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Re: Jersey Avenue entrance to Liberty State Park
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Residents of Lafayette need not drive west on Johnston if they want to get to the waterfront. They can instead get on the light rail and take it to Essex St., Exchange Place, Harborside, Harsimus Cove, or Pavonia Newport and get to the waterfront in a matter of minutes.

This is reminding me of another debate on another forum where a certain resident of Newport insisted that she was being "excluded" from the Morris Canal section of Liberty State Park because she could not park in the cul de sac section of Washington Street.

I am not completely unsympathetic to the traffic concerns of Lafayette residents. But I've said it before and I'll say it again, trying to address congestion and traffic by building more roads is like dealing with obesity by purchasing a larger suit. And although Lafayette is somewhat cut off from the downtown neighborhoods, creating another auto route that cuts through the park is not going to meaningfully link the neighborhoods.

The city has a unique opportunity with Jersey Avenue, because it can serve as a connector for the various parks. The street connects Hamilton Park, the 6th Street Embankment, Van Vorst Park, and Liberty State Park. Make it a pedestrian friendly streetscape with a bike lane and turn that corridor into a "string of pearls" that city residents can enjoy, not a heavily driven auto route.

Lest anyone accuse me of being a NIMBY, I would actually benefit quite a bit from creating the "expressway." I live on Monmouth Street, and a lot of that traffic is coming off the turnpike or down Pacific Avenue, then turning on to Grand, then Monmouth. With the Jersey Avenue extension, most of that traffic would avoid my block. I also often visit friends in Bayonne or family in Brooklyn and go via Bayonne and Staten Island. With the extension I could drive through Jersey Avenue, through the Park, and on to Route 440. Right now I have to drive to Pacific and then Johnston to get there. The delay is all of 2 to 4 minutes. Despite this, life is still worth living.

Posted on: 2007/3/2 10:26
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Re: Jersey Avenue entrance to Liberty State Park
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There really is no reason for residents of Lafayette should have to drive west on Johnson to go East to the waterfront. A Jersey Avenue connector over the canal between Grand and Philip road would give that area better access to the waterfront. There are a number of large scale projects planned or currently under construction in that area of Jersey City, and no doubt as the gentrification marches west, more dense developments will be built there. Some of those residents will inevitably drive, either in a circuitous route involving Pacific and Grand, or more directly via a Jersey Avenue Connector.

Further, the Jersey Avenue Connector would also give the downtown, particularly the new Liberty Harbor development a better westward exit route, rather than driving north on Jersey, looping around to either Montgomery or Columbus. This might be the greatest benefit, as cars would not have to line up on Jersey to make left turns onto Montgomery and Columbus, and it would mean fewer people queuing up on Montgomery to turn left onto the Turnpike West.

As for people "cutting through" the downtown, the best solution to prevent this would be limiting our own access to the tunnel. But I'm sure the folks who drive to Manhattan from Jersey city don't want to have to go to the back of the queue, just like people coming off the turnpike don't want to be there either. If you don't want outsiders driving down Montgomery or Columbus to get to Marin, then prohibit right hand turns from Marin into the tunnel. Its a trade off.

Circulating on the internet is a report about the Holland Tunnel:
http://www.cait.rutgers.edu/finalreports/Holland-RU4474.pdf

The end result of this proposal is elevating the Turnpike from its current position to the entrance of the Holland Tunnel, rather than sending traffic through the existing urban grid. This is a remarkably bad idea because historically elevated highways have only ever segregated urban neighborhoods. Part of the disconnect between downtown and areas west is the fact that there is a highway looming 100 feet over head. Meanwhile this does nothing to address the fact that there is a tiny little hole underneath the Hudson river that 6 or 8 lanes of traffic are trying to feed through.

In the years after September 11th, the Holland Tunnel was restricted to HOV vehicles. This brought significant reduction in traffic headed through the Tunnel. At the time I drive by the Turnpike at exit 14ABC, where 78 meets the Newark Bay extension. The month after the ban on HOV vehicles was lifted, the traffic heading off the Turnpike at 14ABC headed towards the tunnel went from a trickle of cars to a backup several miles long. Every day. While I don't drive down that way anymore, I assume its the same condition now. The bottom line is there are too many cars headed for the Holland Tunnel, a very small hole in the ground. HOV restrictions went a very long way in reducing the traffic headed for the tunnel and bringing those restrictions back would mean less cars "cutting through" the downtown.

Another solution would be congestion toll pricing. Higher tolls would mean fewer cars headed for the tunnel, and that would mean less traffic and by extension, fewer cars cutting through the downtown.

In addition to all the traffic going to the tunnel, let's not forget that Jersey city has expanded and will probably continue to expand its downtown office space. Many people are driving to these offices, not just to the tunnel, for which it makes no sense to "keep them on the turnpike."

