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Pedestrian Sprawl Alert: Hoboken's New "Plaza"

As if all this inclement weather hasn't been hassle enough for those of us who cherish our cars, I practically careened into another tragic loss for the rightfully auto-minded recently in Hoboken, New Jersey.  It seems the needs of lofty pedestrians et.al. have once again been imprudently prioritized over us drivers in a result that is sure to make your muffler ratlle: a one-block segment of an historic belgian block street has been closed off to the ideal form of personal mobility (read: car) so that silly people with nothing better to do than run around frivolously in streets have another place off the sidewalk to inconvenience the driving majority of our great nation.

Ian Sacs | January 5, 2010, 9pm PST
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As if all this inclement weather hasn't been hassle enough for those of us who cherish our cars, I practically careened into another tragic loss for the rightfully auto-minded recently in Hoboken, New Jersey.  It seems the needs of lofty pedestrians et.al. have once again been imprudently prioritized over us drivers in a result that is sure to make your muffler ratlle: a one-block segment of an historic belgian block street has been closed off to the ideal form of personal mobility (read: car) so that silly people with nothing better to do than run around frivolously in streets have another place off the sidewalk to inconvenience the driving majority of our great nation. To make the change seem authentic, they're calling this space a "pedestrian plaza"; blah, blah, blah, what about our freedoms?  Isn't it enough that they strut through crosswalks at every intersection?  Why can't we leave streets as they are; if people want to walk in them, go ahead (if you're feeling lucky, wink wink)?

It wouldn't have been so bad if the closed street didn't totally run me out of my way for three entire minutes while I made random turns and gave my GPS unit a workout, which, by the way, passive-aggressively releases frustration by cheerily telling me in a digitally rendered Australian accent it's "recalculating route".  Well Crikey!  Should we drivers really have to put up with this kind of nonsense - closed streets, lost freedoms, lectures from disgruntled electronic devices - all for the sake of some minimalist ninnies who outright refuse to just get in a car to go somewhere?

This example of driver's-rights-rampantly-disintegrated is so bad, that one local blog with enough sense to recognize good streets gone bad even commented that there were too many bike racks provided.  Thank you!  Finally, a voice of reason in the morass of footed anarchy!  If you can get a blogger to proclaim, with photographic documentation, that a cinema has too much bicycle parking, you know something must be amiss.  This isn't about quality of life or "safe streets"; no, this is an assault on all that has been good in our the world for over a century by people who are jealous that we can love our cars so much and they can't understand.

 
Too many bike racks, you can't make this stuff up!  (Photo Courtesy of HobokenFour11)

The last time I posted about unchecked, incessant pedestrian sprawl it didn't hit so close to home; if New York City wants to throw a bone to their perpetually barking pedestrians, let them, and the best of Europe can be readily experienced at Epcot Center anyway so who cares what they do over there.  But for goodness sake, this is in New Jersey!  Autophiles the world over look to New Jersey as the shining levee holding back the tides of carless urban insanity.  Highways, exit ramps, and shopping malls converge here to serve as the pinnacle example of Le Corbusier's dream.  World-controlling Manhattanites who refuse to leave New York City other than by air and possess the ability to prattle mindlessly about complex financial instruments turn pale when confronted with the prospect of navigating New Jersey in car via highway signage.  We're the home of the jughandle, the strip mall, the Jersey barrier!  Sure, sexy Los Angeles gets all the attention for catering to the car, but New Jersey is where the revolution began, people!  It's like, you do know, "All roads lead to New Jersey", don't you?  If pedestrian sprawl takes hold here, the car is done for.  Next thing they'll be handing out Segways and telling us we can write off sneakers on our taxes!  If we don't rise up against the onslaught, where, pray-tell, will it end?

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