2012 Aug 3rd

That Part of Hoboken Has Too Much Traffic – But Will it Always?

Observer Boulevard is Coming!

Every time I show a property around Observer Highway, Newark Ave. and Jackson Streets my buyers are (rightly) concerned about the “traffic-y” feel of the neighborhood.  There are a lot of large and 3 bedroom units in the new buildings over there and my buyers often have small children.  It can be incredibly hard to cross the street at many of those intersections, especially with a double-wide stroller and toddler in tow.

The section of Jackson Street between Newark Street and Observer Highway is actually supposed to be a single lane of car traffic – similar to nearly every other street in Hoboken.  Unfortunately, the “No Parking” regulations and a very wide loading area on that block have allowed drivers arriving from outside Hoboken to use this the road as if it were two lanes, at great risk to pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers.  Accident rates at this particular corner have been extremely high compared to other spots in Hoboken.  The concern of residents is evident by the lengthy discussion on the HobokenMoms group about a recent accident there.

The new Jackson Street bike lane has reduced the lanes of cars down to one and traffic has been reduced with fewer accidents since it was installed.  Many more and very significant changes are in the works.  Most of you are not aware of them.  Recently, the City of Hoboken took steps to clarify the single-lane designation on Jackson Street and to calm traffic by returning parking to both sides of the street, repainting parking striping, and adding the bike lane as part of the city’s “complete streets” approach. All of these measures were unanimously approved by the Hoboken City Council.

The bike lane installed on the first few blocks of Jackson Street is the beginning of a continuous bike lane that extends all along Jackson.  Bike lanes have been proven effective to slow traffic.  This one also provides access to Hoboken from neighboring municipalities where many of people travel for work and pleasure and to better serve the lower income communities that depend on bicycling as an important means of transportation to get to their jobs.

The City of Hoboken has $1,800,000 in federal funding to redesign Observer Highway – and rename it Observer Boulevard.  Here is the plan for what is to come as part of the “Complete Streets” redesign.  Things in that part of town are going to change for the better.  Smart buyers will understand that though there are real problems there now, the improvements soon to come will only increase the desirability of those properties.  That, my friends, is an opportunity!

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  1. bz

    Hi Lori. Thanks for the info. Do you know the proposed starting and ending date of this project? I’m wondering how they are going to redirect traffic to make room for the construction.

  2. Gabby

    My partner and I decided to stop renting and instead, buy a place in this part of town exactly because we knew Observer Boulevard is coming! He and I expect rents to rise as a result of this infrastructure improvement.

  3. Lori Turoff

    When the neighborhood improves as a result of these pretty drastic traffic changes, I would think it is reasonable to assume that property values both sale and rental will increase in that area.

  4. Rachael

    As someone who drives to work every day and comes in throught the south end of Hoboken, I find it ridiculous that an entire lane was removed. This is the only entrance into Hoboken from th south. The traffic is 10 times worse and I am sure that after Labor Day, the amount of car accidents will increase greatly. This is no place for a bike lane, nor should a petition signed by 200 moms have the authority to worsen the entire flow of traffic into Hoboken.

  5. Lori Turoff

    Actually, Rachael, there are plans to reopen the long-closed portion of Madison Street and even greater changes coming to Observer and Newark, all designed to improve both traffic flow and pedestrian safety. Hoboken is an urban city with many alternative means of transportation no matter where one travels. I’m sure it is frustrating for you. Do you know for a fact that traffic is exactly 10 times worse or is that your personal estimate? Far more than 200 moms have endorsed the increased pedestrian safety that’s resulted from the change. In fact, for 10 years I’ve been showing properties in that neighborhood to many different potential buyers, (not just Moms) and the resounding objection to the area is that “it is too traffick-y”. What evidence do you have enables you to know what will happen in the future and shows that accidents will actually increase?

  6. Josh

    Maybe it’s just when I come into town lately, but I’ve noticed less traffic turning into town after the change. Seems I get stuck behind trucks trying to make the cross less often.

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