most urban environments put priority on narrower streets, bicycle infrastructure, reducing parking and driving, and improving mass transit.

      “Let’s hope the council listens to at least the business owners or we’ll be seeing more empty storefronts and we’ll be once again forced to take our business elsewhere”

      Except the business owners are wrong. There are several studies that show that bike lanes don’t impact business and safe streets (what this design is) actually improve business in urban settings.

      “Bike along the beautiful waterfront or walk the streets of Hoboken. It is only a mile square. Let businesses thrive along Washington Street.”

      Not everyone lives near the waterfront, so why should they bike all there just to travel N-S? Some people like to get to places faster and bicycles can serve as better means for transportation of items purchased than the bipedal method. As I stated before, the lanes won’t have any noticeable impact on business.

      • Aha! urban environments – you need to have a discussion with the author or have him point out the type of experts used for health and safety evaluation. Read also the opinions of experienced cyclist indicated above. Trust me, you CAN catch on if you have an open mind. Seems like everyone else is wrong in your opinion. Not a good sign of an open mind – but let’s remain hopeful for you and the community at large. Unfortunately, many feel goods urbanist fields do not have science as a solid foundation (you do the research) so take due care as you quote and make voting decisions for your tax dollar.

        • “Read also the opinions of experienced cyclist indicated above”

          I’ve been cycling for necessity and exercise for over 20 years in Chicago, Boston, NYC, and Hoboken, I guess I am not an expert.

          “Trust me, you CAN catch on if you have an open mind. ”

          Pot meet kettle

          “Seems like everyone else is wrong in your opinion.”

          Everyone isn’t always right. No one at the event was able to provide studies to corroborate their claims. Just assumptions that have been proven wrong in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, etc. etc. etc.

          “Unfortunately, many feel goods urbanist fields do not have science as a solid foundation (you do the research) so take due care as you quote and make voting decisions for your tax dollar.”

          I would recommend working on your writing ability if you wish to run for office. Also could you please reiterate the above statement in english? It is a mess.

  9. Bike lanes are a must. As a 40 year old father of 2 I can’t imagine the Main Street in a town without protected lanes. Both my toddlers ride and if the bike lanes are voted out my kids will issue no apologies as they run you out of touch farts off the side walks!!!

    Btw. It’s legal to ride your bike on the sidewalks in Hoboken. If you want to change that and make it safer for peds and bikers. You better have bike lanes in place.

    • “no apologies as they run you out of touch farts off the side walks!!!” – Nice! Contact your Senator to support a statewide law. The state already emphasizes and cautions very clearly that bikes do not belong on sidewalks.

      • The state also emphasizes any state dollars that go towards road construction must adequately provide Safe Streets, meaning bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

    • Illegal and dangerous. Double parked cars obstruct visibility for both other cars and pedestrians. Yesterday I almost got hit by a car on Washington that suddenly pulled around a double parked car to try and beat the red light. The businesses need more people on foot, not more cars, yet they are hostile to pedestrians by supporting double parking. My guess is that double parking is the most visible thing to the store owners because it happens right outside; walking over, parking elsewhere, or locking a bike at a rack down the street are all indistinguishable from each other.

      We already have more cars than we can handle, so the only way to increase non-walking throughput is more frequent busses or better support of bikes.

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