Year: 2016

News

Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro: ‘A Brief 2016 Recap’

From the desk of Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro:

MSV Readers: — As my first year in office comes to a close and we enter 2017, I wanted to provide you with a brief update on what I’ve been advocating for on behalf of the residents of the 33rd District! Insurance Gap Bill Passed by the Assembly
I’m happy to report that the General Assembly recently passed my bill, A-3721, to prohibit the use of a gap in automobile insurance coverage as a rating factor. In short, if signed into law, you wouldn’t be hit with higher insurance rates for going without a car and then returning to driving. Many motorists in Hudson County voluntarily give up their cars to take advantage of our robust transit system. Drivers who give up their vehicles can be charged higher insurance premiums when they eventually get behind the wheel again – this bill would undue this unnecessary financial hardship. Bike Safety, Hit and Run Prevention, And More My bill to add information and questions about sharing the road to driver’s education classes and tests advanced earlier this month, and will hopefully be called for a vote in the General Assembly soon! This bill was inspired in part by the cyclists here in Hudson County. I’ve also introduced bills to help police catch hit and run drivers (Zackhary’s Law, which is named after 21-year-old Zackhary Simmons, who tragically died after a hit-and-run in June near 6th and Willow) and amend the law to allow small performance theaters to sell liquor as a way to raise money in our arts community (inspired in part by the Mile Square Theater). Happy Holidays! Throughout the holiday season I’ve been blessed to see so many examples of people performing great acts of kindness for the communities in which they live! I’ve been fortunate enough to help and donate to the toy drive organized by Senator Stack throughout the district, witness Christmas tree lightings and Hanukkah celebrations that bring the community together, and I’ve been inspired by the small acts of kindness  I’ve seen here in my hometown to help people in need. My position in the General Assembly has opened my eyes to the good being done here in Hudson County. Thank you for this opportunity to represent such a tremendous district – when I’m in Trenton, I’m truly proud to be there representing the people of Hoboken, Jersey City, Union City, and Weehawken. If I can ever be of assistance, please e-mail me at chaparrofornj33@gmail.com. I look forward to helping this community as much as I can in the upcoming year and wish you nothing but the best for a healthy and happy 2017! Annette Chaparro Assemblywoman, D-33 Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro http://www.annettechaparro.com/
News

HOBOKEN OFFERS FREE PARKING FOR HOLIDAY SHOPPERS

City of Hoboken announces:

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To encourage local shopping this holiday season, the City of Hoboken is offering up to 4 hours of free garage parking in municipal garages B (28 2nd St), D (215 Hudson St), and Midtown (371 4th St) from December 22nd through December 25th and on Saturday, December 31st and Sunday, January 1st for visitors who come to Hoboken to shop or dine. Parking meters are free on Sundays. Read More...

News

Mayor Zimmer: ‘Six acres officially ours’

Hi MSV readers,

I’m incredibly proud to announce that Hoboken has officially acquired 6 acres of land in Northwest Hoboken to build the City’s largest park!  My administration, together with the City Council, has worked tirelessly to complete this acquisition and I’m thrilled residents will soon have access to much needed park space.

Like the new parks currently under construction at 7th and Jackson and in the Southwest, the new Northwest Park will be designed to reduce the impact of localized flooding. The park will be built with an underground detention system that can capture up to 1 million gallons of rainwater. We are also partnering with North Hudson Sewerage Authority to separate out the sewer system around the new park which will also reduce the impact of heavy rain events. Additionally, a new parking garage will be built on one of the parcels of land adjacent to the park, which will be the first municipal parking garage in Western Hoboken.



Now that the land acquisition is complete, there will be a robust community process in place to determine the permanent park design and uses of the open space.  But, in the near future, I am committed to creating a temporary “pop-up park” so residents can have access to recreation activities and other amenities by the summer of 2017!  The City is conducting a community workshop where the potential uses of the temporary “pop-up” park will be discussed on January 19 at 7:00 pm at the Jubilee Center (601 Jackson Street). Read More...

News

Finale

The Hoboken City Council holds its final meeting of 2016. We’ll be back with the actual live video feed and agenda for those who will want to catch it live or on a rerun.

The old vendor is back and that means access is too.

