As the rails-to-trails concept successfully grows across the country, we look to activate an accessible path for pedestrians and bikers within the Arches, while preserving the existing ecology and educating the community on the benefits of an ecological and infrastructure-driven project.
The forest inside of the Bergen Arches took root about 60 years ago when the site became inactive. By preserving the existing nature and blue trap rock structure of the Arches, residents will be able to experience the characteristics of a naturally grown forest in one of the densest cities in the East Coast.
Our strategy to preserve the site will reduce the costs associated with maintaining it once it becomes activated for pedestrian use. This will ultimately take the pressure off the City of Jersey City and it’s taxpayers.
The Bergen Arches has presented an opportunity for Jersey City to transform an underutilized space into a public corridor that can benefit the existing community.
Historically, the Arches served as a transit corridor for passenger rail that brought people from Bergen Hill to the Hudson River Waterfront. Our organization wants to retain the history of the corridor by creating sustainable transit solutions for pedestrian biking and walking.
The goal is to settle a deal with NJ Transit [the property owner] to obtain one of their four rights-of-way through an easement or long-term lease. This strategy is an opportunity to create access for the entire length of the Arches while allowing NJ Transit to keep complete ownership of the other three rights-of-way for future transit options.
There is a sustained effort throughout the city to preserve sites that share similar characteristics to the Bergen Arches. Many of the local groups working on these efforts will need our help to create a voice for preserving the nature in our cities, cleaning our parks and educating the community on the potential to rethink Jersey City's abandoned infrastructure as a sustainable and affordable shared use network.