You have reached an archive page. has ended support for FTP based blogs and New York's Sixth is migrating to WordPress. These pages are only maintained as an archive. For updated content, visit New York's

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Graphic Guide to Riding the PATH

Comic book artist blog The Glass Urchin has put together a visual Guide to Riding the PATH, just in case words are too difficult to understand.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

PATH Crushed by Holiday Traffic

The Port Authority was, as expected, ill equipped to handle holiday crowds Sunday night. A crush of passengers at 33rd Street were corralled by transit police causing lines to form back to the Manhattan Mall and up stairs at the Herald Square entrance. Large crowds at other stations fought for position to board crowded cars.

When a PATH representative was asked why more trains had not been added for the holiday weekend, he simply responded that the next train would arrive soon, though it arrived at the regularly scheduled time.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tomorrow Is Park(ing) Day

Tomorrow is the not-yet- getting-you-out- of-work- holiday, Park(ing) Day where intrepid urbanites turn a parking space into a bit of park space. Jersey City is getting its own 120 square feet of heaven tomorrow at Newark Avenue and Baldwin. The Jersey City Independent has a bit on all that or read more at


Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Angry PATH Riders Launch Survey, Shake Angry Fists has launched a survey gathering feedback from riders, and promising to post the monthly results. Survey says: 100% of PATH Riders who create websites about the PATH have a complaint.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Columbus Highway in Pictures

While the city maintains that the Columbus expansion project is nothing more than a "streetscape improvement", the project requires removing existing curb extensions to make way for the minimum 9 foot wide travel lanes being added. What this means, explained in pictures:

Monmouth Street and Columbus Drive

Removing the curb extension at Monmouth street to convert parking into a travel lane also widens the distance between curbs-- making pedestrian crossings more treacherous.

Varick Street and Columbus

The Same thing is to happen at Varick Street.

Columbus Drive at Rush Hour.

Say goodbye to all that sweet residential parking.


Monday, August 03, 2009

City Plans Highway Through Downtown

Residents hoping for a freshly paved Columbus Drive may be dismayed to learn they will soon be losing a valuable parking as the city prepares to expand the roadway into a five lane highway. The city intends to realign Columbus Drive with six lanes of traffic; during rush hour, parking would be prohibited on one side of the street to create three lanes of traffic in one direction, and two in the opposite direction.

The expansion project will extend as far east as Warren Street. The current taxi cab stand on Columbus drive will displace metered parking on Grove Street and extend onto Wayne Street. Resident and meter parking along Columbus will be eliminated during rush hours. The city plans one widening the roadway during the repaving process by removing existing curb extensions, trees, and eliminating parking spaces. Parking will be prohibited on the eastbound side of the street during the mornings and the westbound side of the street in the afternoons. In effect, residents will be unable to park on Columbus during the day unless they can move their cars between the morning the evening rush. Enforcement will be coordinated by the East District police. Further expansion to full time six lane roadway will need the approval of the city council.

The expansion of the roadway will also send traffic onto local residential streets such as Jersey Avenue and Erie Street; Erie is already known to be hazardous because of high traffic volumes. The city contends improvements to signal timing, resin crosswalks, and new handicapped ramps will compensate for the wider distance pedestrians have to cross the busy street.

The city received a state grant to cover the cost of the repaving the street as far Jersey Avenue. According to Councilman Fulop, the grant does not require realigning the roadway.

Last year, the city doubled the capacity of Grand Street to the chagrin of residents who have lost parking along the street. The road is now four lanes at all times; resident contend the wider roadway presents a danger to pedestrians, particularly because city officials refuse to activate a new traffic light at Barrow Street.

The city insists adding a lane of traffic is not an expansion but merely a cosmetic streetscape project. Typically,a 1% percent increase in travel lanes results in an increase of traffic volume by .9% within 5 years.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Is the Harrison Garage the PATHpocalypse?

A new, 1,400 space parking garage has been going up in Harrison, adjacent to the PATH station. Since 2005, parking around the Harrison station had been dramatically reduced by construction of the Red Bulls Stadium, this parking garage, and preparation for Harrison Commons. 1,400 new commuters will add more than a full train's worth of passengers departing from Harrison.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Bridge to Nowhere Hoboken Almost Ready

The Hudson Reporter notes that the NJ Transit bridge connecting Hoboken and Newport is nearly finished and should be open by August, or two months later than originally anticipated.

The bridge will connect the waterfront walkway over the Long Slip Canal adjacent to the Hoboken Light Rail terminus. The light rail line runs along the south side of the canal and crosses the channel with a separate bridge, also adjacent to the new walkway bridge.

Newport finished their remaining segment of the walkway last year. That segment has not opened though, and currently the walkway only extends as far north as the new rental tower Aqua.

The opening of the bridge may cause the Newport development to shift priorities. The north east quadrant of the development has long been planned as the last stage of development, but the opening of the walkway puts that corner of the property literally next door to the Hoboken PATH, NJ Transit commuter rail, light rail terminus, and ferry slip. The access to transportation may make this property exponentially more valuable, particularly in a down market.

When the bridge opens, the walkway will be more or less continuous from the Goldman Sachs tower north through Hoboken. Currently, a small segment at Second Street is closed during construction of Crystal Point, a luxury rental tower in Jersey City. Another segment around Newport Center I has no walkway. An ambitious plan floated last year to Connect the Parks in Paulus Hook calls for building a park and bridge over the Morris Canal that would complete another link.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Escape for Summer

Sure, summer has so far been mostly rainy and cold. But eventually summer will arrive, and that means hitting the beach. So just in case you want a little bit more sand than Newport Beach offers, here are a few getaway special deals:

NJ Transit Beach Special
Hoboken Now points out a NJ Transit discount on beach tags along the NJ Coastline. Round trip fares include beach passes for several destinations along the route with savings up to $6.50.

Atlantic City Express
The brand new ACES train service, an express train from New York / Newark Penn Station to Atlantic City, is offering a short time discounted fare of $29 for those who want to gamble. The train has bar service and runs Friday through Sunday.

Sandy Hook, by Boat
If you rather cruise your way to the beach, SeaStreak offers ferry service to Sandy Hook from Manhattan seven days a week. Twice daily service provides a 30 minute jaunt to a dock in the highlands, includes a short shuttle service, and admission to the beach.

Northeast Corridor
Meanwhile, Amtrak is running a 25 percent discount on Northeast Corridor rail service. So if the beach isn't your thing, consider some of the nation's great historical cities like Boston, Philadelphia or Washington D.C.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

PATH Cars Meet Critics

Seems like not everyone is a fan of the new PATH train cars.


Monday, March 16, 2009

PATH Replacing Wooden Benches

New PATH benches installed at 33rd Street Station

The Port Authority has installed new metal benches in the 33rd Street station, replacing previous wooden benches. Also, flat screen monitors have replaced older cathode ray tubes for the useless PATH Vision. PATH Vision displays advertisements and occasionally the time of the next departing train, most often after the train has departed.


Thursday, March 05, 2009

Hoboken Rejects Terminal Redevelopment Plan As Though It Matters What They Think

Hoboken's City council rejected a resolution authorizing a contract for FXFOWLE, an architectural firm designing a plan for the Hoboken terminal. NJ Transit has been looking to develop land above and around the rail yards that are mostly, but not entirely in Hoboken. A small portion of the yards falls within the boundaries of Jersey City.

Hoboken residents have been upset about the proposal fearing the high rise tower component of the project would block their views. These concerns are mostly irrelevant since Jersey City's Newport development is already zoned for high rises and borders the NJ Transit Property. Newport's northern quadrant may be several years away from new construction; indeed, the Lefraks have not even sought final site approvals for those towers. However, with the soon to be completed NJ Transit bridge connecting Newport to the Hoboken terminal, the northern quadrant is suddenly a much more desirable location for residential and office development.

Hoboken Now quotes the always insightful Dawn Zimmer as saying: "I don't think they have the right to come in here and build sky high." Actually Dawn, NJ Transit, as a state agency, can pretty much do whatever they want.

The plan developed for the terminal includes an area of high rise office towers on the east side of the property and mid rise residential buildings around the perimeter of the property. The southern portion would abut against the north side of Newport's redevelopment zone over the existing canal. The project would also include large areas of park space around the terminal and the new buildings.

