The Jersey City Council is slated to vote on the $4 million Central Avenue Streetscape Redesign and Roadway Improvements project, which has the endorsement of Mayor Steven Fulop and the two councilmen who represent the Heights.
Central Avenue, the main shopping thoroughfare in the Heights, is home to 240 storefronts, 1,400 employees, and thousands of visitors per day, officials said.
The project aims to make improvements to pedestrian and vehicular safety, traffic flow, and overall aesthetics, the redesign will encourage shopping, dining, nightlife, culture for the community, and future redevelopment.
“We want to give our small business owners the tools to succeed which will ultimately come full circle to support Jersey City’s economy and serve as building blocks for a prosperous future,” Fulop said in a statement.
“This project goes beyond beautification with much broader goals to support retail and business, entice shoppers, grow commerce, stimulate growth, spark innovation, and expand local job opportunities.”
If approved, the endeavor will be done in partnership with the Central Avenue Special Improvement District (CASID), which represents the local business community.
“This project has been a long time coming and it breathes new life into the neighborhood and business community surrounding Central Avenue,” added Central Avenue SID President Sanford Fishman, also a longtime pharmacist at Bond Drugs.
“On behalf of our 450 members, CASID thanks Mayor Fulop, late Councilman Michael Yun, and the entire City Council for responding to the needs of our main street community in such a large way. The pandemic has devastated so many small businesses and this streetscape project is the start of a new beginning for Central Avenue.”
Specifically, the streetscape improvements along Central Avenue, from Manhattan Avenue to Paterson Plank Road, includes new colored concrete curbs and sidewalks, handicapped curb ramps with detectable warning surface, milling and resurfacing of the roadway, new traffic striping, improved signage, additional traffic signals, bike racks, trash receptacles, as well as decorative benches for a more welcoming and enticing atmosphere.
“It’s a critical time, now more than ever we must invest in our small businesses, and I’m committed to working together and finishing what Councilman Yun started, so we can catalyze the economic development of The Heights amid these challenging times,” exclaimed Ward D Councilman Yousef Saleh.
Further plans include a tree-lined street look with the preservation of over 80 existing trees combined with the planting of over 100 new trees, as well as new lighting fixtures with energy-efficient LED bulbs spread throughout the district.
“This redesign will drastically change the overall look and feel along Central Avenue which is currently plagued by crumbling sidewalks and asphalt. We want to attract shoppers from all over Hudson County to shop here in Jersey City, and the new amenities and enhancements will do just that,” noted Ward C Councilman Rich Boggiano.
The measure is on the council’s agenda for tomorrow’s 6 p.m. meeting, which will convene via Microsoft Teams.