Signs posted throughout Downtown Newark as part of the “Newark Walks” initiative promote traveling around the heart of New Jersey’s largest city on foot, but one corner near two of the central business district’s most-visited attractions has long been challenging for those not in a car.
Walkers traveling north along the east side of Broad Street reach a dead-end of sorts when they get to the intersection with Park Place after Trinity & St. Philip’s Cathedral.
There is no crosswalk connecting the corner with the other sides of Broad Street or Park Place, forcing pedestrians to jaywalk across one of these busy thoroughfares or turn around to find a safe place to cross.
However, changes could be coming to this intersection and several others in the vicinity of Military Park and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
The City of Newark issued a request for proposals in May for individuals or companies interested in conducting a concept development study for the Newark Riverfront Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Project.
“Pedestrian crossings at intersections, especially the intersections of Central Avenue/Broad Street and Rector Street/Broad Street, have a number of deficiencies and conflicts resulting in [an] unsafe and confusing pedestrian crossing experience,” the document states.
The request, which was prepared by the Newark Department of Engineering, also notes that there are no bike lanes in the corridor that this project is expected to cover.
“While McCarter Highway’s configuration serves vehicles well, it creates difficulties for pedestrians and bicyclists crossing the arterial,” the request adds. “Access between Center Street and Newark’s downtown and riverfront continues to be a challenge for pedestrians and bicyclists.”
The project is reportedly being funded through a Federal Highway Administration grant and would take up to a year and a half.
“Improvements can include new curb and sidewalk, ADA curb ramps at all crosswalks, new traffic signals at all intersections as necessary within the project area, enhanced pedestrian scale street lighting, street furniture, dedicated bike lanes, bicycle racks and public transit amenities,” according to the request.
Proposals are due at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 10.