Protecting Hoboken from flooding doesn’t have to come from an ‘ugly wall,’ Zimmer says during State of the City

HOBOKEN – Two months after residents took city planners to task on proposed concepts to erect seawalls to help make Hoboken flood-proof, Mayor Dawn Zimmer said during her State of the City yesterday, Wed. Feb. 10 that its a matter of perception.
“Flood protection does not have to come from an ugly wall,” Zimmer said during her speech at Stevens Institute of Technology. “It could be a planter, a landscaped park, a vertical garden, a beautiful mural, a boathouse, outdoor seating, a playground, a dog park and more, depending on the community’s design ideas and preferences.”
This week over 250 public comments rolled in from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in line with initial concerns. The overall sentiment is that the plans – as part of the $230 million federally funded Rebuild by Design project created in response to 2012’s Superstorm Sandy – threaten Hoboken’s prized views of Manhattan.
“Building a wall down a street is a ridiculous solution in today’s modern era. Are you trying to put us back to the stone age with this idea?” reads one public comment. “Dig up the streets that are the lowest area and that get water the most water…Blocking water is primitive and who ever came up with that idea should not be working in this sector.”
Planners say that the majority of commenters disapprove of the flood walls.
“Specifically, those who reside in the waterfront communities of Maxwell Place and the Tea Building expressed opposition to Concepts B, C, and D, primarily objecting to the construction of a permanent seawall (or any type of resist structure) because of its effect on waterfront views and access.”
A public meeting is planned for next Thursday, Feb. 18 to discuss three concepts, whittled down from the original five after planners took comments into account.
After her State of the City, Zimmer told The Hoboken Reporter that two of the three concepts are “significantly” different from the initial five. She would not comment further as to whether they included flood walls.
The meeting will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Wallace School gymnasium at 1100 Willow Ave. For more background not the proposals read “Resident flood city with criticism over seawalls” at
For more coverage of the address, see this weekend’s newspaper.

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