June 2017 VVPA Meeting Minutes

24 Jun 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Minutes, News You Can Use
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Meeting Minutes – June 20th, 2017

7:10 pm – Call to Order – President Oona Moore

  • Thanks to Councilwoman Candice Osborne for her service to and support of both Ward E as well as Ward F
  • 2nd Annual Golf Outing & Martini Party – Was a hit! Thanks to the committee who put it together, the volunteers, the sponsors/donors, and all the attendees!  Next year’s date is Friday, June 8th, 2018!

Officer/Committee Reports

Treasurer Report – Dermot Ronan

  • Tabled

Construction Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek

  • No projects to present, no significant updates on old projects

Events Committee Report – Oona Moore

  • Movies in the Park – starts 6/21 ~8:30pm. Schedule at filmsinvanvorst.com
  • Disco in the Park – August 19th – FREE Event – bring your kids, family members, neighbors
  • Dinner en blanc / White Dinner Party – Friday, August 25th: Wear all white, bring your own dinner and wine, VVPA supplies decorations, entertainment and dessert – limited tickets will be made available!
  • Feedback/ideas for new events

o   Bring back the Meetball dinner – possibly in the Armory?

  • End of year holiday party – December 9th is the possible date

Guest Speakers

Andrew Vischio, Director, Traffic & Engineering, City of JC

Jersey Ave Bridge Project – No city website yet this project; Turnpike Authority has project on their site, but hard to find. Need links on City website to the available information on this project.

Purpose of bridge is to connect diff parts of city, direct route to JC Medical Center, etc.  Current design is to have 1 lane in each direction with a bike lane (~40’ total width) – since only lane, natural traffic calming mechanism is built into the design. Footbridge will remain in place.  Traffic signal at Johnston & Audrey Zapp and Regent St. & JC Medical Center – metering effect on how much traffic gets to Grand street during travel hours.  Andrew participates in weekly conference calls to coordinate w/ Turnpike Authority.

Fire, Police, Emergency Services – bike lanes are “surface”, not protected so that emergency services can use that lane as well as the shoulder area for travel if needed.

 

Traffic study was conducted in 2010, and was redone this spring.

Community Concerns:

  • Make the roads safer for all – how will this be achieved with the projected additional influx of cars
  • Traffic – streets in downtown are already at/near capacity during peak hours. What is the plan for addressing any overflow of traffic into the nearby streets (“traffic shift”)?
  • Traffic enforcement – has enforcement been budgeted for?
  • Quality of Life – huge impact on quality of life for residents of the area
  • Noise
  • Congestion
  • Pollution – It is unknown if an environmental Impact Statement was performed for this project
  • Money – Turnpike Authority paid for bridge to be built – $10M, but JC residents will not be paying for maintenance in perpetuity

Suggestions:

  • Work with Turnpike Authority to collect data from EzPass to assess who uses this route as a cut-through to the Holland Tunnel and increase the fees for this.
  • Traffic restrictions – reverse traffic flow during peak commuting hours, force traffic down Grand only through no turning signs, and minimize size of vehicles that can use the roadway (or other combinations of ideas to minimize impact)
  • Introduce lights, speed humps, circles, etc. to dissuade this from being a cut through to the Holland Tunnel

 

Grand St Redesign – Highest profile roadway corridor redesign project which incorporates road diet and safe streets concepts.  Incorporates impact of Jersey Ave Bridge into the design

Road Diet – one lane in each direction with striped median turning lane for large portions of corridor – Emergency vehicles can travel in this median if needed.

Study conducted this spring along entire length of roadway to make safer for all modes of transportation, pedestrians and bikes.  Study to be completed in September 2017, started public outreach effort.  Booth to be set up at Farmer’s Market this Saturday and at Arlington St. Farmer’s Market.  Will have two workshop meetings to get comments/feedback to modify concepts. Will present changes /responses in another public session in Mid-July/August.

Will present preferred alternative / one comprehensive plan.  Phased project.  Goal: safer corridor for all users.  Connecting bike lanes (E-W “spine” connector).  Participate in community meetings!  Info on project will be on Grandstreetstudy.org

Can provide input via website, studies will be forthcoming in the future.

Comments:

  • Suggested that more specifics be given to public on how their comments are being incorporated
  • Suggested that a terminology of concepts/phrases be shared to enhance understanding
  • Safe streets JC – nonprofit organization – can get information here on urban planning concepts

Other General Traffic/Safety Issues:

  • Light up crosswalk to help pedestrians be able to safely cross
  • Timing of lights on Jersey Ave not yet synchronized
  • Intersection of Varick & York – unable to see walk sign without stepping out into traffic to look over shoulder at traffic light

 

Old Business/New Business

Parking Changes – committee spoke w/ Mayor and committee and came up w/ some proposals

  • Initial phase: Improve enforcement – this is underway and reaping results already
  • Items to go before council for vote – voice your opinion at the meeting when it is scheduled!

o   Phase II: Increased hours: 8am – 11pm (2 hour limit); Parking fines will be increased from $60 to $110 for parking w/o valid permit (at $60 it isn’t much of a deterrent); bootable 1st offense for certain areas

o   Phase III: develop mechanism for out of town visitors parking

o   Future: Develop mechanism for addressing how residents in high rises are monitored for parking in building vs. allowing them to get zone permits

  • Parking directors of Hoboken & JC, along with vendors for meter machines will meet to develop best approach and practices for parking in JC
  • Put concerns regarding this issue on email to vvpanews@gmail.com, copy Candice Osborne

Citibike Stations – more needed

  • Citibike will be using demand data to determine where to put more stations (demand, density, ridership); contact Citibike to make suggestions

Summary of First Committeeperson meeting

  • JC Democratic Committee responsible for increasing voter registration, turning out the vote and deciding who gets endorsement
  • Group typically meets 1ce/term
  • Introduced amendment to meet more frequently to serve community better – 4x/year
  • Introduced By-Laws
  • Introduced amendment to have at least 50% of officers of committee be elected officials (vs an appointed officer) – a lot of power flows through the officers
  • Increased quorum from 10% to 25%
  • Introduced a number of caucuses to help serve the community better

Sol Azteca

  • Will be moving into 328 Montgomery St., looking to open 4th of July weekend, but there is no COO. Façade not built according to planning – they may be looking to get TCO??
  • Plan is to be BYOB, will be closed Mondays, open 10am -11pm other days

DCNA – October Mayoral and Ward E Candidate Debates will be planned (on separate nights)

JC Unity Walk – Well attended event, large cross section of people throughout the City

Adjournment – 9:05 pm

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