18 months or so ago, the "Grand Street" exit became the "Christopher Columbus Street" exit. Suddenly cars coming from Grand street via Center St could only go straight onto Columbus, not turn left directly onto the turnpike, or left onto Montgomery. Now cars coming off of center street have to merge over three lanes of traffic to turn around and head in the opposite direction on the turnpike or to make a left on Montgomery. Meanwhile, cars coming off the turnpike cannot make the right onto Montgomery Street, and all the traffic is being directed down Columbus. Now with all the traffic headed downtown being shunted past the PATH station, where there is a cab stand, bus stops, jitney stops and people getting dropped off, the whole area is a big cluster-French Connection U.K. And living on Montgomery street, I can attest there really isn't an improvement in my "quality of life" having fewer morning commuters coming down Montgomery. But it sure makes navigating around the grove street PATH more difficult at all times of the day, because of the increased traffic there.

The bottom line is we all live in a city, most of us by choice. If you want a cul-de-sac without any cars driving on by, there are a number of lovely suburbs west of here.

As far as the 6th Street embankment light rail proposal, someone on the wired forums pointed out that it used to hold 5 freight rail lines. I followed up by saying that if Sixth Street were made one way headed west from Marin to Newark, there would be plenty of room for an Essex Street style light rail - roadway combo AND a large open greenway. That would be a compromise, which is what living in a civil society is all about.

And one final note on today's traffic problems. Nearly every road in the city is flooded. I turned around about 5 times before finally getting to the west side of the city. So while there may be a lot of traffic today, its probably the result of flooded portions of the roadway rather than all the "cut throughs."

Posted on: 2007/3/2 9:37
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Re: Jersey Avenue entrance to Liberty State Park
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If you want to see what will happen to the traffic flow if Jersey is opened to the park, look at the backup this morning going from Grand, Jersey, CC, and Marin; it’s one solid line of cars. These people found the “short cut” through downtown when the turnpike is backed up.

Posted on: 2007/3/2 9:20
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Re: Jersey Avenue entrance to Liberty State Park
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Expressway is a bad term.A simple two way street like the rest of jersey ave is what it should be.The road running into downtown should be closed during morning rush hour and the road leaving downtown should be closed during the evening rush hour.

You go out of your way a few times and have to turn around and even the most adventurous motorist will get the message.

Posted on: 2007/3/1 23:25
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Re: Jersey Avenue entrance to Liberty State Park
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For those of you who think widening lanes or building new roads is the answer to congestion, think again.


"I-287: Extend It and They Will Drive on It;A New 20-Mile Stretch Has Changed Traffic Patterns in Unintended Ways"

Excerpt: "It's as if we hadn't learned anything in the last 50 years," said David Bernstein, a professor of civil engineering at Princeton University who has studied the phenomenon. "The rule is this: If you build it, they will come. It's called induced demand. Every mile of road you build induces people to drive."

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage ... sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all


And:

"Why building new roads doesn't ease congestion"

Excerpt: "Trying to cure traffic congestion by adding more capacity is like trying to cure obesity by loosening your belt." Increased traffic capacity makes longer commutes less burdensome, and as a result, people are willing to live farther and farther from their workplace. As increasing numbers of people make similar decisions, the long-distance commute grows as crowded as the inner city, commuters clamor for additional lanes, and the cycle repeats itself.

http://bicycleuniverse.info/transpo/roadbuilding-futility.html

Posted on: 2007/3/1 22:33
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Re: Jersey Avenue entrance to Liberty State Park
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Numerous studies have been done over the years on the effects of adding or expanding roads in order to ameliorate traffic problems and they all come to the same conclusion - the traffic just gets worse.

I find it ironic that someone referred to Liberty State Park as "a great open air park" when they're advocating adding more exhaust to that air. I agree the entrance on Jersey Avenue needs to be cleaned up, but making a road that encourages people to drive through the park into downtown isn't a very good option. And why isn't the city, which continues to give huge tax abatements to developers, demanding that the developers give something back to the city in the way of walkways, open spaces, trees, etc.?

Posted on: 2007/3/1 17:02

Edited by imstillhere on 2007/3/1 17:17:51
Edited by imstillhere on 2007/3/1 17:21:08
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Re: Jersey Avenue entrance to Liberty State Park
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I too tend to be very willing to cut through the back way every which way to shave off a few minutes travel time. What I have found though is that in most cases-- that is, only on extremely bad travel days, such as friday afternoons in the summer, a very rainy day, or the day before a long weekend will "shortcuts" ever actually be shorter. The other thing Ive found, in a very non-scientific way, is that most people aren't willing to change their commuting habits in the same way I will. Sure, there are "many" people who cut through the downtown, but the number of people who don't is still much greater. If we really want to talk about reducing downtown traffic, we should talk about expanding transit options, light, heavy, subterranean rail. For me, i think it very strange that anyone would drive all the way down 78 just to get off the freeway a 2 miles from the Holland tunnel and park in Lafayette to take the light rail. To me, that's counter intuitive. Rail stations should be built farther away-- the junction of 78 and the Tpk for instance, or out in Bridgewater at the junction of 78 and 287. But I digress.

In terms of traffic "cutting through" the downtown, I think its fairly self regulating in that the more people who do it, the more traffic there is, and thus the less time is saved, and so fewer people do it. Also, I think the people who "cut through" the downtown already do, and that changing the local road network isn't going to change the habits of people don't already cut through.

