The recent sale of the PSE&G coal plant, in the northern reaches of Jersey City, offers a great opportunity for JC—and Hudson County—to finally create a greenway along the Hackensack River.
There are already walkways built or planned at various points along the river. Trails exist on the west side of Jersey City at Society Hill, in Lincoln Park West, behind the Prologis warehouse on Routes 1&9. And, of course, there is a wonderful park, with an esplanade along the water, at Laurel Hill Park, aka Snake Hill, in Secaucus.
This is all great progress but much more needs to be done. Now is the time to link them—and add a stretch of greenway at the now-retired PSE&G site.
New waterfront walkways are proposed for the Bayfront Development and at Skyway Park, the not-yet-finished park under the Pulaski Skyway, at the foot of Sip Avenue. Once all these pieces are connected, Hudson County will have a 7-mile greenway along the Hackensack River. And it could even go further south into Bayonne, where it would connect with two excellent parks along the river.
This is a very exciting prospect! Like the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, the proposed Hackensack Riverwalk will offer many great opportunities—for recreation, transportation and economic development. Imagine: Walking along the river, bicycling, fishing, people enjoying Jersey City’s other coast.
What will it take to make this happen? The answer lies in public and private partnerships. We must bring private enterprise and local government together with the community. We propose the creation of a task force of stakeholders: Public officials representing the towns along the river (JC, Secaucus, Bayonne) and Hudson County, community groups, environmental activists, local businesses, etc. This public-private partnership would look at the big picture, how to link the various segments.
The Hackensack River waterfront has come a long way after years of neglect resulting from industrial pollution. Let us continue to protect our environment and, at the same time, transform the waterfront so that it benefits everyone. Let’s get started.
Chair, Skyway Park Conservancy