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Jersey Ave. expressway plan eyed - connecting Downtown Jersey City with Liberty State Park
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Jersey Ave. expressway plan eyed

Thursday, March 01, 2007
By COTTON DELO
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

Garnering little attention since former Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler's administration, the contentious Jersey Avenue expressway proposal is back on the table.

The expressway is one potential measure to alleviate Jersey City's traffic woes identified by the Jersey City Regional Waterfront Access and Downtown Circulation Study - a nearly two-year undertaking spearheaded by the Division of Planning.

The third of four scheduled public meetings on the findings will take place tonight at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers, 280 Grove St., and concept drawings of potential projects will be displayed.

The expressway plan calls for connecting Downtown Jersey City with Liberty State Park by extending Jersey Avenue over the Morris Canal basin.

According to Naomi Hsu, a transportation planner with the Division of Planning, the study explores potential roadway and transit improvements to be implemented by 2020, and recommendations will be submitted to the city and the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority - which funded the study - by April.

"Now that we have a sense of where development might occur and with what intensity, that's informing our traffic policy," she said.

Other potential improvements are flyovers of Center and Merseles streets over Montgomery Street, an extension of Merseles Street south to Wilson Street and a ramp off the New Jersey Turnpike providing direct access to Newport via 11th Street.

Hsu says analysis to determine which projects are most feasible and likely to yield positive results - based on criteria like cost and timeframe - must now be undertaken before the final report is submitted.

Some residents maintain that a Jersey Avenue expressway would jeopardize an urban oasis.

"Such a road would inevitably turn Phillip Street (on the western side of the park) into a highway, and then commuters would use the roads of Liberty State Park as a shortcut," said Sam Pesin, president of Friends of Liberty State Park.

COTTON DELO can be reached at cdelo@jjournal.com

Posted on: 2007/3/1 10:48
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