Public Meeting on Hudson River Walkway Slated for Monday

The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is holding a public meeting on Monday on its plans to construct the final section of the Hudson River Walkway in Jersey City. The plan calls for a 1600-foot walkway along the northern shore of the Little Basin of the Morris Canal between the Goldman Sachs building and the Sugar House on Washington Street, with an adjacent park featuring benches and kayak/canoe launch access.

The DEP estimates completing the walkway by spring 2011. The Jersey City Waterfront Parks Conservancy (JCWPC), the nonprofit group with a plan to connect several parks in that area, is encouraging people to attend Monday’s meeting to show support for its plans, which could possibly be derailed by the DEP action.

“We want to work with the DEP to make sure that when they’re working on this project, they’re taking into account the community input and interest in the bridge,” JCWPC president Matthew Johnson says.

The bridge he refers to is the linchpin of the JCWPC’s plan, the “Infinity Bridge” connecting Peninsula Park with Veterans Park. Johnson says that the DEP should proceed as if the bridge will be built and lay down the proper foundation when it constructs the walkway. If DEP doesn’t do that, the bridge can’t be built, he says.

Johnson stresses that the group isn’t against the walkway plan, but that they want to make sure the DEP hears local voices on the issue and takes the JCWPC’s plans into account when planning. He notes that the group’s surveys show that more than 78 percent of people want to connect the parks via the bridge.

“We want to make sure the DEP realizes this is really what the people want,” Johnson says.

The public information meeting is Monday, May 18 at 4 pm at Liberty State Park’s Blue Comet Auditorium (inside the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal). For more on the JCWPC’s plans, visit their site.

Jon Whiten

co-founded the Jersey City Independent. He is currently the Deputy Director of New Jersey Policy Perspective.