Car decimated by Hoboken pothole

This happened shortly after we published 4th Ward Councilman Tim Occhipinti’s letter regarding Hoboken Potholes and the sad state of our roads (and city administration).

A car traveling northbound on Bloomfield Street slammed into one of the (many) potholes lining Hoboken roads. This particular hole is deep and sharp, and just feet from a stop sign, ripping the wheel and control arm off this car!

If that’s not a sign that we are falling behind in this city, not sure what is.

At least this gives drivers incentive to get off their cell phones and carefully navigate our treacherous streets instead.

Moving backwards when it comes to Hoboken potholes?

1/30/2013:

Anyone that has been in Hoboken for a while surely knows that the conditions of the roads around here are at an all time low. They’ve always been bad, but these days cars are getting trashed much more frequently. Some percentage of the blame certainly can be put on all the utility work taking place each week, but 4th Ward Councilman Tim Occhipinti wrote an op-ed saying the buck stops with Mayor Zimmer (see letter below).

While River Street was indeed paved in 2012, it was using funds from 2011. The funds from 2012 were totally botched. Additionally, our Mayor told the County NOT to pave Observer Highway back in 2011, saying they would unveil the brand-spanking new “Observer Boulevard” concept in conjunction with the massive NJ Transit Development that will further congest this crumbling city. That was two years ago, and meanwhile one of the main high-speed arteries in Hoboken is worsening by the week with no paving in sight.

Letter: Can’t trust Zimmer to fix a Hoboken Pothole

“New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia famously said, “There’s no Democratic or Republican way to fix a pothole.” However, I do believe there is a competent way to fix them. Unfortunately, here in Hoboken we are once again dealing with Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s incompetence — this time failing to implement 2012’s road resurfacing plan. Superstorm Sandy can be blamed for much misfortune — throughout New Jersey and especially here in Hoboken. But, there’s no way this natural disaster can be used as an excuse for Mayor Zimmer’s inability to pave Hoboken’s roads. The money was there. The ability to get things done, unfortunately, was not.

In 2012, Hoboken received a $396,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation for resurfacing. Last May, the funds were inserted into the city budget. The money was available well before summer and the city’s engineer completed a resurfacing plan. All that remained was to put forth a bid package and request proposals from contractors. This should have been simple and straightforward, but the Zimmer administration dropped the ball. Again. A contract should have been awarded by the City Council’s meeting on Sept. 5. Yet, by our next meeting two weeks later, there was still no resolution. Instead, I was informed by the business administrator that he’d look into the matter and report back to the City Council.

Here’s the problem, though: asphalt manufacturers stop producing once temperatures get around freezing. So when the contract was finally awarded a month later — on Oct. 17, when temperatures had begun to consistently drop — it was clear the job would not be completed before the end of the year.

If they had done their due diligence from the start, then the resurfacing project would have been completed well before Superstorm Sandy hit. The blame should be placed squarely at the feet of the Zimmer administration’s poor planning and lack of leadership. They were late, rushed and still couldn’t get the job done. Now, it’s Hoboken’s families, businesses, drivers and pedestrians bearing the brunt. And there was no need for it ever to have occurred. This was either due to Zimmer’s incompetence or a selfish political move of holding the project up several months as an election year gimmick. Either way, it is unacceptable.

As far back as last April, I was pushing the administration to pave our roads — including Harrison Street from Observer Highway to Newark Avenue, as this is an essential artery for our city in dire need of resurfacing. My request was denied by Zimmer’s former parking director Ian Sacs. The initial 4th Ward road resurfacing plan was to repave Monroe Street from Third to Sixth streets. This is a drop in the bucket compared to the pitiful state of all roads in the ward — with the majority being in the poorest condition in the city.


Washington Street assaults an innocent old lady.

Hoboken’s Washington Street — with its many small businesses and top-notch restaurants — was designated one of the nation’s Top 10 streets by the American Planning Association. But right now, you can’t walk across the street without stepping in a pothole. So, if Mayor Zimmer won’t step up to get the job done, I will. I just sent a letter to the NJ DOT to convince them of the need to provide grant funding for this essential 15-block avenue that connects our city. And I’m going to continue looking out for my constituents over the coming months and continue holding the administration’s feet to the fire to see this resurfacing through.

Hoboken’s residents and small businesses deserve a government that knows how to get things done — the right way and in a prompt fashion. The time for excuses is over. If Mayor Zimmer cannot get the simplest and most fundamental of services done, how can we have faith in her ability to run a city full of complex issues which need to be dealt with?”

By Councilman Tim Occhipinti
Hoboken’s 4th Ward