Also, if Liberty Harbor adds 8,000 residential units, and to what seems mostly young professionals, that's anywhere from 8,000 to 16,000 young professionals, many with cars and many who are just not that close to the PATH. I think Liberty Harbor will generate much more traffic than a Jersey Avenue Connector, and further a Jersey Avenue connector would let Liberty Harbor residents head West without going through Grand or Montgomery Streets to get to the Turnpike. While most Liberty harbor people are probably going to end up working in Manhattan, increasingly, people who work in the burbs are moving to urban areas like Jersey City. I don't think it would be unrealistic for a large percentage of the new Liberty harbor residents to work out along the 78 Corridor or 287-- Woodbridge, Edison, Newark, Bridgewater, Piscataway. So a Jersey Ave connection might actually lesson traffic downtown.

Posted on: 2007/3/1 15:40
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Re: LSP, an Urban Park and We Don't Need Anything
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It seems that until the junk yard, cement plant, dry dock, and the canal itself are all cleaned up, a Jersey Ave entrance to the park won't be any *nicer* than any of the other entrances.

If we are only talking about easier access to LSP then opening Jersey Ave. to vehicular traffic benefits ONLY the residents of downtown, and would only shorten the drive by about 5 minutes tops.

This plan whether it is two lanes or four would certainly increase the number of cars on downtown streets coming from the suburbs. When I first moved to NJ in the suburbs I learned very quickly about the short-cut through downtown JC for when the extension is backed up. Commuters are using exit 14B and cutting through the park to either get to the tunnel or to park in JC and ferry across to Manhattan.

The increase in congestion downtown that would be caused by opening Jersey Ave. is not worth shaving a few minutes off my drive to LSP.

Posted on: 2007/3/1 14:29
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Re: Jersey Avenue entrance to Liberty State Park
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I think the biggest problem with the proposal is the name of the project. Obviously an "expressway" connotes "highway" to many people, but that is not necessarily what is being proposed. Montgomery street west of Jersey, for instance, is 4 lanes wide, 6 if you include the rows of parking on either side. Perhaps a better term would be "Jersey Avenue Connector" or "Bi-pass"

Connecting Jersey Avenue is not necessarily an evil plan either. It would help connect the downtown the southeastern end of Lafayette and aid in redeveloping that area. Of course it will probably bring more traffic to the downtown area, but since no one is talking about expanding Jersey Avenue north of Grand street, the limited width of the road will prevent a huge influx of cars.

As far as folks cutting through the downtown to get to the Tunnel from the turnpike, I think you are over estimating how adventurous and how knowledgeable most commuters are. Most commuters stick to their routine day in and day out and never venture off the main highway they take to work or that mapquest suggests to them. We all think its a great way to save a few minutes because we live here and drive these side roads every day, most commuters won't. They see jersey city from the elevated portion of the Turnpike but don't really understand how all the roads connect.

Posted on: 2007/3/1 13:37
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Re: Jersey Avenue entrance to Liberty State Park
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I live on Jersey Avenue, one block from Grand. If you don't think people are getting off at the LSP exit and trying to negotiate to downtown JC or NYC, you obviously haven't gone running into LSP between 7am and 9am. It's backed up through the park (which people are also commuting to in order to take a ferry.) And Jersey at Grand is a parking lot, with both the hospital (and it's constant emergency vehicles) and the new 4000-student school creating lots of traffic. There are also multiple bus stops.
The city needs to look at developing a traffic plan (a tunnel that goes underneath downtown and comes up at the Holland would be utopian) whereby these cars and trucks would have the smoothest egress to downtown and the big apple.
Making Jersey, south of Grand, a four lane "Expressway" will only invite more traffic and make the area more dangerous for pedestrians, including the many kids crossing to the school and the gigantic boys club down the street on Grand. What's more, you're about to have thousands more people move into the townhouses on Grand, many of whom will probably want to drive somewhere, further increasing traffic.
I also constantly see people who don't know the lay of the land trying to make the connection, which isn't there, between Jersey and LSP, then meander about searching for the road through LSP to Bayonne or wherever they are going. Better signage is in order.
I'm not against opening the road on Jersey Avenue and creating a nice foot-bridge that won't flood everytime it rains, but it needs to be done with consideration for the people already in the vacinity and certainly shouldn't be termed an expressway, parkway, highway or anything else that will give people the idea that it's a high speed shortcut through JC.
OK, back to work.

Posted on: 2007/3/1 10:47
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Re: Jersey Avenue entrance to Liberty State Park. Open it now
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I agree with Mr. Rogers. Open Jersey Avenue now.

I thought this when I lived in Harsimus Cove and I think it now that I live in Lafayette. The City should have done this 20 years ago. The Friends of Liberty State Park are against it because they don't want anyone to use the park except birds. Mia Scanga's against it because she and her crowd don't believe that the City has really given up on the old idea of completing 440 by having it connect to Jersey Avenue (right now it sort of dead ends south of Port Liberte). But that really is dead.

Yes there is a lot of commuter traffic in the morning and evening, but I think most of it heads to Exchange Place, not the Holland Tunnel. Thus an opened Jersey Avenue is going to dump onto Grand not to the Van Vorst neighborhood. Also, I believe the plans for the Mocco/Hyman property call for a boulevard along the Morris Canal. Thus, an opened Jersey Avenue's first outlet would be to that eventual boulevard. Penultimately, not opening the street would be another failure of nerve like allowing the construciton of gated commuities like Port Liberte and Avalon Cove. Lafayette might not be a field of lilies yet, but its trying and keeping Jersey Avenue closed would be a slap in its face. Finally, Pacific and Garfield are in despeate need of being relieved of carrying all north south traffic. This would help.

