Gotham & Hudson

Complete Streets Construction to Begin on Newark Street & Observer Boulevard

In her 2015 State of the City address, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced that construction would begin this spring on major improvements to Newark Street and Observer Highway. Last week, the city confirmed that construction would begin April 27th.

Newark Street is part of a major pedestrian artery connecting Hoboken Terminal, the city’s primary transit gateway, and Washington Street, the city’s central business district. It is heavily trafficked by pedestrians walking to and from Hoboken Terminal, especially during weekday morning and evening rush periods, leading to congested sidewalks, crowded intersections that spill into the street, and conflict between turning vehicles and pedestrians who have the right-of-way to cross.

One block south of Newark Street, Observer Highway is one of the primary streets connecting Hoboken with Jersey City and the Holland Tunnel. The “highway” in Observer Highway is a truism. The street is a wide, forbidding expanse for pedestrians to attempt to cross, with two travel lanes in each direction, parking lanes on both sides, and no traffic signals between Washington Street and Willow Avenue. These conditions set driver expectations for a fast, unimpeded, highway-like experience, which then lead to complaints that the street is an inadequate thoroughfare when traffic speeds don’t meet driver expectations.

Complete Streets design can do much to address the types of street conditions found on Newark and Observer. Continues..

Design Review: Draft Hoboken Visual Identity, Wayfinding, and First Street Streetscape

At a public meeting last week, T&M Associates and M Studio presented revised designs for Hoboken’s visual identity and wayfinding systems, and First Street streetscape improvements. Initial designs were presented at a public meeting in January, and a focus group worked with the designers throughout February and early March to refine the design concepts. This past Thursday, the second public meeting was held to present the 50% construction documents and design plans, which incorporate input from the public and focus group.

The visual identity system builds on two of the most recognizable informal identifiers for Hoboken: The “H” seen in the PATH Station and on rail trestles, and the moniker “Mile Square City”. Each has wonderfully unique characteristics. The angled spikes of the “H” are both a throwback to the days when the region’s economy was first being built on the backbone of rail transit, and a nod to the city’s current resurgence and growth based on its proximity and easy access to Manhattan by rail. “Mile Square City” is both a descriptor of the city’s size, and a reference to its compact, walkable urban character. Continues..

Public Meeting: Hoboken First Streetscape, Visual Identity, and Wayfinding Systems

Citywide Wayfinding and First Street Streetscape Revitalization Community Meeting

  • Where: Hoboken Multi-Service Center, Community Room. 124 Grand Street Hoboken, NJ 07030
  • When: March 26, 7PM

In December 2014, the City of Hoboken announced plans to improve the streetscape along First Street from the western edge of the city at Paterson Avenue to the intersection with Bloomfield Street in the city’s central business district. Funded by an $880,000 federal grant, the project also includes development of new visual identity and citywide wayfinding systems. At a community meeting January 22, the design and engineering firms working on the project presented an early look at the plans. These are known as 30% construction documents in industry parlance, and show the streetscape improvement elements planned for each intersection.

The next step in the process was to refine the designs with community input, and the City of Hoboken formed a focus group – comprised of about 50 residents, including Gotham & Hudson editor Stewart Mader – to work with the designers. Throughout February and early March, the group provided input to refine design concepts and help ensure the identity and wayfinding systems meet the needs of a complete group of street users, including pedestrians, cyclists, businesses, and drivers.

This Thursday, the second public meeting will be held to present the 50% construction documents and design plans, which incorporate input from the public and focus group. Continues..

34 St-Hudson Yards: A Look at the Soon-to-Open 7 Subway Extension to the Far West Side

At the MTA board committee meetings this week, officials showed a preview of the 34 St-Hudson Yards station, due to open later this spring. The image above shows the station exterior, entrance canopy and surrounding park, and the ventilation building, which will be surrounded by 55 Hudson Yards, a 51-story office tower outlined in yellow. To support the tower, two rows of five caissons are being sunk in the area adjacent to the ventilation building, six of which will be sunk between the two subterranean escalator banks that lead to the station’s mezzanine. Continues..