Along with the project, new sewers and flood pumps would be constructed. While these upgrades alone won't solve Hoboken's flooding problems, the improvements are at least a step in the right direction.

While many in Hoboken are arguing against high rise towers, there is little the city can do along the border. Jersey City's zoning already allows high rise towers in areas like Newport. The problem is best illustrated by 700 Grove Street, a large residential building in Jersey City, but north of the train tracks. Hoboken receives the drawbacks of that building, such as increased traffic, without any of the benefits, such as increased tax revenues. Because the building is in Jersey City, Hoboken had no control over the zoning. The terminal project, split between the two cities, would produce similar challenges for Hoboken.

Labels: ,

Monday, March 02, 2009

Port Authority Answers More Questions, Ignores Others

The Port Authority answered more New York Times's reader questions in Part 2 and Part 3 of the series. Of course, as is typical, there is more answer dodging than answering going on. Still not addressed is the ticking time bomb of World Trade Center station closures coming this summer.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Port Authority Answers Time's Readers Questions

The first round of answers posed to the Port Authority Executive Director by readers of the Times have have been answered, sort of. One reader wanted to know why the PATH Terminal at the World Trade Center was so far behind schedule. Good question, bad answer. The response include a myriad of facts about the project, and this one liner:

"I realize that may be a lot more information than you wanted,"

Actually, we were thinking just the opposite. All the information provided has already been disseminated several times. Presumably, there will be a second set of "select" questions.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Port Authority Executive Director to Answer New York Time's Reader Questions

The executive director of the Port Authority will be answering "select" questions from readers of the the New York Times City Room. This might be the perfect time to badger the agency about proposed closings of the World Trade Center PATH station. The Port Authority has proposed closing the WTC PATH terminus on weekends for the next two years in order to build new high rise office towers at the World Trade Center site. Such a question might go like this: why is the bi-state agency investing in lower Manhattan at the expensive of New Jersey residents? Or, isn't it irresponsible to ask New Jersey residents to sacrifice a major gateway into New York to simply speed along an already delayed construction process? Answers will be selected from comments left on the New York Times site.


New PATH Cars Begin Circulation

The new PATH cars began carrying riders last Thursday morning for a limited mid-day run. Rumor has it the cars will be making appearances at various times over the next few weeks, testing the cars at rush hour and late nights as well.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

World Trade Center Ramp to Be Dismantled

The ramp leading from Liberty Street into the giant pit of the World Trade Center will be dismantled starting this weekend to make way for ongoing construction at the site. PATH trains travel beneath the ramp on the inbound tracks.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Port Authority Reps to be Abused at Community Meeting

Representatives from the Port Authority will be attending the Van Vorst Park Association meeting tonight where local residents are expected to tar and feather them over proposals to shudder weekend World Trade Center PATH service and other maladies caused by the bi-state organization.

Barrow Mansion
83 Wayne Street
Tuesday 7:30 PM
Van Vorst Park Neighborhood Association


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Traffic Accident Erie and Third

A car on Third Street was struck by a north bound car on Erie Street, again. Last week a car struck the house on the northeast corner, much like Friday's accident on Second Street, or last year's accident on Erie and Second and Erie and Third.

So far the Jersey City has failed to address the issue of traffic accidents on Erie Street. Luckily, no one has yet been killed. Also luckily, Mayor Healy and the entire council face an election in 6 months.


Friday, November 07, 2008

Hamilton Square Jitney Strikes Car

A Hamilton Square jitney bus strike a car at Second Street this afternoon shortly after 4pm, closing Grove Street. The jitney was traveling south on Manila / Grove Street. Second Street has a stop sign while Grove Street does not; however, drivers on Grove Street frequently speed through the intersections much as they do on Erie.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

PATH Serice Extra Scary For Halloween

The Port Authority surpassed many expectations on Halloween night providing extra abysmal service even by PATH standards. Inbound 33rd Street trains were packed with Halloween revelers making late evening trains seem like morning rush hour. But the real horror was not to come until 3:30 in the morning. Instead of providing additional trains to accommodate late night ghosts and ghouls, the Port Authority simply crammed overflowing crowds into Jersey bound PATH cars. One train took more than an hour to get from 14th Street to 9th Street where passengers were kept locked in the cars until someone had the sense to pull the emergency lever.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Sixth Street Light Rail Recommended in Regional Transit Plan

The independent, non-profit Regional Plan Association has released a report (PDF) making recommendations for a unified regional transit plan for the tri-state area. The Observer breaks down recommendations for additional services in Manhattan, including subway extensions and free cross town buses.

In Jersey City, the report recommends extending the existing light rail line to route 440 and to 8th Street in Bayonne, both plans currently under consideration. In addition, the organization recommends constructing a new light rail line along Sixth Street through the Bergen arches, at least as far as the western slope of the Heights.

Other notable recommendations include extending Newark's light rail subway line, connecting Staten Island via light rail, and building a new light rail station in Hoboken. Missing from the plan is any suggestion of additional trans-Hudson subway lines; we have long advocated connecting the future Second Avenue subway to a new trans-Hudson connection that would service the southern side of Jersey City, Bayonne, and link up with Staten Island's North Shore Line.

While the independent agency has no authority in making policy, the recommendations are not without merit. The report bases conclusions on recommendations "informed by two brainstorming sessions and interviews with 25 transit experts, by existing studies and by the analysis depicted in the tables and figures of the report."

The full report is loaded with plenty of charts and graphs for readers who enjoy that sort of thing.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Concorde to Visit Jersey City

A British Airways Concorde will be making a stop in Jersey City this weekend before heading back to the Intrepid, reports the NY Times. Pulled by a tugboat, the aircraft will arrive this afternoon and spend a weekend at a Jersey City boatyard.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Councilman Leads Fight for PATH Service Improvements, Overlooks WTC Service Changes

Downtown Councilman Steven Fulop is looking to lead a crusade against the Port Authority, railing against already poor weekend and late night PATH Service and demanding an expansion of the Pavonia/Newport Station. Hoboken councilwoman Beth Mason is joining the fight. The pair is involved with, a site that encourages residents to contact the governors of New York and New Jersey, as well as the Port Authority.

The site allows users to generate, automatically, emails to the governors and the appropriate members of the Port Authority. Unfortunately, the site over emphasizes the importance of expanding the Pavonia/Newport Station while failing to address last week's proposed suspensions of weekend service to the World Trade Center.

PATH riders concerned about proposals to sacrifice weekend World Trade Center PATH service in order to allow a faster construction schedule in Manhattan should consider contact the governor of New Jersey directly by phone: 609.292.6000. Corzine will be seeking re-election next year.


Monday, October 06, 2008

PATH Service Changes Could Decimate Condo Sales, Rental Market

Condo developments in Jersey City may be the first victims of the Port Authority's announcement that weekend PATH service to the World Trade Center will be suspended most weekends until 2011. Many new high rise developments have been attempting to lure Manhattanites to glitzy glass towers on the waterfront with the promise of a shorter trip to Lower Manhattan than many similar neighborhoods in Brooklyn or Queens.

New projects like Crystal Point, 77 Hudson Street, and Trump Plaza have marketed their properties to New Yorkers. The towers, located near Exchange Place, should all have a six minute ride into Lower Manhattan, but suspension of service on weekends will mean travelers will have at least a twenty-minute ride into the city along with a transfer and an extra two dollar fare collected by the MTA. Suddenly the extra square footage and stunning views in the new towers seem a lot less appealing.

More importantly, the service changes are scheduled to begin in the summer months shortly after the summer buying season has begun. Many city dwellers house hunting on the weekends will come face to face with the service changes as they begin viewing properties, as though convincing a Manhattanite to come to Jersey City wasn't hard enough already.

For the more transient renter population, lower rents may not be enough to keep Jersey City residents here with the service changes being threatened. A poster on JCList sums up sentiments of many: "my lease is up this month and not having weekend trains to WTC is making me think about wanting to move to brooklyn instead, last week I was sure I was staying in Jersey City."

Jersey City has positioned itself in recent years as direct competitor with trendy Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods, vying for younger residents and young professionals. They are ideal residents, using fewer city services than families with children in the schools and having more disposable income to spend at local businesses. But with a nascent nightlife in the downtown neighborhoods, Jersey City's younger crowds often play in Manhattan, Brooklyn or Queens. Disconnecting these residents from lower Manhattan on weekends will likely drive many out of Jersey City to the New York boroughs.

