Hoboken council gives initial okay to close portion of Sinatra Drive to vehicular traffic

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The Hoboken City Council approved the 1st reading of a measure to close a portion of Sinatra Drive to vehicular traffic for about six weeks between August and October.

A stretch of Sinatra Drive in Hoboken. Photo courtesy of Google Maps.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Hoboken’s waterfront is a destination for hundreds of people each day and it’s critical we do all that we can to create a more pedestrian and businesses friendly atmosphere,” 1st Ward Mike DeFusco, one of the ordinance sponsors, said in a statement.

“We’ve seen cities throughout the country successfully take a similar approach in closing streets and now it’s time for Hoboken to follow suit. Innovative and thoughtful legislation like this has put Hoboken at the forefront of helping small businesses throughout the pandemic and I’m appreciative to Director Sharp for sharing with us his ideas and expertise to push this forward.”

The local legislation would potentially close the stretch of Sinatra Drive between Newark and Fourth Streets to create a pedestrian plaza to allow residents to safely social distance along the waterfront and create additional outdoor seating and retail space options.

If approved, the plaza would be in operation from at least August 1st through October 15th.

“As we enter into the summer months, residents and visitors alike are eager to get outside and we are seeing increasing crowds coming to enjoy Hoboken’s amazing waterfront,” added 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, the other ordinance sponsor and also the chair of the Parking and Transportation Committee.

“Working together, our goal was to repurpose the southern part of Sinatra Drive to reduce recently increased congestion and noise, but doing so in a way that supports the neighboring restaurants and small businesses all while making it a safe place for people to enjoy our waterfront. This simple piece of legislation accomplishes all three.”

The city council approved the first reading unanimously (9-0) at last night’s meeting.

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