HOBOKEN, NJ - In what has become a weekly feature in the Mile Square City, officials will open streets to pedestrian and bicycle traffic this Saturday and Sunday to give residents better outdoor recreation opportunities.

After a seemingly successful trial last weekend, the plan is to create what they're calling "Slow Streets," designed to limit traffic volume while enacting a 5 MPH speed limit on specific blocks so that people can walk, bike, and run safely. The concept is nearly identical to an “open street,” except it still provides access to certain vehicles.

"Slow streets (previously open streets) will return this weekend to Park Avenue (between 11th and 14th) and 13th Street (between Hudson Street and Willow Avenue," read a social media statement from the City Thursday night. "Vehicular traffic will be restricted on Saturday and Sunday (8 am - 8 pm) to facilitate safe social distancing for outdoor activities including walking, biking and jogging.

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Here's how it's supposed to work: 
-All intersecting cross-streets will remain open; drivers are strongly advised to proceed slowly (5 MPH or less) and cautiously through intersections if no stop sign, traffic signal, or police or traffic control is present and expect people to be traveling from all directions. Keeping the intersection open builds on the momentum of the popular Open Streets pilot, which repurposed streets for socially-distanced travel and exercise simultaneously, while minimizing the impact on limited police resources to enforce street closures. 

-Local vehicle traffic accessing a garage or driveway entrance, making a delivery, or responding to an emergency is permitted on the block. All drivers are asked to pay close attention to your surroundings and not exceed 5 MPH. When entering or exiting the block, please proceed cautiously around the barricades.

-The City will monitor the program, including by using feedback from local residents and businesses, to determine whether and/or how to expand the Slow Streets pilot due to growing demand for repurposing outdoor public space as Hoboken reopens and recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Furthermore, face masks should be worn at all times, while congregating is prohibited. Local access to garages and vehicles is permitted. Last week, a select few traffic control officers (TCOs) were reportedly on hand to assist residents with access to garages or vehicles.

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