• Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Bayonne-Bayonne Golf 2013

Walk the Walkway

Bayonne - Bayonne Golf Club – April 28, 2013

On a sunny and breezy morning, 19 walkers including 5 members of the Board of the Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy (HRWC) met at 9:30 AM at the South Cove Commons Mall in Bayonne near the entrance to the Bayonne Golf Club Walkway. Walkers came from as far away as Morris County to participate in the Walk.

Don Stitzenberg Vice President of the HRWC welcomed and addressed the group, discussed the effects of Hurricane Sandy on the Walkway, distributed copies of the new Walkway Map and provided some history of the Walkway at the Bayonne Golf Club. The Golf Club was built on the old Bayonne Land Fill. He also mentioned the DEP settlement with the Bayonne Golf Club which allows the Golf Club to use part of the Waterfront for exclusive golfing facilities rather than completing the Walkway for use by the public as required by law. The Settlement also allows the completed section of the Walkway to be closed from 8:00 PM to 6:00 AM also in violation of NJ law.

The walkers began at 9:45 and proceeded along the Walkway enjoying the vista of the lower New York Harbor and the old Bayonne Military Port facilities which are now owned by the City of Bayonne and contain condominiums, a Cruise Port, an active shipyard and the Bayonne 9/11 Teardrop monument which was donated by Russia in memory of the tragedy of 9/11.

Along the way, fishermen were trying to catch striped bass but none seemed to be biting today. The group observed damage from Sandy to the railings and the edge of the Walkway in several places which will need repairs. However, overall the Walkway survived pretty well and is fully passable. The Walkway was generally in good condition with benches, trashcans and lights all in place. Like the walk in 2012, graffiti had mostly been removed, the trash cans are being serviced and there was minimal litter in the surrounding area. The two bridges over the wetlands show signs of peeling paint and will need to be painted soon.

As we proceeded to the end of the current Walkway, the illegal stub barge that was present last year has been removed and replaced with a permanent dock for the Golf Club Ferry. As we approached the area of the Walkway that was previously closed, the gate into the Golf Club was gone as it had been swept away by Sandy. It will be replaced.

Unlike last year when we were prevented from proceeding further, we continued into the restricted area and were able to walk on the waterfront path to the end of the Golf Club property. We observed that the Golf Driving Range, which was washed away by Sandy, does not conflict with the Walkway as it was built on an artificial dune on the water side of the Walkway. We do not know if it will be rebuilt. Proceeding past the driving range, we noted that the Golf Club was using the wetland area for dumping golf course debris, (grass clippings, aeration plugs, etc.). This may be temporary since Sandy but it is a violation of the DEP Wetland rules.

Part of the group continued on the path away from the waterfront to explore the property adjacent to the IMTT tank farm. The remainder of the group retraced their steps and returned to the starting point at South Cove Commons parking lot around 11:30.

The walk along the Golf Club provides a clear contradiction concerning redevelopment of derelict land. The Golf Course is a major improvement over a decaying landfill and the partially completed Walkway provides an excellent facility for walking, biking and fishing. However, setting aside sections of the Waterfront for private, exclusive use, as has been done at the Bayonne Golf Club, violates the Public Trust Doctrine and defeats the purpose of public access to the waterfront. At least, for now, it seems the Golf Club is willing to let walkers proceed to the end of the Golf Course property even though the required Walkway has not been built.

View picture gallery.


Search our site