Posted on: 2007/3/1 10:09
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Re: Jersey Avenue entrance to Liberty State Park
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I agree! There needs to be another entrance to the park. I live in Hamilton Park and when I do drive to the park in the AM the traffic coming from Johnston and Pacific is a mess. One entrance is ridiculous and unsafe.

Whoever does opposse this is just a DT snob. Look, we all know there will be a lot more traffic in the coming years so now is the time to help these alrerady clogged streets. I watch school buses just creep along exhaust spewing away.......

I really can't believe the city has not done anything about this until now + our only enterance to the park is discusting and certainly does not reflect what a great open air park we have.

Posted on: 2007/3/1 8:42
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Re: Jersey Avenue entrance to Liberty State Park
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There are ways to open this road without making it a highway.Why should Garfield and johnston get all the traffic from downtown when we could get to LSP by Jersey.

We spent all that money on a dog run in VVP when we could have had a football field size run just past jersey ave.


Open Jersey Ave..........

Posted on: 2007/3/1 7:55
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Jersey Avenue entrance to Liberty State Park
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Has anyone heard about this?

There is an attempt to sneak in a 2-4 lane road to Liberty State park via Jersey Ave...

They are going to discuss it at the meeting tonight.

I think its a bad idea. Traffic is already awful on Jersey ave...

http://www.jcreservoir.org/Links/Stea ... ark_-_FOSP_Statement.html

Posted on: 2007/3/1 7:11
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Re: OPEN JERSEY AVENUE TO LIBERTY STATE PARK!!
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Quote:

81905 wrote:

While I wholeheartedly agree about many of these causes, especially the Bergen Arches-East Coast Greenway initiative, I still think the activist are looking over the ridiculous and unsafe gridlock that comes from Johnson, Pacific and Grand during rush hour.


The Jersey Avenue extension is simply not a rational place to divert such traffic, particularly during rush hour. You have a light rail at grade level which runs every 5 minutes or less (each way) during rush hour. You have an elementary and intermediate school right at the intersection of Grand and Jersey which just opened and is already a traffic problem. You have a hospital that will need emergency ambulance access. And you have a new development which at this point can either be a) cordoned off by a street with increased auto traffic or b) integrated into the rest of downtown by encouraging pedestrian and bike access at it's western end.

Quote:
Drive it some day. My guess is that none of activist are any where near Bergen- Lafayette or Liberty State Park during rush hour and therefore turn a blind eye to this horrible traffic situation.


I live about four blocks from that intersection. I have driven through it and walked through it (not fun at all).

Quote:

Look, we can all beat our drums about what is right and wrong, what is more pro-environment or what is less hazerdous, etc. But the bottom line is that something needs to be done to address the esculatiing traffic issues in that area soon. ...very soon.


Yes, we must deal with the escalating traffic. But asking to build more roads is the equivalent of dealing with obesity by loosening one's belt.

A few things that can be done...

1) Instead of driving to the Park for a morning workout, get the workout started earlier and bike it or run it. That's what I do. True, I'm not a fan of biking through the streets where I have to share the road with autos, but at least I know that when I approach the park, I won't have autos by my side when I cross the bridge.

2) Encourage and lobby vigorously for more bike and pedestrian paths. How about the East Coast Greenway? Instead of Liberty State Park, you could bike or run along a completely dedicated bike and pedestrian path right in your neighborhood (with a great elevated view of the city over the Embankment). I'd be thrilled to join you!

3) Ask the city to increase the fees for non-residential parking permits. They are ridiculously low. Why will anyone use an NJT park and ride if they have cheap parking from the city?

4) Encourage officials to support an extension of the light rail that actually increases regional mobility and decreases congestion, rather than benefitting developer-friends. See the proposed HBLRT extension to Tottenville as an example. FYI: The borough president of Staten Island has endorsed such an extension.

5) Ask the city to encourage the growth of car sharing. Zipcar just arrived in Jersey City with four cars in the Newport section. Do what they did in Hoboken, where Mayor Roberts gave Zipcar a space at City Hall, thereby encouraging future expansion. Perhaps NJTransit could do the same, with car sharing spaces at park and ride spots.

The above suggestions range from things completely within our control to more broad based policy matters that require collective action. I'm sure others can come up with more.

Joshua

Posted on: 2006/2/21 15:43
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Re: OPEN JERSEY AVENUE TO LIBERTY STATE PARK!!
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DanL wrote, "Thank you to the activists who have made Jersey City a tolerable place to live."

While I wholeheartedly agree about many of these causes, especially the Bergen Arches-East Coast Greenway initiative, I still think the activist are looking over the ridiculous and unsafe gridlock that comes from Johnson, Pacific and Grand during rush hour. Drive it some day. My guess is that none of activist are any where near Bergen- Lafayette or Liberty State Park during rush hour and therefore turn a blind eye to this horrible traffic situation.

