After careful review of the area, it is possible to establish a low-cost nature park in the eastern end of the Bergen Arches. This 5-acre area already has access established, and it avoids tunnels and wet areas. Minimal fencing and an entrance gate would make the property secure enough to host visitors on weekends and during the summer months. This beautiful stretch of property is filled with nature and wildlife and little needs to be done to operate it as a stunning nature park.

The Purpose of the Redevelopment Plan

Adopted by the City Council on March 13, 2013

While it may seem counter-intuitive, urban parks are a form of transportation infrastructure. Parks encourage people to dwell in cities, negating the need for them to commute from the suburbs. Sustainable, mixed-use development focused on high quality urban parks and public spaces is the future of America’s cities. New Jersey can start building the future today by advancing this plan for the Bergen Arches Nature Park.

If the public had access to the Bergen Arches, it would help answer questions about the reactivation of this property. Policy makers could evaluate the progress of the pilot park, take visitor counts, get real cost estimates for expansion, as well as monitor the need for new transportation infrastructure. All of this information will help ensure the Bergen Arches is repurposed in a way that is best for the region.

How are we going to accomplish this?

As per the redevelopment plan stated goals, the development will proceed with the following :

Designing a park for the entire 1-mile length of the Bergen Arches is challenging. The rail cut profile makes it difficult to connect the Bergen Arches to the rest of Jersey City. Also, standing water and the structural integrity of 110-year-old tunnels complicate any potential design and add significant cost to the project. In order to circumnavigate these difficult issues, it makes sense to phase the project into smaller segments and focus on the most cost-effective segment.

Phase 1 features a simple prototype “Bergen Arches Nature Park” between Oakland Ave. and Dickinson High School. The entrance to the park would be on Palisade Ave, and the park would end at the entrance to the long tunnel which starts at Oakland Ave. The purpose of this phase is to be a pilot project that could be quickly implemented, requiring little capital. The park would be little more than what it is today, a hiking trail through a mysterious post-industrial landscape.

If the pilot park is successful it will help convince stakeholders to invest in the full build-out of a Bergen Arches Park.

The Vision

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