Hoboken to continue open streets pilot

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This weekend Hoboken will continue its open streets pilot to give people more room to socially distance, this time on a portion of Adams Street, according to an announcement from Mayor Ravi Bhalla.

Adams Street between Third and Ninth streets will be closed to vehicular traffic between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday May 16 and Sunday May 17  to allow for easier social distancing and alleviate overcrowding in city parks and other public spaces.

During the open street pilot on Adams Street, walking, jogging, and biking are permitted on the open street. Congregating is prohibited. The city states that face masks should be worn at all times.

Traffic control officers (TCOs) will be on hand to assist residents in vehicles who need access to enter or exit their garages. Residents do not need to move their vehicles parked on Adams Street in advance of the weekend.

They will also be able to access their vehicles on Saturday and Sunday and can exit Adams Street.

Last week, Hoboken launched the open street pilot on a portion of Jefferson Street.

“Last weekend’s successful launch on Jefferson Street demonstrated that open streets serve as a great way to get some fresh air while practicing safe social distancing,” Bhalla said. “As a result, we are bringing open streets to Adams Street this weekend, to provide additional options for outdoor space and alleviate crowds in other public places. Based on the positive responses, responsible usage, and popularity of the program, we’ll be looking for ways to expand open streets in the weeks and months to come.”

To gauge the public response to the pilot, Hoboken launched an open street survey.

2,283 people filled out the  survey this week with 88 percent of total respondents wanting “open streets” to continue during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide additional space for social distancing.

74 percent of respondents want open streets to continue when COVID-19 is no longer a factor and  84 percent of respondents want Washington Street to operate as an open street, even if it meant a temporary loss in parking.

When asked for their primary reason for using the open street, 75 percent of 1,301 respondents said for recreation and 17 percent said they used it on their way to another destination.

Among the 386 respondents who indicated they live on Jefferson Street, 80 percent support open streets to continue on Jefferson Street or another street during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 66 percent support open streets after the pandemic.