The Essex-Hudson Greenway Coalition, comprised of the Open Space Institute, the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, and September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance, recently welcomed the endorsement of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, as the latest statewide organization to come out in support of the Essex-Hudson Greenway Project. For walkers, runners, cyclists, hikers and others, the proposed Greenway would create nearly nine miles of linear park, connecting Montclair, Glen Ridge, Bloomfield, Belleville, Newark, Kearny, Secaucus, and Jersey City.
“The Essex-Hudson Greenway Project upholds many long-held League of Women Voters of New Jersey principles, including providing much needed open space, managing storm water runoff, and enhancing the social and economic welfare of New Jersey residents,” said Jesse Burns, executive director of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey. “We are proud to add our voice to the chorus calling for this once-in-a-lifetime, transformational project.”
The League of Women Voters of New Jersey, a 101-year-old nonpartisan organization, works to defend democracy and empower voters. In addition to working to increase increased and active participation in government, the League works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and to influence public policy through advocacy.
Residents of communities all along the proposed length of the linear park have been campaigning for more than a decade to create a greenway that would serve as a “shared-use path” for people walking, riding a bicycle, running, rolling, or just relaxing along this corridor. In July 2020, the Open Space Institute (OSI) reached a preliminary purchase and sale agreement with Norfolk Southern Railway Company for property in Essex and Hudson Counties for the purpose of the Greenway. The purchase agreement has a sale deadline of January 2022.
Spanning an average of 100 feet or more in width throughout its route, an Essex-Hudson Greenway has the potential to offer significant benefits, especially in light of the current health and fiscal crises. The Open Space Institute and its partners have already begun investing in planning, surveying, environmental assessments, and more. The project offers the potential to reduce traffic and storm water runoff in towns along the rail line, improve transportation options for residents, and allow for improved infrastructure connectivity for things like broadband and emergency response.
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