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City Designs Plan to Alleviate Traffic Congestion

The city introduced a new plan this week, following a public meeting.

The city will move forward on plans to open Madison Street to car traffic, following a public meeting held earlier this week, the city announced this week. 

The measure is part of a Southwest Hoboken Access Improvement Plan. 

"We will be moving ahead with a pilot plan to reopen Madison Street to help alleviate the pressure at Jackson Street and ease traffic congestion getting into Hoboken overall," Mayor Dawn Zimmer said in the statement. 

The city is in the final stages of coordinating with Hudson County and the Hoboken Fire and Police Departments to reopen Madison Street behind the firehouse on Observer Highway as part of an access improvement plan for Southwest Hoboken.

Although the street was closed to traffic with barriers several decades ago, it legally remains a through-street, according to the city.

The city is finalizing plans to conditionally open the street within a month and to monitor changes to traffic patterns.

The main challenge with opening Madison Street, according to the city's announcement, is the short block length which provides minimal capacity for queued vehicles, which could back up onto Newark Street.

As a result, the city is planning a three-phase pilot in order to evaluate resulting traffic conditions at each step before considering additional changes.

Phase I: Only right hand turns will be permitted from Madison Street onto Observer Highway. Left turns and northbound through movements will be prohibited.

Phase 2: Left turns and northbound through movements will be permitted during off-peak hours (Right turn only on weekdays, 7am-9am and 4pm-7pm). (Pending analysis)

Phase 3: All turning movements permitted at all times. (Pending analysis)

In all phases, only right hand turns from Newark Street would be permitted onto Madison Street. Drivers would proceed from Marin Boulevard, turn left on Newark Street, and then right onto Madison Street.

Left turns will not be permitted onto Madison Street in order to avoid eastbound traffic backups on Newark Street. Large trucks and buses will be prohibited at all times.

Due to the limited queuing capacity on Madison Street, it is critical to maintain a constant flow of vehicles to prevent backups onto Newark Street.

Has this been an issue? Are you happy about these changes? Let us know in the comments! 

Brian August 16, 2012 at 09:43 PM
This isn't going to alleviate any of the issues that the Jackson Street debacle created. How does this help anyone coming from Newark Street? Most people will still need to go left on Jackson and it is not til Phase 3 that Madison opens up to left hand turns. Making what operated as a 2 lane road into a 1 lane road with 2 lanes of parking and a bike lane the size of another car lane was just stupid, poor planning and ZImmer/Saccs are too proud to admit the screwed up and made a decision that screwed over a lot more people than it would have helped in theory. More over, there is still going to be a (moronic & dangerous) bike lane that splits to lanes of traffic by going diagonally across a very busy intersection.
dahorseybutt August 16, 2012 at 11:12 PM
What is the deal with the mayor and statements or through her assistant Julio? Does she ever talk to people in person? I often see her leave city hall and she seems to scurry home and seems to avoid people at all costs.
puzzledone August 17, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Brian, Jackson street was a one lane road before the changes (as you seem to readily admit, by saying it operated as a two-lane road), and is still a one lane road. Unless I am incorrect, the changes to this intersection (where too many vehicular and pedestrian accidents occurred) was done by a unanimous vote of the city council. (Of course, now some of the council members who had voted for it are starting to complain about it). In my experience I've found that this has actually decreased the trauma of getting into town, likely by convincing some of the Hudson to Lincoln crowd that Hoboken is not the right route to go. For my next suggestion, I believe the city should begin ticketing people who go straight out of the left (left turn only) lane at the new Monroe/Observer/Grove intersection. I've almost been clipped there almost every time.
Hobbs August 17, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Actually at the last City Council meeting several people in the area took the time to praised the change on Jackson Street for making it much safer for people to cross the street. I understand that after the public meeting Mayor Zimmer, Ian Sacs and HPD officials attended at 38 Jackson Street the other day most people, residents and business owners were also happy with the change. Hopefully there will also be a traffic light on that intersection soon. :-)

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