There are so many fun activities to check out in the Mile Square each summer — from Movies Under the Stars to Fitness in the Park, and more. Among these summer traditions is the Summer Streets program — and the City recently announced that it would be bringing back Summer Streets again for 2023. This program aims to create a vehicle-free space on Sinatra Drive between 4th Street and 11th Street on Sundays through Labor Day. Read on to learn more about the Summer Streets 2023 schedule in Hoboken.
Hoboken Summer Streets Background
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has forever impacted so many areas of our lives — and in some cases, these changes have actually been beneficial. One such change has been the increase in outdoor dining and the improvement of other outdoor communal spaces, activities, and programs. The Summer Streets program is emblematic of these pandemic-related advancements, which launched alongside the Open Streets program in 2020. These initiatives were put forth in an effort to provide vehicle-free access to streets for bicyclists and pedestrians to experience low-risk, safe socialization + recreation.
“The lack of space for residents to enjoy outdoor recreation and socialization in densely populated urban areas similar to Hoboken justified launching several programs focused on temporarily repurposing street space for those activities since May 2020,” the City explained. These programs include Open Streets, Slow Streets, Summer Streets, and Streets for Dining. While summer streets did exist in pre-pandemic Hoboken, they were nowhere near as robust as they are today. The National Association for City Transportation Officials’ (NACTO) Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery Page delves deeper into the thought behind these road repurposing initiatives.
In April of 2021, the City surveyed 1,472 residents about Summer Streets + Open Streets and found that many residents supported the continuation of the program in some form, even requesting that the City prioritize adding additional space for recreation and socialization. Though these programs were born out of pandemic-related necessity, they seem to be here to stay even as we near endemic territory.
Summer Streets are also part of the City of Hoboken’s Vision Zero initiative to eliminate all traffic-related deaths and fatalities in Hoboken by 2030.
Summer Streets 2023 Schedule
Sinatra Drive — from 4th Street to 11th Street — will be completely closed to vehicular traffic on the following Sundays in August from 8AM to 4PM to provide additional open space for recreation along the Hoboken waterfront:
- July 30th
- August 6th
- August 13th
- August 20th
- August 27th
- September 3rd
“Hoboken, like many urban communities, has a growing appetite for more open space, whether it be for recreation, socialization, or simply enjoying the waterfront views with family and friends,” Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in a press release. “I look forward to even more people taking advantage of this opportunity to enjoy this safe open space in our mile square city this summer.”
Hoboken has been attempting to improve access, connectivity, and safety through its Sinatra Drive Redesign project — and the Summer Streets program is one component of this effort. This project has been using its $1.2 million New Jersey Department of Transportation funding to help turn Sinatra Drive into a multi-modal corridor in order to reduce pedestrian and bicycle fatalities.
“These improvements will include roadway resurfacing, high visibility pedestrian crossings, a physically separated bikeway, ADA-compliant curb ramps, green infrastructure/landscaping/streetscape improvements, and drainage upgrades,” the website explains. The City will be asking for feedback and suggestions from locals on specific aspects of this project in order to make the most effective changes possible.
You can find more information about Hoboken’s Summer Streets 2023 here.