Bike ways, raised crossings and parking proposed for Sinatra Drive redesign

The meeting went over concepts to upgrade Hoboken's road alongside the Hudson River

The city presented concept designs for the Sinatra Drive Redesign Project. Photo provided by the City of Hoboken.

Bike ways, raised pedestrian crossings and parking spaces have been proposed for the Sinatra Drive Redesign Project in Hoboken, with the city looking to upgrade the road alongside the Hudson River by next summer.

The city said that it plans to improve access, connectivity, and safety for all modes of transportation for the road between 4th Street and Hudson Street, as well as using Vision Zero and “complete” street strategies, and add green infrastructure to decorate the roadway and absorb rainwater during storms.

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During a meeting last Wednesday, the city went over concept designs for the project, and laid out the rest of the timeline in which they’re looking to get a final design by the end of this summer, do construction bidding in the fall, begin construction next spring, and complete it by next summer.

Transportation and Parking Director Ryan Sharp said that one of the goals for the project is to fill a gap in the Green Circuit, a road around the city that would be used for biking and walking.

The city is proposing to add a 12 foot bike way across the road. Screenshot via City of Hoboken.

“For the biking component [and] in some cases the pedestrian component as well, where there are some gaps or limitations within this corridor, this project would effectively be filling one of the most significant remaining gaps in the green circuit network on the east side of the city,” he said.

The city had done a survey on the project, with the top five priorities for the project being to install green landscaping along the corridor with more plantings, ensure safe bicycle circulation, improving the streetscape and adding street furniture, improving safety of pedestrian crossings, and calming traffic on Sinatra Drive.

Much of Sinatra Drive is proposed to have a 12-foot bike way that will be six feet wide in either direction and would be protected by a median, and a 11-foot travel lane for vehicles. Some areas of the travel lane will need to be a little wider, according to Matt Shinton of Kimley-Horn, to accommodate vehicles.

Some sections of the sidewalks would also be widened, such as those near Stevens Park, the Stevens physical plant, and the Union Dry Dock.

There were also multiple proposed options for different sections of the project, which were then polled in real-time during the meeting.

For the section next to 5th Street, one option, which was the most preferred, was to add additional landscaping along the soccer field and the base of the wall, a raised pedestrian crossing over the existing crossing, and 11 and 12 parking spaces along 5th Street and east of the soccer field respectively.

City Engineer Olga Garcia said that they took the high usage of the soccer field and the turnout for it into consideration for the parking needs.

The other option would add parking on the west side of Sinatra Drive, reduced landscaping and a potential impact to the historic wall at 5th Street.

Continuing up the central section of the road, there would be more raised pedestrian crossings at Babbio Garage and near the gazebo, as well as prohibiting parking on either side.

With the proposal of two options, the most preferred was one that would increase landscaped areas (including in existing parking areas), and add a raised pedestrian crossing at the skate park. The alternate option would reduce the bike way buffer, remove the raised planter and add a combined total of 32 parking spaces on the east side.

“When we talk about landscaping, that can mean a lot of things,” said Sharp. “But in this context, it can mean anything from low level plantings to shade trees. So there’s a lot of different types of potential landscaping that could go in these.”

One option for Sinatra Drive would be to add a separate six foot bike lane from Sinatra Drive North to Hudson Street. Screenshot via City of Hoboken.

For the northern section ending at Hudson Street, three options were proposed. Option A (the most preferred) would have the a protected six-feet one-way bike way between Sinatra Drive North and Hudson Street, double the width of the sidewalk along Union Dry Dock, add a raised pedestrian crossing at Sinatra Drive North and add a combined 22 parking spaces along the east side.

Option B would leave the bike way unprotected, add the raised pedestrian crossing and curb extensions, landscaping at Maxwell Park and 43 parking spaces on both sides of the street. Option C would have all of Option B minus the bike way and have cyclists turn onto Sinatra Drive North.

Hoboken is using $1.2 million in grant funding from the New Jersey Department of Transportation for the project, which includes $325,000 in bike way grants, and $876,000 in municipal aid grants for roadways and resurfacing.

The city plans to host a second survey for more feedback on the project, which upon completion will move into a 30 percent design to establish project limits and inform a preliminary opinion on much it will cost.

For more information on the project, visit www.hobokennj.gov/SinatraDriveRedesign.

For updates on this and other stories, check hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Mark Koosau can be reached at mkoosau@hudsonreporter.com or his Twitter @snivyTsutarja.