Look, we can all beat our drums about what is right and wrong, what is more pro-environment or what is less hazerdous, etc. But the bottom line is that something needs to be done to address the esculatiing traffic issues in that area soon. ...very soon.








Quote:

DanL wrote:
It was real enough for a good amount of public money spent on planning studies.

The issue surrounding opening up the footbridge to vehicular traffic is not to deal with existing traffic but the new traffic it would create.

Ask the city to enforce the developer agreements to rehabilitate, fence and light the bridge and adjacent walkways as should have been done more than 5 years ago. This is a good illustration why these developer deals do not work and are not sound tax policy.

Thank you to the activists who have made Jersey City a tolerable place to live. Anything and everything positive to happen in recent times is due to public initiatives, community groups and these "activists".

Thank them for Liberty State Park, the Loew's Theatre, Brennen Courthouse, the trees along Kennedy Blvd., the Literacy Program at the Library, numerous social programs and the list can go on......

Mia's work in this area was the foundation for much of the prevention of the proposed Bergen Arches highway and its preservation, initiatives linking it to the East Coast Greenway and bringing the East Coast Greenway through the Arches, on top of the Embankment to the waterfront.

Quote:

injcsince81 wrote:

Have these "two concerned citizens" forgot to take their paranoia medications?

We're talking about connecting the Phillips Drive and Jersey Ave, for chrissakes, not creating a Robert Moses-like Expressway down the Hudson's Shore.

The stuff that people come up with to protest just for the sake of protesting and feeling self-important - you can't make that stuff up.



Posted on: 2006/2/21 14:40
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Re: OPEN JERSEY AVENUE TO LIBERTY STATE PARK!!
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It was real enough for a good amount of public money spent on planning studies.

The issue surrounding opening up the footbridge to vehicular traffic is not to deal with existing traffic but the new traffic it would create.

Ask the city to enforce the developer agreements to rehabilitate, fence and light the bridge and adjacent walkways as should have been done more than 5 years ago. This is a good illustration why these developer deals do not work and are not sound tax policy.

Thank you to the activists who have made Jersey City a tolerable place to live. Anything and everything positive to happen in recent times is due to public initiatives, community groups and these "activists".

Thank them for Liberty State Park, the Loew's Theatre, Brennen Courthouse, the trees along Kennedy Blvd., the Literacy Program at the Library, numerous social programs and the list can go on......

Mia's work in this area was the foundation for much of the prevention of the proposed Bergen Arches highway and its preservation, initiatives linking it to the East Coast Greenway and bringing the East Coast Greenway through the Arches, on top of the Embankment to the waterfront.

Quote:

injcsince81 wrote:

Have these "two concerned citizens" forgot to take their paranoia medications?

We're talking about connecting the Phillips Drive and Jersey Ave, for chrissakes, not creating a Robert Moses-like Expressway down the Hudson's Shore.

The stuff that people come up with to protest just for the sake of protesting and feeling self-important - you can't make that stuff up.



Posted on: 2006/2/21 13:08
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Re: OPEN JERSEY AVENUE TO LIBERTY STATE PARK!!
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I drive to Johnston Avenue not to go to the park itself but to take Route 440 South when I visit friends in Bayonne. It really is not a big deal. It may save 2-3 minutes tops to open up Jersey Avenue. Not worth it.

I agree with Mia. With the light rail, the new school (already causing traffic nightmates), the medical center, and Liberty Harbor North, that section of Jersey Avenue is simply not a good place to increase auto traffic. The light rail and the school make it dangerous, particularly during commuting hours. And the presence of heavy auto traffic would just be one other thing that would disconnect the new Liberty Harbor North developments from the rest of downtown.

As for safety, I like to both bike and walk in LSP, and I enter the park on the Jersey Avenue entrance. I am significantly more concerned about an accident with automobiles than I am about potential crime.

Should we make that entrance to Liberty State Park more attractive? Sure. Make a nicer bike and pedestrian entrance.

Joshua

Posted on: 2006/2/21 11:26
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Re: OPEN JERSEY AVENUE TO LIBERTY STATE PARK!!
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I would love not to have to drive all the way to johnston ave to go to LSP.Open up the road and put restrictions in place.make it one way into the park that way you would split the traffic with the bergen laf.area.There is no way i would let my wife use that path as it is now.Our downtown parks our congested and opening that road would help a lot.

Posted on: 2006/2/21 10:31
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Quote:

mia wrote:
I won't go into all the detail on the extension of Jersey Avenue which spans over 10 years. Check out my old website on the history of this battle & yes I'm very happy we stopped the roadway which would have been disastrous.

http://stopbretschundler.com/JA.htm

and Steve Lanset’s site

http://www.hartwheels.org/JerseyAveFile.html


As for Liberty State Park and that bridge, the city gave FREE land/ easement to 55LotDev LLC to build a roadway on the park side to connect to a landlocked, polluted piece of land, which the developers paid $1 million in 1998. As expected, they built the road on our land then flipped the lot for big bucks. The consideration/payment for that easement was for them to renovate the walkway with new lighting, planking, railing, landscaping, bike path etc.... They never finished the bridge as specified. The project is now to be "the View".

