Happy Black History Month! Here is what is happening around Hoboken.
800 Monroe Resiliency Park Survey
When I ran for the City Council in 2019, I made clear that my number one priority was ensuring that Hoboken was a resilient City. Having lived through Superstorm Sandy and seen the devastation that climate change and stronger, wetter storms have brought to our community, I have proudly worked on the Citizens Advisory Board for the Rebuild by Design flood resiliency project since 2017 and chaired the Rebuild by Design ad hoc subcommittee in 2020, my first year on the City Council.
So, it was exciting to participate in our first community meeting to kick off the planning for a new resiliency park for western Hoboken at 800 Monroe Street, a project that I have been a strong supporter of in my role on the City Council. Members of the community heard directly from Mayor Bhalla about how as part of the Monarch settlement, we not only preserved our public waterfront, but what had been planned to be a 180+ condominium project will instead become a 1.4-acre resiliency park. We also heard from our park and design professionals from AECOM about various options, future uses, and features that could be included in our newest resiliency park.
I encourage residents to provide your feedback on the features and amenities you would like included in this proposed park and have a voice in the process. The survey closes February 10th at 6 pm and can be found here. For more information on the 800 Monroe Resiliency Park, click here.
Cleaning the Neighborhood Below the Viaduct
When I ran for City Council in 2019, I pledged to be an accessible and responsive Councilperson. I have worked hard to live up to that pledge. In addition to hosting 72 Coffee with Cohen community events since my election, I have been a regular presence supporting and assisting my friends in Fox Hill Gardens.
Last week, I hosted well-attended office hours and heard residents’ concerns that sidewalks under the viaduct need to be power-washed; sidewalks in the neighborhood could be better maintained; and the garbage can at 14th and Clinton fills quickly and is often overflowing.
I promptly raised these issues with our Director of Environmental Services, Jennifer Gonzalez, who coordinated a response with the City and the Hudson County Parks Department, implementing a plan to increase the rate of manual sidewalk cleaning around the viaduct up to 15th Street; work with Hudson County on instituting power-washing the sidewalks and green turf area near the viaduct (weather permitting, so as not to create icing conditions); and replace the well-used waste receptacle at 14th and Clinton with a larger container that will be emptied more frequently.
If you have any quality of life concerns, please reach out to me at HobokenPhil@gmail.com and I will do my best to address them along with Mayor Bhalla’s administration and the City Hall staff.
Improving Pedestrian Safety
Hoboken is one of the few communities in the nation with a Vision Zero Action Plan. While we are justifiably proud of having no pedestrian deaths in the last 6 years, we know the work continues and we always can do better to have safe streets to protect our residents.
In the past few weeks, I received complaints from 5th Ward residents that cars were not stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk at 12th & Grand. Hoboken Police Department’s Traffic Unit investigated the situation and Lieutenant Rotondi recommended that an in-street pedestrian crossing sign should be installed at 12th & Grand along with additional monitoring.
I also received complaints that many cars were running stop signs on 11th Street between Bloomfield and Park. In response, I worked with Police Chief Aguiar who directed patrols to be deployed to the neighborhood to look for violations, and a number of summonses were issued to drivers for failing to stop at stop signs. These patrols are planned to continue.
I’m also pleased to share that in the coming months the City plans to install four new multi-way stop signs in or near the 5th Ward — at 8th & Clinton, 9th & Clinton, 7th & Monroe, and 8th & Monroe — following engineering studies of these locations. I expect the Council will unanimously approve these new signs at our February 15 meeting, and these signs will make our community safer. Thanks to Transportation Director Ryan Sharp and his colleagues for always being responsive to my concerns and helping create safer intersections.
Hoboken’s New Recreation Portal
Over the past several years, I’ve heard directly from many of you about the need to modernize our recreation department. That’s why, working with Mayor Bhalla and Councilwoman Emily Jabbour, I strongly supported adding Jessica Lezcano as Hoboken’s new Head of Recreation, so greater focus could be placed on the growing number of children in our recreation programs.
The administration’s focus on improving recreation is taking shape, as the Hoboken Recreation Department launched RecDesk, a new, user-friendly registration and facilities reservation system. The platform allows for easy registration for programs, event requests, submitting payments, and making public space reservations. The RecDesk calendar displays upcoming events, programs, and community meetings.
For more information on how to register for a recreation program or submit an event request form using RecDesk, click here. For more information about Hoboken’s recreation programs, please email email@example.com.
Farewell Dom’s Bakery
It was truly special to join the community for “one last bake” at Dom’s Bakery last Saturday. Our beloved Hoboken treasure closed its doors after 43 years of supplying homemade fresh bread and pastries to residents and local businesses. This video that Hoboken Farms created memorializes a bit of what we lost with this unique Hoboken institution. Wishing Dom and Flo a long and happy, well-earned, and well-deserved retirement.
COVID Vaccinations and Vaccination Records
To get current information on Hoboken’s COVID vaccination clinics click here. If you are a Hoboken resident and would like a copy of your vaccination record, please contact LMedeiros@hobokennj.gov. Vaccination records are also accessible for all New Jersey residents through the Docket app.
Coffee with Cohen
On Tuesday, I hosted my 72nd Coffee with Cohen community event with a special guest, Councilman Jim Doyle.
We discussed key features of the amendments to Hoboken’s rent control ordinance, which were approved by the City Council Wednesday evening. I also addressed your questions regarding traffic safety. Over 80 people have watched this event and you can check it out here. This event — and many past Coffee with Cohen events — are recorded and hosted on my Facebook page which you can watch here.
Staying Up To Date and Seeking My Assistance
I regularly issue this newsletter every other Friday. You can stay up to date by following me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. If you have any questions or concerns, or if I can be of assistance to you or your family, please do not hesitate to contact me at HobokenPhil@gmail.com.
Hoboken City Councilman
Hoboken, New Jersey
P.S. You can learn more about me and my ideas for Hoboken (as well as read this newsletter and prior newsletters) on my website philcohen.org.