Michael Oliva, Mid Atlantic Coordinator (if you cant make the meeting you can send written comments to address below)
Laurie Cotter, Deputy County Administrator
567 Pavonia Ave
Jersey City NJ 07305
Please copy the letter to:
NJDEP, Green Acres Program
Bureau of Legal Service & Stewardship
PO Box 412
Trenton NJ 08625-0412
Letters will be accepted until Feb 24.
The East Coast Greenway, the developing 3000-mile bike route connecting cities from Maine to Florida, has long seen the Meadowlands crossing as the most difficult nut to crack along the entire route. But for the first time, we see a possible opening.
NJ Transit is building 2 new rail bridges across the Hackensack River (a “north” span and a “south” span adjacent to the current Portal Bridge, which will be put out of commission), and taking 2.5 acres of parkland from Hudson County to build a new rail facility. By law, they must give back to the County. State law mandates that NJ Transit must compensate Hudson County by providing one of the following: either (1) double the acreage being taken, (2) double the dollar value of the taken land, or (3) a combination of replacement land and financial compensation. We want that mitigation to take the form of 2 miles of ECG trail in Hudson County, including a bike & ped path on the new southern Hackensack River bridge, to bring the ECG off-road from Belleville Turnpike in Kearny to West Side Avenue in Jersey City, adjacent to Hudson Generating Station (see attached maps). Two miles of trail, in a 20’ wide corridor, comes to 5 acres: that’s double the area of the land being taken, meeting the letter of the law.
But to accomplish this, we need your help. On Wednesday, February 10, from 6 to 8:30 pm, there will be a critical public hearing at Secaucus Public Library (1379 Paterson Plank Rd; map here). We urge your attendance. If there is a strong show of support for a bike-ped facility, we can get NJDEP and Hudson County on our side, creating a full-court press on NJ Transit. Public support is imperative; without it, success is unlikely.
In the 18 years since the East Coast Greenway was conceived, this is the best opportunity we’ve seen to build part of the ECG across the Meadowlands. Can we count on your support? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions, or to let us know that you’ll be there.
Dennis, Mike & Eric
East Coast Greenway Alliance