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Hoboken: Bleak Landscape Plan

Waterfront Advocacy Group calls out “mayor” Zimmer as parks FAILURE

Well – it took long enough, but the waterfront advocacy group we mentioned earlier (The Fund For a Better Waterfront) finally “grew a pair,” and publicly acknowledged that our “mayor” Don Zimmer has FAILED – and has essentially provided a “BLEAK LANDSCAPE” for the property tax-paying residents of the Mile Square City. Read the article below from Ron Hine of FBW. Sad, but true…

Bleak Landscape Plan Hoboken NJ Zimmer

FBW condemns “mayor” Don Zimmer on parks “plan”

“When Zimmer became “mayor” in 2009 (and since being an elected politician in 2007), she promised to be a strong advocate for creating public open space. Yet, after five years as “mayor,” (and over seven years in public office in Hoboken), her administration has made little progress (next to none).

The southwest parks plan will yield less than an acre once (if) the court rules on an (exorbitant) price for that parcel condemned by the City. The administration’s negotiations to acquire the former industrial site in northwest Hoboken has dragged on for years without definitive resolution. As the population of Hoboken continues to swell and attract many families with children of all ages, the need for new open, safe, public spaces is more pressing than ever (as if our clueless “mayor” can even recognize that).

On September 15th, the City of Hoboken “unveiled” alternate proposals for the central waterfront from Fourth to Eleventh Streets. This project, titled “Frank Sinatra Drive Visioning and Concept Plan Design,” fails to even mention opportunities to create over six acres of new parkland east of Sinatra Drive at the water’s edge. Two key sites could provide the final connections for Hoboken’s waterfront park, thus making it continuous from the Hoboken Train Terminal to the Weehawken border.

The success of Hoboken’s waterfront to date can be measured by the fact that we have created an unquestionably public space — that is, a public park — along the water’s edge, available to people from all walks of life, for generations to come. This is in stark contrast to other municipalities along the Hudson River waterfront that have accepted the 30-foot state mandated walkway as the standard. To the north, this walkway often abuts private enclaves and in Jersey City it runs adjacent to high rise towers, with no clear separation between the public and private spaces.

For decades, FBW has proposed the concept of a continuous public park at the water’s edge. In Hoboken, most of this park has been built, including Pier A Park, Pier C Park, the promenade from Newark to Fourth Streets, Sinatra Park, Castle Point Park and Maxwell Place Park. These new public spaces have more than doubled the amount of Hoboken’s parkland.

The public input provided for the Sinatra Drive project overwhelmingly favors more open space similar to the stellar model provided at the South Waterfront. The good news is that Hoboken’s past success financing and developing the waterfront parks should provide the inspiration to complete the goal of a continuous, public waterfront park. This will require some complex negotiations and long-term planning, but it is certainly doable.

Abject Failure at Sinatra Park {missing trees}

Bleak landscape in Hoboken NJ thanks to zimmerEarlier this year, the “mayor” cut the ribbon for the newly rebuilt walkway and soccer field at Sinatra Park. This portion of the walkway includes a mere dozen small, ornamental trees that will provide no shade during the heat of summer. (This walkway connects to another segment of the waterfront walkway to the north on Stevens Institute property supported on piles over the Hudson River that is completely barren of any vegetation.)

The City of Hoboken is now poised to further extend this bleak landscape plan in its current redesign for Sinatra Drive. The September 15 presentation showed a paltry 18 trees along “The Point” (north of the Stevens Institute waterfront parking lot and south of Union Dry Dock).

The City’s recent and current plans stand in stark contrast to the hundreds of trees at Hoboken’s South Waterfront. Most are London Plane trees that form a lush canopy over the waterfront promenade, the bike path and Sinatra Drive.

“Bleak” is what you asked for when you voted for the current puppet “mayor.”

