Jersey City announces Slow Streets Pilot Program, opening up certain roadways for pedestrians

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The City of Jersey City has announced a Slow Street Pilot Program, which will open up certain roadways for pedestrians in order to walk, jog, bike, and perform other outdoor activities while still adhering to social distancing.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“We have been working to bring outside-the-box solutions to address the various issues created by this unprecedented crisis,” Mayor Steve Fulop said in a statement.

“We were the first to implement strict and effective social distancing measures, and now as we work to carefully reopen, these Slow Streets will act as a relief valve for safe outdoor activities this summer as we see the streets and parks start to get crowded again. This program will also support further recovery efforts on the horizon.”

Along with the expansion of the established Newark Avenue Pedestrian Mall, other temporary Pedestrian Plazas are also being incorporated citywide to further support social distancing efforts.

“The street we want to slow down in Ward A is located near a park, so we have enlisted the Triangle Park Neighborhood Association to help utilize the new expanded open space for programming that benefits the local residents while maintaining social distancing such as sports events, kids activities, and a flea market,” added Ward A Councilwoman Denise Ridley.

The new plazas include:

· Grove Street from 1st Street to Montgomery Ave.

· 1st Street from Jersey Ave. to Newark Ave.

· Bergen Ave. from Reed Street to Duncan Ave.

· Rose Ave. from Cator Ave. to Old Bergen Rd.

· MLK Drive from Woodlawn Ave. to Armstrong Ave.

· Bergen Ave. from Sip Ave. to Newkirk Street

Since 2019, a total of 6.75 miles of bike lanes have been constructed citywide to encourage a safe space for bicycle use as a more environmentally friendly transportation option.

As with all reopening efforts, changes to the Slow Streets may be made throughout the pilot project based on public feedback and the impact on public health and safety.

Designated Slow Streets will be marked with traffic barricades and signs at intersections. The first closure will begin today.

“We will start with a few Slow Streets and roll this out on additional streets based on public feedback, as we want this to be a community-driven initiative,” noted Jersey City Director of Transportation Planning Barkha Patel.

“This is about the physical and mental health of our residents. As the weather gets warmer, and popular destinations like our parks and plazas become increasingly crowded, we want to provide residents with a safe outlet to go outside of their homes and comfortably use neighborhood streets for recreation.”

“After incorporating the community’s feedback, this will be a welcome addition to make the street and surrounding area much safer not only for social distancing purposes, but also to help slow traffic down in areas where residents have expressed concern,” said Ward D Councilman Yousef Saleh.

To launch the program, the streets listed below will be transformed into slow streets immediately:

Ward Street Cross Streets
C Senate Place + Dey Street Entire Length
D Nelson Avenue Bleecker St. to Leonard St.
E Jersey Avenue 8th St. to Newark Ave.

 

These additional streets are being considered for future implementation:

Ward Street Cross Streets
A Cator Avenue Rose Ave to Old Bergen Road
A McAdoo Avenue West Side Ave. to Rutgers Ave.
B Belmont Avenue West Side Ave. to Summit Ave.
F Clerk Street Bramhall Ave. to Wilkinson Ave.

 

For input and updates on the Slow Streets pilot program, residents are encouraged to fill out the Jersey City Slow Streets Survey here.

The City of Hoboken launched an open streets pilot last month, which remains in effect as the two neighboring cities collaborate for a joint bike share program.

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