Jersey City Considering Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza Expansion

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Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza Jersey City Existing
Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza, Downtown Jersey City. Photo by Chris Fry/Jersey Digs.

As part of an ongoing effort to revitalize the Historic Downtown Special Improvement District, a car-free zone along one of Jersey City’s major hubs could be expanded farther west under a proposal that was announced by the mayor earlier this week.

In 2015, Newark Avenue between Grove and Barrow Streets was permanently converted into a pedestrian plaza. The move added seating areas, umbrellas, bike racks, decorative lighting, new trees, bioswales, and more to the street, which is closed to vehicular access and painted green to designate it as pedestrian-only.


Seemingly like any change, the move had its supporters and detractors. The city did mull over making some changes to the plaza last year to address noise and quality of life concerns that some felt the conversion contributed to, but Mayor Steven Fulop says he believes that the pedestrian-only switch along Newark Avenue has been “overall positively received by residents.”

On Monday, Fulop tweeted that the city is exploring expanding the pedestrian plaza westbound to Jersey Avenue, also sprucing up the street surface and increasing furniture along the stretch. A graphic Fulop put up with the tweet shows that a small block-long portion of Bay Street that forms a triangle would also be car-free under the plan.


Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza Jersey City Expansion Proposal
Westward expansion proposal, Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza. Map via Mayor Fulop’s Twitter.

Other features of the proposal include decorative street paint through the intersection of Newark Avenue and Barrow Street, which cars would be allowed to utilize to turn up Erie Street. Additionally, a new playground area is proposed on the block between Barrow Street and Jersey Avenue.

Ward E Councilman James Solomon supports the idea of expanding the plaza. “The pedestrian mall has the potential to be a world-class public space,” he told Jersey Digs in an email. “Much work remains to improve the streetscape and control late-night behavior, but I believe the expansion of the mall will help us move in that direction.”

Fulop also posted a 3-D model video of what the plaza could eventually look like. While momentum appears to be behind the project, no firm time frame has been announced as to when the proposal could go before the city council, who would need to approve the measure.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Love this project. The initial pedestrianization was a great idea, but it still feels somewhat temporary and half-finished. Sprucing it up with nicer decorative features would go a long way. I’ve spoken with several non-Jersey City residents who mention the Newark Avenue restaurant strip as the thing they remember and are most impressed with when they’ve come to the city. Let’s get this, the embankment park and the Powerhouse done and downtown JC will really become a destination.

  2. But what about parking and traffic!?!?

    J/K! great idea, need more of this all around JC, like the Junction in Bergen Lafayette.

  3. We have seen lots of restaurants opened in past 4 years and we have seen the efforts to change the downtown into restaurants and bar zone. Unfortunately with so high rents so many restaurants and bars either closed or forced to sell. With huge property tax hike Landlords are force to increase the rents to a point where it’s very hard for all kind of businesses to survive. Closure of streets and creating European style environment is hurting walk in and other traffic which results in hurting businesses to produce revenues to survive. Mayor should look into making affordable businesses environment than just trying to change the area.

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