Now, more than ever, it is important for cities to lead the way in promoting environmentally friendly policies that improve the quality of life for residents and also make our planet more sustainable. In celebration of Earth Week in Hoboken, I’m proud to share with you some of my administration’s green initiatives that serve as a model for other municipalities across the State.
Reducing Hoboken’s Carbon Footprint
As Mayor, I’m committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions beyond the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. To this end, Hoboken will be soon be completing a greenhouse gas inventory and climate action plan to quantify steps to reduce our carbon footprint and pursuing the Sustainable Jersey Gold Star in Energy. I recently became a member of the Climate Mayors Coalition, joining Mayors from across the Country committed to upholding the ideals of the Paris Agreement.
Hoboken is expanding its composting program! In partnership with Community Compost Company, Hoboken will be launching a free organic waste (compost) pickup program for local businesses. Additionally, we’ll be opening a free organic waste drop site for residents. Details for both of these initiatives will be announced this week. For more information on how to utilize our composting program offered to Hoboken residents, click here.
Green Transportation Options
Earlier this year, I joined Mayor Steve Fulop to consider an expansion of our bike share program into Jersey City, with additional Citibike stations into Hoboken. Additionally, the Hudson Bike Share system, which began in Hoboken, has expanded into five more cities in Hudson County, with users able to utilize bikes in Weehawken, North Bergen, Guttenberg, Bayonne, and West New York. This week, you can also ride our Hudson Bike Share bike system for one day of free 45 minute rides by utilizing the code 845784 in the Nextbike app.Hoboken is also moving forward with a comprehensive electric vehicle implementation plan, which will make Hoboken a more accommodating City for residents with electric vehicles. We’ll be examining the ability to include electric charging stations in our City garages, future garages, as well as certain public locations.
Microgrid & Energy Resiliency
It is critical that Hoboken have its own energy resilience to provide alternative source of power for emergency services and facilities if the power-grid fails, like it did during Superstorm Sandy. Already, the Washington Street Project is incorporating the necessary wiring for a microgrid underground, and our team in City Hall is moving forward with a microgrid feasibility study to plan for the next steps.
Parks & Reducing Flooding
Like our Southwest Park, I am committed to working with the North Hudson Sewerage Authority to ensure our 6 acre Northwest Resiliency Park has the capacity to store at least 1 million gallons of rainwater, which will further alleviate flooding in Northwest Hoboken. We’ll also work with NHSA on building an additional flood pump to pump out the stored water in the Northewest Park detention system.
Protecting Hoboken from Rising Sea Levels
With global warming and rising sea levels substantially impacting coastal communities like Hoboken, it’s critical to take proactive measures to protect our City. Our team in City Hall, including the new Citizens Advisory Group led by co-chairs Councilman Jim Doyle and Michelle May, as well as honorary chair and former Mayor Dawn Zimmer, has been working hard to progress the $230 million Rebuild by Design project. When implemented, it will provide state of the art flood risk reduction for Hoboken. My administration is working with the State on moving forward with an expanded Harborside Park and Resilient Boathouse at 16th and Garden, which will have the dual purpose of serving as a community park as well as flood protection from storm surge events.
Finally, thank you to the Hoboken Green Team for partnering with my administration on a number of these initiatives. I hope you’ll join the Green Team for a number of events we are hosting this week in celebration of Hoboken Earth Week. Check out the flyer of events below and visit the Hoboken Green Team facebook page for more details. If you’re interested in joining the Green Team, visit their website by clicking here.
Ravi S. Bhalla
P.S. Thank you to the more than 600+ volunteers who came out on Saturday for our annual spring fling community clean-up event! If you missed, it check out the highlights on video by clicking here.