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Re: Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza
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Jersey City Council tables plan to create pedestrian plaza on Newark Avenue

By Julie Kayzerman/ The Jersey Journal
June 26, 2014 at 6:56 PM

The Jersey City City Council voted to table an ordinance that would close a section of Newark Avenue to vehicular traffic and turn it into a pedestrian plaza after doctors, residents and shoppers alike made their voices heard at a meeting last night.

The ordinance was tabled by a vote of 5-1, with Councilwoman Diane Coleman and Councilman Khemraj "Chico" Ramchal not present in the room. Councilwoman Candice Osborne of Ward E, who introduced the ordinance, was not in attendance at the meeting due to her son's graduation.

It is unclear when the City Council will vote on the plan again.

The ordinance proposed the closing of Newark Avenue from Barrow Street to Grove Street, as well as a short stretch of Erie Street from Newark Avenue to Bay Street for a period up to Oct. 31, for the creation of a pedestrian plaza.

However several residents and business owners opposed this plan including Dr. Ronak Chinai of Grove Medical Associates, located at 135 Newark Ave.

"You're going to put patients' lives at risk," Chinai said of his patients, some handicapped and elderly, who will have to walk several blocks to reach his practice because they would not longer be dropped off in front.

He also explained that by closing off those blocks, "you're basically eliminating 30 parking spaces," on a street that sports high volumes of vehicular traffic.

"It's supposed to be for welfare and safety, this will do the complete opposite." Chinai said of the ordinance. "Even if it's closed for certain hours, you can't expect my patients who are handicapped to be walking down to get to my office."

Newark Avenue optometrists Dr. Martin Siegel and Dr. Perry Savoy both agreed with Chinai's argument.

"I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly (of Newark Avenue)," said Savoy who started his practice in 1946 after World War II. "I've spent too many years building it up to see it go by the waste side."

Resident Ann McGovern had concerns over the effect that the pedestrian plaza would have on Newark Avenue's small stores and restaurants.

"I'm a senior citizen who comes into Newark Avenue almost three to four times a week by cab," McGovern said. "I have arthritis in both knees and will not be able to go down to my favorite restaurants and shops."

McGovern called the plan out for introducing what she calls "economic cleansing" to weed out the small shops and restaurants, a statement that yielded several cheers and claps from the meeting's attendees.

"If you think these businesses and restaurants are going to make money, you're crazy," McGovern said.

Resident Joyce Adams added: "It is not only the young and the able who contribute to the economy of this city, we all do."

While listening to the public's sentiments, Councilman Daniel Rivera expressed his feelings towards the residents' pleas. "I'm really changing my mind here when it comes down to patient safety," Rivera said.

Councilman Frank Gajewski was the sole vote against tabling the ordinance.

An earlier version of this story should have said Ramchal was not present for last night's vote.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... _avenue.html#incart_river

Posted on: 2014/6/27 4:04
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Re: Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza
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craigslistdiva wrote:
I think this is a wonderful idea (sorry drivers I live car free so I am oblivious to traffic issues).

I appreciate the progress that JC has made over the past decade that I have lived here. It is turning into a very warm and welcoming community.

I can't tell you how happy I am to hear there are others out there in JC who live - proudly! - car free! I'm in the Heights, and it's hard as transit options are limited, but it's doable and good to feel on the vanguard. Now, if only I could get my elected officials to listen.

Posted on: 2014/6/13 16:20
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Re: Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza
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This should be good. The sidewalks on Newark Ave have been so littered with "street furniture" in recent years that there are some real bottlenecks. I wonder if there will be a strollers-only lane.

Posted on: 2014/6/13 16:16
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Re: Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza
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W00T!

I look forward to seeing the final results. I assume summer will still be a pilot program though.

Posted on: 2014/6/13 3:31
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Re: Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza
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moobycow wrote:

I think (am not certain) that it now is proposed that Newark be closed 4-midnight during the week and from 4pm Friday to Midnight Sunday with no allowance for deliveries during the times when it is closed.



So no garbage pickup entire weekend from restaurants?


I have little doubt that all emergency vehicles and council / city hall services (sanitation) will be exempt

Posted on: 2014/6/13 0:10
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Re: Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza
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moobycow wrote:

I think (am not certain) that it now is proposed that Newark be closed 4-midnight during the week and from 4pm Friday to Midnight Sunday with no allowance for deliveries during the times when it is closed.



So no garbage pickup entire weekend from restaurants?

Posted on: 2014/6/12 16:57
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Re: Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza
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This is why the traffic is so bad there?.the bottle neck in the Little India section of Newark Avenue. There used to be a red curb from 825 to 839 Newark Ave. The red curb was strictly enforced by the cops and jcpa. When the new buildings were built for the apka Big Bazar Food Market at 831-833 the red curb and enforcement of it disappeared.

