Driving in Hoboken is safe, but we’ll make it safer

Dear Editor:

A letter in response to Robert Plotka’s letter last week:

I’d like to take this opportunity to respond to your recent letter, which was sent to my office and also appeared in the Hoboken Reporter. Foremost, please know that I appreciate letters from residents. Certainly, the issue of traffic and public safety are a priority for my Administration.

Your letter and its title portrayed our city as a dangerous place to live. On the contrary, Hoboken is a very safe community, as demonstrated by our receiving the Automobile Association of America Safety Award for no auto-related fatalities during the past three years. Unfortunately, it will not be a fourth because someone was killed by a motorist stopped at a traffic light on 1st and Washington Streets. The incident was caused by the motorist having a seizure while driving.

Our Signal and Traffic Division makes every effort to ensure that our streets are appropriately marked. However, when there is a need for re-painting of lines, our Signal and Traffic does such work, but only during warm weather. A recently purchased “line striping machine” will assist us in this effort. State law does not permit the City to install traffic lights or stop signs at will.

As far as car owners obstructing intersections when they park, the Hoboken Police Division, on a daily basis, issues summonses and tows cars that block intersections. They also routinely issue summonses to double parked cars. The proof of this is the daily complaints from people receiving tickets.

In an effort to slow traffic, we are about to begin construction of “traffic calming” areas. This is a proven way to slow traffic and allow pedestrian protection. The State of New Jersey began a program to fund this in school or playground areas. We have received grant funding for “traffic calming” devices to be installed at 12th and Clinton Streets, and 5th and Clinton Streets. We are reapplying for the same type of grant to address the flow of traffic at 11th and Hudson Streets, near Elysian Park. This is all in addition to the new “Senior Citizen” signs posted recently to alert drivers near senior housing areas. These have been very effective and appreciated by our Seniors.

Additionally, in the spring, the City will begin a campaign against commuters who travel through Hoboken each work day, speeding along our streets and ignoring our traffic rules. Believe it or not, the bulk of the traffic in our city is from commuters traveling north and south to get to the tunnels and drive into Manhattan.

Once again, thank you for your suggestions on improving public safety in our community. Please let me know if I may be further assistance or if you have a specific intersection to inquire about.

Anthony Russo


© 2000, Newspaper Media Group