On Tuesday, the City announced that the construction at 1600 Park will be further delayed for additional testing of the soil. Unfortunately, this means our children will have to go another season without a safe place to play soccer in Hoboken. After five years of waiting, the latest delay is inexcusable. We need to stop sitting on our hands and get to work to make this long-promised park become a reality.
The construction and opening of 1600 Park is something that Mayor Zimmer promised by Fall of 2011 in that January’s State of the City address, then by late Spring of 2012, then May 2013, and now we’re being told we need to wait again. Since she took office, the Mayor has held up construction for studies on the site and stalled the project for installation of a traffic light. Meanwhile, our children who were toddlers when the City purchased the land are now middle-schoolers who must play on borrowed fields, that barely meet their needs. They have no choice but to wait even longer because after years of delay and study, the City’s methods of testing were not thorough enough. The fact that it’s taken this long to turn what was essentially a vacant field into a park gives me little hope of ever seeing the completion of repairs to Sinatra Field under this administration.
We agree that all the necessary sampling, testing, and analysis of the land should be thorough and complete before construction gets underway. However, if the City is just doing this research now, what have they been doing since 2009, when the administration first stated that opening this park was a priority? The Mayor has nobody to point the finger at for this prolonged failure, and the residents of Hoboken are left to deal with the consequences.
Ruben J. Ramos, Jr.
Candidate for Mayor