The redevelopment of Jersey City's waterfront owes plenty to the PATH, but with the economic downturn already slowing construction, the repercussions of suspending weekend PATH service could worsen an already poor situation. The effects are unlikely to be temporary either, with the long term consequence being a dramatic slowdown in growth.

All hope is not lost. Property owners and residents alike can call the Office of the Governor of New Jersey, 609.292.6000, and explain to him how suspending weekend service will effect them. Coincidentally, governor Jon Corzine is up for re-election next year.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

PATH to be Screwed by Port Authority Efforts to Meet Deadlines

The Port Authority released a revised schedule for the new World Trade Center site. In order to make their deadlines, PATH service to the World Trade Center will be suspended weekends beginning in 2009 and lasting through 2011. PATH riders have already taken a beating by the Port Authorities weekend service changes.

As recently as two years ago, the Port Authority operated a normal weekday schedule between 7am and 7pm on Saturday and Sundays. In order to accommodate construction at the World Trade Center site, that schedule was replaced with inferior service, sending all 33rd street trains through Hoboken, and removing Hoboken to World Trade Center service from Friday at midnight until Monday morning. While the Port Authority promises to "mitigate the impact," that probably means they simply will expect PATH riders to crowd into 33rd Street bound trains like cattle into boxcars.

Meanwhile, the new PATH terminal at the World Trade Center won't open until 2014, and will cost $3.2 billion, or $100 million more than the 1,776 foot tall Freedom Tower. Curbed provides an excellent time line for the site.

PA Press Release


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

BJ's Carts Keep PATH Running

The plague of BJ's shopping carts in downtown Jersey seems to be slowly subsiding as the wholesale retailer begins installing locking mechanisms on the carts. However, that hasn't stopped Port Authority employees / contractors from making use of the carts as they do maintenance work in Hoboken.

Labels: ,

Monday, July 14, 2008

U-Haul Takes Out Traffic Signal

A U-Haul Truck struck a traffic light on Marin Blvd in Downtown Jersey City

A U-Haul truck with an attached trailer struck a traffic signal on the corner of Marin Blvd and Grand Streets on Saturday night. The U-Haul continued on without stopping.


Monday, June 30, 2008

Second Street Car Goes Up in Flames

A car fire in downtown Jersey City

Saturday evening at dusk, a car burst into flames on Second Street in downtown Jersey City. The car was located between Erie and Grove Street.

Second Street in Jersey City where a car burned


Friday, June 27, 2008

Hoboken Bicyclists Organize

While New York City in recent years has been quite proactively reclaiming space for pedestrians and bicyclists, the same can not be said in Hudson County. That could change thanks to the efforts of Bike Hoboken, a group working to convince city officials to add bicycle lanes throughout Hoboken. They have a plan.

Labels: ,

Monday, June 23, 2008

Rail Yard Development Unveiled

Hoboken Terminal clocktower

The Hoboken rail yards will eventually be a 54 acre mixed use development with high rise towers according to plans released last week. Three quarters of the land falls within Hoboken with the remainder in Jersey City bordering against Newport.

According to The Hudson Reporter, the project will cost as much as $500 million dollars. The masterplan was prepared by architectural firm FXFOWLE.

The NJ Transit rail yards present a major opportunity to physically unite Jersey City and Hoboken. For now, a vast expanse of undeveloped and industrial land exists on the north end of Jersey City with the rail yards a major obstacle between Hoboken and Jersey City. For instance, 700 Grove Street and the Zephyr Lofts, both in Jersey city but North of the rail lines, might as well be in Hoboken; there is no neighborhood to the south, only desolate parking lots and fenced in vacant land.

Developing the rail yard would provide a major opportunity to further transit oriented growth in New Jersey. Already, Hoboken property nearest the terminal is largely built out. Large vacant properties are only available in the western side of the city. Further, the value disparity has become more evident in the recent real estate downturn with eastern properties continuing to sell. In either case, Hoboken's terminal has not been used to maximum effectiveness as a transit center since property to the south and west over the rail yards are not being built out. Building on the rail yards will allow more residents or office workers to commute by more easily accessible trains.

Also to the immediate south of the Hoboken terminal is the northern end of the Newport property in Jersey City. NJ Transit is building a bridge over the a small canal that will connect Jersey City's waterfront to Hoboken at the rail terminal. When completed, the bridge will make Newport properties planned for the Hoboken / Jersey City border more desirable. The north side of the development is more than half a mile from the Pavonia-Newport PATH station, but less than a quarter mile from the Hoboken terminal when traveling over the new bridge.

The 54 acre rail yards are roughly the size of Liberty Harbor North. In that development, nearly 7,000 housing units and nearly a million feet of office space are planned. The final tally over the NJ Transit property may be higher though because Liberty Harbor North contains a significant amount of low and mid-rise buildings.

The rail yards project will certainly change the Hoboken skyline, but it will also make available more housing. But whatever happens, the project is years away from starting, and even further from completion.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hudson Office Market Strong

The New York Times has a bit on New Jersey office real estate markets; construction on several projects in suburban north Jersey are moving forward. More importantly though, vacancy rates on Hudson coast are down to about 8 percent, and new projects are being planned including another tower in Hoboken.

Part of the continued strength comes from the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Program in effect since January. 9 Cities qualify, including Hoboken and Jersey City. Under the program, office development within a half mile of designated transit hubs qualifies for state tax abatements.

New office towers are expected along the Gold Coast, but not immediately. Harborside Plaza 4 surfaced last year briefly, but before the credit crisis (coincidentally, happy birthday, Credit Crunch!). Newport has no immediate plans for new office towers; several additional residential towers are in various stages of approval there, but no new office towers. Hoboken's Waterfront Corporate Center has a third complex in the works, as noted in the Times. The Journal Square area does have several opportunities, and the hope is the development of the Harwood Towers will eventually bring more development there.

Still, many office development firms continue to insist on constructing suburban office parks, even as gasoline surpasses $4 a gallon. While suburban New Jersey office parks are currently asking a third of mid-town rents, and half of asking rents along the Gold Coast, unless fuel prices drop, employees may be less inclined to transfer into office space inaccessible to mass transit. The true effect of New Jersey's Urban Transit Tax Credit won't be realized for some time; the program has only been in effect for six months.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Port Authority Looks to Sell Freedom

The Port Authority might be looking to sell the Freedom Tower. Even though the PA was able to build two 110 towers back in the 1960's, a single 102 story tower may prove too much for them in 2008. Perhaps its time to rethink trusting these people with the Moynihan Station.


Monday, June 09, 2008

Overheard: New PATH Car Rumors

A train conductor's conversation over the weekend provided a few insights on the mysterious new PATH train cars that should arrive this year. Accordingly, the new cars won't be in service until September at the earliest, and even then, they will undergo a number of test runs through the system before customers actually see the inside of them. The other little tidbit worth noting is that the new cars, unlike the current fleet, will have closed circuit cameras on every car. Big brother is watching you.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

About the "Temporary" PATH Station...

Curbed mentions a bit in the Sun about the fate of the World Trade Center PATH station. Last week, the director of the Port Authority resigned. He was closely linked to sex-o-holic Spitzer, and newly minted Governor Paterson supposedly forced him out. Paterson's new choice might take this opportunity to scrap plans to build a new World Trade Center Gateway for the PATH, instead opting to spend the money in Penn Station. Shifting the money to Penn Station is good news for suburbanites, but not so much for urban dwellers relying on the PATH.

In the months after September 11th, the region's transportation agencies painted a rosy picture of the future of downtown transportation. The MTA and Port Authority promised a massive investment and the integration of the subways and PATH trains in a massive Fulton Street hub to rival the other three or four other great transit hubs in the city. The Port Authority and MTA in a seeming competition to outdo the other, promised grand entrances to their respective portions of the station.

Then reality sunk in. The MTA started cutting back on the underground tubes connecting various subway lines. The Port Authority clipped off Calatrava's soaring "wings" of the original station design. Now all that remains of the once grand entranceway to lower Manhattan is a collection of unfinished concrete.