FBW Annual Fundrasier

Fund for a Better Waterfront (FBW) Fundraiser

If you had to “thank” any particular entity for the way the Hoboken waterfront looks today – it wouldn’t be any politician. It would be the Fund for a Better Waterfront. Their efforts over the past couple decades has “saved” Hoboken from becoming worse than it is already. Just imagine the already dismal parks and open-space situation with even less “green.” Yeah, it could have been that bad.

The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is holding their annual fundraiser tonight at the Hoboken Elks Lodge.

Fund for a better waterfront fundraiser Hoboken NJ

Connect the Waterfront

Join us for an evening of music, dancing, entertainment, fine food & drink, all for a great cause! Emily Turonis and her quintet will provide the music, and Col. John Stevens, creator of the original plan for Hoboken in 1804, will make a special appearance. Enjoy a silent auction of harbor cruises, fine wine, a signed football jersey from Eli Manning & more.

FBW will present its annual Riparian Award to honor Craig Whitaker for his special contribution to the Hudson River waterfront. Zafra Restaurant will cater the event with its Little Latin Dishes.

Your support is critical to the ultimate success of Hoboken’s waterfront. Tickets are available online for $75 and at the door for $85.

Miracle Parking Job

Hard to believe, but true: Miracle Parking Job in Hoboken

Wow, I did a double-take the other day when I noticed this pickup truck parked near the Hoboken High School. A true miracle parking job that’s for sure.

At first glance at this “legally” parked vehicle, I thought it had to be some kind of private business. But no! It was a Hoboken Board of Education vehicle. Not double parked, not parked on the red curb – but pretty much where cars are supposed to park.

While it’s crappy that a city vehicle took a space away from a resident who may have been able to use it – it is still astounding to witness this rare event (sort of like a blue moon).

Miracle Parking Job Hoboken NJ board of education

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Halloween DWI Checkpoint

Halloween DWI Checkpoint in Hoboken

Thinking of coming to Hoboken next Friday in your fruity costume? Plan on getting loaded and driving around? Well you might want to think that over – as cops will be on full patrol that night with a Halloween DWI Checkpoint.

Hoboken DWI Checkpoint Halloween Night October 31 November 1 2014

Hoboken Halloween DWI Police Checkpoint

“The Hoboken Police Department will be conducting a DWI checkpoint on Saturday, November 1, 2014. The location of the checkpoint will be on Observer Highway (Eastbound) at Willow Avenue. The approximate hours of operation will be from 12am to 4am.

The goal of the program is to reduce citizen involvement and injury due to DWI-related collisions. Through implementation of this, and similar events – the Hoboken Police Department hopes to significantly reduce accidents, injuries and property damage throughout our city. Informational pamphlets will be handed out on-site.

The Hoboken Police Department is committed to working hand in hand with the citizens of Hoboken to provide a safe environment for the motoring public.”

Don’t say you weren’t warned!

Homeless and Parks

Homeless at Hoboken Parks – how does that affect families?

Even though the Hoboken Police often send homeless people “on their way” out of local parks like Church Square Park pictured below, they most often come back immediately.

As we depicted last week – the homeless are practically overrunning every single park in Hoboken as of late.

At what point does it become a deterrent for families and their children? How should we handle the growing homeless problem in Hoboken anyway?

Homeless and families in Hoboken NJ parks

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Homeless Hilton in Hoboken

Park becomes Homeless Hilton in Hoboken

You know, the local administration spends an awful amount of time and effort bitching about “how long dog leashes are” – but they often fail to see much bigger problems. Like the Homeless Hilton we have going on at Pier C Park these days.

Homeless Hilton Hoboken NJ Pier C Park 1

Homeless outnumber recreational users of Pier C Park

I swear, there had to be more homeless people altogether than people actually “recreationally” using the park!

Nothing to see here folks…

Homeless Hilton Hoboken NJ Pier C Park 2

Hoboken Homeless soon to get own zip code?

At this rate – I think when the number of homeless reaches a certain level, they’ll qualify for Federal funding – as well as their own zip code an post office!

But nah, I’m sure it won’t get worse.

Homeless Hilton Hoboken NJ Pier C Park 3

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