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Archived Posts from "'City Stuff'"

Lackadaisical Maintenance

Lackadaisical Maintenance in Hoboken (or non-existent)

We recently detailed how “shit is just falling apart” in Hoboken (or just plain shoddily maintained).

But did you know the “fancy” rail-mounted LED lighting over at Pier C Park has been “on the fritz” since last year? So much so that Hoboken resident Nick wrote in with a funny anecdote:

Hoboken WTF File Pier C Park flickering lights“I have a question that has been bugging me for months. At night, the lights around the island park on the Hudson River and 3rd/4th Sts. have been flickering in some bizarre, seizure-inducing manner. This has prompted a vigorous debate with friends about whether this is part of some Hoboken-sponsored “light show,” or just a giant waste of electricity coupled with lackadaisical maintenance.”

We don’t even need to investigate the reason. It’s obviously poor city oversight for a park with too much maintenance required to continue working sufficiently. So it falls to shambles. Like most other “amenities” in town.

Don’t you long for simpler times?

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Hoboken City Council Meeting 4/15/2015

Hoboken City Council Meeting of April 15, 2015

Inspect Hoboken City Council meeting documents below – and click here at 7:00pm to watch live video stream.

Relatively boring (and most likely quick) meeting this week. But a few items of note:

  • Once again, the Hoboken Municipal Court reported “collections” of over $450,000 just in the month of March 2015 alone. You call it “collecting,” no one seems to mind, no one seems to care. They’ll never call it what it really is, “theft via coercion.” Doublespeak at it’s finest!
  • It begins. The “padding” of a contract for some developer regarding that microscopic “park” they want to (try and) build downtown. Now pushing half a million bucks for what? A few drawings? Underground water tanks when we have a massive river steps away? What’s the Vegas line on this? And why does our spineless, pushover administration ALLOW contractors to constantly ask for (and get) more money than originally agreed?
  • And another $40k for “patch management,” which also means “press releases about potholes being filled, while the rate of kidney stones in Hoboken continue to rise.”

Hoboken City Council Meeting April 15 NJ

Hoboken City Council Documents for April 15, 2015

Click to view documents below.

Chains or not to chain?

Chains or not to chain – that is NOT the question!

Okay – with today’s announcement of two new “chains” coming to Hoboken this year (Athleta and Francesca’s), I guess it’s time to figure out why. And is it a “problem” or a necessary evil?

For one, did you see what Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop wants to do to “combat” the invasion of chains? He wants to limit the chain rentals to no more than 30% (of stores which have 10 or more locations within 300 miles of Jersey City.) So fucking wrong.

While we prefer “mom and pop” type stores over chains, I still think it’s up to the property owner to decide who he will rent the space to (including “red light district” type operations).

The minute we “cheer” local governments for DICTATING what property owners should do with their property – we got some serious problems. And it will only get worse if people keep allowing this to happen. If a small business (i.e., an income-generating property owner) is now restricted in how much earning potential they have – this is the same as telling a bar owner how much they should charge for a pint of beer.

Anti-free market.

The same way we have stupid “equal opportunity” laws dictating how properties are sold and rented – the over-reaching governments should abide by the same for landlords.

Even better, get rid of those laws as well. If I owned an apartment complex, I’d much prefer to choose to rent to people I’d think wouldn’t trash my property.

Never support any “politicians” that want to meddle in the private business affairs of those who pay their salaries (and exorbitant benefits).

chains in cities like Hoboken and Jersey City NJ

But is there a solution?

If you support free markets and minimal government nanny state – but also kind of hate the whole “strip mall” chain environment, how would you plan on keeping it in check?

Partial answer is – you cannot. Not instantly, at least. Which is why chains blow up like this, and expand to enormous sizes.

Another reason is the economy as a whole. The disparity between “big businesses” and “mom and pop” is growing. From sweetheart deals for large corporations, tax loopholes and more – “mom and pop” are at a huge disadvantage (because chains can afford higher rents). Not to mention the value of a dollar keeps going down the more they “print.”

I suppose it’s up to the individual property owners. Some are just out for the bottom line – and don’t care about the types of tenants. Which is fine. But others do have more visionary approach to building a unique and diverse community (think the Pilsener Haus area – with owners like Hany Ahmed…)

It’s also up to the communities themselves. Sure, let the Baby Gap’s and other chains come. If they don’t have enough customers – the stores would eventually go away on their own. But there are not enough people that feel like that to support such a change. To most, the chains (like Walmart) provide the things they want at a substantially lower price. Many local shops just can’t compete.

Isn’t it better to show support with your wallets rather than some stupid politicians? How lame!

Restricting the types of businesses is just wrong – and shouldn’t be done. Let things even out naturally – without government intervention.

Water Fountain Wasted (and more)

What kind of “work” takes place in Hoboken?

Here’s a follow-up to this story from last month – where we showed how “amenities” like water fountains at parks are just trashed, and become a perpetual liability for property taxpayers.

Now, in addition to shoddy bike rakes just left to rot in public places – we have worsening situations across the board!

Take a look at the fountain now! Completely toppled over! But instead of simply “unhooking” one line and taking this public safety hazard away, what does the city do? Just put two midget orange cones down. How does that help?

water fountain trashed in Hoboken NJ

Patch job looks like complete shit

And additionally – we mentioned a few weeks ago how “snow cleanup” trashed stone pavers over at Stevens Park. (Click to see what it looked like “before…”)

How did the city remedy that? Well, instead of ordering a few bricks (which they should always have “in stock,”) they filled the pathway with asphalt instead. Isn’t that charming?

brick pavers filled with asphalt in Hoboken NJ

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Decrepit bike racks!

What? Decrepit bike racks in Hoboken?

We waited long enough. This “bike rack” near Pier C Park in Hoboken has been “knocked down” covered with “caution tape” for months. How is Hoboken “bicycle friendly” when you have decrepit bike racks like this sitting around forever?

I’m sure the city will have all sorts of sugar-coated press releases and “reasoning” behind this lack of action – but for any of you that can read between the lines, it spells out one single word: ineptitude.

Next time the city publishes a “feel good” announcement about how “good” they are to the idiotic biking community – just remind them about how often they drop the ball.

decrepit bike racks hoboken NJ

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HPU Hypocrisy of the Day – 4/7/2015

Hoboken HPU Hypocrisy of the Day – April 7, 2015

Continuing the “HPU Hypocrisy of the Day” category….

Here we have yet another city vehicle (not sure which department – but it certainly wasn’t an “emergency”) illegally parked along Adams Street.

Not only is it improperly parked – it’s also forcing other cars to drive (Oh no!) over the much-beloved bike lanes which the administration are tickled-pink over. They must be doubly fuming mad that “one of their own” endangered “one of their own!”

HPU hypocrisy April 7 2015

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