Recently, The New York Times previewed Hoboken mayor Dawn Zimmer's State of the City speech, which featured her plan for protecting the city against the sort of catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Since much of this polyglot city of 50,000 lies below sea level, as does New Orleans, this is likely to be a Herculean task at best. And while the mayor sensibly calls for a "comprehensive, integrated approach" to flood control, her first line of defense could drive more water toward other communities.
Zimmer envisions "permanent flood walls along the south and north" of Hoboken that will "rise up as gates if flooding were to occur."
Let's leave aside where these flood walls would be built in this crowded city, where every square inch of land has something on top of it.
And let's not worry about the cost or who would pick up the tab.
Even with those two concerns out of the picture, the entire scheme suffers from three fundamental problems that should get it shelved before any consultants get rich assessing it.