Hoboken closer to voting on revamped Washington Street redesign plan, which will narrow street to eliminate double parking, add bike lanes, include safety measures

HOBOKEN — Businesses and residents along Washington Street — “the most dangerous corridor” of Hoboken according to city officials – have had a mix of responses to a plan to redesign the 17-block long thoroughfare.
“It will affect business because a lot of customers double park and come in and out for a few minutes,” Ray Alatiyat told The Hoboken Reporter Wednesday afternoon. Alatiyat has owned an electronics store on Washington Street for the past 14 years. “I think the city should leave Washington alone as is besides repaving it.”
But the mayor says the plan, which will alter the 17 feet of travel lanes on each side into 11 feet, will boost business, while also making the city safer.
Mile square residents and business owners have less than three weeks to find out whether a $15 million plan to redesign the street is approved. The city’ 2014 plan (with urban design group RBA) to reframe the street has evolved into a new plan with some slight changes.
The new plan, which the city has drawn up with T&M Associates, will not eliminate any parking spaces and touts pedestrian safety measures, moderated traffic flow, reduction in motor vehicle accidents, and commercial loading availability.
The plan would narrow the road, so instead of a wide Washington Street with two lanes and enough space to double park, the street would have two lanes going north and south, a bicycle lane on each side, and two lanes for parking.
The city will host a community meeting on Monday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the City Council chambers to discuss the final design for the Washington Street plan. As of Wednesday, Feb. 3, no vote was set to take place on Monday. Instead the plan will be placed on the Feb. 17 City Council agenda as a resolution for a final vote.
“Washington Street is Hoboken’s most dangerous corridor, with more than 300 crashes between 2013 and 2015, including a pedestrian fatality. The final design incorporates complete streets principles and builds upon the conceptual design developed in 2014 through an extensive community planning process,” city officials said in an announcement last week.
Last year the City Council approved a $5 million low-interest loan from the state to install new water lines along Washington Street. The city will now look to amend that plan to include an additional $10 million bond for the comprehensive redesign plan.
The 100-year-old water main will be replaced, green infrastructure will be incorporated to capture stormwater runoff and alleviate flooding as part of the Rebuild by Design strategy, and conduit for the backbone of a microgrid will be installed to improve energy resiliency for critical infrastructure, according to the city.
The redesign would include complete streets design providing safe access for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders, pedestrian countdown timers, curb extensions, ADA ramps, new brighter street lights, and new loading zones.
“Parking capacity is preserved by increasing the angle of parking on the east side of the street (uptown) and relocating fire hydrants to corners as part of the water main replacement,” reads a bullet from the city’s Nixle alert.
Watch this weekend’s paper for more information, or go to hudsonreporter.com starting Sunday.
Got thoughts? Send comments to Steven Rodas sodas@hudsonreporter.com or send a letter to editorial@hudsonreporter.com. – Steven Rodas

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