Willow Avenue redesign

Will Willow Avenue redesign benefit Hoboken?

Willow Avenue Redesign in Hoboken NJ necessary or overkillIn the works is a “complete streets” project uptown. With the proposed Willow Avenue redesign, Hudson County (in cooperation with the city), wants to re-pave Willow Ave (good – it’s falling apart), along with reducing the automobile travel lanes to accommodate bicyclists and “protect” pedestrians (unnecessary if people were aware of their surroundings).

What are “complete streets” you ask?

“Instituting a Complete Streets policy ensures that transportation planners and engineers consistently design and operate the entire roadway with all users in mind – including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.”

Traffic near this area already backs up fairly significantly during peak times – and that includes two lanes of travel.

Hoboken’s population has estimated to have grown close to 4% since the 2010 Census, and will only keep increasing as new properties are sprouting up like daisies.

Do you think constricting the flow of vehicular traffic will benefit the city? Or simply create more log-jams, frustrating traffic conditions and other headaches that might just keep visitors away? Will the Hoboken parents who already double park here now be upset about the bike lanes? Or will they continue believing they’re exempt?

How accommodating should “streets” be anyway? How can you possibly make every roadway for everyone? Do you see bike lanes on highways? At what point should the line be drawn and stop catering to every demographic? Do bicyclists and self-centered pedestrians just add to the problem? Maybe Darwin should solve the problems?

Willow Ave Redesign in Hoboken NJ proposed

17 Responses

  1. hoboken martello says:

    I simply don’t understand this nonsense. The street is wide enough for 2 travel lanes in each direction why in the world would 1 be eliminated for this stretch only to return to 2 lanes once you pass the viaduct. Should this come to pass nj transit may as well cancel the Clinton st arm of the 126 bus because it will never make it out of hoboken in the morning

    • kooky kat says:

      Maybe we can just start riding our bikes through the Lincoln Tunnel to work!! They just make it harder and harder for people living in our end of town to get into the city. This is absolutely a ludicrious idea!!!!

      It’s not as though all the bike lanes in town have kept people from riding on the sidewalks, including our wonderful mayor.

      [quote comment=”221023″]I simply don’t understand this nonsense. The street is wide enough for 2 travel lanes in each direction why in the world would 1 be eliminated for this stretch only to return to 2 lanes once you pass the viaduct. Should this come to pass nj transit may as well cancel the Clinton st arm of the 126 bus because it will never make it out of hoboken in the morning[/quote]

      • vpm says:

        Anyone who commutes everyday to manhattan by car is probably insane[quote comment=”221040″]Maybe we can just start riding our bikes through the Lincoln Tunnel to work!! They just make it harder and harder for people living in our end of town to get into the city. This is absolutely a ludicrious idea!!!!It’s not as though all the bike lanes in town have kept people from riding on the sidewalks, including our wonderful mayor.[/quote]

      • kooky kat says:

        I don’t drive, I take the Willow/Clinton bus. I live in Hoboken because of it’s proximity to NYC and it’s easy (most of the time) to commute. I am not sure I understand what your point is? I am stupid for not working in Hoboken? I don’t think that working at a cafe or restaurant in Hoboken is going to pay my mortgage.

        I want whatever it is your smoking, you live in a little dreamworld. Venice? Amsterdam? I can see Venice, considering the flooding situation every time it sprinkles…probably be easier to commute by boat. [quote comment=”221041″]Anyone who commutes everyday to manhattan by car is probably insane[/quote]

  2. hoboken martello says:

    Also, am i reading the diagram correctly back-in angled parking? Is that a joke? So there is 1 travel lane then a bike lane and then a moron who can barely drive attempting to back into an angled parking spot with a line of traffic laying on their horns as they flounder. Great idea!!

  3. jonsie says:

    Within the first 30 days of completion, a pedestrian, biker and stroller kid all have that strange aftertaste of car and pavement in their mouths.

  4. vpm says:

    So your options are;

    1) Repave Willow Ave. as is

    2) Try a “complete streets” approach. although it can be excuted much better than the above diagram, This tries to increase capacity of a street by making alternative modes of transportation, biking, walking etc. more attractive, thereby reducing the amount of automobiles on the road. Which only works if people actually stop driving and start biking.

    3) Remove on street parking and add an additional lane of traffic to increase automobile capacity.

    4) Or just for shits and giggles you could remove all the cars from the street and make it a park.

