I wish to thank the anonymous writer of the April 3 Letter to the Editor titled, “‘Cake Boss’ Gone Stale” for bringing this issue up for public discussion. With spring fast approaching, the cake line is likely only to get worse. Does anyone recall the “street crosser” at Newark and Washington and the fainting incident last summer? I have the privilege of both living and working within 5 blocks of the line, and it’s a constant nuisance. I am unimpressed with the actions Carlos Bakery has done to deal with the line, and there’s been plenty of time. I agree a port-a-potty needs to be provided to keep the line people out of nearby facilities. I also agree additional security is needed to patrol the line and keep the sidewalk clear at the expense of the bakery. City Hall should be charging the bakery for use of 2 blocks of sidewalk daily, the same way the bars pay to use the sidewalk. What Carlos Bakery pays City Hall should accurately reflect that the line stretches 2 blocks down to the former Barnes and Noble on most days. Given the business the bakery is doing, footing the bill to accurately absorb the costs of the line is more than fair. Issues like noise and the trash the line standers generate, residents will just have to tolerate and the City will have to absorb via cleanup of the line area. It’s unavoidable, although Carlos Bakery could take initiative and set up trash cans.
Anecdotally I have heard the line generates increased revenue for some nearby businesses. This is good for a few people and merchants. However, the decrease in available parking, crowds at nearby businesses, blocked sidewalks, constant noise, 2 block mess of trash, and crowded transit all offset that benefit. Carlos Bakery should be footing every bill associated with the line and paying City Hall substantially for the privilege to host 100 to 1000 plus people on City sidewalks daily.
To my knowledge, Carlos Bakery hasn’t done anything to thank the residents of Hoboken, the people who kept the bakery in business prior to the TV shows, for tolerating the daily melee. I haven’t heard of any promotion for Hoboken residents only as a way of showing appreciation. Wouldn’t that be appropriate, given what we have to tolerate daily?
Our Mayor and City Council need to take action on the cake line prior to the warm weather fast approaching. City Hall needs to “be transparent” about what the bakery is doing to absorb all of the costs of the line and compensate the City for use of the sidewalks, so as residents we know the City is being compensated for the expenses of Buddy’s “Golden Opportunity,” instead of footing the bill while we are stuck with the daily inconvenience of having to live with the cake line.