Observer Highway Bike Lane & Signal Improvements
The City of Hoboken engaged Boswell Engineering to provide the planning, and preliminary and final design for improvements along Observer Highway and Newark Street. This $2.6 Million improvement project, in close proximity to the Port Authority Trans-Hudson rapid transit system (PATH) terminal, was funded by a Congressional earmark disbursed through the FHWA, with additional funding from the NJDOT Bureau of Local Aid. Since the project involved multi-agency approvals, it required a detailed and thorough design process and an extensive coordination effort with each of the respective local, county, state and federal agencies.
During the planning and design stages, a significant public outreach effort was undertaken through a series of community workshops and public information meetings with all stakeholders. In addition, since Observer Highway and Newark Street are County roadways, ongoing communication and coordination with the County Engineer’s office was essential throughout the design process. The major design factors consisted of: roadway and streetscape improvements; roadway resurfacing and restriping; drainage system improvements; sidewalk widening; curbs; upgrading handicap ramps; new crosswalks; and, the optimization of the existing traffic signal timing to allow for more efficient movements throughout the project area.
The final design consisted of a new lane configuration and a Complete Streets/Safe Routes to Transit design from its intersection with Marin Boulevard / Henderson Street to its intersection with Hudson Street (a distance of 0.48 miles). In order to ensure the design considered all users (cyclists, pedestrians and vehicular, etc.), a survey of existing conditions for the entire road right-of-way was performed, followed by a detailed traffic study, noting signal timing and peak traffic hours (vehicular, public transportation and pedestrian) at all intersections. Utilizing this information, a comprehensive signal timing analysis was then performed in order to determine the correct timing sequence of the proposed coordinated signals that would result in the most efficient traffic flow throughout the corridor.
The signal design was performed utilizing Highway Capacity Software. The crosswalks and ramps within the project limits were redesigned to meet the ADA current standards, and special consideration was given for the relocation of the NJ Transit bus shelter.