[Note: Continuing the series of article contributions from Hoboken411 reader Andrew – who has volunteered to share his perspectives of the world we live in. Share your thoughts in the comments section!]
How will this mega mess affect Hoboken?
You’ve driven past it. You’ve read about the jobs and revenue it’s supposed to generate. Perhaps you’ve even been to an event at the Meadowlands recently and wondered, “What the hell is that monstrosity and will it ever open?” A wonder it is indeed, but not the kind its developers envisioned when the project broke ground over ten years ago. Originally slated to open in 2007, the date has been pushed back year after year due to construction setbacks, environmental concerns and something we New Jerseyans know all too well — investigations into bribery and financial issues involving some of the companies funding the project.
Unfortunately we’re so saturated by reports of corrupt politicians and real estate developers that it’s not surprising to learn that such problems surround the construction of a 4.5 million square foot glorified mall. What is surprising and seemingly overlooked by many local residents is how much we’ll be affected by traffic in the area. Five years ago I joked that by 2010 we’d need a helicopter to get in and out of town, but by the time Xanadon’t actually opens that might be a reality. Present conditions and overpopulation in Hudson County already require any daytripper to plan around rush hour.
As you all know rush hour in and around Hoboken seems to last from about 6:30am until 10:30pm.
Sucks already – can only get worse
They’ve already begun rerouting highways and adding exits from Routes 3, 17 and 120 in order to accommodate the “millions” of visitors they expect from near and far. After all this is New Jersey and we all love our cars so it only makes sense to drive to this new “wonder of the world.” Besides, if you attended one of the U2 Concerts last month you’re well aware that taking the train can be more maddening than sitting in an hour of traffic to travel the five miles back to Hoboken. While there used to be buses on game days, NJ Transit seems to think that one rail will be sufficient in accommodating the estimated 20,000 taking the train to and from the Stadium for concerts, games, etc.
So, after a decade since breaking ground, breaking promises and erecting one of the largest eyesores in human history there seems to be a waft of hope rising from the swamps of East Rutherford. Hope of what, I’m not sure. It would seem that Xanadu is the perfect symbol of the excess and greed that has plagued us over the last ten years. The final plans have been wisely scaled back in recent years due to financial concerns and project heads finally understanding that even though it’s important to dream big, it’s equally important to pair those dreams with a realistic vision.