Open Streets program creates more space for social distancing in Hoboken

Hoboken has started a pilot program that provides additional outdoor space for social distancing.

News 12 Staff

May 16, 2020, 1:33 PM

Updated 1,433 days ago

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Hoboken has started a pilot program that provides additional outdoor space for social distancing.
The Open Streets pilot program has closed off vehicle traffic on Adams Street between Third and Ninth streets through 8 p.m. today. It will do the same from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
The goal of the program is to provide more recreational space for walkers, joggers and bikers to alleviate overcrowding in city parks and other public spaces.
Jefferson Street was the first test street of the program last weekend.
Traffic control officers are on site to assist drivers who need access to enter or exit their garages.
Residents do not need to move their vehicles parked on Adams Street and can exit in their vehicles today or Sunday.
According to city leaders, more than 2,280 filled out a survey and 88% of total respondents want "open streets' to continue during the pandemic. A total of 74% of those are in favor of continuing the program after the pandemic and 84% want Washington Street to become an open street even if it meant a temporary loss in parking.
"You've got some open streets, you got nice weather," says Michael Minervini. "It's safe and that's what we're looking for right now."
Local businesses, however, say there are some problems with the program.
"It's nice for people to get out onto the streets but it does have an adverse effect on our business," says John Amato, owner of Fiore's House of Quality. "We rely a lot on vehicle traffic and it makes an obstacle for our customers to get to us to do a normal day's business."
He says in April, his business was down 40 to 50% and Saturday is one of his busiest days.
City officials are also considering restricting motor vehicle traffic to other main streets during peak business hours, allowing businesses and restaurants to seat more customers as they begin reopening.
City officials say residents are still prohibited from congregating and face masks should be work at all times.
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