Say yes to a safer community by adopting safe streets, beginning with JFK Boulevard East in Weehawken, New Jersey
JFK Boulevard East is a scenic two-lane road that runs along the crown of the Hudson Palisades with sweeping views of New York City and the Hudson River. Built in 1895 after a group of cyclists took an interest in the route, more than 1200 “wheelmen” paraded up the road on opening day in 1896.
Today, it is the preferred north-south route in Hudson County for cyclists, including commuters, delivery workers, and recreational riders of all ages. However, the boulevard has been identified as a High Crash Corridor by the NJTPA (North Jersey Transportation Authority). Every day, children and adults who ride bicycles to work, school, shops, appointments, the homes of family and friends, and to parks risk their lives on this roadway.
Currently, there is federal funding and a design earmarked for a bike lane on Boulevard East. But several local officials have said they don’t want it. Instead, they want to replace the bike lane and adjacent parking with head-in, angled parking. Angled parking has proven higher crash rates than parallel parking. Angled parking is extremely dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists. Already, New Jersey’s traffic crashes made 2021 the deadliest year for pedestrians and cyclists since 1989.
New Jersey, and especially Hudson County, has some of the worst traffic congestion in the country. Commute times have increased exponentially in the past 10 years. The population grows by 15% per year. At more than 700,000 residents, Hudson is the most densely populated county in the most densely populated state in the nation. Studies show that bike lanes reduce congestion and travel times and improve safety for all road users, including drivers.
A street design approved in 2022 will still exist in 2037. Now is the time to plan for a future that provides equitable transportation options for the five communities served by Boulevard East: North Bergen, Guttenberg, West New York, Weehawken, and Hoboken, plus surrounding communities like Union City, Jersey City, and Cliffside Park. All five of these communities are on the New Jersey Environmental Justice list of Overburdened Communities, meaning they are largely minority communities with a high proportion of low-income households and limited English proficiency. Hudson County has 600 miles of roadways, yet less than .5 miles of bike lanes (source).
Tell Hudson County officials and the mayors of North Bergen, West New York, Guttenburg and Weehawken, that the time for change is now. Sign your name to signal to these mayors that you want a protected bike lane on Boulevard East. A bike lane is a choice to:
- Keep people alive
- Make roads safer for drivers by keeping cars and bikes separate
- Reduce traffic by providing millions of people with alternative travel options
- Provide equitable transportation options for people of all ages and abilities, and for people who cannot afford cars
- Offer vulnerable users like children, seniors, and people with disabilities, the chance to travel with e-bikes, motorized wheelchairs, skateboards, and scooters
- Boost business and economic districts
- Reduce emissions and air pollution, and mitigate the effects of climate change
- Provide residents with access to bikeshare programs like Citibike
- Comply with Complete Streets and Vision Zero principles
Federally-funded street designs should include ALL road users. Public streets are for everyone! Please sign to tell county and municipal officials that a bike lane is the ONLY option for a fair and equitable Boulevard East.