The Port Authority certainly has an obligation to maximize the effectiveness of its financial resources, but let's not forget the agency lost millions of dollars when it failed to deliver the World Trade Center site to developer Larry Silverstein. Meanwhile, someone (here's looking at you Jon) should remind Paterson that the Port Authority is a bi-state agency.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Port Authority Cheats PATH Riders, Again

Once again, the Port Authority has scaled back plans for the Calatrava designed World Trade Center PATH station, once promised as a grand entry point to lower Manhattan. The Times says the new plans will cut corners on the interior spaces, relying more on the temporary station's internal spaces and tracks while using cheaper columns instead of creating broad, open spaces.

Meanwhile, the exterior aesthetics will remain, so claims the Port Authority. Maybe. Twice already, Calatrava's design has been altered, once for security, and the second time for cost, not that much of that matters now anyway. What remains of the Calatrava station is a veneer, the awe inspiring interiors gutted by mismanagement.

At least the Port Authority has money to pay for guys with machine guys to shakedown grandmothers smuggling firecrackers.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Port Authority Tolls Reduce Traffic

Last month's bump in tolls saw a dramatic decline in traffic, according to the Times. The 2.9% drop in traffic was far greater than the expected 2.3% drop, and occurred faster. Thats more than 10,000 fewer vehicles crossing the river.

The toll hike increased the six dollar toll to eight, and eliminated the discount for EZ-Pass users. The statistics come days after New York's failure to approve a congestion pricing plan, which coincidentally, would also have been an eight dollar fee.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

PATH Riders Prefer Metro Cards

The Port Authority's SmartCards aren't too popular, according to the Jersey Journal. The discount offered by the cards is simply not enough to entice riders into signing up, and many riders still prefer the universal pay-per-ride Metro Card.

One day in the Utopian future, the SmartCards will be universal on the MTA, NJ Transit, and PATH systems. The Port Authority agreed to sign up for a universal system in 2005, about a year after the MTA began testing the system, though the MTA continues to experiment.


Monday, April 07, 2008

Albany Gifts $350 Million to Flyover States

Politicians in New York State's legislature have killed congestion pricing for New York City, reports the NY Times, Gothamist. By not acting today, Albany has given up New York City's chance at $350 million in federal grants, assuring the money will be distributed elsewhere. Congestion pricing, the $8 fee to enter Manhattan's business districts would have funneled millions of dollars into projects like the Second Avenue subway while simultaneously reducing traffic on Manhattan streets.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Just a Cab Ride Away

The urban renaissance in Hoboken and downtown Jersey City has resulted in oft made comparisons to New York's outer boroughs (If you haven't figured it out by now, New York's Sixth slyly refers to Jersey City / Hoboken as the fabled Sixth Borough). Yet there is one obstacle that separates New Jersey from the Five Boroughs: taxi cabs.

Step into a cab (literally, inside), and the driver must by law whisk you away to any of the five boroughs, Westchester, Nassau, or the area airports. A needle may be easier to find in a haystack than a yellow cab in the outer boroughs, but a driver can't refuse to take you there once you get in. Not so with trips to Hoboken or Jersey City.

Travelers heading to the west bank of the Hudson River can be refused service, and even when cab drivers agree, the charges are discretionary. In some cases, cab drivers charge a flat fee around $50. In other cases, drivers cite a fare of twice the meter plus the tunnel toll. Either way, consumers headed home to New Jersey pay about twice the cab fare as those headed to western Brooklyn or Queens.

In fairness of course, yellow cabs can't pick up passengers in New Jersey, making every mile out of the Holland Tunnel cost them twice as much. But "double meter" fares usually include the entire trip, not just the New Jersey portion. That's a great deal for those hailing a cab from canal street, but not so much when coming from upper Manhattan or an outer borough.

No part of Hoboken or downtown Jersey City is more than 2 miles from the Holland tunnel. Cabs cost $2 per mile making a $50 fare seems more like price gouging than a reasonable assessment. But there is one thing most cab drivers do in New Jersey: fill up on cheap gas. New York gas costs more than gas in New Jersey, largely because of taxes, and the difference can be twenty to thirty cents a gallon.

Either way, Hoboken councilman Ruben Ramos wants all this to change, according to Hoboken Now. He wrote a letter to the commissioner of the taxicab and limousine commission "regarding exorbitant fees for taxi rides from Manhattan to New Jersey municipalities." Not that we disagree with his sentiments, but we don't see the commission doing anything about it.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Council to Address Erie Street Disaster Waiting to Happen

Back in January, we pointed out a rising number of serious traffic accidents on Erie Street. For some reason, cars keep jumping curbs and running down fences and smashing into houses. Last year, the city council tabled an ordinance to install additional stop signs along Erie Street. According to Councilman Fulop, the council has untabled the ordinance. We can only say its long over due.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Signal Failure Exposes Vulnerabilities

Saturday night, for two hours, a catastrophic signal failure suspended all PATH services severing connections between Jersey City and New York. Around nine o'clock, the last train for two hours limped into the Grove Street station a few feet at a time while nervous New Yorkers looked on in horror. For two hours, the Hudson River might as well have been the Berlin Wall.

Many Jersey City bound passengers stuck in New York were sent on a circuitous route on NJ Transit trains, requiring a transfer at Secaucus Junction to Hoboken bound trains before a second transfer to the light rail. Ferry services were not operating.

The signal failure may bolster Mayor Healy's argument in favor of building a Jersey City light rail connection to Secaucus Junction via Sixth Street and the Bergen Arches; such an alternative route would have reduced the total number of transfers required to circumvent PATH services and would have put Journal Square within walking distance of a train line. Still, if such a failure was to occur during a rush hour, the thousands of daily passengers would likely crush alternative services.

The PATH recently celebrated a 100 year anniversary, and the need for modernizing the system is obvious. The Port Authority last year promised to upgrade the PATH signals with a modern system that would allow a 20% increase in peak period trains, but that project will require 7 years to complete.

But even modern systems are not without flaws. For instance, the MTA began upgrading the L lines signals more than a decade ago, and while the line is now perhaps the most efficient in New York's system, the initial launch was not without hiccups, and peak efficiency is still two years away. Another signal fiasco in 2005 threatened to disrupt A C service for years after a fire destroyed signal equipment; that problem was later resolved within months, not years.

Yet while disruptions in MTA trains are inconvenient, the system continues to function. Not so with the PATH as Saturday's signal problems went on to shut down the entire system. Its certainly not a premature notion to suggest the time has come for a new, separate subway line connecting Manhattan and New Jersey. After all, the Second Avenue subway line was first proposed in 1929, and that may not be completed for another twenty years. Not only are thousands of new residences being constructed in Jersey City, but new developments adjacent to the Harrison PATH station will be dependent on the service. Newark's revitalization too will add commuters, as well as proposals in Bayonne, connected to the PATH by the light rail.

Saturday's service disruption was rather benign in contrast to what could have happened at rush hour on a weekday, but it should still serve to remind riders and the Port Authority alike just how vulnerable the system is, and the need for redundancies.


Monday, February 25, 2008

PATH Turns 100

Today marked 100 years of PATH service connecting Manhattan and New Jersey through tubes under the Hudson River. Devised as a service to connect passengers arriving on the banks of the Hudson River with destinations in Manhattan, the original Hudson and Manhattan Railroad linked up with terminus stations of the Lackawanna, Erie and Pennsylvania railroads. In 1962, the Port Authority took over from the H&M Railroad, rechristening the tubes as the PATH system. The NYTimes has some interesting images from the history of the system.

Fares today were free, but the reprieve is short lived with one way trips jumping to $1.75 on March 2. More infuriating though is that Port Authority is now pushing their Smart Card system, a payment method incompatible with the MTA Metrocards. Riders can get free Smart Cards today at the PATH stations, but otherwise will need to pay $5 for the privilege. MTA pay-per-ride Metrocards will continue to work, but Smart Card riders enjoy a greater discount on fares.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bits & Briefs

Free PATH Rides Monday
The Port Authority will provide free rides on Monday celebrating 100 years of service, strange smells.

Transformer Explodes at Grove Street
A transformer reportedly blew up on Grove Street around 1pm today.

