Saturday, August 25, 2007

Let's Play "Find the Entrance"!

I feel for any first-time visitor to the Hoboken train terminal: they face the building with a bewildered look as they try to locate its entrance. The bus terminal entrace is well marked, as is the PATH entrance, but where is the train terminal entrace? There are no signs indicating where an entrace is. OK, perhaps no signs are necessary since everyone should realize that the big building is the terminal. But how to get into it? There are no entrances visible from the PATH entrance. Nor is there an obvious entrance visible from where the waterfront promenade terminates at the terminal's parking lot.

Here's the view from the PATH station/bus terminal entrance. Find the terminal entrance!

Here's the view from the waterfront promenade. Find the terminal entrance!

Let's assume our intrepid visitor decides to walk directly towards the terminal building and then circumnavigate its walls in an attempt to locate an entrance. Walking to the building from the PATH station, the visitor must dodge buses as they zip to and fro through the bus terminal. Walking from the waterfront, the visitor must cross the parking lot while staying alert for entering/exiting vehicles.

Dodge the buses!

Dodge the cars!

In summary, there is no indication from the street or promenade where terminal entrances are and there is no pedestrian-friendly access to the station. This has always bothered me given that Hoboken train station is accessed by thousands of pedestrians daily. Not only is this an annoyance, it is just plain ugly. A grand building like Hoboken terminal deserves a grand, accessible entrance.