As Chairman of the City Council’s Traffic and Transportation Sub-Committee, I feel compelled to address issues raised in a letter by Traci Stein, which was published in The Hoboken Reporter recently. I sympathize with Ms. Stein’s recent experience crossing Garden Street at 14th Street which has become a busy thoroughfare, especially during rush hour.
Pedestrian safety has become a key issue in Hoboken, as in many urban cities. As a compact and densely populated community, Hoboken is a place where pedestrians and motor vehicles intermingle frequently and intimately. Sadly, Ms. Stein’s experience is not unique.
Ms. Stein is correct in noting that reckless driving is the cause of most pedestrian/vehicle encounters. Speeding, cell phones and a general lack of attention to one’s surroundings are major factors. As the writer noted, the city has placed “yield to pedestrians” signs at busy intersections, an initiative instituted by Mayor Roberts upon taking office in 2001. The city has increased the number of yield signs (bringing the total up to 100) and has introduced traffic calming devices, such as speed bumps (nearly 30) and rumble strip, as a pilot program.
Additionally, the city is working with the New Jersey Department of Transportation to install additional stop signs throughout the city and traffic lights at highly utilized intersections, such as the one approved at Hudson and River Streets by the PATH.
These initiatives, coupled with stepped-up enforcement at strategic intersections, have resulted in improvements. However, given our urban makeup, we are far from perfect. We strive to improve every problem intersection, and we will work to make Garden and 14th Streets safe for pedestrians.
Again, I appreciate every suggestion to make our city a safer place for everyone, especially the thousands of pedestrians who live, work and visit our city.
Councilman Richard DelBoccio