Labels: ,

Friday, February 08, 2008

NJ Transit Finally to Break Ground on Waterfront Walkway

Hoboken Now is reporting that NJ Transit will officially break ground on the long overdue connection between Hoboken and Jersey City waterfront. The walkway, a grand park along the Hudson River that one day could theoretically connect Bayonne to the foot of the George Washington Bridge is being built in pieces. Private developers are compelled to build out their section of the walkway when seeking development approvals for construction along the water.

The NJ Transit portion of the walkway would bridge southern Hoboken with Jersey City at Newport. The Lefrak organization has built their portion of the walkway up to the currently under construction Aqua rental tower. The NJ Transit portion of the walkway will lead to no where until the Lefrak organization completes about a thousand feet of walkway in the northern quadrant. While the northern quadrant may not be built out for several years, the Lefraks have pledged to connect the existing walkway with NJ Transit's portion ahead of the planned high rises.

NJ Transit's portion of the walkway is seen as a critical link. The property, owned by NJ Transit could easily have been overlooked by an agency more concerned with operating buses and trains than building parks.

At present, there are a few holes in the walkway. At second street, construction of Crystal Pointe has temporarily closed a previously finished section of the walkway. The walkway continues through Exchange Place to Veteran's Park where a short segment of Essex Street is also disconnected. The walkway then continues south from the Morris Canal Park up to the under construction Liberty Harbor North.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, January 24, 2008

NY Times Rides PATH Train In Alternate Universe

The New York Times took a ride on the PATH in an effort to document area commutes. However, in the New York Time's alternate universe, NJTransit Trains can bring suburban commuters right to Journal Square:

"Now, instead of taking New Jersey Transit’s crowded Northeast Corridor train from Edison and then transferring to the subway, Ms. Harrington takes a different New Jersey Transit train to the PATH station at Journal Square in Jersey City"

Next week, the Times plans on taking the G Train to Manhattan.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Campaign Launched to Prevent PATH Fare Hike

Hoboken councilman Pete Cammarano wants to prevent the Port Authority from hitting PATH riders with a proposed fare increase and has launched to coordinate a grass roots effort to keep fares as they are. New Jersey has a 50% stake in the Port Authority, which gives Governor Corzine, a Hoboken resident, veto power. Of course, we suspect Corzine doesn't ride the PATH very often, so if you want your voice to be heard, be sure to Sign the Petition.


Monday, November 26, 2007

New Embankment Plan Promises Compromise, 1,000 Units

Long a rallying cry for preservationists in the downtown, the Sixth Street Embankment has been the focus of a legal fight since developer Steve Hyman set his eye on the site. Advocates looking to save historic Jersey City have been fighting to preserve the structure and convert it to a park; others want the structure removed, and the land converted to open space, and then of course Hyman wants to build residential apartments on the property, and lets not forget Mayor Healy's plan to restore rail service-- adding a light rail line from Newport to Secaucus.

Complicating the issue is the land's status as former railroad right away. The federal government regulates railroads and right aways cannot simply be sold. A recent federal ruling declared the original sale to Hyman invalid, but that does not entirely prevent a future sale. Preservation activists want the city to buy the land or seize it through eminent domain. Either method would incur huge expenses for the city.

Mayor Healy last year announced his intentions to pursue a plan to build a light rail connection from the waterfront to the Secaucus transfer station. The line would improve transportation alternatives for many parts of Jersey City. Parts of Hamilton Park and western portions of the downtown are more than a half mile from a train station and Healy's proposed route through the arches could also allow access to residents along 139. The line would also provide another alternative route between NJ Transit trains and the Hudson waterfront; now commuter rail connects via the PATH at Newark Penn or heavy rail to Hoboken. NJTransit's stance is that they have no plans to build this spur.

Original plans by the developer sought to remove the embankment entirely and build low rise town homes along the entire length of the embankment from Marin Blvd to Brunswick. Immediately this plan faced opposition with critics citing density, lack of preservation, and general outrage at proposed changes. Activists sought to landmark the embankment, and the follow up plan included simply building the town homes on top of the wall.

Now the Jersey Journal is reporting a new plan being put forth by Hyman as a compromise. In essence, the new plan leverages activists' desire for preserving the embankment for higher density zoning. The new plan calls for a total of five buildings with 1,100 units of housing. Four of the buildings would be erected atop the embankment and a fifth on the block west of Brunswick Street. Yet three quarters of the embankment would end up as open space, and for Healy, Hyman including plans to connect a light rail line to Journal Square.

Local activists have already declared the new plan unacceptable, which means in all likelihood, the only definite is plenty more litigation.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hoboken Traffic Cameras May Violate Laws Blog Hoboken Now is reporting the recently approved traffic light cameras for Hoboken's Washington Street intersections may run afoul of state laws. The red light cameras cost the city $75K and while safety is the concern, Hoboken law makers perhaps should have done some research: after installation of red light cameras in Lubbock, Texas, occurrences of accidents increased. So much for public safety.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Port Authority Set to Raise PATH Fares

The Journal reports Port Authority officials are considering a fare hike as high as 50 cents for the PATH-- to be announced after Tuesday's legislative election. Officials at the bi-state agency are considering hikes from 25 to 50 cents, with the latter increase bringing the current $1.50 fare up to the same price as riding New York's larger, more convenient subway system.

It should come as no surprise the bi-state agency is looking to hike fares-- after all, the Port Authority is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on construction at the World Trade Center site. That's in New York, of course, even though half of the Port Authority is New Jersey's. While PATH riders might be gaining a fancy new station at Ground Zero-- which by the way, has seen its original design scaled down to cut costs-- PATH riders also are enduring service delays and interruptions while the agency rebuilds at the site. The unbearable weekend and late night schedules are in part due to "on going construction at the World Trade Center site."

In fairness, the Port Authority did announce last week a plan to upgrade the PATH signal system, which would boost peak capacity by about 10,000 riders-- sometime in 2014. Yet this is unlikely to satiate demand for rush hour services. Not only in Jersey City is residential construction still booming, but Harrison Commons, adjacent to the Harrison PATH Station broke ground two weeks ago on the first of 3,000 housing units. Plans for an additional 3,000 units in downtown Newark, blocks from the PATH at Penn Station, will only compound the issue. Meanwhile, in Jersey City alone, over the next seven years as the Port Authority takes their time upgrading the signal system, new development would likely see the realization of up to 10,000 units of approved and proposed housing.

Fare hikes can still be vetoed by either the governor of New York or New Jersey-- but somehow we doubt Corzine, even though he ostensibly lives in Hoboken, won't think too much of a 50 cent hike in PATH fares.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

PATH to Boost Capacity by 20%, Or Roughly Not Nearly Enough to Meet Demand

The Port Authority announced by press release a $500 Million upgrade to the 40 year old signal system which promises to increase the number of peak trains. Along with new cars being phased in starting next year, the upgrade would improve capacity above the 50,000 passengers per hour at current peak levels. Even without delays to construction, relief is still seven years away.


Monday, September 24, 2007

Jersey City Is The New London: Nanny State To Share Closed Circuit TV Cameras

If you've ever had the feeling like you're being watched, chances are you have, by closed circuit television systems. Jersey City is now working with NJ Transit to share access to cameras along the light rail line, according to the Jersey Journal. Oh, and just in case you think more CCTV make you safer, think again. London, the most watched city in the world, has recently discovered that higher density CCTV cameras don't necessarily correlate to lower crime rates. Here's looking at you kid.

Labels: ,

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Times Gives Grove Pointe, Columbus Plaza Reach Around

Sunday's times has a bit on the developers of Grove Pointe and Columbus Tower, both of which opened their rental units in the past few weeks. It seems Grove Pointe is asking for higher rents, with studios starting at $1800-- at Columbus they start at $1600.

Mayor Healy "But our entire city is a mass-transit is much easier to get to Manhattan from here than from any of the four boroughs — and that is the most important reason why we are a successful city." Sure, but with 1,000 new apartments opening this month and another 5,000 on the way we have to wonder how often Healy rides the PATH at Rush Hour.

