10/30/2010 Update:

Blast from the past revisited: Intersection Parking

Bumping this post I wrote on Hoboken411 three years ago. This was on top of “Hoboken Intersection Parking: Part I” which was published four years ago – proof positive that parking has been plaguing Hoboken for a long time.

The city is finally beginning to realize that Hoboken411′s ideas make 100% sense, and have begun implementing some parking bollards near intersections – making it nearly impossible to park there (unless you’re a wacked out Hertz on Demand Connect customer).

Some bollards installed in peculiar locations

While this has the slight resemblance of a somewhat good sign – some bollards are being installed in locations that are a total waste of money – like this corner at 11th and Hudson, which never needed them. Seems like the city is going way out of their way to “protect” the little Hertz Connect cars.

Speaking of Hertz Corner Cars. Many Hoboken residents are puzzled by the all-out blitz that the city is taking to promote these cars – wondering if we’ll hear about some kind of back-room envelope deal that has been made between certain city officials and Hertz management. Only time will tell – it just takes one mole to blow the whistle on that. Additionally – others have been reluctant to sign up, because they fear Hertz will share private and confidential information with the city (like the names and addresses of those who signed up.) That would be illegal – and heads would roll. Get the paper-shredders going city hall!

Lastly – the program to socialize transportation has been an abject failure so far – with the city falling 98% short of their promise to remove 750 cars from the streets of Hoboken.

See the original idea that Hoboken City Officials are finally starting to listen to – after the jump.

8/23/2007:

Back in November of 2006, there was an original article on 411 that talked about intersection parking and some ideas to improve overall safety. Take a look at that after you read this.

Nine months has transpired since the first article, and little has been done about the GROWING problem of parking, accidents, pedestrians getting hit and more, it’s time to revisit this problem once again. Maybe new blood in the City Council will take some of these suggestions and come up with a solution. Definitely more complicated than it seems.

Since writing that article, I frequently think about ways that safety can be improved almost each time I cross an intersection (either driving, riding my bike or walking).

Here are some of my proposed ideas, along with the potential pros and cons. What are your thoughts?

Number 1: “Inner Corners: Clear line of sight in BOTH directions”

A prime example of this is the corner of Bloomfield and Newark near city hall. After a couple accidents in a short amount of time, the city “responded” by putting one single bollard there to prevent EXTREMELY close parking to the corner. This is definitely NOT enough, in my opinion. It’s STILL hard to see if anyone is coming, especially if an SUV is parked right by that pole. Despite NJ law prohibiting parking only 10 or 15 feet from a corner or stop sign, Hoboken needs a special ordinance to make these inner corners very easy to see from both directions. I believe it’s an excellent solution.

hoboke-city-hall-intersection-2b.JPG

My suggestion: Even though Hoboken has in the neighborhood of 200 intersections, take 50-100 of the top trafficked corners and banish parking 30, 40 or even 50 feet on each inner corner, both directions. Signs alone will NOT help. Bollards or even extending the curb out are the only solution.

Pros: Eliminates “guess work” at the intersection. Be able to see much further in each direction. That extra second or two will certainly prevent many fender benders. Reduced “intersection creep”, drivers will have more confidence that the coast is clear. Less accidents, personal injury and property damage.

Cons: If this prevents 4 to 6 cars from parking per intersection, that could mean 200-600 cars with nowhere to park. We need more garages. Also doesn’t help pedestrian issues at other corners per se. Plan may be too ambitious. Perhaps try with the worst 10 to 20 intersections first. Write a case study.

city-hall-intersection-bloom-newark-hoboken.jpg

Another 411 reader mentioned the next idea…

Number 2: “2-way stop signs at every intersection”

Hoboken all way stop signsThis is certainly a solution that can be considered. I believe there’s one similar on 6th and Bloomfield. However, what if we had 50-100 extra “all way stop” intersections? This will certainly cause much more congestion, especially at rush hours, and during special events in Hoboken.

Pros: Almost guaranteed safer streets. Slower moving vehicles. Improved pedestrian safety at all corners. More available parking.

Cons: Increased driver frustration. More pollution. Honking. Traffic & congestion. Road Rage.

Number 3: “Super speed humps – all directions”?

We already have many speed bumps around town. Some of them are even starting to deteriorate. This idea would put “super” bumps to try and slow people down.

Pros: Drivers will learn quickly to lighten their lead feet. More available parking.

Cons: Vehicular damage. Slower emergency response times. Lawsuits. Driver education program would probably be necessary. Noise from rattling trucks. Speedy drunks will certainly get airborne and probably kill someone.

speed-hump-hoboken.jpg

What do you think of my “inner corner” solution?

While I certainly don’t believe I have an issue understanding my surroundings and being keen at detecting oncoming traffic, creating a clear line of sight for BOTH directions would simply be the best solution for everyone. Narrow streets over-congested with parked cars, and nutty drivers with speed in their blood make this an obvious and effective solution.

For those worried about cost, I think regardless of the financials, this is one of the most pressing issues in Hoboken, and should be handled with PRIORITY.

Discuss.

Hoboken NJ

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