The parked cars are now lined up from 825 to 839 (the intersection of Tonnele by China Spice) while shoppers are in the Food Market. If you Google map > Newark and Tonnele Jersey City< you will see that is in physically impossible to have 4 lanes of traffic there. There are 3 lanes 2 lanes coming down (one of them being a left turn only lane) and one lane going up Newark Avenue. Because of those cars that are parked illegally (in the 4th lane) it is forcing drivers to wait for a chance to partially cut into the oncoming traffic left hand only lane to get up Newark Avenue. It causes grid lock backing cars up on Tonnele Avenue and cars coming down Newark.

Enforce the red curb from 825 to 839 and the traffic bottle neck will be solved. Residents and drivers have been complaining to the Healy administration for years and NOTHING has been done. Here?s an idea put planters or cement barricades along the street next to the RED curb from 825 to 839. It will force people NOT to park or wait there.

The exact same situation is occurring at the top of the Newark Avenue by White Castle.
the parking enforcement in Little India is non-existent and that block is a nightmare. There needs to be a beat cop there who just hands out tickets all day, or it will never get better.

Posted on: 2014/6/12 15:11
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Re: Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza
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FYI, the ordinance was re-written and re-introduced with a first reading that passed 7-1 (Boggiano against). I'm not 100% certain what the changes are but they had to do with the times the street is closed and whether or not to allow deliveries and pickups during certain hours even when it was closed.

I think (am not certain) that it now is proposed that Newark be closed 4-midnight during the week and from 4pm Friday to Midnight Sunday with no allowance for deliveries during the times when it is closed.

If there are no further changes (I believe this is the third version) it should be approved in a few weeks. It shouldn't take too long to implement so hopefully by mid summer we'll have a plaza.

Posted on: 2014/6/12 11:14
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Re: Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza
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If it's a high pedestrian traffic area during normal business hours (which I believe it is) then I'm all for public safety which will have a benefit for businesses - Open seating, area for street performers, more bike parking etc . It will also encourage lazy-ass shoppers to walk a little after parking a short distance away.

Posted on: 2014/6/12 1:42
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Re: Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza
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It's the law of unintended consequences that is going to bite. With Manilla and Erie effectively blocked, we'll see more traffic directed to Jersey and around HP, plus perhaps more traffic on Coles, Monmouth and Brunswick. I'd actually prefer to see cut-through traffic pushed over to Marin, than increase traffic on residential streets. Perhaps similar pedestrian zones on the blocks outside schools would help with this?

Posted on: 2014/6/11 20:38
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Re: Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza
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Only problem with Newark and Grove is the out of towners who are not aware of the change, will create a traffic problem on other streets. Close any of the streets for an hour and the traffic backs up right away.

Posted on: 2014/6/11 19:51
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Re: Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza
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This is why the traffic is so bad there?.the bottle neck in the Little India section of Newark Avenue. There used to be a red curb from 825 to 839 Newark Ave. The red curb was strictly enforced by the cops and jcpa. When the new buildings were built for the apka Big Bazar Food Market at 831-833 the red curb and enforcement of it disappeared.

The parked cars are now lined up from 825 to 839 (the intersection of Tonnele by China Spice) while shoppers are in the Food Market. If you Google map > Newark and Tonnele Jersey City< you will see that is in physically impossible to have 4 lanes of traffic there. There are 3 lanes 2 lanes coming down (one of them being a left turn only lane) and one lane going up Newark Avenue. Because of those cars that are parked illegally (in the 4th lane) it is forcing drivers to wait for a chance to partially cut into the oncoming traffic left hand only lane to get up Newark Avenue. It causes grid lock backing cars up on Tonnele Avenue and cars coming down Newark.

Enforce the red curb from 825 to 839 and the traffic bottle neck will be solved. Residents and drivers have been complaining to the Healy administration for years and NOTHING has been done. Here?s an idea put planters or cement barricades along the street next to the RED curb from 825 to 839. It will force people NOT to park or wait there.

The exact same situation is occurring at the top of the Newark Avenue by White Castle.

Posted on: 2014/6/11 19:16

Edited by neverleft on 2014/6/11 19:37:38
Edited by neverleft on 2014/6/11 19:40:03
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Re: Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza
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Rumor on the (JSquare) street is that as soon as it is passed the merchants and landlords of the Little India stretch of Newark Avenue between Tonnele Avenue and JFK Blvd will be asking for the same deal. Just like when they fought the city to make Little India part of DT?s Restaurant Row ordinance. They have seen great success with closing down Newark Avenue for the yearly Navratri Festival.

I bet parts of Central Avenue will be next.

Newark Ave on that end is a nightmare to drive down currently. Closing it for cars wouldn't change anything other than driving really early and really late.


