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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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Also, if there are currently issues with homeless people and troublemaking teenagers after hours in our existing parks such as VVP and HP, wouldn't you think that an elevated, out of sight park would have even more of those types of problems?

Posted on: 2012/2/8 14:25
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I'm generally all for increasing green space/park space, and having more public recreation spaces around. But I'm not sure I can really wrap my head around the usefulness of the embankment as a park. The embankment structure is about 1/2 mile long, and it abruptly ends at Marin Blvd. How exactly would it be used?

I agree that it would be kind of "cool" to go for a walk above street level, but it's not wide enough to allow any sort of real recreation, and it ends at Marin Blvd without connection to any other public space or walking/bike path. So, what would the typical user of park use it for? A brief walk?

Now if the raised embankment connected to the Hudson River waterfront walkway, I would say YES, this is an excellent idea. But there is a stupid ugly mall in the way. It the mall wasn't there, this could turn out to be a cool project that would continue to put JC on the map. But as it stands, I don't know if it would work or make sense.

Posted on: 2012/2/8 14:21
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what already-existing tourist haven did the Highline have? did you ever walk through that area of Manhattan prior to 2005?


Have you? I used to work there. There were a bunch of small art galleries, cheaper eateries, the large complex at Chelsea Piers and oh yea, its two blocks from an accessible highway, public transportation and IN DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN THAT GETS FORTY MILLION TOURISTS PER YEAR.


yes, I have been there in the pre-highline days, for work only. it was never a preferred destination. and how many of those forty-million tourists went to west Chelsea to take in those small galleries and cheaper eateries?

I agree with what you (and, much more eloquently, ExUWSguy) say about JC's ability to support something like the highline, which is why it is of course necessary to explore all options. but just because something won't be the absolute best X, doesn't mean we knock it down and settle for Y.

Posted on: 2012/2/8 14:17
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Posted on: 2012/2/8 14:05
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hero69 wrote:
The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article on Jersey City's High Line hopes.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001 ... html?KEYWORDS=jersey+city

I remember when people said the High Line was a WASTE!


How much did the High Line cost?


$75 million per 1/2 mile of park; 1 1/2 miles completed so far. Operating costs are around $3 million per year. Everyone should read the WSJ article as well as the link below, which goes into detail about how High Line Park was funded, and what it contributes to NYC in terms of economic development that otherwise may not have happended.

Now I have to say I am an ardent preservationist, and agree 100% that this is an important project for Jersey City - protecting and enhancing historic resources, open space, ennvironmentally sustainable development all contribute to making someplace one of those places everyone aspires to live, like... Chelsea! But I have to concur with the nay-sayers this needs to be thought through differently for Jersey City. NYC has SO many people with SO MUCH money - it can afford to realize projects like the High Line, which really does benefit everyone. JC will need a different model, since there is no coherent plan for development. Without that, it may not be feasible to take the chance on the High Line.

http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article ... plutocrats-who-pays-parks

Posted on: 2012/2/8 13:54
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I have never taken credit personally for the Embankment being saved. The Conservancy was a supporter, and I did serve as President for 3 1/2 years, but support was established by my predecessors and continued by my successors.

The EPC has been the main organization, of course. And there are several people who have put in a lot more time, money and effort and my defense of them on this board has not been to preserve any legacy of myself. Rather, it has been a defense of those ill-informed, cynical, and hateful attacks on good people who have done work for no personal benefit.

Calling someone a "fraud" could be conceived as many as defamatory. But since no one takes you seriously I don't really care.

Posted on: 2012/2/8 12:29
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what already-existing tourist haven did the Highline have? did you ever walk through that area of Manhattan prior to 2005?


Have you? I used to work there. There were a bunch of small art galleries, cheaper eateries, the large complex at Chelsea Piers and oh yea, its two blocks from an accessible highway, public transportation and IN DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN THAT GETS FORTY MILLION TOURISTS PER YEAR.

I'm not even going to dignify the nonsense from Hurst with a response anymore. You've ignored the parts where I say "most" and transliterate that to "all". You've ignored my points about the library and policemen to say "oh JC doesn't run the post office" (which is true, but so nice of you to ignore the rest of what I've said). Your apparent desire to make some mark in some historical context is mockingly sad and has simply become a nuisance at this point. ianmac already noted your evangelical zeal, which reinforces that pretty much everything you've said is invalid. Go on believing that you're some glorious crusader. The rest of us who know better look down upon you as a fraud.

