Jersey City Ward C Councilman Rich Boggiano is exclaiming that the December 7th runoff election “is a referendum on whether residents in Ward C want more bike lanes or more parking spots.”
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“This election is a referendum on whether residents in Ward C want more bike lanes or more parking spots, and Kevin Bing’s plans to change streets like Baldwin Avenue to one way, which city traffic planners have said will eliminate 70 parking spots alone, should be a nonstarter,” Boggiano said in a statement.
“Residents know that I won’t trade valuable parking spots for bike lanes, because I know how important parking is to our quality of life.”
A staunch advocate of bike lanes and pedestrian safety, Bing is calling for these additions on Baldwin and Summit Avenues, which Boggiano’s campaign asserts would eliminate “hundreds of parking spaces.”
Joanna Washburn, a Ward C resident, and Raju Radia, a local business owner, came out in support of preserving parking.
“Being able to reliably find parking in my neighborhood makes a huge difference to my whole family’s quality of life. I’m excited to vote for Councilman Boggiano on December 7th, and am so happy that he’s fighting for us at City Hall,” Washburn stated.
Bing, whose transportation plan calls for putting the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit riders on par with drivers, responded in kind, eagerly returning fire against his opponent.
“He cites a number parking spaces that are going to be removed after saying there had not been enough community input. That was in January and it’s now November, with no workshops and no public feedback whatsoever in between,” he began.
“I want the voters to look at the argument that Rich is making: this is classic Trump-style demagoguery. This is why he’s in the runoff for a third time and he’s resorting to dirty tricks: he’s trying to divide and conquer. He wants voters to decide if they’re a bicyclist or a driver … I’ve said that everyone wants to get from point A to point B safely. Over the past 8 years, do they feel parking has gotten better? Have we seen an actual reduction in traffic crashes?”
He also exclaimed that there’s no simple solution to parking, proven by Boggiano’s two-term tenure in office, as well as that the Parking Master Plan is “sitting there collecting dusk because we don’t have the political will to do something.”
Bing made the runoff after securing about 30 percent of the vote on November 2nd, compared to Boggiano’s roughly 44 percent.
The third candidate in the race, Tom Zuppa, has not endorsed a candidate yet for the runoff.
I find it disappointing that HCV decided not to interview any of Bing’s supporters before publishing this piece, so I’ll offer my perspective as a car-owning Kevin Bing supporter:
Rich Boggiano is using scare tactics to distract from his abismal record in his past 8 years as councilman. For example, he said in a recent letter to the editor that he “want[s] my grandchildren to be able to walk to a park near them and have a safe place to enjoy all Jersey City has to offer.”
However, none of Rich’s actions during his term as councilman have actually led to safer streets or more green space. In fact, many of his actions have done the opposite and made getting around Ward C even more dangerous for all of us, including children, the elderly, and those with disabilities.
Kevin Bing has tangible plans to make our community safer and more accessible for everyone. His proposals to improve mass transit and implement traffic-calming measures on Route 139 will give myself and many other Ward C residents the reassurance that they can get around safely and reliably without a car. We desperately need new leadership for Ward C. Please vote for Kevin Bing on December 7th.
One need only look at the handful of Bing supporters freaking out because they lost parking for a few days from a movie shoot to know where people stand when it comes down to the importance of parking in their lives.
I think I’m like most people… no problem with bikes, but if you’re planning to take away my driveway to make room for a bike lane then we’re going to have a problem. Boggiano is at least honest about where he stands – as much as that drives the Bing people nuts because they pretend to be all things to all people.
Bing was arrogant and refused to listen to local concerns when he was president of the JSQ association. I am shocked that he even came in second place in a three way race. What the socialists see in him I have no idea.
On bike lanes, their advocates don’t want dialogue. They simply shout their opinion at the rest of us. Bike lanes were installed on Bergen ave with no community feedback what so ever!
So, a referendum on the 1950’s versus the 21st Century? Good to know.
More like 1850s vs 21st Century. Cars are modern and versatile. Can’t easily carry a load of groceries in the rain on your bicycle. Can’t take three kids to the doctor on a bicycle. And with the Covid plague, who wants to ride the bus? And, have you been in Jersey City in January? Nobody sane wants to ride bicycles when it’s 20 degrees and snowing.
Car ownership has doubled since the 1960s and licensed drivers have nearly tripled (you can even check with the Dept. of Transporation for yourself). So, your sarcastic commentary contributes nothing to a serious issue? Good to know.
As a car owner, your comment personifies everything said above.
Utopian visions of bike lanes and one way streets for Baldwin and Summit Avenues are a train wreck waiting to happen. Wrong track, Bing.
Brian and Hamilton – nowhere did I say cars were unnecessary or not useful. In fact I didn’t say anything about cars at all.
But as car owners, your comments personify everything about the backward thinking this election, and maybe every election, is about.
I can get groceries delivered. I can take my kids to the doctor in an Uber or a Via or, horror of horrors, on the train or bus since we’re all vaccinated and care enough about others to mask up. And while very few ride bikes in the snow, it’s not always 20 degrees and snowing. It’s not binary choice between cars and bikes. But you know that.
And what a shock, as the population increases, car ownership and licensed drivers increase. What sorcery is this?
Nope, this election is a referendum on moving the city forward with balanced alternatives versus staying mired in a world where every store has to have its own heat island of asphalt and we all end up treading water. The demographics and turnout in Ward C will determine the result of this election, and I’m not sure they’re in Boggiano’s favor.
Then again, I live downtown where we’ve had progressive councilpersons since 2005 and had a choice between two progressive candidates 2 weeks ago. Just lucky, I guess.