HOBOKEN, NJ — Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla said Thursday that the city will block off Adams Street, between Third and Ninth streets, this weekend to allow more foot traffic and social distancing.
Last week, the first "open streets pilot" took place on Jefferson Street, allowing businesses to serve customers outside, free of vehicle traffic.
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During the open street pilot this weekend on Adams Street, walking, jogging, and biking are permitted on the open street, while congregating is prohibited. Face masks should be worn at all times.
"The purpose of the open streets pilot is to provide additional space for social distancing for residents outdoors and alleviate overcrowding in city parks and other public spaces," according to a city press release.
The hours will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Traffic control officers will be on hand to assist residents in vehicles who need access to enter or exit their garages. Residents do not need to move their vehicles parked on Adams Street in advance of the weekend and can exit Adams Street in their vehicles on Saturday or Sunday.
“Last weekend’s successful launch on Jefferson Street demonstrated that open streets serve as a great way to get some fresh air while practicing safe social distancing,” said Mayor Bhalla. “As a result, we are bringing open streets to Adams Street this weekend, to provide additional options for outdoor space and alleviate crowds in other public places. Based on the positive responses, responsible usage, and popularity of the program, we’ll be looking for ways to expand open streets in the weeks and months to come.”
Over 2,280 people filled out the city’s open street survey this week, the city said. They said 88 percent of respondents want “open streets” to continue during the coronavirus pandemic to provide additional space for social distancing. Seventy-four percent want open streets to continue when coronavirus is no longer a factor.
Significantly, the city said 84 percent want Washington Street, the main drag through town, to be an open street, even if it meant a temporary loss in parking. Normally, half of the street is closed only during the semi-annual arts and music festival.
When asked for their primary reason for using the open street, 75 percent said for recreation and 17 percent said it was on their way to another destination, the city said. Users reported walking and biking as their most common activities.
Among the 386 respondents who indicated they live on Jefferson Street, 80 percent support open streets to continue on Jefferson Street or another street during the covid-19 pandemic, and 66 percent support open streets after the pandemic.
The survey results can be found here.
In Hoboken, 26 people have passed away due to coronavirus. For more Hoboken statistics and updates, and information about the new antibody testing, click here.
The coronavirus death toll in New Jersey climbed to 9,702 as of Wednesday, up 198 from the day before. While the daily death rate is slowing — it was 460 on its worst day April 30 — governments are recommending reopening slowly to avoid a new spike in cases.
Wednesday, Gov. Phil Murphy issued guidelines to reopen some nonessential businesses.
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