Bike Lane Battle Crosses GWB Into Hoboken

New Jersey Dept. Of Transportation Proposal Has City Buzzing

HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The mayor of Hoboken wants to make the city pedestrian and bike friendly. That could mean adding more bike lanes in an already congested community.

Traffic, narrow streets, barely any parking and few bike lanes. CBS 2’s Christine Sloan saw one biker on the sidewalk weaving in between pedestrians. That’s what Hoboken residents have had to deal with.

One man tells 1010 WINS’ John Montone that he thinks the bike lane will clear up space and make sidewalks safer for pedestrians

“I think people can ride their bikes in the street here. I just think they need to, too many people riding on the sidewalks. That needs to be reinforced more than a bike lane,” resident Laurie Givens said.

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Hoboken wants to make the city safer for pedestrians and bikers. A new plan, funded by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, recommends installing pedestrian countdown signals, especially along busy Washington Street, and creating bike lanes throughout the city.

Some residents are questioning where bike lanes would go in an already crammed city, and why there isn’t a focus on the big issue — parking.

“They need more parking spaces, not bike lanes,” resident Greg Williams said.

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer said she’s working on parking issues and that the bike and pedestrian safety plan — made possible through a grant — wouldn’t take away parking spots.

In a statement, Zimmer said the plan, “will go hand-in-hand with our ongoing efforts to continue to improve pedestrian and bike safety in Hoboken.”

She said in the past year pedestrian crashes have dropped by 30 percent and bicycle accidents by 63 percent.

Many residents said they love the idea, adding there are too many double parkers blocking access to already existing bike lanes.

“Anything that improves the roadway for pedestrian bicycles, anybody taking part in activities, would be great because it’s dangerous — the streets in Hoboken,” resident Stephen Marloe said.

“I think it’s a great idea. I’m a big fan of bikes and drive, too. Less cars, the environment, it’s much better,” Grant Krause added.

But one resident said there should also be more policing.

“It’s not only the bikes; it’s more like moms with carriages, skate boarders. People don’t pay attention,” resident Sergio Malloni said.

Do you think more bike lanes in any city is a good idea? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

More from Christine Sloan
  • Luca

    I’m moving to Hoboken in months. If I’ll find Hoboken bike-friendly I’ll buy a folding bike instead of a car and use public transportation combined with the bike. And when I really need a car I’ll get to Never bought a car in my life and I hope it will continue like that in Hoboken.

  • Charlie

    Wow talk about biased reporting. Although the fact that I have to watch a car ad before seeing the actual story says a lot….

    • Joey

      Hoboken has a parking problem. The solution is to make people pay a siginificant amount for street parking. I lived in Hoboken for years, and the street parking was used as free weekly storage for local residents who liked owning a car but didn’t use it often. They did not face the struggle of parking every day since they rarely drove and could leave their cars in the free parking spaces for days at a time.
      The result was that busy times became a morass of circling cars looking for parking spaces, while the parking spaces where all used by people as free long-term parking.
      The circling cars cause most of the traffic on the weekend nights, and is a danger to pedestrians and bikers.
      The solution is easy. Make street parking cost a lot more. The weekend drivers would be forced to get rid of their cars. The people coming to Hoboken to use it’s businesses would be able to park in a few minutes instead of spending 45 minutes circling around looking for parking. The streets would be safer.

  • David

    The first sentence indicates a faulty assumption. Adding bike lanes don’t make a city more congested. Even removing car space doesn’t make cities more congested. People always seem to assume that those things make cities more congested, but there is little evidence to support those assumptions, and a lot to the contrary.
    Besides, Hoboken is admirably doing a lot to reduce car OWNERSHIP, for instance, offering credits to give up a car and join a car share. If that works (and early information indicates that it does) then parking will not be such an issue. People braying about parking demand as if it’s some law of nature shows that their thinking is really uninformed.