Should the embankment ever get built, not a day will go by that I and many others look upon that and not see millions of dollars flushed down the toilet so that some yuppies can enjoy their new dog-walking trail. Every time an article comes up about the library reducing their hours even more, about classroom overcrowding, about failures in sewer systems, about policemen and firemen being laid off and forced into early retirement, I will remind you and the other embankment supporters that you foisted this waste upon us instead of bringing money and time to actual worthwhile causes. Congratulations on being one step closer to throwing 7 million dollars away while our public libraries are cut to the bone. You all must be very proud.

Posted on: 2012/2/8 12:06
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I want my park.


And you want ME to pay for it.

So say it.

Just say it.


You will pay for it just as you paid the pension of a 52 year old retired JCPD officer who lives in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

Posted on: 2012/2/8 9:07
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JPhurst wrote:

In any event, in the history of the Embankment, I think it\'s fair to say that the story of the trumph of the community to preserve it will not dwell upon, or even footnote, the cheap grumbling of a few on jclist.


You really earnestly believe you are on righteous mission. But that sort of fanaticism probably is also tainting your point of view a little bit.

There is an episode of Fraggle Rock that seems a relavent parable. The Fraggles live in Fraggle Rock, underground caves, in a symbiotic relationship with doozers, small green creatures who wear construction hats and build towers out of radish flavored crystal. During one episode, Mokey Fraggle convinces all the Fraggles to stop eating the doozer constructions because. She believes that works of such beauty should be preserved. The doozers keep on building the Fraggles run out of room in their caves. At one point Boober Fraggle laments that \"its the end of laundry as we know it\" when the doozer constructions fill up his laundry basket. Eventually, when the doozers have run out of space to build, they decide they must leave Fraggle Rock. Just as the doozers are leaving, Mokey realizes the folly and saves the day by releasing the Fraggles from their promise of preserving the doozer constructions. Then everyone sings and the episode ends.


the embankment could feed a lot of hungry schoolkids, come to think of it.

Posted on: 2012/2/7 23:51
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brewster wrote:

In the long list of things for JC to spend money we don't have on, whether it's enrichment programs for kids or the building of the reservoir park, why should it be a higher priority to build a new park 2 blocks from a newly renovated existing park?


White people live there.

Posted on: 2012/2/7 23:14
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I want my park.


And you want ME to pay for it.

So say it.

Just say it.

Posted on: 2012/2/7 23:14
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JPhurst wrote:

In any event, in the history of the Embankment, I think it\'s fair to say that the story of the trumph of the community to preserve it will not dwell upon, or even footnote, the cheap grumbling of a few on jclist.


You really earnestly believe you are on righteous mission. But that sort of fanaticism probably is also tainting your point of view a little bit.

There is an episode of Fraggle Rock that seems a relavent parable. The Fraggles live in Fraggle Rock, underground caves, in a symbiotic relationship with doozers, small green creatures who wear construction hats and build towers out of radish flavored crystal. During one episode, Mokey Fraggle convinces all the Fraggles to stop eating the doozer constructions because. She believes that works of such beauty should be preserved. The doozers keep on building the Fraggles run out of room in their caves. At one point Boober Fraggle laments that \"its the end of laundry as we know it\" when the doozer constructions fill up his laundry basket. Eventually, when the doozers have run out of space to build, they decide they must leave Fraggle Rock. Just as the doozers are leaving, Mokey realizes the folly and saves the day by releasing the Fraggles from their promise of preserving the doozer constructions. Then everyone sings and the episode ends.

Posted on: 2012/2/7 23:10
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some people like mittens, some like rick, some like newt. I want my park.

Posted on: 2012/2/7 23:06
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corybraiterman wrote:
...et's look at other larger local parks: no view like Liberty State or Riverside. No venue for the arts like LS, Lincoln or Central. No already-existing tourist havens like Central and Highline.


what already-existing tourist haven did the Highline have? did you ever walk through that area of Manhattan prior to 2005? was there ever a need? that the far-western edge of Chelsea is now a high-rent, highly-trafficked area is largely thanks to the Highline.


Sorry, but you've got the cart before the horse. The support for the highline was a result of that area steadily building for many years, that's why they were able to raise so much money, $152 million, it's got traffic and density. No one was pouring that money in on speculation that the area would become hot.

To take the liberty of trying to distill the emotion out Cory's point, it's not the idea for the park, sure that's would be a nice addition to the hood. It's the fact that we have a zero sum game here. The money to purchase and build the park is money that will not be going elsewhere in the city. I doubt significant private funds will be forthcoming.

