SOUTHWEST ACCESS PLAN ANNOUNCED TO ALLEVIATE TRAFFIC CONGESTION
Madison Street to be Reopened as Three-Phase Pilot Program
Following the community meeting held on August 14 to discuss traffic and pedestrian safety issues in Southwest Hoboken, the City of Hoboken will proceed with plans to reopen Madison Street to vehicular traffic as part of a Southwest Hoboken Access Improvement Plan. The plan was first publicly announced and presented at the community meeting.
“Thank you to all the residents who came out for a very productive meeting,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Based on the positive feedback we received, 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.”
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. The City is finalizing plans to conditionally open the street within a month and to monitor changes to traffic patterns.
The principle challenge with opening Madison Street 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.
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. Because Observer Highway is a two-way street with moderate traffic volumes, initially only right hand turns will be permitted onto Observer Highway to minimize traffic conflicts and increase traffic throughput.
Pending an analysis of traffic conditions, additional phases would gradually loosen restrictions on turning movements at Madison Street and Observer Highway:
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)
A draft illustration of the three-phase pilot plan is available for download.