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Bayonne 2010


Bayonne – April 18, 2010

Six walkers met at the Historical Train Station in Liberty State Park and drove to Bayonne. 

We started at the Bayonne Bridge.  The Park under the bridge runs for about 1/2 mile along the Kill Van

Kull, across from Staten Island.  The park is owned and maintained by the City of Bayonne and is a tremendous recreational facility for residents of all ages.  There are kid’s playgrounds, skateboard parks, ball fields, tennis courts and dog runs.  There are lights, seats, trash cans, restrooms and a dedicated space for fishing.  

Within the park is a blacktop walking path that runs the entire length of the park.  It appears to be quite old but was more than adequate to enjoy the park and the waterway.  The riprap is eroding along the Waterfront and, over the years, the border fence has been moved in from the shore for safety reasons.  This erosion will undoubtedly continue and require further work by Bayonne to maintain.  

Overall, except for the age of the blacktop path, the eroding riprap and the lack of any Walkway signs, the park was in good shape. 

We should consider adding a few HRWC signs to the park as part of our signage project with Hudson County. 

Next, we drove to the Bayonne marina which is located along the waterfront behind some of the many large storage tanks that dominate this area of the Waterfront.  At the parking area for the marina is the entrance to about 1/4 mile of Walkway with a large Hudson River Waterfront Walkway sign. The walkway is gravel but has seats, garbage cans and very special lights.  The lights, which seemed very new, are on tall poles and are each electrified by a solar panel. This is clearly a good option for lighting in the more remote areas of the Walkway.  The entire Walkway and facilities were constructed and maintained by IMTT, the owner of the tanks. 

Although the walkway itself is gravel, rather than pavers, this section of the Bayonne Walkway is fully functional and a joy to use because of its seclusion although finding it is difficult.  

We then drove the Bayonne Golf Course and had two "interesting confrontations" with Golf Course employees.  We tried to drive in the main entrance and were turned away by the guard after he called "management".  

We then went to the Bayonne Shopping Center where the Walkway is built and extends into the golf course.  The Walkway at this point is fully constructed and functional for about 1.5 miles with several steel bridges that pass over sections of marsh land.  Fishermen were there as well as people strolling or sitting on the benches enjoying the view.  Some evidence of lax maintenance was there as some of the lights had been smashed, garbage cans missing and lots of graffiti on the benches.  

About 3/4 of the way to the end, there is a fishing pier and kayak launch constructed of riprap rock.  It is so far from the parking area that we were sure no one uses it.  Almost at the end of the paved Walkway, there is a dock for the Golf Club ferry.  The pavilion, which makes an excellent viewing location, was chained and locked. 

At the end of the paved Walkway, is a gate into the Bayonne Golf Course with several signs.  One says "Construction Zone Keep Out".  The other says Air Flight Zone 83, contact Newark Tower before Takeoff.  The gate was open and just inside is an area of concrete that is used as a helicopter pad.  There was a wind sock flying nearby.  We followed the dirt road into the golf course and along the waterfront and were challenged by several golfers who said this is private property.  We continued along until the golf pro arrived in a golf cart and stopped us from going further into the property. 

He claimed to know little about the Walkway except that it might be in litigation. He pointed out correctly that it was too dangerous for walkers to be in the line of flight of the golf balls.  After severe questioning by all of us, we agreed to retrace our steps back to the parking lot. 

Clearly, the Bayonne Golf Course needs attention from the HRWC and the DEP.  We should ask the DEP for the status of any enforcement actions that the DEP has currently or any plans to address the stalemate at the Bayonne Golf Club.  If things remain as they are now, the Walkway can never be completed as this section of the golf course prevents continuous travel on the Walkway from the southern direction of Bayonne. 

Finally, we drove to the Bayonne Ocean Terminal (The old Navy Terminal).  There is a short section of the Walkway completed in front of condos that have been recently built.  We drove to the end, past the Cargo ship loading area and the Royal Caribbean Cruise Port and arrived at the Bayonne 9/11 Tear Drop Memorial that was donated by Russia.  We all agreed that Bayonne had done a wonderful job building a park, printing the names of the dead and honoring Bayonne residents who died in both World Trade attacks.  

Thanks to the 6 walkers for a most enjoyable day.


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