In the long list of things for JC to spend money we don't have on, whether it's enrichment programs for kids or the building of the reservoir park, why should it be a higher priority to build a new park 2 blocks from a newly renovated existing park? I've also had no one comment on my point about no park at all planned for the Jersey Ave Redevelopment Zone. There's already 155 units going up at 833 Jersey Avenue, and I'm sure more will follow. It was explained to me that since there's no constituency existing in the zone to demand a park, none will be planned until after it's too late. Which it may already be, I believe the city having sold it's lots there.

Posted on: 2012/2/7 22:43
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would you pay to use van vorst, hamilton or liberty state parks or the hudson river walkway? I wouldn't unless there were NO alternatives. I zppreciate these parks

Posted on: 2012/2/7 22:43
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borisp wrote:
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Nice strawman. However, public transportation actually assists thousands of people daily, as well as helps link communities. .


Well, this kind of statement is easy to validate. If the light rail is profitable, than it was a good investment. If not, - it is a bad one.


That's actually missing the point of public transportation. It is not meant to be a for-profit venture, it is a public service. At best, they exist not to lose money while providing the service.


No, no missing point at all. If the VALUE of the service to a public is higher than the COSTS, - there will be profit. Simple.

If I am not willing to pay the full price, - it means that the service doesn't provide the value to cover the costs, - this is all there is to it.

Posted on: 2012/2/7 22:37
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amen about the high line re-invigorating west chelsea. Also, I would point out that paris did its own high line well before nyc, and the paris project re-invigorated a tired part of paris.

Posted on: 2012/2/7 22:28
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...et's look at other larger local parks: no view like Liberty State or Riverside. No venue for the arts like LS, Lincoln or Central. No already-existing tourist havens like Central and Highline.


what already-existing tourist haven did the Highline have? did you ever walk through that area of Manhattan prior to 2005? was there ever a need? that the far-western edge of Chelsea is now a high-rent, highly-trafficked area is largely thanks to the Highline.

Posted on: 2012/2/7 22:00
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The fact that you have consistently been wrong on the issue as well as gratuitously nasty toward others is not particularly laudatory.

You keep saying that you've seen the studies and that "the people you've seen" are all neighborhood residents looking to increase property values. As someone who has been involved in this for quite some time, I doubt it. Because I have not seen you at any meeting, hearing or seen any involvement other than the gratuitous potshots on jclist. Because if you really had any level of significant involvement or understanding you would have actually seen those involved and couldn't make the clearly erroneous claim that this is just a few neighborhood residents hoarding dollars for themselves. You certainly couldn't claim that JCLC and its officers had no interest in historic preservation, and that we volunteered for years promoting projects all throughout the city as a front for one such project downtown. I live downtown, though nowhere close enough to the Embankment that my property values would be affected. I will gladly go there with my kids though, to ride bikes, to take in a unique view of the city, to tell them about the history of the place, and also tell them about the local heros who made it possible.

Going beyond the Embankment, what, pray tell, did JCLC board members get by fighting to preserve the Reservoir, or St. Johns Episcopal Church. What do we get by sponsoring exhibits on the Greenville Yards, or Art Deco tours of Jersey City?

In any event, in the history of the Embankment, I think it's fair to say that the story of the trumph of the community to preserve it will not dwell upon, or even footnote, the cheap grumbling of a few on jclist.

Posted on: 2012/2/7 21:32
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^^^

Bravo!

Posted on: 2012/2/7 21:05
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If you go back into the thread, jphurst, I've been stating these exact same things for many, many months. I am well aware of the studies that have been ongoing for years. They are, for the most part, a bunch of malarkey. The vast majority of people that I've seen support it are a bunch of homeowners that want their property values to rise and bunch of yuppies who want a nice little walking park.

I, on the other hand, feel that turning it into an elevated park is a load of political BS, and have felt this way for years. I have posted as such in earlier pages.

You use the words "top level amenity". That, too, is a load of crap. It's a park. A park with nothing to do in it other than walk it's short length because it's too narrow to have things that attract people like ball fields. It is, in fact, a park with zero amenities. Again, let's look at other larger local parks: no view like Liberty State or Riverside. No venue for the arts like LS, Lincoln or Central. No already-existing tourist havens like Central and Highline. No wide open space for sports like Lincoln, Pershing, LS, Riverside or Central (or even nearby Enos Jones and Gateway). No public transportation. Little to no parking, depending on how the street area gets used - unlike Lincoln, LS and Riverside. Your definition of "top level amenity" is a crock of sh!t.

