A Vision for Everyone
Progress is frequently expressed as “the means to an end,” that is, the process or means of getting to a desired end or goal. In the case of the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, the process and the goal are melded in a very unique way. As each segment of the planned 18.5 linear pathway is completed, the goal of providing the general public with access to the Hudson River Waterfront is achieved: means and end become one. The very process of creating the Walkway in the manner adopted by the State of New Jersey (as differentiated from that of New York City) actually attains the goal, piecemeal assuredly, but project by project it achieves the end result. Each segment becomes an achievement.
As economic cycles support real estate development, the vacant waterfront parcels will be filled with parks, ferry depots, non-motorized transportation, commercial establishments and residential opportunities. It is inevitable that the density of population in this most densely populated state in the Union will grow. As it does, the Hudson River waterfront becomes a place to breathe free, to enjoy the special vastness of the river, the beauty that both nature and man have made.
Key to all of this is a continued commitment by state, county and local governments to see that the Waterfront Development Law and other Walkway requirements are supported and enforced. The Conservancy plays an increasingly important role as it reaches out to the public, checks on the enforcement of the law, and monitors the maintenance and upkeep of an ever changing waterfront. The public itself becomes an ever greater shareholder in keeping all levels of government aware of the right of the public to its waterfront.
Since its beginnings in 1988, the Walkway continues to earn its high level status among New Jersey’s greatest resources. It was brought to life by adherence to the ages old Public Trust Doctrine which from Roman times guarantees access by the public to the waterways. It will be a long journey for the Walkway to complete its path along the shoreline but the destination, the end will be well worth the effort.