If you want to do something worthwhile, I encourage you to pressure the mayor & Bob Cotter to have the new developers live up to the agreement to rehab that bridge or take back the land due to breach of contract…

Last fall, I walked the area with Stve Fulop, DT Councilman, to find out it's part of Viola Richardson's ward, Bergen Lafayette. Pressure her.... Good luck... I have all the details & copies of the ordinance which was extended for another year but still the developers didn't finish the project.

Sam Pesin, Friends of Liberty State Park, can fill you in on the latest transportation study for that entire area.... He could also use some volunteers...

Mia Scanga


Anyone who wants to do more than post here should read all of Mia's chronicle of this boondoggle. She and Sam Pesin, Friends of Liberty State Park, are just two of the people who we have to thank for protecting both the Park and Downtown JC from Robert Moses-like power politics of development.

If you read the numerous threads here on JCList, re: "traffic study", "route 139", etc, you will know that downtown JC already will be impacted until 2010 with the route 139 construction causing commuters to be re-routed and many will like water seeking the path of least resistance, flow like land turds into our neighborhoods so we hardly need another ward politician making deals with developers to continue land grabs for fast-track thoughtless development.

That being said, I among most, would agree we need lights on the "rape bridge" and improvement of what Mia spells out above was already paid to be done. Once again, it requires activists to proffer for politicians and developers to deliver and that only happens if you get involved beyond this board.

Start with calling/emailing Sam Pesin if you're serious.

Friends of Liberty State Park:
http://www.folsp.org/homepage.htm

Sam Pesin: pesinliberty@earthlink.net

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

"...in constructing one section of the Cross-Bronx Expressway and the way Moses ran roughshod over the interests of a neighborhood the road effectively destroyed, ran as an excerpt in The New Yorker."


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Posted on: 2006/2/20 17:38
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Re: OPEN JERSEY AVENUE TO LIBERTY STATE PARK!!
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I won't go into all the detail on the extension of Jersey Avenue which spans over 10 years. Check out my old website on the history of this battle & yes I'm very happy we stopped the roadway which would have been disastrous. http://stopbretschundler.com/JA.htm and Steve Lanset’s site http://www.hartwheels.org/JerseyAveFile.html

When the battle first started in the late 1980s’, NJ DOT wanted to take out all the sidewalks on Jersey Avenue & turn it into a 4 lane freeway to connect Audrey Zapp Drive to Jersey Avenue so commuters could take a short cut to the Holland Tunnel. Everyone here fought that. We refused to live by the BQE and see our neighborhood destroyed. Instead the $800,000, which NJDOT allocated for the widening of Jersey Avenue was used for sidewalks.. That’s another story but it finally got done and yes due to my involvement.

Then in 1996 Schundler comes along & wants to connect the roadway again irrespective of the plans for a new medical center, School 3 which would house almost 1500 elementary & middle school students AND HBLRT’s plans to have their trains cross Jersey Avenue at Aetna Street... Yes, my group dug up the truth about all this planned construction and pieced it all together and got the dialogue started. I dealt with NJDEP, the Corp of Engineers, and the SVP at the medical center & contacted Dames & Moore, the project manager/engineering firm who Schundler paid $279,000 of JC taxpayer’s monies to get the permits for this roadway. Sorry I wouldn't sit by & see people using Liberty State Park and our local streets as a thruway to cut their commute to Manhattan and kill people in the process. You guys need to get out from behind your computers & walk the area. It’s sad you can’t see it now when most of the construction is done.

HBLRT spent $1.4 BILLION of our tax dollars to build the lite rail system to transport commuters. If you haven’t noticed it travels in that area. They added the Marin Blvd stop for the Liberty Harbor North development. .A train crosses Jersey Avenue at Aetna Street every 2 minutes or so. It was a disaster in the making to have 2-4 lanes of traffic on Jersey Avenue plowing into train cars. Then you have visitors to the new 360 bed medical center, who use the lite rail crossing at Jersey Avenue to get to the hospital. They have to cross Jersey Avenue. Then a mere block away is the new School 3 with all the buses & school children. The old school 3 on Bright Street near Jersey Avenue is not being retired since much of the planned new construction for schools is on the back burner. many of the kids get bused in from Greenville & Bergen Lafayette. No parent wants to see their kids mowed down by commuters. Even the Dames & Moore project manager was floored when I told him about all the PLANNED construction. I gave him names & numbers of the execs to call & confirm my facts, which he did. Everyone had been lied to by Schundler & his sidekick Kevin Sluka.

As for Liberty State Park and that bridge, the city gave FREE land/ easement to 55LotDev LLC to build a roadway on the park side to connect to a landlocked, polluted piece of land, which the developers paid $1 million in 1998. As expected, they built the road on our land then flipped the lot for big bucks. The consideration/payment for that easement was for them to renovate the walkway with new lighting, planking, railing, landscaping, bike path etc.... They never finished the bridge as specified. The project is now to be "the View". I worked with the City Council to have the ordinance passed. Well the developer did a poor job & the city, Bob Cotter's planning department, even after dozens of calls from myself, Sam Pesin etc, let it go.... If you want to do something worthwhile, I encourage you to pressure the mayor & Bob Cotter to have the new developers live up to the agreement to rehab that bridge or take back the land due to breach of contract…

Last fall, I walked the are with Stve Fulop, DT Councilman, to find out it's part of Viola Richardson's ward, Bergen Lafayette. Pressure her.... Good luck... I have all the details & copies of the ordinance which was extended for another year but still the developers didn't finish the project.

