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Jersey City 2011

Downtown Jersey City
July 24, 2011

On a warm Sunday morning, the Walkers met at the Liberty Park Light Rail station to Walk the Walkway along the Jersey City Waterfront. After admiring the new HRWC tee shirts and a short trip on the Light Rail, the Walk began at 10:20 at the Hoboken Erie LackawannaTrain Station. The walk south took 90 minutes and the group arrived at Essex Street in Jersey City at exactly 12:00 noon. As always, the waterfront walkway across from lower Manhattan was filled with bikers, walkers, strollers, fishermen, dog walkers and people just sitting and enjoying the magnificent view.

The Walkway is largely completed throughout the northern Jersey City waterfront with only two small sections of temporary walkway waiting for future developments to be completed. Most of the Walkway is under the jurisdiction of large Commercial Real Estate companies including Mack-Cali, Lefrak, etc. Maintenance of much of the Walkway has been contracted to a maintenance company. Overall the Walkway is in good shape and fully functional for the enjoyment of the public.

The walk began at the Hoboken Train Station where the signage indicating presence of the Walkway posted by NJ Transit is difficult to read. The train station adjoins a bridge connecting Hoboken and Jersey City which was completed by NJ Transit a year ago. The property south of the bridge is owned by LeFrak which, through an agreement with the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) constructed the Walkway before the upland development was completed but initially closed the pathway from 9 p.m. to dawn. The Waterfront Conservancy had a hand in getting this portion of the Walkway open 24/7 by working with the DEP and personally approaching Governor Corzine who, during a campaign visit to the area, loudly proclaimed “Walkway open 24/7” and it has been ever since.

We proceeded south to the area over the Holland Tunnel. The Port Authority is responsible for this area.

Adjacent to the Holland Tunnel is a short area of Walkway that was previously blacktop but had been replaced with Walkway pavers since our last visit. Next we passed the New York Waterways Ferry Terminal. It seems the Ferry has taken over a public pier which used to be open to the public for fishing and other recreational activities. The pier is now chained closed, except when the ferry is running during the work week. We surmised this is for increased security but will check with DEP. 

Next we passed a section of the Walkway that diverges away from the Waterfront and goes along the street around a commercial building. The Walkway in this area has large brass plaques in the pavement that show the Walkway Logo. We surmised that the brass plaques were a quid pro quo for allowing the building to be between the Walkway and the waterfront.

We stopped for a rest break at Starbucks and then headed past Harbourside Financial and the new Crystal City condominiums where the Walkway is new and in excellent condition.

The next section of the Walkway is quite old as it passes The Pier Apartments and commercial buildings owned by Cushman and Wakefield. The railings are rusted and the bollard lights are broken. There was some evidence that the lights were being repaired or replaced. We speculated that the piles in this area may have some of the same issues that exist in the collapsed areas of the Walkway in Hoboken. Next we walked around the Hyatt Hotel where the Walkway was open with people fishing.

We ended the Walk by passing the new park on the pier adjacent to Goldman Sachs which was full of people. The Goldman Sachs building, itself, has ugly scaffolding around the building which probably was put there during construction. We wondered when it will be removed. We will contact GS to find out when that will happen. W e also noted that the Colgate Clock was not working, another reason to contact GS..

We ended the walk tired but satisfied that the Walkway is providing uninhibited access to the spectacular Jersey City and Lower Manhattan waterfront for all the public.


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