Labels: ,

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Construction Disrupts Light Rail Weekend Service

Light rail service between Newport and Harsimus Cove will be suspended on weekends until the middle of October, reports the Jersey Journal. This is most likely connected with construction on the Westin Hotel Tower on the corner of Washington and Sixth Street, though not confirmed.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

NJ Transit to Build Bridge to Newport

A lynchpin component of the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway will be built by NJ Transit, reports Hoboken411. The bridge will connect Newport and Hoboken sometime in the Spring of 2009, with the Lefrak Organization building a temporary extension between the bridge and permanent walkway.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

MTA Launches Interstate Bus Service

Staten Islanders now have an MTA provided link to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Line via the Bayonne Bridge, reports The route replaces a similar one operated by Coach USA. The bus line is the MTA's first interstate service. We think in principle this is a step in the right direction-- after all, we're proponents of extending the future Second Avenue subway line to Staten Island's defunct North Shore Line via Jersey City and Bayonne, a route essentially mirrored by the combination bus, light rail, and PATH connections. Time will tell if ridership reaches the hoped for 1,200 per day.


Friday, May 18, 2007

Bits & Briefs

Where the Money Goes
Derek Beres encounters occupying troops in the PATH station. Oh, wait, those guys are here to protect us. $2.4M more is not being spent on rail improvements, but instead on super troopers to protect us. [via JCBaby]

Maxwell Place
Hoboken411 has a bit on the Toll Brothers park going in as part of Hoboken's agreement allowing Maxwell place.

Hoboken plan goes back to plan board, judge rules
The Journal reports of a minor set back for a high density southwest side of Hoboken.

Labels: ,

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Bits & Briefs

$106M vote of confidence for Downtown
The Journal reports that 30 and 2 Montgomery Street have sold for $106 Million dollars and will be replaced with a massive office, retail, and residential complex similar in scope to the Time Warner Center. (via Wired Forum)

30 Montgomery Street(right side of below photo), a 15 Story tower built in the early 1970s houses professional and city offices. 2 Montgomery Street (left) is across the street from the Exchange Place light rail station and a half block from the PATH.

Agency Might Replace Bridge and Tunnel Tollbooths With Cashless System
The Times reports that the Port Authority may switch their toll collection system to all EZPass. Such a move should reduce Holland Tunnel Congestion that blocks north-south traffic between Jersey City and Hoboken as well as allow an easier transition to congestion pricing.

Labels: , ,

Friday, April 13, 2007

Bits & Briefs

Comfort food, Middle Eastern style
The Journal reviews Paulus Hook eatery 2 Aprons.

Light Rail Work Set
Service interruptions on the Light Rail this weekend.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bits & Briefs

Tastes Like Turkey
The Village Voice crosses the Hudson River to discover Its Greek To Me; dozens of other restaurants consider serving gyros.

Newport Plans On Agenda
Newport is formally seeking final approval for the Ellipse tower and the Lefrak Museum, which is absolutely not going to be called the Lefrak Museum.

Collision stalls Hoboken light rail
A truck ran a red light and struck a light rail train.

Labels: , ,

Friday, April 06, 2007

Cab Drivers Buy City Council

The Journal is reporting that the Hoboken city Council has gone ahead and voted to ban pedicabs before they even have a chance to carry their first passenger. Taxi cab operators have been protesting for weeks that the pedal powered carts would be real competition with their gas powered pedestrian killers, and since we absolutely don't want to encourage a competitive market, the city of Hoboken will ban the pedicabs until they can figure out a way to balance the budget through pedicab licensing fees.

Jersey City as well as a number of shore towns were also intended to get pedicab service. The Hoboken ban could mean that Jersey City will get pedicabs sooner, or on the other hand the whole prospect of bringing eco-friendly transportation to Hudson County is over.

Labels: ,

Bits & Briefs

Powerhouse Arts District Neighborhood
The Powerhouse Arts District Neighborhood Association has launched a website. Name calling, petty bickering, stalking charges to follow. Oh, wait, that's Newport.

Hoboken Hero
A new blog from the northwest corner of Hoboken was launched with all sorts of construction-porn goodness including the new Metro-stop building

Safest Drivers In N.Y.C., Jersey City, Yonkers
Don't expect an auto insurance discount anytime soon, but apparently we rank among the safest drivers in the nation.

Labels: , ,

Frustrated Bus Rider Makes Map

We don't often take the bus, and we really don't many people who do. But apparently there are a few of you out there, like the one frustrated rider who wanted a map of Hudson County buses. But since NJTransit seems to have a map aversion, he had to create his own, thus, was born. As we said, we don't often take the bus, so we have no way of knowing if its accurate, but it sure looks professional.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Pedicabs Take Hoboken, Jersey City Could Be Next

The Journal is reporting that Hoboken's fleet of pedicabs is set to take to the streets on April 21, and the owners of the vehicles hope to eventually expand the service to Jersey City. Operators of gas fueled cabs are obviously upset that the pedicabs don't require anything more than a business license to operate fearing the pedicabs could cut into profit margins. Perhaps now the local cabbies will keep those meters running the next time they cross a municipal border rather than rolling a set of dice to determine a fare. In either case, tip your pedicab operators generously because those athletic folks don't take a salary.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Bits & Briefs

More use Light Rail
The Journal reports ridership is up more than 50% between 2006 and 2007.

Social Sports League Deadline Approaches
ZogSports runs a social sports league for anyone who likes balls flying at their face. Sounds like any typical Friday night in Hoboken, but this one is an organized dodgeball league, with flag football in Jersey City. Oh, and there is something about benefiting charity too.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bits & Briefs

La Rustique Bakeria gives La Rustique in Jersey City a glowing review.

PATH Train derails in New Jersey
Twice in one week? Sounds like the Port Authority has a track problem.

Phony bloggers who do not excite.
Tris McCall calls out shitty marketing website for being a shitty marketing website.

Labels: , ,

Monday, March 26, 2007

Bits & Briefs

Yellow Cabs Turning Green
At this year's New York International Automobile Show, the iconic yellow cab will be getting a green makeover. Showcased at the event will be a number of potential variants for the next generation taxi with emphasis on alternative fuels.

Hamilton Park's makeover: More active or passive?
Hamilton Park will soon have a long overdue refurbishment. Engineering firm Schoor DePalma presented three possible alternatives. Ball playing still prohibited.

R2D2 Mailboxes
Hobhoke411 reports that first of the Star Wars themed mailboxes began popping up in Hoboken, with photo goodness.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Uncivil Servants

The New York Times has pointed us to a new community website, Uncivil Servants that posts photos of illegally parked cars. The vehicles in question usually are taking advantage of city issued parking permits that are ostensibly issued for specific civic duties, but which appear to be used as one of those "benefits" doled out to government officials.

While Uncivil Servants is concentrating on New York and its official boroughs, the problem exists on our side of the river too. A JCLister has posted a few pictures of a police officer stationed in the BJ's parking lot prepared to write citations for folks making an illegal right hand turn, but turning a blind eye to the construction crew vehicles parked the wrong way on the one way street. Meanwhile, Hoboken411 captured similar incidents of official vehicles illegally parking on street corners. Oh, and let's not forget the Port Authority vehicles parking on the sidewalks along Jersey Avenue between 12th and 14th Streets-- forcing pedestrians to navigate between the curb and fast moving cars and trucks.

Its probably time that civil servants began respecting the laws they expect everyone else to follow. Until then though, there is always the internet to shame them.

Labels: , ,

Monday, March 05, 2007

Jersey Avenue Connector Raises Ire of Local Residents

The city has proposed an extension of Jersey Avenue, connecting the street to Philip Road in Liberty State park over the Morris Canal. Currently, the street terminates at the canal near the Liberty Harbor North Development.

Proponents of the plan cite the need for better vehicle access to the downtown, while community activists refuse to allow more vehicles into their local neighborhoods. Part of the problem stems from the fact that at present, many vehicles cut through the less affluent Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood and circumvent the gentrified Van Vorst Park area.

Other suggestions for alleviating traffic congestion have included flyover ramps for Merseles Street and Center Street eliminating the traffic signal at Montgomery Street and shift more traffic down Christopher Columbus Drive. This is of course in addition to the traffic that already has been shunted onto Columbus Drive after the realignment of the Turnpike ramp two years ago.

According to the Jersey Journal, city officials will reveal plans on April 26th, at which time they ignore public input and do as they damn well please.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bits & Briefs

Kvetching about condos
As Toll Brothers push forward with plans to build towers on the Manischevitz factory site, activists want to be part of the dialogue. Half the Manischevitz property is outside the PAD, and recent variances for 111 First Street might set a precedent that allows Toll to go higher.

