When Will the New JC Hoboken NJTransit Bike Path Open?

Posted on 11/04/2013

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Someday these construction fences will be taken down and Jersey City cyclists will have a bike path that makes it easier to access NJ Transit's light rail systems.

Someday these construction fences will be taken down and Jersey City cyclists will have a bike path that makes it easier to access NJ Transit’s light rail systems.

I’ve been wondering about a facility that I walk past now and then. My wife, daughter and I live in Downtown Jersey City’s Hamilton Park neighborhood. We walk and bike down Monmouth to get to Hoboken now and then. We end up walking north on Jersey Avenue, and, since at least early 2013, we’ve been noticing a bike path project behind construction fences. It appears to be completely done, but just not open yet.

I had thought that the new facility might open in Spring 2013, perhaps for bike-to-work month or Earth Day or something… but… the fences are still up as of the last time I walked through the site in mid-October 2013. 

Click for my google maps drawing of where the facility is located.

Path between Paterson Avenue and Hoboken's 2nd Street Station

Path between Paterson Avenue and Hoboken’s 2nd Street Station

The north end of the path is at the 2nd Street Station in Hoboken.

JCH path 5

New rail-with-trail bike path immediately east of the light rail train tracks. View looking north near Observer Highway. Hoboken is on the right, Jersey City is on the left.

The path runs just east of the light rail tracks.

Bike path entrance at New York Avenue / Observer Highway, with construction fences present but easily breached.

Bike path entrance at New York Avenue / Observer Highway, with construction fences present but easily breached.

There are at-grade crossings at both Paterson Avenue / Franklin Street and Observer Highway / New York Avenue.

Bike/walk path on sidewalk below train tracks at Jersey Avenue / Newark Street.

Bike/walk path on sidewalk below train tracks at Jersey Avenue / Newark Street.

The path goes below the elevated train tracks near the intersection of Harrison Street and Jersey Avenue / Newark Street. For a short stretch it’s on the sidewalk below the elevated railway. From there it hooks west and ends where Coles Street, Hoboken Avenue and 18th Street come together.

As far as I can tell, the new bike path facility is mostly in Jersey City running along the edge of the city of Hoboken, though I don’t know the exact boundaries. It appears that the path mainly serves as a bike/walk feeder to the 2nd Street Station on NJ Transit’s Hudson Bergen light rail line; that station is located in Hoboken.

I asked around among Jersey City and Hoboken cyclists and the folks I asked weren’t sure why the path hasn’t opened, but they did tell me that the project is under the jurisdiction of NJ Transit. Searching the internet, there’s an official NJ Transit web page for the “Hudson Bergen Light Rail 2nd Street Esplanade” that list an anticipated completion date more than one year ago: “Summer 2012.” Hall General Contractors page has a few more specifics for the project, which it calls the “2nd Street Station Walkway.” The Jersey City Independent has a September 2012 article stating that the “walkway will be completed by the end of [2012] … four months ahead of schedule, according to NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder.”

These pedestrians already discovered and are using the new bike/walk path

These pedestrians already discovered and are using the new bike/walk path

Though the construction fences are up, they’re easy to get into. The public has discovered the path and is already using it. I am not sure why it’s not open yet… I will try to find out. Hopefully if there are any issues, the local bike-friendly mayors that we have – Jersey City’s Stephen Fulop and Hoboken’s Dawn Zimmer – can resolve things and can celebrate opening this path for the general public.

Update 12 November 2013: NJ.com reports that NJ Transit expects to open the path by the end of 2013!

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Posted in: bike_path