Hoboken's Secret Entrance

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For years I lived in Hoboken without a car. All of my trips back to Philadelphia were on the train from Newark. One year, my sister and brother in law offered me their used 1993 Volvo for about $7,000 and I was free to drive anywhere I wanted at anytime I wanted.

Then I realized what I didn't miss about driving - traffic.

If you are like me, and take frequent trips out of town on the holidays and happen to arrive near the Holland Tunnel around peak driving times, it is always backed up. For years I used to sit in this traffic, and would always wonder if there was a back street way to drive into Hoboken via Jersey City. I was a bit afraid of getting off the highway and making a wrong turn - and ending up in an episode of "COPS", if you know what I mean.

This is what I call the "Secret Entrance" into Hoboken if you are coming from out of town. For years I didn't know about this, and it wasn't until trial and error that I found out about using this route into Hoboken. Maybe you already know about it, and if you do, congratulations! If you don't, well, I hope it serves you well, it easily will shave off a good 10-30 minutes of sitting in traffic at the Holland Tunnel light (depending on traffic).


  1. After you pass exit 14B, heading towards exit 14C, and you pass the final set of tolls, there will be an exit marked "Jersey City / Columbus Drive". Take that exit into Jersey City.

  2. Go down the offramp, and thru the first light. The road will come to a curved "T" section, with traffic directed right or a stop sign for those going left. Follow it to the right onto Columbus Drive. Go to the second light.

  3. At the second light is Monmouth Street. Make a left on to Monmouth.

  4. Follow Monmouth 14 blocks to 14th Street (remember, this is Jersey City's 14th street). Make a right at 14th street. You will notice that just before you get to 14th street, you drive under a few overpasses: it's all the tunnel traffic above you!

  5. At 14th, you make a first left on to Coles St. Ahead of you, there will be the large white building that says "American Self Storage". On Coles, you drive four blocks to 18th street.

  6. On 18th, you make a right (if you can go left here, it would take you to the Storage building) and the first light you come to, a block away, you make a left on to Jersey Avenue.

  7. As soon as you do that - you will see the turn on to Newark Avenue and the large "Welcome to Hoboken" bridge.

There are other ways and other roads, that i'm sure to get comments or emails about - but this is certainly the best way to also avoid any lights and I believe the quickest way, too. I used to take Columbus Drive to Washington Street (Jersey City's Washington Street) and that has a trillion lights and takes far longer than my "secret" route.

I guess it's not a secret anymore!

*Oh technically this is also a trick to bypassing all the traffic waiting at the offramp. Instead of making a left on to Jersey Avenue, you can make a right and the second light make a left to the Holland Tunnel, which will be right in front of you. Unless you like waiting in line on the ramp...

1 Comment

The way you described is pretty much the way I use because of the backed up traffic. I'd like to point out, before committing to the Jersey City Exit, take a peek for brake lights up ahead (near Dickinson High School where the bend for the Holland Tunnel back-up usually begins). Depending on the time of day, it may not be backed up.

Brake Lights = Traffic

No Brake Lights = No Traffic

Also, if I know there's gonna be traffic, I use Exit 14, intead of 14 A B & C. This way still keeps you on a Highway and you don't have to worry about a guest appearence on COPS. This will put you on the 1/9 route. It's quicker and a dollar or so cheaper on tolls. The key is always staying to the left at any splits in the road, except for one, which is when you have the option to go to Broadway (Jersey City). Just stay in your lane for that one. Other than that, you might hit about 5 minutes worth of traffic toward the end but once you get through that bottle neck, it spreads out into 4 or 5 lanes. STAY IN THE LEFT HAND LANE. The other lanes are for Holland Tunnel and will be backed up but you'll be in the Jersey City/Hoboken lane. I have barely ever even seen a red light there. If this sounds confusing, look at it this way. You'll be on the opposite side of where you usually are, except, you ever notice all those people in the far lane blowing by everyone else and making the left into JC/Hob? And you wonder how to get in on that? Well, now you know. Peace.

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on December 26, 2005 12:48 AM.

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