Housing Market Heats Up
Apparently the housing crash is over, at least in the metro region. Bidding wars are back just in time for the spring collections.

Trump's local apprentice
Architect Dean Geibel is interviewed regarding the Trump Tower. Rumors of the demise of the second tower are greatly exaggerated; Geibel says the abatement payment to the city has been made, and at a cool $1.6 million, you can bet they're going to be building the other tower.

New construction coming to train terminal area
Hoboken's rail yards might not be getting as much attention as those in Brooklyn or the west side of Manhattan, but developers could soon be dreaming just as big. Hoboken's council has approved a planning board study calling for the redevelopment of the yards. Half the yards of course are in Jersey City, north of the Newport redevelopment property.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

PATH To Offer Service Alerts By Email

The Port Authority is now offering electronic service alerts by email so all you fancy folks with blackberries will know when not to take the PATH. Users can sign up here and select advisories for specific trains and time schedules.

Via Jersey Journal


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Map Service Provides Subway, PATH Routing, Time Estimates

A little service called GypsyMaps has mashed together MTA and PATH subway maps to produce an all inclusive regional transportation trip planner. Even better, the service estimates walking times between stations, and accounts for the time of day when coming up with a trip duration estimate. We wanted to make a joke about Staten Island here, but even they have been included by way of the ferry.

Unlike previous services we've seen, GypsyMaps seems to understand how people actually ride mass transit. For instance, we tested out the service with a few addresses, one from Jersey City to a random street in Staten Island. Other services we've seen would have sent us through 34th Street with stops in Queens and Albany, but GypsyMaps gets things right. Not that anyone would want to go to Staten Island (oh, and there it is), but just in case you do, the service can tell you how.

Via Curbed

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Interactive PATH Timetable

Wondering when the next PATH train is scheduled to depart from the local station? Wonder no more with the interactive schedule online at We aren't certain how accurate this whole thing is, but wouldn't it be great to think that it was. Common sense would lead us to believe the Port Authority would figure out a system like this, but that assumes the folks who work at the Port Authority had any common sense.

Via JCList


Friday, January 12, 2007

City Surprised to Learn Cars Come From Neighborhoods With Few Subways

The New York Times is reporting that a "surprising" number of cars pour into the city from the five boroughs, clogging roads. As the city considers proposals for "congestion pricing" (read: higher tolls), this sort of data is important.

Indeed half the vehicles coming into New York City (for the purpose of the study, the business districts below 60th street) are coming from the five boroughs. But consider this; the five boroughs include Staten Island, which has no subway access, and the outer reaches of Brooklyn and Queens where the MTA service makes the PATH look like the eighth wonder of the modern world. In addition, Bergen County produces a huge number of vehicles, and with two million people, is the most populous county in New Jersey, yet the county lacks a direct train connection to Manhattan.

In either case, all this effects Hudson County quite a bit. Any efforts at reducing traffic headed for the city will obviously include slowing the onslaught of vehicles aiming for the Holland Tunnel, either through higher tolls or High Occupancy Vehicle requirements. Such restrictions will be putting more commuters on the PATH, Light Rail, and Ferries leaving from downtown Jersey City and Hoboken.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

World Trade Reconstruction

A large part of Jersey City's redevelopment success over the last few years is obviously due to its proximity to Manhattan, in particular, lower Manhattan and the World Trade Center site. With a PATH Station literally in the center of ground zero, what is ultimately built or not built there will significantly effect the thousands of Jersey City commuters who use the station and work in lower Manhattan. And the millions of square feet of office space will probably also change the Jersey City commercial office space market too.

In either case, believe it or not, the Port Authority seems to have a very good website explaining the future layout and the plans to connect the PATH with Fulton street. It even includes a map, which as you may know, really gets us off. Anyway, plenty of this is still unresolved, but for now at least, this seems to be the plan.


Monday, January 08, 2007

PATH, Subway Station at World Trade Center to be Pretty, Fuctional

The fight over what would happen between the MTA and PATH stations in lower Manhattan has been on going for four or five years. The New York Times is reporting that riders should expect both, as a compromise has been reached, with mostly the MTA shelling out some money to gussy up the Fulton Street station.


Secret Hoboken Street Parking Revealed

The folks over at Hoboken411 may have discovered a bit of free parking, for now at least. Rumor has it that the 11th Street extension next to Maxwell Place is a free-for-all until zone stickers go up in March.

Labels: ,

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Park At Grove Street PATH Opens, Sort Of

The long closed "park" at the corner of Christopher Columbus and Grove Street opened today, sort of. The park is quite obviously not finished, and not too obviously a park yet either. The developers of Grove Pointe agreed to rebuild the park while constructing the tower.

Astute observers may be asking themselves what exactly was changed. All the old brick and concrete were replaced with new brick and concrete. The big twist though is instead of squared off corners, the new park features a curved bench like wall. And as for the brick, the park now has red pavers (below) instead of the bluish gray that was once there. The crazy homeless guy who lives in the park was unavailable for comment.

As usual, larger photos here

Labels: , ,

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Yes, Virginia, The PATH Smells Like Shit

Curbed asks the all important question: just what the hell is that smell down in the PATH?


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Duffle Bag Watch: Day 189

So maybe you've forgotten that for the last six months, PATH riders' civil rights have been violated on a daily basis. After the first few weeks it seems the main stream media has forgotten all about the random bag searches. And despite the intial excitement over finding a kid with firecrackers, so far to date, we recall a grand total of zero terrorists have been caught by random bag searching. That's 189 days, and zero bombs. On day three of the Duffle Bag Watch, 1,100 bags were searched. Assuming they kept this pace, over 200,000 bags have been searched.

Meanwhile, we came across a blogger who has been searched four times.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

PATH To Keep Manhattan Moving During MTA Strike

The MTA strike is in full swing today leaving millions of commuters stranded. The Holland tunnel is operating on an HOV restriction of 4 passenger minimums until 11am, and later today may be converted to execlusively outbound traffic depending on traffic situations in Manhattan. Meanwhile PATH trains are still running on time.

Special PATH Train Service:
33rd Street to World Trade via Pavonia / Newport
Every 7 Minutes until 8pm


Thursday, December 15, 2005

MTA Strike Closer To Reality

With a little more than 12 hours to go before New York City is shutdown by a possible transit strike, it seems the MTA is no closer to resolving the issue with the union that represents bus and subway drivers. City government seems fairly determined to work around a strike if the union fails to give into demands. Part of the plan includes running additional PATH trains from 33rd street to the World Trade center via Jersey City's Newport station. In addition, Holland tunnel traffic will be restricted to high occupancy vehicles.

For Hudson County residents, an MTA strike will mean heavy demand for parking spaces near PATH and light rail stops. Of course, it will also likely be a boon for Hoboke and Jersey City's parking authority once the lots are filled and commuters resort to defying the cities' restricted parking zones. On the other hand, with many fewer cars coming through the Holland Tunnel, getting around the area might be easier.

Meanwhile, the MTA has truly made their own bed. This year they have a project $1 billion suprplus and expect a surplus next year. Additionally, the MTA has already declared they will insist on raising fares next year. And to top all this off, the MTA has been giving weekend riders -- tourists mostly -- a fifty percent discount on ticket prices. The money is quite obviously there and the union no doubt sees an opportunity to get a little more for their workers, and rightfully so considering how dependant we all are on their services.

While most reports suggest that the big area of contention is the amount of a pay raise-- the MTA wants 3% and the union 8%-- and retirement ages-- the union wants to lower the age to 50 and the MTA wants to raise the age to 62-- the deeper issue might actually be technology. Over the last decade the MTA has been installing and preparing automated transit lines such as the L train. Over the next few years, the MTA is planning on installing new rail cars where computers will announce stops and as the automated system expands, drive themselves as well. Recent experiments with running trains with reduced staff have lead to outcrys from the Union and we suspect this might also be an issue. In either case, we think the MTA will be hardpressed to deny pay raises to the union that literally keeps New York moving.