    Obviously there is no right answer, its all about what type of experience and lifestyle the people of Hoboken value more. Do you want a city that is pleasureable to drive in (Las Vegas, or Atlanta), or do you want a city that is pleasureable to walk in (Venice), or bike in (Amsterdam)? But you have to admit that the scale and urban fabric of Hoboken is not conducive to the car friendly Las Vegas or Atlanta model so maybe trying something else could be a good idea. 😉

    • Frankie says:

      Painting the road a different way for 2 blocks will not reduce the amount of cars on the road. What kool aid have you been drinking? Do you know how ridiculous that sounds? Making it appear more attractive for alternative modes of transportation is just for show. Hoboken will never be like venice or amsterdam. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never.[quote comment=”221026″]So your options are;1) Repave Willow Ave. as is2) Try a “complete streets” approach. although it can be excuted much better than the above diagram, This tries to increase capacity of a street by making alternative modes of transportation, biking, walking etc. more attractive, thereby reducing the amount of automobiles on the road. Which only works if people actually stop driving and start biking.3) Remove on street parking and add an additional lane of traffic to increase automobile capacity.4) Or just for shits and giggles you could remove all the cars from the street and make it a park.Obviously there is no right answer, its all about what type of experience and lifestyle the people of Hoboken value more. Do you want a city that is pleasureable to drive in (Las Vegas, or Atlanta), or do you want a city that is pleasureable to walk in (Venice), or bike in (Amsterdam)? But you have to admit that the scale and urban fabric of Hoboken is not conducive to the car friendly Las Vegas or Atlanta model so maybe trying something else could be a good idea. [/quote]

      • vpm says:

        So should we give up and not try to make it a better place?[quote comment=”221027″]Painting the road a different way for 2 blocks will not reduce the amount of cars on the road. What kool aid have you been drinking? Do you know how ridiculous that sounds? Making it appear more attractive for alternative modes of transportation is just for show. Hoboken will never be like venice or amsterdam. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never.[/quote]

      • vpm says:

        And also I agree with you that this is a shoddy way to do a “complete street.” If you want make a bike lane curb cut up to it and put a row of trees in between me and the cars, don’t put me between parked cars and traffic, I might as well just be driving in the street without the paint. Make a real effort to protect bikers and then maybe you will get more ridership. But its like a baby step in the right direction, maybe a half baby step, who knows maybe in 50 years Hoboken will get there.[quote comment=”221027″]Painting the road a different way for 2 blocks will not reduce the amount of cars on the road. What kool aid have you been drinking? Do you know how ridiculous that sounds? Making it appear more attractive for alternative modes of transportation is just for show. Hoboken will never be like venice or amsterdam. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never.[/quote]

  5. HOB424 says:

    The crosswalk at 11th and Willow definitely needs to go straight across and not diagonally.

  6. vpm says:

    I’m glad you asked, no I’m not saying you are stupid.

    I used extreme examples.

    Venice is the largest pedestrian only city in the world, no cars or bikes. So when you go there and walk around you can get a feeling for what an urban experience feels like when the city is designed to the human scale.

    Amsterdam or any Dutch city, also Bremen, Germany, and Münster, Germany are good examples of how a city works when its designed around a person on a bicycle. So when you visit you can experience what that feels like.

    Then you can go to Las Vegas and see what a city that is ideal for cars is like. Wide boulevards which have bridges at each intersection for pedestrians so they don’t get in your way. Big signs, bright lights. The Las Vegas strip is a wonderful place to drive.

    So when you look at all of these extreme urban models what fits Hoboken the best? Personally the biking model fits quite well. The city is small, and flat, if you are anywhere in Hoboken you can reach anything in 10 min or less by bike. All inter-Hoboken transportation should be done on a bicycle. If that happened Hoboken’s traffic and parking problems would be solved. Just think about how many bicycles you can put in a parking spot.

    At the moment the world is rapidly urbanizing and the population is growing. Hoboken’s population is only going to continue to grow, but the streets aren’t going to get any wider. You can defend the automobile all you want but at some point it becomes more efficient and quicker to ride a bike. So I appluad the city Hoboken for thinking ahead but its still not good enough. The city should remove one row of onstreet parking on all residential streets and make a two way bike lane protected by a curb cut and a row of trees. The loss of parking should be made up by the increase in biking. Because I believe more people would bike if they were physically seperated from automobile traffic.

    Maybe I am in some fantasy world, I am a young architect, I am finishing up a 6 month stint in Bremen, Germany, and I will return to Hoboken to work for the summer, before I move to the Netherlands in September for two years to do my masters in future cities. I bike to work in Bremen along a beautiful bike path on top of a dike on the Lesum river. Its the best commute I ever had. I live this lifestyle and I promise you it works, and its a more enjoyable way to experience a city.

    Germany rebuilt an entire country in 50 years, The Dutch rebuilt the entire city of Rotterdam into one of the most advanced cities in Europe after it was completely destroyed in the war. The USA built the interstate highway system in 35 years. So I think Hoboken can build really great biking infastructure in the next 20 years, the people just have to open their eyes and realize that it is the most pleasant and efficient mode of inter-city travel in dense urban areas.