I’ve only skimmed some of the postings. I don’t have the time to follow these posts. I suggest you read my section of my website and get the facts. As for Liberty Harbor North, Peter Mocco bought that land for $800,000, a sweet heart deal from the McCann administration. At that time it was quoted that it was sold for less than the price of linoleum…. It was all city owned land…

Sam Pesin, Friends of Liberty State Park, can fill you in on the latest transportation study for that entire area.... He could also use some volunteers...

Mia Scanga



Posted on: 2006/2/20 11:42
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Re: OPEN JERSEY AVENUE TO LIBERTY STATE PARK!!
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I totally agree with Stranger. The pathway at the end of Jersey Ave. is crumy at best. The first thing I notice when I enter there is trash, mud and filth. Not a great welcome to this national treasure. Maybe someone kows exactly why this end of Jersey Ave is still so underdeveloped. Again, and I mentioned earlier, that I had heard that there was major chromium contamination there.

I still say widen the road and make the extention. However, limit the times of day that it is opened and by all means do not make it wide enough for delivery trucks. That might ease the tensions of the residents in Van Vorst Park that are so oppossed to this very natural connector to our great park.

Imagine Jersey Ave with a nice paved road, victorian inspired street lights, a narrow two laned bridge across to the park and a significant, worthy entrance sign. The city could offer a contest to the artist community of Jersey City to design this sign.Quote:

Stranger wrote:
How about making the route a little easier and safer for the people coming from downtown that are using the park- runners, bikers, rollerbladers, pedestrians, etc? Having to travel through a recycling facility on a pitted, gravel strewn, muddy/snowy/icy surface dodging dumptrucks is not exactly a welcoming entrance to the park.

There needs to be a paved, lighted path without truck traffic from the end of Jersey Ave., across the canal to LSP. This shouldn't be that difficult or expensive. Who owns that stretch of gravel anyway? Can the city require improvements or are we at the mercy of a junkyard?

Posted on: 2006/2/19 10:27
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Re: OPEN JERSEY AVENUE TO LIBERTY STATE PARK!!
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When I started this topic I had know idea that there was this much debate. I just wanted an easier access to the park to go jogging. Further, I just assumed, since it seems like such a likely connector, that it was being held up because of the chromium contamination and just general construction delays.

Kermit42 makes some good points. I, too, feel that vehicles are given to much priority. To adress that, I commented earlier about how in certain cities (after a Google query) I found that Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Mpls have on/off ramp issues and therefore limit their use during certain times. If the 14C exit, is bringing in a large amount of commuters who are trying to navigate through, already jammed surface steets, just to get to the Holland tunnel then the problem is the Turnpike and the 78. I also realized that the Park and Ride at the Liberty State Park Light Rail stop is also a major reason people are taking exit 14C. So, perhaps they build a road that parralles the existing off ramp road to spit you right into the parpking lot. that will aliviate alot of these people just waiting to get to the parking lot. The other spolution would be to limit the time that this potential Jersey Ave/Phillips extention would be open.

For all of us here to have a better way of life, keeping in mind that more traffic is coming, there needs to be an extention of some sort built to alliviate this gridlock every single work day. When I drive that way in the morning from Grand to Pacific to Johnson it is just a joke! What exists now is one way roads, jammed with vehicles, full of potholes, leading to a park that has one of the worlds most famous statues. It's discusting and sad.

Why doesn't the city want a beautiful entrance to this park?

Posted on: 2006/2/18 17:12
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Re: OPEN JERSEY AVENUE TO LIBERTY STATE PARK!!
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Liberty State Park should have at least one entryway dedicated to pedestrian and bike access. For all the talk of "environmental racism," it is downtown Jersey City that already takes the largest hit when it comes to through traffic. We need another road funnelling traffic to downtown like we need a hole in the head.

Unfortunately, this is something that Jersey City, by itself, can't solve. Jersey City is fortunate to have the light rail, and at least some new developments are being centered around it. Continuing to expand public transportation, encouraging the growth of car sharing, and making the city more bike/pedestrian friendly through projects such as the East Coast Greenway are a start.

But ultimately, Jersey City will always attract its share of thru traffic. The Holland Tunnel just isn't going anywhere. Still, some foresight on the part of our local and county government is desparately needed. This includes working with neighboring municipalites and regions to help alleviate their congestion concerns as well.

The one example of county short sightedness that comes to mind has to do with the proposed extensions of the light rail. HBLRT is completing "phase 2" of construction to North Bergen. With its completion, Hudson County is fortunate to have a light rail system that reaches most of its eastern municipalities.

One would think that the next step would be to put the "Bergen" in Hudson Bergen Light Rail. One of the prior proposals for the HBLRT third phase was to extend the light rail along the "Northern Branch" to reach the eastern Bergen county towns as far as Tenafly.

Instead, the Hudson County freeholders are lobbying to extend the light rail west to go through Secaucus and wind up at "Xanadu." The only Bergen county stop would essentially be a bad entertainment complex, doing nothing for Bergen commuters or towns.