It's a waste of money and nothing more. You can call this a personal attack if you like, but quite frankly, I don't care: you're wrong. You and others have duped people who don't know any better into thinking it's some amazing thing, when in fact, it's a money sink for little return. You and others are continuing to attempt to scam the money for a project in times of economic hardship when there are many other pressing needs. I don't know or care if you have ulterior motives or not, and quite frankly, that's immaterial. This project stinks and I will continue to point out that it stinks every time this conversation comes up.

This is a waste of dollars in a time when dollars are harder to come by. Use it to keep libraries open at full hours. Use it to promote history if that is actually your agenda (which I highly doubt, but again, whatever). Use it to actually improve JC by hiring more police and firemen. Chuck a few hundred thousand into building a bike lane along Newark Ave for your many supposed recreationists (and plenty of local JC'ers) and use the rest to build parks in all neighborhoods of JC if you think that the open space is really so precious. Put your money where your mouth is and actually help JC instead of just one of the wealthier neighborhoods.

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I guess those missions to the /moon and the space stations are a complete waste of money.

Actually, that is exactly the reason they stopped going to the moon, it was giving us no benefit and cost a lot of money (and a few lives). The space station conducts invaluable scientific research, the embankment hosts some pigeons. Nice try.

And you ask "who knows what developers will build?" You mean who knows what the neighborhood will oppose, since no one wants development above and beyond small buildings in the area. That's the whole reason why we're in this mess to begin with - a developer wants to build high rises, which no one wants, and so far the only idea thats been pushed has been to snake the land from the guy and turn it into a money drain for the public so Hamilton Parkers (of which I'm one btw), can enjoy a new dog walking area and some benches overlooking the Newport Mall parking lot.

Posted on: 2012/2/7 21:03
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My point was - it's not just about dollars and cents. Quality of life is important and it may improve the lives of more than just a few - who knows what developers might develop near the embankment especially if a light rail is included

Posted on: 2012/2/7 20:22
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Nice hyperbole, but the Embankment is neither a Space Station or a Central Park.

What it is, is elevated tracks.

Posted on: 2012/2/7 20:15
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I guess those missions to the /moon and the space stations are a complete waste of money. Lets withdraw from the Space Station. You can't put a price tag on everything. heck, maybe they should destroy reduce Central Park and build condo towers inside it.

Posted on: 2012/2/7 19:43
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Let's assume at some point a park is built on the embankment.

There is a block between Brunswick and Division that is privately owned and not historic, unless we're getting into the preservation of surface parking lots.

Aside from that being a serious whole in connection to the greenway, the other properties include a lot on southwest side of Newark Avenue with approved plans for a six story building; Healy's tavern; and another lot bound by Division, 6th and Newark, which also I believe has approved development plans.

So is there going to be some sort of magical emerald bridge connecting the embankment from Brunswick over / under the Turnpike to the Bergen Arches or is our long hike to Florida going to be cut short, six blocks from where we started?


Neither.

Short gaps in the trail are not problematic. One can create a lane for bike traffic in the street. That's not even necessary since a bike does have right of way on the street, though dedicated paths are best.

Pedestrians can walk on the sidewalk.

Or the city could work out an easement arrangement with the property owners, depending on how the property is developed.

And although a bridge would likely be overkill, it would not have to be of the magical or emerald type.

It would be a lot less expensive than the magical emerald, or for that matter just plain concrete, bridge or span that a light rail would need to connect from the Embankment to the Arches.

Posted on: 2012/2/7 19:43
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hero69 wrote:
The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article on Jersey City's High Line hopes.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001 ... html?KEYWORDS=jersey+city

I remember when people said the High Line was a WASTE!


How much did the High Line cost?


loads, but most of it was raised by Friends of the High Line, who still cover 70% of its yearly operating/maintenance costs.

Posted on: 2012/2/7 19:09
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Let's assume at some point a park is built on the embankment.

There is a block between Brunswick and Division that is privately owned and not historic, unless we're getting into the preservation of surface parking lots.

Aside from that being a serious whole in connection to the greenway, the other properties include a lot on southwest side of Newark Avenue with approved plans for a six story building; Healy's tavern; and another lot bound by Division, 6th and Newark, which also I believe has approved development plans.

So is there going to be some sort of magical emerald bridge connecting the embankment from Brunswick over / under the Turnpike to the Bergen Arches or is our long hike to Florida going to be cut short, six blocks from where we started?

