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Horse Sense: About Das Parks

Several developments on the Hoboken park front and with 50,000 people even with people away on vacation, there’s plenty of heat on that front.

1600 Park’s opening is delayed.  The official explanation why there will be no September opening is due to public safety concerns and the need to add a traffic light via aid from the county.  But the concerns from any number of park activists will be better addressed with a delay such as the height of the retaining wall and to a lesser degree the fine tuning with a slower build and opening.

Public expectation is a different matter.  When the City Council passed a resolution July 1, the impetus for moving to a September opening was all the rage in a vote outside of party lines with Councilman Mike Russo saying he was supporting the mayor on it.  It was not realistic and the confidence on delivery was questionable.  The public was anticipating the official opening slated for September just weeks before the announced timeline passed in the City Council.  As in business, the rule for government project management must be the same: over deliver and don’t set wrong expectations.

This is a miss.  The fall season for launching 1600 Park is lost.  Parents often say and will correctly note, their kids are only this age once.  Get Mama Johnson field retooled, open and let Director Leo Pellegrini work his magic for the kids.  

The City’s target for a Southwest park: a surface parking lot at Jackson St. and Observer.

On the Southwest Park, the Hudson County Freeholders unanimously approved reprogramming the $3 million grant for the designated park target of Lot 12 on lower Jackson St. and Observer Highway.  It’s almost a full acre of land less some homes on the periphery not likely to be part of the city’s acquisition in any eminent domain action if needed by the City.

Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano noted the headway and support in the long time effort to add a park in this corner of town.  “This reprogramming of the $3 million grant will hopefully go for a Southwest park.  It should benefit the young families in the area and all of Hoboken along with people nearby in Jersey City.  It’s a long time coming.  We’re glad to work at the County level to help Hoboken in the land acquisition to make this happen.”

Councilman Dave Mello attended and spoke on the matter leading into the
vote saying, “I wanted to be there to show there’s support on the City
Council for this.  We’re looking to the County to help make it a
reality.”

The Councilman brought several pictures showing the area of the surface parking lot where a potential park would aid in flooding remediation.  The Southwest has been one area of town susceptible to flooding.  

The sinkhole is no more.  The roadway north on Sinatra Drive opens midday today.

Talking Ed Note: For the parks, this is one hit and one miss, but we’re not calling this a wash.  The two park projects are distinct and different.

Say goodbye to the sinkhole on the north end of Sinatra Drive.  The roadway is scheduled to be opened noon today by Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise and Mayor Zimmer.

“I thank County Executive DeGise and the County Freeholders for making these repairs a priority and for repairing our infrastructure for the long term,” said Mayor Zimmer. “I also thank residents for their patience and the crews who worked through a brutal winter in a challenging environment to make these repairs as quickly as possible.”  

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