In his daily message to Hoboken residents on Friday night, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla announced that the city’s “open Streets” pilot program will be returning on Sunday. In addition, the Mayor updated residents on renovations to two dog parks, while providing information on several other topics.
Open Streets to return on Sunday
I’m glad to share that our “open streets” will return this Sunday! This has been a largely successful initiative to provide more room for residents to social distance while walking, biking and jogging outdoors. Between 8 am and 8 pm on Sunday, vehicular traffic will be restricted on Park Avenue (between 5th and 11th Streets) and also on 10th Street (between Garden and Grand Streets), creating a connection between Church Square Park and Columbus Park. Congregating, block parties and lawn chairs on the street remain prohibited, as the intention of the program is to provide people room to keep moving. I ask all residents to please wear face masks while using the open streets as a courtesy to others.
Please see the attached map with details of the street closure. Traffic Control Officers (TCOs) will be available to assit residents who need access to garages or vehicles.
New dog parks at Church Square Park and Stevens Parks
We are currently completing a renovation of our dog parks at Church Square Park and Stevens Park to install new, K9 turf in order to modernize both spaces. We are prepared to re-open our dog parks at these two and other locations in Hoboken once the construction is complete, which should be in the near future. A re-opening of dog parks will include social distancing requirements and capacity limits to ensure everyone’s safety.
City Hall COVID-19 hotline closed until Tuesday
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) COVID-19 hotline will remain closed until Tuesday due to the long weekend. Thanks again to all CERT members for staffing this hotline since the beginning of the pandemic.
Hoboken will continue with street cleaning regulations for next week and beyond, with the exception of Monday (Memorial Day). Meters continue to be in effect at all regular times and are in effect on Monday.
Business recovery plan
Our comprehensive business recovery plan to expand outdoor operations for small businesses advanced through the City Council on Wednesday, and is anticipated to pass on second and final reading at the next meeting. The Directors in City Hall continue to work diligently to finalize an application process for businesses that would like to expand their outdoor seating with “streateries” and “parklets”, in addition to expanded sidewalk cafes. When Governor Murphy announces that certain restaurants, cafes, and other businesses are able to open with an anticipated limited indoor capacity, we are working to ensure our small businesses have the tools they need to be successful. I’m pleased that this framework is serving as a model for municipalities across the state who are looking to replicate our efforts.
Community gardens now open
Following the guidelines provided by the State this week, we opened our community gardens today. We also opened for the first time a “pop up” community garden at the corner of Second Street and Willow Avenue in partnership with the American Legion, which includes 30 plots originally used at the Northwest Resiliency Park. The City currently has an online waiting list for garden plots, please visit http://www.hobokennj.gov/communitygardens for more information.
Limits on gatherings
Today, Governor Murphy announced that outdoor gatherings (such as an outdoor BBQs) are now permitted, as per the State’s order, of up to 25 people with the requirement that social distancing be observed at all times. Please wear face masks outdoors and during outdoor gatherings at all practical times, out of an abundance of caution and to protect those around you. Wearing a face mask demonstrates respect for others who in turn are doing the same for you.
Indoor gatherings continue to have a much higher potential for spreading the virus, which should be avoided at all practical times.
Thank you Hoboken, and please stay safe this weekend.
Ravi S. Bhalla