Of course, these Bergen commuters will instead have to drive through Hudson County and clog the roads. But such long term planning is lost on the county.

More relevant to the issue at hand, the borough president of Staten Island has expressed interest in extending the light rail over the Bayonne Bridge (which is doable) into Tottenville in Staten Island. Again, this would take commuters off the road, including some who may be driving through Bergen Lafayette. But for the local politcos, this means allowing someone else to get credit for bringing in government funding.

Jersey City will always face the problem of being not only a congested urban area in its own right, but also being a connector to New York City. I only wish the local transportation planners would go beyond the desire to get more money to simply build on their turf, and actually take a broader view of things.

Posted on: 2006/2/18 15:04
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Re: OPEN JERSEY AVENUE TO LIBERTY STATE PARK!!
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How about making a parking lot for downtowners with stickers on Jersey with a four hour limit in the interim. That will stop some from driving all the way over but will keep it a walk way.

Another thought -- what about a one way in road then it splits the difference and keeps the bottleneck from happening every fourth of july when people try to walk back after the fireworks.

Or make it a two way but have it closed during rush hours.

Posted on: 2006/2/18 14:30
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Posted on: 2006/2/18 14:23
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Re: OPEN JERSEY AVENUE TO LIBERTY STATE PARK!!
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How about making the route a little easier and safer for the people coming from downtown that are using the park- runners, bikers, rollerbladers, pedestrians, etc? Having to travel through a recycling facility on a pitted, gravel strewn, muddy/snowy/icy surface dodging dumptrucks is not exactly a welcoming entrance to the park.

There needs to be a paved, lighted path without truck traffic from the end of Jersey Ave., across the canal to LSP. This shouldn't be that difficult or expensive. Who owns that stretch of gravel anyway? Can the city require improvements or are we at the mercy of a junkyard?

Posted on: 2006/2/18 13:53
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Re: OPEN JERSEY AVENUE TO LIBERTY STATE PARK!!
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" City Government will love this. In fact, an engineer that I know says that is why the JC Planning Commission does notcare about all the developments going up and causing more traffic. Because in the end the residents will be forced to use public transportation and bikes" (I give up, how do you do those quote boxes)

Is this policy? Seems like a round about way of getting into compliance with the Clean Air Act. If people are really concerned about the pollution and traffic burden put on residents in Bergen-Lafayette they should explore the Environmental Justice Program run by EPA:
http://www.epa.gov/compliance/environmentaljustice/

For the record: I am not one of the two concerned citizens paranoid about The Stealth Highway. I have enough to worry about being followed around in GO.


Posted on: 2006/2/18 13:00
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Re: OPEN JERSEY AVENUE TO LIBERTY STATE PARK!!
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It seems this extention is a big issue. I just want to get into the park easier. Plus for Liberty State Park to not have a proper welcoming entrance of any kind is pretty sad.

AllanSommerman said, "I think the concern is that an auto connection will result in cars leaving the turnpike and using Jersey Avenue as a route to the Holland Tunnel. I was suprised by this. It seems that these commuters would rather stay on until Comumbus Ave or the Holland Tunnel rather then get off at 14C and end up navigating through the already congested city streets to get to the Holland tunnel. Especially, when/if this gets opened. But I do not commute from the West so I do not really know what the best route is.

There are many ways to limit exit ramp traffic as well. I have lived in cities where some exit ramps are not even availble during rush hour so that the traffic flow continues to the next off ramp. This also happens at large sporting events when large crowds come and go.

I think injcsince81 made some good points. It is not fair that that area is getting slammed with all the traffic. Just another reason why they need another route for this off ramp traffic at 14C. Perhaps limiting that off-ramp will be a start. I guess we will just have to see.Quote:

injcsince81 wrote:
Not connecting the Philips drive and Jersey avenue puts all the traffic into the densely-populated, poor area of the city (bergen-Lafayette).

Sounds like environmental racism to me.

The extension was proposed before, but "activists" like Mia Scanga successfully fought against it.

I am for it, and am willing to speak up for it if it ever comes up again.

But it makes too much sense, so it probably won't happen.

My hope is that the future Liberty Harbor North residents will push for it, and that the Bergen-Lafayette residents will demand a stop to the ridiculous detour through their neighborhood.

And, BTW, the argument about people using it as a short-cut for Holland Tunnel is a BS argument - that's what the Columbus Drive exit is for... (grin).


Posted on: 2006/2/18 11:14
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Re: OPEN JERSEY AVENUE TO LIBERTY STATE PARK!!
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Not connecting the Philips drive and Jersey avenue puts all the traffic into the densely-populated, poor area of the city (bergen-Lafayette).

Sounds like environmental racism to me.

The extension was proposed before, but "activists" like Mia Scanga successfully fought against it.

I am for it, and am willing to speak up for it if it ever comes up again.

But it makes too much sense, so it probably won't happen.

My hope is that the future Liberty Harbor North residents will push for it, and that the Bergen-Lafayette residents will demand a stop to the ridiculous detour through their neighborhood.

And, BTW, the argument about people using it as a short-cut for Holland Tunnel is a BS argument - that's what the Columbus Drive exit is for... (grin).


Posted on: 2006/2/18 10:30
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