Local dignitaries—Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano, Council President Jen Giattino, other members of the City Council, local business owners, and of course, “Batman“—were on hand to cut the ribbon, officially opening Hoboken’s new Newark Street Plaza. The sliver of pedestrian-friendly space on one of Hoboken’s busiest corners includes trees, bistro tables and chairs, and Adirondack chairs, offering a tiny oasis in the midst of bustling downtown.
“Streets make up the vast majority of our public space, and this project reclaims a portion of the street to create a dynamic public space for residents and visitors to enjoy,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “This project builds upon Hoboken’s reputation as one of the most walk-friendly cities in the country by creating safer intersections, wider sidewalks, and new gathering space. The new plaza will be a great place to relax, read a book, or enjoy an outdoor lunch from the many great nearby food options.”
Studies have indicated that as many as 3,000 pedestrians per hour pass along that location during peak time periods. With that in mind, the plaza is part of a safety redesign of Newark Street between Washington Street and Hudson Street, to include a widened sidewalk on the south side of the street, curb bumpouts at corners to reduce pedestrian crossing distances, and the restoration of the historic Belgian block roadway to emphasize the street’s historic character while naturally calming traffic.
“Hoboken’s unique vitality and livability is tied to a great extent to its outstanding streetscape,” said Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise. “That is why we were so pleased to work in partnership to add this new plaza to Newark Street, which is actually a county road right in the heart of downtown Hoboken.”
Funding for the project was secured by Senator Robert Menendez through a $240,000 federal appropriation and through $118,000 grant from the NJ DOT through the Transportation Enhancement Program. The project was managed by Hudson County and designed in collaboration with the City of Hoboken.
Freeholder Anthony Romano said the project was a “great example of the City working with the County.”
Local businesses are eager to see if the move will pay off.
“We’re optimistic” said Arnie Fuchs, owner of Re-Juice-A-Nation. “We’re hoping it will benefit the block, and that the increase in foot traffic will make up for the loss in parking.”