Pebble is 100% correct. Driving through the Newark Avenue stretch that is in Little India is an exercise in futility. I have been stuck for more than 10 minutes trying to cross from the two blocks between JFK and Tonnele. When heading west, out of town, my route is to drive down Cottage St, make the right onto Herbert Place, and then the short uphill to Tonnele.

Posted on: 2014/6/11 17:44
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Re: Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza
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neverleft wrote:
Rumor on the (JSquare) street is that as soon as it is passed the merchants and landlords of the Little India stretch of Newark Avenue between Tonnele Avenue and JFK Blvd will be asking for the same deal. Just like when they fought the city to make Little India part of DT?s Restaurant Row ordinance. They have seen great success with closing down Newark Avenue for the yearly Navratri Festival.

I bet parts of Central Avenue will be next.

Newark Ave on that end is a nightmare to drive down currently. Closing it for cars wouldn't change anything other than driving really early and really late.

Posted on: 2014/6/11 15:29
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Re: Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza
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Rumor on the (JSquare) street is that as soon as it is passed the merchants and landlords of the Little India stretch of Newark Avenue between Tonnele Avenue and JFK Blvd will be asking for the same deal. Just like when they fought the city to make Little India part of DT?s Restaurant Row ordinance. They have seen great success with closing down Newark Avenue for the yearly Navratri Festival.

I bet parts of Central Avenue will be next.

Posted on: 2014/6/11 14:20
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Re: Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza
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I hope it goes through. The revised ordinance seems sensible, with allowances for deliveries to businesses and trash pickup. As a downtown resident with a car, that intersection at Grove and Newark is a nightmare I avoid anyhow, so I think its closure will actually be a good thing.

Posted on: 2014/6/11 13:40
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Re: Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza
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My gut is telling me that Erie to Grove will win the "vote" to go pedestrian plaza tonight.

Posted on: 2014/6/11 12:01
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Re: Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza
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I'm all for more pedestrian initiatives but for it to be succesful we also need better transportation and no im not talking about another billion dollar tunnel into nyc. The LR has been tremendous is JC's success. As it is right now it still can be difficult to get around without a car. If this ciry would create more rail lines for radishes to get around I would have no problem giving up my car. All we would really need is about 3 more lines and the majority of Hudson County would be covered.

Posted on: 2014/6/11 5:53
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Re: Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza
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The second reading of the ordinance and final vote is on tomorrow's night City Council agenda.

Posted on: 2014/6/11 1:03
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Re: Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza
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Thought this article might be a good addition to the topic:

http://selfpropelledcity.com/?p=209

Europe is going car-free (and loving it)

Looking to reduce pollution and congestion, European cities are banning vehicular traffic ? and creating vibrant shopping zones in the process.

Posted on: 2014/6/5 19:33
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Re: Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza
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I think this is a wonderful idea (sorry drivers I live car free so I am oblivious to traffic issues).

I appreciate the progress that JC has made over the past decade that I have lived here. It is turning into a very warm and welcoming community.

Posted on: 2014/6/2 18:00
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Jersey City: Newark Avenue - Pedestrian Plaza
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Jersey City considers turning Newark Avenue into pedestrian plaza

By Michaelangelo Conte/The Jersey Journal
on June 02, 2014 at 3:03 AM

A plan to close a section of Newark Avenue to vehicular traffic in order to turn it into a pedestrian plaza with more outdoor seating at restaurants and open-air events is being considered by the Jersey City City Council.

Downtown Councilwoman Candice Osborne introduced an ordinance Wednesday that would close the avenue from Grove Street to Barrow Street between the hours of 10 a.m. to midnight Monday to Friday and from noon to midnight Saturday and Sunday.

The ordinance would prohibit amplified sound or music and it also includes regulations on when deliveries can be made and garbage can be picked up on the stretch of roadway.

A separate proposed ordinance would change traffic patterns in the area in consideration of the one-block stretch of closed roadway. Osborne said the initiative is a one-year pilot plan.

?The pilot program will test if there is extra benefit to community residents and businesses of having the portion of the road closed down for day and evening hours as a pedestrian walkway,? she said.

?It will be measured in terms of making sure businesses are getting more business, resident quality of life is not negatively impacted but rather positively impacted.?
If closure of the section of Newark Avenue does not prove beneficial, the ordinances would sunset after a year and the roads returned to current traffic patterns.

The companion ordinance would designate Barrow Street from Newark Avenue to Columbus Drive as a one-way street heading south. Bay Street from Newark Avenue to Erie streets would become a one-way street running east.

The Newark Avenue ordinance had been withdrawn at a previous meeting for further discussion.

http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... ty_considers_turning.html

Posted on: 2014/6/2 17:17

Edited by Webmaster on 2014/8/20 1:57:50
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