Freeholders pass resolution supporting Essex-Hudson Greenway Project

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — On Wednesday, Sept. 23, the Essex County Freeholder Board passed a resolution supporting the establishment and construction of the Essex-Hudson Greenway. On its completion, the Essex-Hudson Greenway will be a continuous 11-mile-long, 100-foot-wide outdoor recreation space, spanning eight towns, from Montclair, Glen Ridge, Bloomfield, Belleville, Newark, Kearny and Secaucus to its completion in Jersey City. It will serve as a walking and biking trail, and promote local economic recovery by connecting neighboring communities with business districts, parks and places of employment.

The resolution was initiated by Freeholder President Brendan Gill, sponsored by acclamation and passed unanimously. In addition to providing a new outdoor recreation space for Essex and Hudson counties residents, the Essex-Hudson Greenway will connect the surrounding suburbs to three major urban hubs — Newark, Jersey City and New York City. This will enhance leisure time/non-work–related mobility throughout the region without relying on mass transportation or motor vehicles and provide a viable commuting option for residents of the towns along its path. The Greenway, through the access to additional recreational space and a long-term reduction in traffic and emissions, will improve the air quality of the region and the overall health of area residents.

“Underserved communities adjacent to the line, particularly communities of color in the areas of Newark, Belleville and Bloomfield, will benefit immensely from the presence of the Greenway,” Gill said. “Residents living in these areas typically have higher obesity rates and less access to healthy activities due to dangerous neighborhoods, unsafe streets and lack of affordable transportation options. The Greenway would provide these communities with safe, recreational areas to exercise, enjoy the outdoors and improve their quality of life.”

The Essex-Hudson Greenway initiative has been in the making for nearly a decade. Essex and Hudson counties, all of the municipalities along its path, and organizations such as the New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition, Open Space Institute Land Trust Inc., Norfolk Southern Railway Company and the Essex-Hudson Greenway Project, have worked diligently to create a safe, open space for the community, while also catalyzing economic development and job creation.

“The freeholder board adopting this resolution of support is a significant step toward the completion of Essex-Hudson Greenway,” Gill said. “Although there remains a great deal of work to be done, both I and the board will continue to work with County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr., the local municipalities along the Greenway in Essex and Hudson counties, and state agencies, such as the Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Transportation, Department of Community Affairs and the Economic Development Authority, to bring this project to fruition.”