    Am I wrong?

    Regards,
    Vince Marchetto

    • YouStayCl@ssyHoboken says:

      Vince–Thanks for sharing your perspective–keep at it! Amsterdam is built for cars and trams just as importantly as it accommodates bikes, I would say. e.g., when crossing the street as a pedestrian in the city center, you have to look about 6 ways to avoid all of the different types of traffic that share the road–which is pretty impressive/intimidating.

      Hoboken is not in the transportation (or any other) league of cities that you mentioned. Hoboken is a fairly unique walking-scale city, in that it is very small/dense, relatively affluent, young/active and mainly a bedroom/commuter community. The majority of residents have to get out of town for work and recreation, and until a footbridge is built over the Hudson to NYC, a bicycle offers very limited incremental utility in our area, over a pair of shoes.

      It would be interesting if one or more of our streets were modified–as you envision–so that instead of parked cars you have protected, people-scale travel lanes, but have you considered the impacts?

      I disagree that bikes should have priority–bikes are mechanical overkill for most local travel requirements. And most people aren’t driving to pick up coffee and a bagel or to run local errands, because there is insufficient street parking (so that local driving problem sort of solves itself). Then, what are the problems we are trying to solve? Why do people have cars in Hoboken? Where is inter-Hoboken traffic heading to/from? What is the best way for Hoboken to provide parking to residents and visitors over the long term? What is the best way for Hoboken to offer mass transportation to/from parking garages? How do various parking/transportation solutions affect property values, quality of life, public safety, local economy, crime rates, etc.? How might the city change over the next 100 years? What is the most efficient and best use of land, given modern and developing construction technologies? (Should we maintain housing in the 19th-century rowhouse style? or highrise? mid-rise? Should our Master Plan be focused on the longer-term?)

      It seems that people who are thinking about ‘solving’ parking or automobile requirements aren’t really looking at why cars exist, how they contribute to the local or US economy, or how the ‘middle 80%’ of individuals use them. You’re not wrong in giving it a shot with bikes, but there are many factors involved. We need more people with broad vision like that which you are developing. Best of luck in your studies.
      [quote comment=”221043″]I’m glad you asked, no I’m not saying you are stupid.I used extreme examples.Venice is the largest pedestrian only city in the world, no cars or bikes. So when you go there and walk around you can get a feeling for what an urban experience feels like when the city is designed to the human scale.Amsterdam or any Dutch city, also Bremen, Germany, and Münster, Germany are good examples of how a city works when its designed around a person on a bicycle. So when you visit you can experience what that feels like.Then you can go to Las Vegas and see what a city that is ideal for cars is like. Wide boulevards which have bridges at each intersection for pedestrians so they don’t get in your way. Big signs, bright lights. The Las Vegas strip is a wonderful place to drive.So when you look at all of these extreme urban models what fits Hoboken the best? Personally the biking model fits quite well. The city is small, and flat, if you are anywhere in Hoboken you can reach anything in 10 min or less by bike. All inter-Hoboken transportation should be done on a bicycle. If that happened Hoboken’s traffic and parking problems would be solved. Just think about how many bicycles you can put in a parking spot.At the moment the world is rapidly urbanizing and the population is growing. Hoboken’s population is only going to continue to grow, but the streets aren’t going to get any wider. You can defend the automobile all you want but at some point it becomes more efficient and quicker to ride a bike. So I appluad the city Hoboken for thinking ahead but its still not good enough. The city should remove one row of onstreet parking on all residential streets and make a two way bike lane protected by a curb cut and a row of trees. The loss of parking should be made up by the increase in biking. Because I believe more people would bike if they were physically seperated from automobile traffic.Maybe I am in some fantasy world, I am a young architect, I am finishing up a 6 month stint in Bremen, Germany, and I will return to Hoboken to work for the summer, before I move to the Netherlands in September for two years to do my masters in future cities. I bike to work in Bremen along a beautiful bike path on top of a dike on the Lesum river. Its the best commute I ever had. I live this lifestyle and I promise you it works, and its a more enjoyable way to experience a city.Germany rebuilt an entire country in 50 years, The Dutch rebuilt the entire city of Rotterdam into one of the most advanced cities in Europe after it was completely destroyed in the war. The USA built the interstate highway system in 35 years. So I think Hoboken can build really great biking infastructure in the next 20 years, the people just have to open their eyes and realize that it is the most pleasant and efficient mode of inter-city travel in dense urban areas.Am I wrong?Regards,Vince Marchetto[/quote]

  7. kooky kat says:

    Thanks for that little history lesson! :)

    I do ride my bike around town and I love doing it! However, it doesn’t negate the fact that I need to get into the city 5 days a week to my job.

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