What better way to enjoy Hoboken’s many bars, restaurants, and boutiques than by strolling down a boulevard with a breeze at your back? Nothing. “With 95 percent of trips in Hoboken taking place on foot, making our city more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly remains a top priority,” stated Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Sinatra Summer Sundays is an opportunity for residents to teach their kids to ride a bike, enjoy a stroll along our waterfront, or go for a jog without worrying about traffic.” This summer, languidly pass your last bit of weekend on Hoboken’s Sinatra Drive, closed to vehicular traffic through the months of June, July, and August from 10 am-6 pm, every Sunday. “We are creatively repurposing this street as public space,” said Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs.
Sinatra Drive, a beautiful avenue bordering the waterfront and Pier A Park, is not the only street of its kind to be closed during the summer months for public enjoyment. Cities such as El Paso, Cambridge, Portland, Baltimore, San Francisco, Chicago, Paris, and London all provide similar programs, and in 2009, New York City successfully joined the ranks of public loving walkers as it instituted its Summer Streets Program (three consecutive Saturdays during the summer where a seven mile route is closed). This tradition was largely started by Colombia’s “Ciclovia” in Bogota, a weekly event in which 1.5 million residents can view their city through new eyes, via 70 miles of streets free of traffic.
Sinatra Summer Sundays have been coordinated through the combined efforts of the Hoboken Police and Fire Department. This paired effort ensures the safety of all Hoboken residents, including those with handicaps or closed off, parked cars. Individuals with official handicapped plates are still allowed access to the closed area on Sundays, albeit at speeds no greater than 5 mph. In addition, those who have parked cars in the area are encouraged to leave their vehicles where they are for the day; however, if removal of the vehicle is necessary, it is allowed at speeds no greater than 5 mph. Remember to keep both eyes open as your car will be surrounded by relaxed pedestrians!
Sinatra Summer Sundays have already begun, with the first Sinatra Drive closing taken place on June 13th, so there’s no need to wait! Grab your friends and a bike, and hit Sinatra Drive this Sunday for an afternoon of relaxation and waterfront air…free of honks and horns.