Hoboken is quite the place for bikers. How do we know this? Besides constantly seeing people zipping past on two wheels, more than 200 members of the community have signed up for the email list for Bike Hoboken.
Bike Hoboken is an advocacy group that aims to make Mile Square “one of the most bike friendly cities in the country.” The group founders, Chris Giannini, 26, and Josh Meyers, 25, have been biking their entire lives. They figured it was time to take their passion to new heights.
“We started about a month ago and started talking to a bunch of people in town who were interested and had some good ideas,” Giannini said. “We kind of wanted to become a little bit of a clearinghouse and start collaborating with a lot of different people to see what we can do to work on some of the problems in Hoboken and try to find some creative solutions.”
Over the course of the next few weeks, they will be hosting events to bring together as many bikers as possible. People can get to know each other, the issues at hand, and hear other biker’s ideas and opinions. So spread the word! Because they need your help to make changes around Hoboken.
Take a moment and check out and “like” Bike Hoboken on their facebook page . You can also view the website and add your email address to become a member of the distribution list!
Hoboken’s prominent location is definitely complimented by bicycles. With a square mile of generally flat landscape, and the close connection to New York City’s up-and-coming exceptional biking network, residents can easily and regularly use bikes for commute, and just to get around Mile Square. Did I mention all the frustration associated with parking a vehicle can be eliminated from your travel too?
Bike Hoboken is working directly with the City of Hoboken, Hudson County, the Port Authority of NY/NJ, the State of New Jersey, a handful of other partners, and every single concerned resident in Hoboken.
The groups first order of business, “identifying locations for new bike racks and bike lanes,” with the help of city officials. The most recent location being the sidewalk just south of Green Rock Tap & Grill. These racks have only been up for a week, and already are getting plenty of use! “There are currently two racks here, but the city is able to add up to eight more if needed!” Pretty awesome!!
On a rather brisk Saturday Morning, Bike Hoboken held its first group get-together! Members and a number of interested residents participated in a ride around Mile Square. The ride kicked off around noon from the War Memorial at Pier A, and continued up to Sinatra Drive, across 11th Street, down Grand, and back to the park. The two mile ride concluded with the group’s opening informal meeting at the Wicked Wolf Tavern.
“We had about 20 people with us and it was just about as diverse a group as we could ask for,” Giannini said. “We rode at a leisurely pace that everyone could keep up with and did a large loop around town before going back to the restaurant.”
Bike Hoboken has some big plans in store for upcoming biking in the community.
“We have a lot of mass transit that surrounds the town and we want biking to be a compliment to that mass transit,” Giannini said. With the grid-like streets, Mile Square is the ideal place for bike riding.
“Anyone who is familiar with Hoboken knows that there is congestion at certain points. When you get by the path its almost impossible to get around there in a speedy fashion,” Meyers said. “So I figured, for the town it can help out a lot and have less people with cars.” Biking is an convenient and environmental-friendly method to get around town at a relatively fast pace.
“We see Hoboken as a city that has the infrastructure to be one of the most bike-friendly communities in the country,” Meyers said. “We want to step-by-step build toward that, whether it is putting in bike lanes, bikes racks everywhere, and bike paths. Having the police enforce some rules, enacting some policies that enforce bike friendliness. It starts with getting people involved and getting visibility.”
Mile Square City has received an “Honorable Mention” from the League of American Cyclists in their Fall 2010 Bicycle Friendly Communities, the second metropolis in New Jersey! Check out the existing and planned bike racks and bike lanes here.
Here are some tips that you should follow when biking around town provided by the City of Hoboken:
Ride predictably, act like a good driver. Drivers are used to the patterns of other drivers. Ride in a straight line, obey traffic signs and signals, and do not weave in and out of traffic. Riding predictably reduces your chances of a crash with a motor vehicle.
Look, signal and look again before changing lanes or making a turn. Establish eye contact with drivers. Seeing a driver is often not enough. Make sure drivers see you before executing a turn or riding in front of a turning car.
Watch out for opening car doors. Be prepared for the possibility that a car door may be opened in your path. When possible, leave room between yourself and parked cars (3 feet is generally recommended) so that you can avoid a door that opens unexpectedly.
Stay visible. Wear brightly colored clothing for daytime riding. At night, use reflective materials and lights.
Use Your bell. Your bell alerts drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists to your presence, it is required by law.
Wear a helmet. They are required by law for cyclists under 17 years of age and are a good idea for cyclists of all ages.
Bike riding not only improves coordination and endurance, but increases heart-heath, and decreases stress. It is one of the most convenient and inexpensive ways to exercise. It works out your legs, hips, knee joints, and thighs. Giannini said “It just feels good! Its a great feeling to just get out there and you see the town in a whole different perspective when you are on a bike.”