Video should be up at 7:10 pm:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/beta-council-meeting

Agenda: http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/council/agenda16/12-21-16-revised-ccm.pdf 

Resolutions: http://www.hobokennj.org/docs/council/respack16/12.21.16.respac.pdf

A bond for Pier A infrastructure repair has been withdrawn. Read More...

News

Councilman Mike DeFusco: Year in Review

From the desk of Councilman Mike DeFusco:

Friends and Neighbors,

With the year wrapping up and the holidays finally upon us, I wanted to quickly update you on the progress we’ve made in downtown Hoboken and citywide. It’s been a busy year and I’ve been working hard to represent you on the City Council.

Here are some of this year’s highlights:

  • Led the Council on a complete overhaul of Washington Street, with work set to begin next month
  • Funded a brand new five-acre park in the Northwest 
  • Begun work to alleviate traffic congestion in the Southwest, along Observer Highway
  • Advanced the conversation on a European-market concept at Lackawanna Terminal
  • Advocated for pedestrian safety along Newark Street
  • Supported funding for the long-overdue 9/11 Memorial on Pier A
  • Pushed for cleaner streets with the purchase of new sidewalk sweepers and curb bump-out beautification

Scroll down for more detail, but before you do, I just want to express how honored I’ve been to serve as your representative on the Hoboken City Council.  All my best for a joyous holiday season, filled with love and happiness and for a happy, healthy and successful new year! 

Michael DeFusco
Councilman, First Ward
City of Hoboken

PS – Should you ever need anything, please email me at Mike4Hoboken@yahoo.com or call me at 646.372.4341.

A YEAR IN REVIEW

A NEW WASHINGTON STREET

After nearly two decades, Washington Street is getting a significant makeover and construction will begin in early January.  As chairman of the Council’s parking and transportation committee, I am proud to have taken an active role in leading a redesign that addressed many important community needs and concerns.  The final plan repaves the entire stretch of Washington Street, from Observer Highway to 15th Street, and includes:

  • Installing 15 new traffic signals with pedestrian countdown timers, an emergency preemption system, and optimized signal timing
  • Adds concrete bump outs at corners with ADA handicap curb ramps and high-visibility crosswalks
  • Design of 15 rain gardens and drainage improvements to capture stormwater and help reduce flooding
  • Replaces the century-old water mains and service lines to new valve boxes at the curb
  • Wire an electrical microgrid and fiber optic cabling under the roadway
  • Refurbishes all existing streetlights with more efficient lighting fixtures
  • Stripe Class II unprotected bicycle lanes from Observer Highway to 8th Street
  • Creates dedicated commercial loading zones and more well-defined bus stops

Construction will begin in the new year and status updates can be followed at www.washingtonstreetproject.com

SOUTHWEST TRAFFIC

Heading the Council’s traffic committee, I took action to deal with major rush-hour congestion at our Southwest gateway. Working in tandem with the Administration, the Council funded three new traffic signals to be installed at Harrison, Madison, and Jackson Streets where they intersect with Observer Highway, to be installed this summer.

The committee also expressed concern with a 2012 decision to narrow Jackson Street from two lanes to one, potentially backing up traffic during the morning and evening rush hour.  Though the new traffic signals will slightly alleviate this congestion, in my opinion, the Jackson bottleneck, combined with the  NJ Transit light rail crossing on Patterson Avenue, significantly limits traffic flow in and out of town.  Further, I have urged the Administration to re-stripe the area under the NJT overpass (where our well-known “Welcome to Hoboken” sign is painted), to provide two lanes into the city and two lanes out.  We need urgent attention in the southwest and I will continue to advocate to ensure residents and businesses alike can get in and out of town safely and efficiently.

FIXING WATER MAINS, HOLISTICALLY

The City Council approved funding to begin replacement of our century-old water main infrastructure.  Hoboken has over 40 miles of water mains and we allocated $5.2 million dollars towards ten of the most pressing water mains. They include part of Park Avenue (6th to 8th Street), Garden Street (Observer Highway to 2nd Street), Madison Street (4th to 6th Street) River Street (1st to 4th Street), Clinton Street (6th to 7th Street), Jefferson Street (Newark Street to 1st Street), Grand Street (6th to 8th Street), and 7th Street (Adams to Grand Street).

