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West NY,Guttenberg, North Bergen 2011

Walk the Walkway
September 18, 2011
North Bergen, Guttenberg and West New York

On a brisk but sunny morning, 18 Walkers met at the Port Imperial Ferry Terminal at 9:30 AM to Walk the Walkway in North Bergen, Guttenberg and West New York. We started the walk at the northern border of North Bergen at about 10:00 AM. At this location, the developer of the vacant land bordering Edgewater has proposed a development, known as “Riverview”, with a base of 2 stories for a parking garage and three (3) separate 9 story residential towers above the base. The Walkway will run alongside the Hudson River and will link up with the Watermark Walkway to the south and a future Walkway to the north in Edgewater. The completion date of the Riverview development is unknown as it has not received the necessary approvals and permits to date.

The group proceeded south through the Watermark Condominiums where the Walkway is complete and functional. It was nice to see that the developer of the Watermark, at the urging of the Conservancy and Hudson County Planning Board, replaced the original asphalt Walkway with a paver surface that fully complies with the Walkway design guidelines. Walkway parking is provided in a small parking area facing River Road just slightly north of the main entry.

Beyond the Watermark is Roc Harbor, where the Walkway is under water and not passable. This is an example where the construction of the Walkway was done prior to the establishment of the NJDEP 1984 Design Guidelines and inadequate construction led to the collapse of the bulkhead along the river and allowed the Walkway and part of the Roc Harbor driveway to be flooded by the river. Information on plans to repair the bulkhead and reconstruct the Walkway by the property owner is not available at this time.

Next we passed the new Walkway constructed by Half Moon Harbor. It is complete with benches, lights and trash receptacles. The adjoining section of the Walkway is owned by PSE&G. Overflowing garbage cans and river debris left over from Hurricane Irene were evident. The Conservancy will be in contact with PSE&G to get the Walkway cleaned up and improve on-going maintenance.

The Kingston Condominiums connect PSE&G with the Waterside restaurant. There is no indication of where walkers should proceed after leaving PSE&G. Pavement striping and signage is needed behind the Kingston to direct walkers to the Walkway around the Waterside restaurant.

After viewing the magnificent view of Manhattan from the Waterside Restaurant, we proceeded to The Walkway (asphalt path) behind the Palisades Medical Center. This path is one of the oldest segments of The Walkway and is not compliant with The Walkway design standards. Someday it will need to be rebuilt with a compliant paver Walkway. The Views @ Hudson Pointe were next and has a recently built, fully compliant Walkway with a very nice small park built out into the river. It demonstrates the excellent facilities that can be provided to the public by developers who choose to do so. There are parking places reserved for Walkway users here but there is a posted 2 hour limit which is contrary to Walkway Rules.

The final section of property in North Bergen is a small piece of land that adjoins Guttenberg where the two towns have joined forces to raise the funds to create a public park with a Walkway across the property of both towns. The park and Walkway are expected to be completed by the spring of 2012.

The remaining part of the Walk through Guttenberg and West New York to the Weehawken border is over 1.5 miles of completed, compliant contiguous Walkway. Credit here goes to the municipalities of West New York and Guttenberg who had the vision to require the construction of the Walkway with consistent design standards and required that the Walkway be built at the time the properties began development. As a result, the Walkway is complete and being enjoyed by the public even though the final stages of some of the condominium development sites have been delayed due to the economic downturn.

We ended the walk back at the Port Imperial Ferry Terminal at 11:30 having enjoyed two hours of exercise and beautiful views of Manhattan. The Walk in these towns is a clear demonstration of the benefits to be derived from allowing access to the waterfront to the general public.

The next Walk the Walkway will be in Weehawken and Hoboken on Sunday Oct 9th. Click here for details of the walk.


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