Bikes are a minority in Hoboken
Why does Hoboken pander to the biking minority?
When you think about it – Hoboken is quite an “ancient” city built a very long time ago, before street widths were a serious concern and various modes of transportation had even been invented yet.
Hoboken is also very tight – the 4th densest city in New Jersey (we’re not talking about government administrations, though).
At a mere 1.3 miles square, and 50,000 people (who took the census – real number probably closer to 60k at this point), their cars, cabs, buses – plus pedestrian traffic (commuters and visitors), trains and subways – to try and FORCE additional transportation methods (read: bikes) – may just be a pie in the sky dream that is NOT practical!
You can’t practically re-design Hoboken to be truly bike-friendly
Don’t get me wrong. Where appropriate – some bike lanes DO make sense.
You need proper conditions, road width and more to make bike lanes work – not trying to squeeze a square peg in a round hole.
In Hoboken, those proper conditions are far and few between – have you seen some of these lanes we have? On TIGHT, narrow streets – close to parked cars, and totally ridiculous. Our city was just not made for cars and bikes to perfectly co-exist. What is so hard to accept about that?
What if we had a chance to re-design Hoboken from scratch? Sure – then it can be done. But to desperately try to retrofit our city like this will not turn out well in the long run. And why so much effort in the first place? Who is clamoring for it?
Less than 0.5% use bikes to commute in Hoboken
The other day – I was curious to see how many bikes were locked up down by the PATH station after the morning rush hour. I counted 240 bikes. And this includes people from surrounding cities (like many kitchen workers who come in via bike), as well as abandoned cycles. That considered, it’s probably less than 200 Hoboken residents that bike to the PATH daily. Out of a population of 50k or more.
Why so much effort for such an overwhelming minority??
Stop wasting time coddling bikers, and leave the risk up to them
Then the associated laws, penalties and more that come along, just add more bureaucracy to an already bloated political system. Not to mention potential litigation. Enough already!
If I were Mayor?
Strip all the bike lanes out. Emphatically state that YOU BIKE IN HOBOKEN AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Much bigger problems – infrastructure, crime, roads, bloated city payrolls, and more important quality of life issues than bike lane paint for so few people.