PEDESTRIAN SAFETY ALONG NEWARK STREET

Collaborating with condo associations along the Newark Street corridor, the City was able to secure funding for a “complete street” engineering plan — one that ensures that motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists can share the road safely.  The current state of the roadway needed urgent attention, so we were able to produce the following short-term safety solutions:

  • Added vertical delineators to the northwest corner of Newark Street and Grand Street  
  • Upgraded crosswalks on Newark Street at Grand Street, as well as added “stop” striping on Grand Street 
  • Placed four solar-powered “stop for pedestrian” signs at the eastbound and westbound approaches of Newark Street 
  • Installed new ADA compliant curb cut ramps at Newark Street and Grand Street crosswalks 

And upcoming improvements include:

  • Installing metal bollards along the southern curb of Newark Street between Grand Street and Clinton Street, to prevent buses and other vehicles from parking on the sidewalk on the south side of Newark Street
  • Adding new bike lanes on the eastbound side of Newark Street, between Jefferson Street and Willow Avenue  

BRINGING A EUROPEAN MARKET TO THE HOBOKEN TERMINAL

Our turn of the century train terminal sits underutilized, rusting away, as our city continues to demand fresh locally-sourced food and innovative places to shop and dine. I have long advocated for bringing a European-style market to the terminal area and we’re finally working towards that goal. This year, the Council issued a conditional designation of developer, which permitted the City to begin conversations with stakeholders on revitalizing  the terminal area. The collaboration has been positive and a productive plan is underway.

Though there are additional details to consider, we’re working towards opening up a market at Warrington Plaza (the courtyard fenced off outside the terminal) potentially as early as this spring. More details will become available as the winter progresses, but please reach out and let me know what kind of vendors you think our community needs.

CLEAN STREETS

In this year’s municipal budget, I advocated for and received funding for the purchase of two industrial sidewalk sweepers to better maintain our public pathways.  The First Ward is the busiest and most trafficked Ward in the entire city, and we’ve long needed this heavy-duty equipment to keep our neighborhood streets in tip-top shape.

FIGHTING AGAINST (MORE) BRO BARS

I opposed a unilateral repeal of the City’s “500-foot rule,” which would have brought more bars into our ward, without doing anything to advance restaurant culture and upscale bars citywide.  I am an advocate of bringing world-class restaurants to parts of Hoboken that desperately need them, but to do this, we need to update our decades-old city wide zoning. I hope my Council colleagues and the administration will work with me in the new year to advance restaurant culture throughout Hoboken.

LARGEST PARK IN THE CITY 

After years of negotiations and debate on what was the best course of action to acquire six acres of land in the City’s northwest, formerly known as the “BASF site,” the City Council appropriated $30 million dollars to secure the land for the City without any development component. The park, once completed, will be the City’s largest and will house active and passive recreation facilities for the entire community.  Just as importantly, the plan accounts for a new municipal parking garage, which would ease the parking crunch in the northwest while providing ground floor retail to support the park.

I am thrilled to have supported this project and will continue to advocate for more parkland in Hoboken, especially in the developing Southwest.  As we move forward with expanding parkland in Hoboken, we must ensure residents get the best return for their hard-earned tax dollars and that we have the means to maintain the properties acquired.

HOBOKEN 9/11 MEMORIAL

I proudly supported funding for the long overdue September 11th Memorial, remembering the 57 Hoboken residents we lost on that fateful day.  The beautiful design repurposes glass panels purchased nearly a decade ago, each one inscribed with the name of a resident and reinforced to resist a major flood event. 

TRADER JOE’S AND A SEASONAL ICE RINK

Harlow Hoboken is the newly constructed building on the corner of 14th and Willow Street and will soon house our very own Trader Joe’s.  I’m happy to have approved this building while a commissioner on the Hoboken Zoning Board of Adjustment, and furthered it on the Council where I worked to develop a new traffic pattern required for efficient store operations.   Now that cold weather is upon us, the building will be sponsoring a seasonal ice rink and winter village under the 14th Street Viaduct.  The rink opens Thursday at 3:30PM, and will operate Monday to Friday from 2:30PM until 10PM, and weekends from 9AM to 10PM, subject to usage.

HANDICAPPED PARKING

I passed an ordinance structuring the appointments of commissioners responsible for issuing handicapped parking permits.   It’s important that we ensure those who need spots actually get them, and those that don’t give them back to the community.  

