Jersey City Announces Latest Safety Measures Supporting Social Distancing to Help Businesses and Residents Recover
Jersey City Mayor, Steven M. Fulop announced the implementation of a Slow Streets Pilot Program in Jersey City, launching on June 24, to enhance COVID-19 safety measures by supporting safe outdoor activity and recreation.
According to the Mayor's office, the plan provides residents additional open space by designating certain streets throughout Jersey City as “Slow Streets” which will be temporarily closed to through traffic, with access for local traffic only, while maintaining all existing parking.
Slow Streets will also have partial closures at intersections to allow for more comfortable use for physically distant walking, jogging, biking, exercising, commuting, and playing across the city.
“We have been working to bring outside-the-box solutions to address the various issues created by this unprecedented crisis," Mayor Fulop said. "We were the first to implement strict and effective social distancing measures, and now as we work to carefully reopen, these Slow Streets will act as a relief valve for safe outdoor activities this summer as we see the streets and parks start to get crowded again."
As with all reopening efforts, changes to the Slow Streets may be made throughout the pilot project based on public feedback and the impact on public health and safety.
"We will start with a few Slow Streets and roll this out on additional streets based on public feedback, as we want this to be a community-driven initiative," Barkha Patel, Director of Transportation Planning, said. "This is about the physical and mental health of our residents. We want to provide residents with a safe outlet to go outside of their homes and comfortably use neighborhood streets for recreation.”
To launch the program, the following streets will be transformed into slow streets immediately:
In Ward C, the entire length of Senate Place + Dey Street
In Ward D, Nelson Avenue from Bleecker to Leonard Street
In Ward E, Jersey Avenue from 8th Street to Newark Avenue
For input and updates on the Slow Streets pilot program, Jersey City is encouraging residents to fill out the Jersey City Slow Streets Survey HERE.
Additionally, the city has been working with restaurants to expand outdoor seating into areas of streets to maintain capacity while indoor dining remains limited.
Along with the expansion of the established Newark Avenue Pedestrian Mall, other temporary Pedestrian Plazas are also being incorporated citywide to further support social distancing efforts. The new plazas include:
Grove Street from 1st Street to Montgomery Ave.
1st Street from Jersey Ave. to Newark Ave.
Bergen Ave. from Reed Street to Duncan Ave.
Rose Ave. from Cator Ave. to Old Bergen Rd.
MLK Drive from Woodlawn Ave. to Armstrong Ave.
Bergen Ave. from Sip Ave. to Newkirk Street
Jersey City is also expediting the construction of permanent bike lanes, with 1.5 miles completed since the pandemic shutdowns, and 6 additional miles of protected bike lanes planned for the remainder of the year.
“We need to work together to help our businesses and residents recover from this health and economic crisis," Mayor Fulop said. "From installing Slow Streets and Pedestrian Plazas to expanding outdoor dining and offering testing and supplies to help business owners safely reopen, as restrictions are slowly lifted we are looking at every angle to see where and how we can provide assistance.”