Posted on: 2012/2/7 19:02
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Then count me amongst the "just about" crew, as I have a degree in History and specialized in American History, so I'm not exactly just a cranky guy, merely a cranky guy who knows what he's talking about.


Given that you haven't really presented any facts, but just grumbled about "selfish" neighbors, I can't really agree with that.

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Governments worldwide have noted tons of useless things as "special". Usually this is a way of buying votes, much like putting the Stabbed in the Back statue in Exchange Place helped buy Polish votes. So stating that "well, this and that and these say so" means about a hill of beans to me and should to anyone with even the smallest knowledge of how local politics work anywhere in the world.


Except that the Embankment was considered to be eligible not just by local politicians but by professionals at the state and federal level as well.


Quote:

There's been absolutely zero argument that has demonstrated how this would benefit JC as a whole, and even less of one that states how it's of any benefit given the cost. People have made up platitudes about open space when there are already multiple parks in the area and a 1200 acre park less than a mile away. People have made up nonsense about connected green trails from Maine to Florida that are actually connected by subways and city blocks. People have compared a sleepy residential neighborhood to the heart of downtown Manhattan.

We're in a time of laying off policemen and closing libraries and post offices and you want to spend 7 million dollars plus upkeep on an elevated park. Selfish and greedy. Very few of you would be supporting this if it was in Greenville or the Heights or Little India. You just want the extra dog walking trail. Selfish. Inconsiderate of the rest of the city.


Actually, the issue has been studied and presented on quite extensively. The fact that you are ignorant of it doesn't change that.

As for the motivations of the people involved. I can only speak for the work of the group I am most familiar with, the Landmarks Conservancy. The JCLC was one of many supporters of the Embankment. It also was a supporter of preservation of Reservoir # 3 in the Heights, the Loews Jersey Theatre in Journal Square, St. John's Episcopal Church in Bergen Hill, the Peter Stuyvesant Monument in Bergen Square, and opposed to R-1 Zoning changes that would have imperiled streetscapes in every neighborhood outside of the historic districts. Having been involved with this group intimately, and having worked on the Embankment project, I cannot fathom how anyone who actually saw what was going on could say that this was a group of downtown residents seeking to get "another dog path."

It's sad and unfortunate that people decide to resort to personal attacks on the motives of others who have logged countless hours of volunteer time, who have put up their own money to assist the City with legal proceedings, who have networked with local, state, and national groups to create a plan for a top level amenity in this city, are attacked as merely wanting "another dog path." It reflects poorly not only on your ignorance on the topic, but your disconnect from the community in which you live.

Oh, by the way, Jersey City doesn't fund the post office.

Posted on: 2012/2/7 18:52
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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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But on this point, I will simply note that it has been found to be an eligible site by federal and state authorities, was approved as a local landmark by the city council after recommendations from the local Historic Preservation Commission and Planning Board, and was recognized as a priority campaign not just by the Conservancy but by Preservation New Jersey. The National Trust for Historic Preservation thought it was historic, as evidenced by their filing an amicus brief in support of the EPC and City in the federal court litigation. In short, just about everyone who knows what they are talking about DOES think that it is a historic resource.


Then count me amongst the "just about" crew, as I have a degree in History and specialized in American History, so I'm not exactly just a cranky guy, merely a cranky guy who knows what he's talking about. Governments worldwide have noted tons of useless things as "special". Usually this is a way of buying votes, much like putting the Stabbed in the Back statue in Exchange Place helped buy Polish votes. So stating that "well, this and that and these say so" means about a hill of beans to me and should to anyone with even the smallest knowledge of how local politics work anywhere in the world.

There's been absolutely zero argument that has demonstrated how this would benefit JC as a whole, and even less of one that states how it's of any benefit given the cost. People have made up platitudes about open space when there are already multiple parks in the area and a 1200 acre park less than a mile away. People have made up nonsense about connected green trails from Maine to Florida that are actually connected by subways and city blocks. People have compared a sleepy residential neighborhood to the heart of downtown Manhattan.

We're in a time of laying off policemen and closing libraries and post offices and you want to spend 7 million dollars plus upkeep on an elevated park. Selfish and greedy. Very few of you would be supporting this if it was in Greenville or the Heights or Little India. You just want the extra dog walking trail. Selfish. Inconsiderate of the rest of the city.

Posted on: 2012/2/7 18:20
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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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hero69 wrote:
The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article on Jersey City's High Line hopes.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001 ... html?KEYWORDS=jersey+city

I remember when people said the High Line was a WASTE!


How much did the High Line cost?

Posted on: 2012/2/7 18:01
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