Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Sunday, June 05, 2022

Pedestrianization of Newark Avenue in Jersey City

Past entries discuss looking at commercial district spaces in more innovative and organized ways to promote pedestrian activity, making these points:

  • we should have been doing this even before covid
  • focused integrated urban design plans should be created at the neighborhood scale, including area commercial districts
  • biking shouldn't always be seen as the priority in active transportation, there are many times when pedestrian improvements are more important
  • all cities should work to create pedestrian plazas, blocks, "malls," etc., where they can be successful
  • starting with a space a small as a plaza or block and building from there.
I was looking up something else regarding opposition to a road dieting program for Washington Avenue in Philadelphia ("Kenyatta Johnson should stop blocking Washington Avenue safety plan," Philadelphia Inquirer) and in Twitter, I came across the postings of Matt Da Silva, a planner and advocate in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Most people don't know it, but Jersey City ("Jersey City: Growing, With Many Personalities," New York Times) and Hoboken ("Car sharing as a method for managing the demand for on-street parking: Hoboken, New Jersey"), in Hudson County, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from New York City, are national leaders in sustainable mobility and urbanism, because they are dense, well served by transit,  small, have building stock dating to the Walking City era, are located in the New York City Metropolitan Area, etc.

Anyway, Matt has a thread with photos and a video showing the newly pedestrianized Newark Avenue, which is in the city's "Downtown," and it includes high quality materials treatments, plazas, a "woonerf" turn area at the intersection of and Streets, etc.

The Jersey City program for Newark Avenue is a perfect illustration of the points made above.

-- Newark Avenue Pedestrian Mall, City of Jersey City

According to various articles, the project started with one block as an experiment in 2015, and has expanded block by block in the years since, with a major expansion just having opened.

Night time event during the pilot phase in 2015
Photo: Tony Cennicola, New York Times

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At 1:50 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

"LANDSCAPE AS FRAMEWORK Downtown revival through rebuilding spatial identity"

Masters thesis, RISD


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