NEW TREE GRATES – BLOOMFIELD AND FIRST

This fall, I enjoyed working with the City’s environmental services team to clean up the bump out at the intersection of Bloomfield and 1st,  adding new grates to prevent folks from walking on the plantings.  In the spring, I’ll be organizing a community planting and hope you’ll join.

IMPROVED THE SHUTTLE BUS PICKUP AREA

Though many of us in the First Ward are blessed with access to the NJT terminal, our uptown neighbors often need to take shuttle busses to get to and from Manhattan. When I took office, they were waiting on crumbling curbs and under broken lights.  Working with the the parking director, we were able to repave the waiting area and get the lights working again, simple things, but they go a long way.  In the new year, I will be advocating for the shuttles busses to drop off their passengers in the NJT bus area, clearing the public right of way for pedestrians and motorists, and alleviating congestion.

NEW BUSINESS IN THE NEW YEAR

A HILTON HOTEL IN DOWNTOWN HOBOKEN?

The City Council is discussing a potential new Hilton Hotel in the parking lot of the Post Office, located at 89 River Street.  I want to hear your thoughts, so I’ll be holding a community at The Dubliner — 96 River Street on January 17, at 7PM. SAVE THE DATE!   Please come and hear more about the project and more importantly, express your ideas and concerns.  

REENERGIZE THE PARK THAT NOBODY KNOWS IS A PUBLIC PARK 

Did you know we have a city park, open to the public, on the corner of Newark Street and Garden Street?  If you didn’t it’s okay, because it’s currently fenced off and doesn’t look all that inviting.  I would like to see this corner park re-opened and energized with a small coffee kiosk, leased to a local Hoboken business who would take pride and authorship over making the park a multi-modal public amenity – think Bryant Park, but smaller.

FUNDING THE REHABILITATION OF COURT STREET

Hoboken’s historic, 19th-century lane parallels Washington Street and Hudson Street and is one of the oldest streets in our City, but it’s fallen into disrepair.  The City Council recently approved a grant application asking Hudson County for $500,000 dollars, money that would be spent to begin engineering studies and a “complete street” plan.  I hope Hudson County supports our request.
News

SantaCon and Electors roll snake eyes

It’s the day after. If you’re on SantaCon time, you may be recovering from a two day hangover and if you’re a news junkie, withdrawal symptoms are beginning to take hold as we wind down toward Christmas and New Year’s.

Then there was that strange event yesterday ballyhooed and trumpeted (pardon the pun) by the FakeStream media as the day the electors needed to overturn the will of their state voters and be selecting. At least that’s what the news cycle spun at the public ceaselessly or so I hear. There’s no cable TV in the stable; cable is so analogue. Read More...

News

SantaCon fizzles out in Hoboken

The annual mobile booze-fest known as SantaCon descended on Hoboken Saturday and the results  saw an improvement from the prior year based on initial police reports.

Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante kept a straight face while sharing timely updates via his twitter.

The overall impact was more positive, weather being some aid.

The resulting lower numbers translated into a reduction in arrests:

At the 2015 SantaCon event in Hoboken, there were 9 arrests compared to this year’s 5. Yesterday @HobokenPD issued 30 City Ord summonses.

— Chief Ken Ferrante (@KenFerrante) December 18, 2016 Read More...

News

Pop-up skating rink comes to Hoboken

Hi MSV readers,
I’m happy to share more good news – Hoboken will soon have its own outdoor skating rink!  This new pop-up skating rink, known as the “Harlow Winter Village” will be located underneath the 14th Street Viaduct and will open to the public beginning next Thursday through February 28, 2017. 
The outdoor skating rink, made of synthetic ice, is the latest example of the City providing fun recreational opportunities for residents and children of all ages.  And, the rink will add to the vibrancy of the Viaduct area, which is becoming one of the most popular neighborhoods in the City!

I hope you’ll join me at the opening celebration for the Harlow Winter Village on Thursday, December 22 at 3:30 pm.  If you can’t make it to the opening, the rink will be open for residents and visitors Monday through Friday from 2:30 pm to 10:00 pm, and on weekends from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm (times subject to change based on usage).  Admission is free, if you need to rent skates they are available for a $10 rental.


And finally, thank you to Advance Realty for the sponsorship that made the skating rink possible.

Read More...