  • rachel

    ever been to the path station in hoboken? it’s a nightmare. if you show up after 9am, forget about finding a place to park your bike. you can circle around looking for an open bike rack, but eventually most people give up and lock up illegally along a fence or street sign. if you’re lucky, the police won’t ticket you. hoboken needs to solve this parking problem. definitely need more bike racks all over, but especially at the path.

  • Ronnie M.

    I see more bikes on the streets in Hoboken all the time. Even women in dresses and men in business suits, not just the weekend spandex types. As someone who has lived here since the early 80s, I think it’s great. The real question is what took so long? And also why does the reporter think a planning board meeting is the appropriate venue to discuss this? Does she know what the planning board does? Some fact checking is in order.

  • Mii

    Things that make you go hmmmmm – can motorcyclist use the bike lane too? since cyclers area allowed and not ticketed for still riding outside the bikers lane and go up the street the wrong way – r all these bike lanes really worth it? hmmmm and no set laws even as the bikers mow down pedestrian wow all the conviences they have all because politicians are now biking to work too – oh how lucky.

    • mike


      No, motorcyles are motor vehicles and thus may not use the bike lane.

      Also, look at the statistics regarding crashes, and you will find that the people “mow[ing] down pedestrians” are drivers, not bicyclists.

    • Paul

      They use the bike lane already. Plus, cyclist mow down far fewer cyclist a year than car drivers. I rather have more bike lanes than speed cars in Hoboken.

  • johnny

    Those bike lanes are nothing but a joke.

    • mike


  • Guest

    Saying Hoboken can’t be bike friendly because there are too many cars is pure ignorance. The more people who ride a bike rather than drive the fewer cars are contesting the streets and competing for parking. Look at any major European city today where bikes are an integral part of local transit. Many of those streets date from the Middle Ages and are way narrower than Hoboken’s. What they have and Hoboken lacks is a citizenry that respects the cyclists right to share the road. That is simply a matter of public education. As gas prices continue to soar, a change in attitude will follow.

    • justice

      Wrongo Guesto, the city does nothing to promote safe riding, the have not passed on Ordinance outlawing riding on sidewalks and against traffic. This expansion without attention to safety to shear ignorance. The town is against ignorance not bikes.

    • Living in London

      Biking to work is not very common is London or Paris. Don’t say otherwise b/c I have lived in London and travelled to Paris regularly. Are there bike lanes in these major cities? Yes. But they are not the preferred method of travel. Same goes for Madrid, Rome, Frankfurt & Berlin. People use mass transit if not their cars. Bikes are only popular in Amsterdam & Brussels. Bike lanes are a waste.

      • Sven

        Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Brussels embraced bicycling decades before London and Paris did. Comparing ridership between them is apples to oranges.Of course there isn’t as much bicycling in London compared to Amsterdam.

  • monroe

    and why is the battle crossing the GWB rather then riding the PATH?

    • mike

      Yep. The media has a built-in pro-car bias.

  • Ian Sacs

    15% of Hoboken streets already have bike lanes and not a single parking spot was lost. Bike lanes reduce speeding and make streets safer for pedestrians as well as other drivers. Residents who, when its convenient, ride a bike to get around instead of taking a car are helping to reduce traffic volumes, reduce emissions, reduce noise, improve parking availability for those who need to drive, and improve safety in our wonderful city. Bicycle riding is a perfect fit for Hoboken, and that’s why so many people interviewed support it. Thanks CBS for paying attention to our successful bike/pedestrian safety programs!

  • mark

    Noble but not well thought out. Hoboken cannot be made bike friendly. There are too many cars and the streets a way too narrow. Focusing an other problems Hoboken faces might be more productive.

    • mike

      One great to reduce the number of cars to get more on bikes!

      • elle

        “not Following the rules”

      • Elle

        One way is to make sure that people who ride bikes follow the rules. I have been hit by bikes not ruling the rules than by cars.

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