Regardless, Hudson County residents should be aware that if MTA workers strike, PATH trains will be exceptionally busy.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

MTA Strike Could Cause Parking Nighmare for Jersey City

With MTA workers threatening to strike, it seems officials are looking to restrict the number of cars on inbound city tunnels. One plan includes limiting access to cars with four or more drivers. Just in case you've never tried to carpool with even a single passenger, we'll tell you its not so easy to find people willing to share a car with you. So no doubt many of these distressed motorists will be packing into parking lots and garages throughout Jersey City when they get to the tunnel entrance and realize they'll be turned away.

Oh, and never you mind that the MTA has done its best over the last few months to inconvience riders entering New York through the WTC. PATH is still coming to the rescue. That's right, a special PATH train shuttle will be running between 33rd street and the WTC in the event of a strike, so while the MTA never hesitates to give a bit of the old FU to PATH riders, it seems PATH will be the only way to go downtown if there is a strike.


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Light Rail Credited With Mini Real Estate Boom

Amid rumors of living in a real estate bubble, the Hudson Bergen Light Rail is being credited with further inflating property values along its route. Hoboken's seedy underbelly below the Palisades has been cited as an example of how the rail line is bringing revitalizing to many areas that otherwise would still be decrepit industrial sites. All we can say is: "obviously". Meanwhile, we're still left to wonder though why there is no talk of building additional light rail lines.


Friday, November 04, 2005

PATH to get new Cars: Will Still Run Late, Smell Like Last Night's Vomit

JCVibe is reporting that the PATH is scheduled to get new rail cars with a number of features most subway systems have had for decades, but which have been lacking on the under appreciated PATH for sometime. The new cars will be close cousins of the cars running on the MTA's 4,5,6 line. That's as close as the PATH will get though to being the NYC subway, and transfers will still cost you $2. Except on weekends in December, during which the MTA will be blowing its surplus on discounts for tourists. PS, your mother-in-law is coming to town to take advantage of the discount.


Construction of WTC PATH Station Begins

Despite the many ceremonies at the site of the World Trade Center, until yesterday, very little work had been done on rebuilding the the site. But now ground has broken for the new PATH terminal. Don't get you hopes up though, family members of victims of the world trade center have forgotten there are still living people who use the World Trade Center PATH and have filed a lawsuit to stop the construction.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Light Rail Opens Station Past Hoboken, In other News, There Are Places Past Hoboken

The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail line will officially extend up to Weehawken as of this weekend. Congressman Menendez was on hand referring to the opening of the station as "more than a celebration of a rail stop," adding that it was also a celebration of Jon Corzine leaving the Senate and making a vacancy available. Meanwhile, ridership between Hoboken and Weehawken should make the Camden-light rail seem like a stunning success story.

Labels: ,

Monday, October 24, 2005

Light Rail to Rid World Of Drugs, World Hunger

Another passenger on the light rail who failed to produce a ticket stub was arrested for having Crystal Meth making the light rail one of the most effective anti-drugs. In other news, the Light Rail line apparently extends to someplace where people use Crystal Meth, otherwise known as Iowa.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

MTA To Put Cellular Service In Subways, Port Authority Promises to Figure Out What A Telephone Is

The MTA announced they will be accepting bids from wireless companies to install cellular phone service in subway stations across the city. This makes sense, since despite the many signs imploring riders to alert authorities to suspicious activities, the lack of cellular service has pretty much prevented anyone from calling anyone.

There are fears that cell phones can be used to detonate bombs in subway systems, as was used in Madrid; on the other hand, terrorists can detonate bombs using a hundred other methods, even if cellular service was not installed.

Meanwhile, PATH trains still will not have cellular service.


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Duffle Bag Watch: Day 8

We'll stand by our previous statements that random bag searching is absolutely useless, and we've found someone who can prove it:

I was lucky enough to be asked to have my bag searched at Grove St. this morning. The officer informed me I could say no, but wouldn't be allowed to use the Path system. So I took a $3.00 cab ride to Pavonia/Newport and got on there. Not a single cop in sight at Newport. Random bag searches don't work, it's just for show.

We feel safer already.


Friday, July 29, 2005

New PATH Station Modeled On Giant Plastic Comb

The Port Authority has released finalized plans for the more than $2 billion World Trade Center station. The Port Authority has promised uniterrupted service while the new station is under construction. The station, the brain child of overated architect Santiago Calatrava has gone under several redesigns in light of concerns of terrorism.

"The transportation hub will be operational in 2009 and eventually will serve more than 80,000 daily PATH riders. The terminal will be a full-service regional transportation hub that will feature seamless pedestrian connections to existing and future transportation infrastructure, such as ferry service at the World Financial Center and Metropolitan Transportation Authority subway lines."


Thursday, July 28, 2005

$6 Billion Tunnel Approved To Bring Passengers To Macy's

For years, New Yorkers have flocked to the garden state to shop at malls without the oppressive city sales tax. New Jersey Transit is hoping to reverse that trend by running the Bergen, Main, and Pascack Valley line directly Macy's on 34th Street.

The new proposed tunnel is seen as a victory for rail riders, since it will more than double peak capacity of 41,000 riders to 86,000. At the same time, many rail commuters are dissappointed the train will not connect to the eastside or Grand Central Station. The biggest obstacle to connecting to the east side of Manhattan was not just money, but the MTA. In reality, the MTA probably didn't want the rail connection made because many passengers would no longer need to pay their $2 to ride the subway if NJ Transit connected directly to Grand Central.

We aren't entirely sure how this new tunnel will be connecting to New York, or more importantly, if the end result will be to by-pass Hoboken terminal. NJ Transit very vaguely states the tunnel will be south of the existing tunnel and run under the palisades and deep under the Hudson river. This really could mean anything.

In either case, we do think a new tunnel connection is more than needed. [We'd argue there is a need for several more tunnels]. But as of now there is still no target date for completion, so it very well may be our grandchildren who benefit from this project.


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Duffle Bag Watch: Day 3

Police in New Jersey are very proud of their 1,100 bag searchs yesterday. Meanwhile, flaws in the system persist. For instance, at Grove street PATH, police were checking bags to passengers entering one side of turnstiles, but not the other. Still no bombs have been found.


Light Rail Runs Down Woman

The Hudson Light Rail claimed its first victim yesterday when a northbound train ran a woman over. Hair and the woman's hand were seen along the tracks. Meanwhile, NJ Transit officials insist that had the woman been subjected to an invasive bag search, she would be alive today.


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Views: Essex Street Light Rail

The light rail ambles down Essex Street in Jersey City.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

We Can't Get Enough Trains

What can we say except that trains make us giddy like a little school boy. Maybe it was all those Santa Clause and Easter Bunny steam train rides we took as a child. Today we came across another Photo Gallery with a number of pictures from Hoboken's New Jersey Transit rail yard and of the light rail. Also included are some pictures of the interior of the Hoboken Terminal, still one of the most beautiful stations we've ever been to.

Light Rail Love


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

MTA Gives Thumbs Up To Smaller Station, Flips Middle Finger To PATH Riders

The MTA has announced a further reduced tranportation hub on Fulton Street, connecting under one roof multiple subway lines and the World Trade Center PATH station. The original plan had called for a massive 'Downtown Grand Central Station' with natural lighting and platforms connecting the PATH and the numerous subway lines through the area.

"A proposed link between the Cortlandt Street station on the R and W lines and the World Trade Center terminus on the E has been scuttled. A concourse under Dey Street, connecting the trade center site to the west with the subway depot to the east, will be narrower than initially planned."


Light Rail a Burning Hell

The light rail through Jersey City was interrupted for 20 minutes yesterday because of a brief fire. In other news, the headline is more exciting then the post.


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Making Love to The PATH

A few weeks ago we directed you to a site dedicated to the Light Rail with more photographs than most train buffs dream of. We came across a similar train porn album for the PATH. The best part is, these photos are all contraband, so looking at them is like sneaking italian salami past customs at Newark Airport.


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Because Big Hair and Fake Tans Were Just Too Far Away

For the summer, NJ Transit will be launching express train service from Newark Penn Station to the Jersey Shore.


About New York's Sixth

New York's Sixth is a blog for the forgotten, de facto borough across the river featuring original content, commentary, and information relevant to living in Downtown Jersey City / Hoboken.


Advertise on New York's Sixth through Google Adwords


Powered by Blogger

All original content copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 to Ian MacAllen, unless otherwise attributed. For more information, contact | Annex | Archive