July 2016 VVPA Monthly Meeting Minutes

26 Jul 2016, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Minutes
Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes – July 19th, 2016

7:05pm – Call to Order – First Vice President Gerry Bakirtjy

Officer / Committee Reports

Treasurer Report – Tom Ogorzalek

  • All accounts in good standing

Construction /Development Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek

  • 87 Bright St. – on historic board agenda, conditional approval, in front of planning tonight, made all changes we requested, worked well w/ community
  • 328 Montgomery St. – owner/applicant filed w/ bldg. dept. all proper documentation to continue on interior work only (Certificate of no effect), supposed to post the permits. Historic preservation officer met w/ contractor last week to ensure HVAC on roof is minimally visible from public right of way. Filed to do renovation to front of bldg. – filed w/ historic and planning board (minor site plan approval required). Interior is supposedly still a restaurant. For concerns w/ project, attend historic and planning meetings.

Events Committee Report – Eric Carter/Marlene Sandkamp

  • Movies in the park underway!   Bring a chair, bring a friend, popcorn is free. Full schedule at filmsinvanvorst.com.
  • August 20th – 3rd Annual Disco in the Park (FREE!) – DJ Marvillous is back!       Working on getting a food truck for the event (food for purchase), NJ Dance academy will give free Hustle dance lessons. There will be prizes and fun!!
  • Save the Date! August 26th – Top secret event in Van Vorst Park — by invitation only, so stay tuned and check your email! Get on our email list to be invited.
  • Sept/Oct – possible 80’s homecoming dance – stay tuned.
  • Poltergeist will be shown in the fall – one of the neighbors of Van Vorst starred in it, will come to speak about it.

New Business

  • St Matthews Church International Potluck Event – 9/25/16 from 1pm-4pm. Bring a dish to share and help celebrate the true melting pot that is Jersey City.   More information to come – stay tuned!
  • Reminder – update your app to JC Connect to interact with the City’s Residents Response Center.
  • VVPA does not meet in August – next monthly meeting is September!

Guest Speakers

  • Making Strides of Jersey City – Anna, Community Manager for Hudson County American Cancer Society
      • The American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk is coming to this part of Jersey City this year! Will start at Newport Plaza. Expect 8,000 – 10,000 participants
      • Walk is October 23rd, all are encouraged to participate. Reach out to makingstrideswalk.org for more information or to find the event and to register to participate.
      • In addition to the walk, American Cancer Society also supports those affected by cancer in many ways (for example, giving free rides to/from hospital, places to stay for treatment needs, etc.). To find out more about what service they offer, reach out to cancer.org.
  • Rehabbing St. Bridget’s – Mike McNamara of Pro Arts Group/4th St. Arts
    • Tabled
  • Meet & Greet – Captain Scerbo of the JCPD East District (new addition to the agenda)
    • Law enforcement 20 years, was last 3 years commander of cease fire unit. Looking forward to partnering w/ community group.
  • PATH Update – Clarelle DeGraffe, Deputy Director of PATH, Rebecca Cassidy, PATH Customer Support, & Kevin
    • Hoboken-33rd St. line to be shut down for 17 weekends, midnight Friday – 5am Monday, August 6th – December 19th, 2016 for required service upgrades, including positive train control installation (which was mandated under the Bush Administration).
      • Various options examined to conduct the work and it was decided to shut down weekends as this has overall least impact on riders.
      • Will run NWK to WTC and additional service on JSQ to WTC at targeted times throughout the day while work is underway. Will have direct service from HOB/EWR to WTC on weekends while work is underway.
      • Will run bus shuttle from WTC to near 33rd St Station with various stops along the way – rep will give voucher at turnstile at WTC (if you choose to use NYC subway instead, that cost will not be covered). Frequency of bus service ~10 mins during day, 25-30 mins overnight. Can ride both uptown and downtown on bus.
        • At public’s request, PATH will consider amending the voucher distribution process to allow for those who go in to NYC Friday via the 33rd St line and may come home after midnight to be able to pick up a voucher at a location other than WTC.
    • Positive train control (PTC) has numerous benefits, including keeping trains a safe distance apart, which in turn allows PATH to run more trains. Currently, for safety reasons, cannot run trains close than 4 minutes apart. The PTC will allow for trains to move more closely together. Trains may be able to be run on JSQ line ~every 2 mins, but has to be balance w/ HOB line. With PCT, expect system wide capacity increase of 20% (will be purchasing additional cars to meet this anticipated increase). PCT will allow for increased service / shorter wait times, real time information in path station (will be available when whole project is completed – 2018)
    • For additional information, or for copies of what PATH personnel distributed to meeting attendees, click here.

Other PATH concerns/comments:

    • When is direct service from JC to NYC late nights and weekends coming back?       The vast majority of riders go to JC and beyond, not HOB.
      • Pilot in 1993 with direct service, then post 9/11 went to current format (“around the world service”). Subsequent to 9/11, Superstorm Sandy came along. System needs constant maintenance, coupled with the fact that PATH is making $2B in investments in capital projects over the next 10 years. “Around the world service” is needed for effectively managing the construction and maintenance work. May be considered again in the future to go back to direct service, but not at the moment.
    • Will wifi be installed as part of this PCT project?
      • No, wifi is a potential future project (its currently unfunded)
    • How is PATH funded?
      • No tax $, funded through fees from tolls, airports, bridges, tunnels, etc and Federal $ for Sandy relief projects. Run at a deficit every year.
    • Where is transparency in updating public on progress of project?
      • Will be available on PATH website.
    • WTC stairs/escalators very narrow – hazardous.
      • When additional platforms open at WTC, will run NWK line off that (wider platform & stairs), and put HOB on smaller, more narrow platform.
    • Backpacks – smack into people, causing fights, conductors don’t care
      • Will consider a courtesy campaign, will ask conductors to make random announcements or possibly a sweeping campaign to highlight passengers being conscious of their impact on one another.
    • Conductor Engagement
      • Looking to increase conductor engagement with the public, particularly w emergencies
    • Handicapped accessible entrance @ Grove Street
      • Projected to be completed by end 2017

Adjournment – 8:05 pm

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