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Testimony given by the HRWC President to the Edgewater Planning Board on 6/1/2020 re 165 River Road Development

My name is Donald Stitzenberg and I am President of the HRWC.  The Conservancy works with the NJDEP, municipalities, developers and citizens to oversee and promote the construction and maintenance of the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway.

The Walkway runs from the Bayonne Bridge to the GW Bridge and is largely complete from Jersey City to the GW Bridge.  In Edgewater, the 3 miles of Walkway is complete except for 3 gaps.

615 lies in the center of Edgewater between two major shopping centers, Mitsua and Edgewater Marketplace. The other two “gaps”, one of which the Conservancy has commenced legal action against, are located at the north and south end of the Borough.

Over the years, the Walkway has developed into a crucial public transportation link along the Hudson Waterfront as traffic, as we all know, has become a nightmare at rush hours and increasingly during the mid-day. The Walkway is also a major recreational asset for the public at large. It connects parks and other public spaces and attracts increasing numbers of residents who view the waterfront and the Walkway as their primary fresh air outlet.

Due to the vital location of 615 in the center of the Borough, the lack of the Walkway at the 615 property is a major roadblock to effective and efficient flow of pedestrians and personal vehicles along the Edgewater river front.  The Walkway gap at 615 increases pedestrian traffic on dangerous River Road and prevents Edgewater and its residents from enjoying the benefits of a vibrant, active waterfront. These benefits are already in place and being enjoyed by the 6 communities on the Walkway to the south of Edgewater.

If a vibrant waterfront and reduced traffic are in the long-range plans for Edgewater, which I believe they are, then it is time to rapidly move forward and support the plans of 615 Partners to fill this crucial gap in the Edgewater Waterfront Walkway.

The Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy asks that the Planning Board expeditiously approve the development of the property at 615 River Road.

Thank you.


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