Everyone is pissed off about the "protected" bike lanes on Washington. I will go on record that I liked the idea at first. Then I actually listened to the complaints from residents and business owners. My opinion changed for one simple reason:
People. Are. Idiots.
Please, let me explain. Living here for 22 years and watching people walk and drive around this town has led me to a simple conclusion. We, as a society, are selfish. We don't give a rats ass about other people, except ourselves. Pedestrains jaywalk and do not pay attention to their surroundings. Car drivers blow through stop signs, double park, and ignore crosswalks. I'm telling you that the day I die is getting hit by a car at Newark and Willow, I have had three near misses in the last 6 months, and what can I do - call the cops saying "Help! I was NEARLY hit by a car!", they would snort and hang up the phone.
People are selfish - and if you add protected bike lanes to a highly congested roadway and a highly congested sidewalk what will happen are people who will cross the street, ignore the bike lane and get hit by a bike rider. Or, you will get someone turning off Washington Street, not pay attention, and mow down someone in the protected bike lane.
We can say "It works in the Netherlands!" all we want. We can point to studies and articles and journals and trot out Nobel Award winning scientists - it doesn't matter. Most of the people crying out about this are like me, we are Hoboken residents who have been here long enough and have a doctorate in Stupidity by just watching how people act in this town.
I agree we need protected bike lanes to let people traverse north-south in Hoboken on a bike. Some of the people said, "Hey you already have the waterfront for that?"
Shut. The. Fuck. Up.
No one is going to ride to the fucking waterfront to go North or South in Hoboken unless you live on the Waterfront or Hudson Street. No one likes going "the long way" to get somewhere - and if you live on 1st and Adams, you won't ride all the way up to the waterfront, then go north, then turn back west to get to your destination.
No, the simple solution is a central road that also has enough room for a protected bike lane. Now, my solution is simple, you need to make Clinton and Willow street with protected bike lanes. Why?
1. They are centrally located, nearly in the middle of Hoboken.
2. They are wider than "normal streets".
3. There is less traffic when compared to Washington Street.
Take a look at these pictures. The first one is Clinton Street, which has an unprotected bike lane:
This is Park Avenue, which clearly is too narrow:
What i'm not 100% sure is if we add protected bike lanes to Willow/Clinton will that cause any issues with the NJ transit buses. Certainly needs to be checked out before doing so. But, lets assume they won't have an issue.
This would be a perfect location for the protected bike lanes. If you wanted to get to Washington street you can use these corridors to get North/South and then turn up whatever street to get to Washington. For example, if i'm downtown and wanted to get to Cafe Elysian, I would take Clinton uptown to 9th, ride 9th to Washington and then take the sidewalk (yes, you can ride on sidewalks in Hoboken, as long as if you aren't riding faster than pedestrians).
Now if only someone would bring back the St. Patrick's Day Parade.