By Christie Duffy
Riding the East Coast Greenway between Newark and Jersey City today was bumpy, dirty and loud. Six foot weeds whacking you in the face and legs as you ride this the very narrow sidewalk. Some of it is buried beneath gravel and garbage– which can be slippery.
“It’s probably not for everyone on it’s best day, but of course all these weeds and rocks and sand and garbage make it a lot worse,” said Bike Jersey City Board Member Tony Borelli.
The idea of the Greenway is to allow cyclists to ride along basically the entire East Coast, stretching from Florida to Maine, but riders are complaining about the portion between Jersey City and Newark, saying it is completely overgrown, neglected, and even dangerous.
In 2012 Jersey City’s Mayor reportedly championed the new bike connection between his city and Newark. Today the Mayor’s Office referred us to the state, saying it’s a state-owned roadway.
“I definitely think it needs to be cleaned up, if it’s gonna connect the two largest cities in the state and it’s one of the few ways you can get between the two of them by bike,” said Borelli.
The state hasn’t responded to our requests for comment about any planned clean-ups.
Borelli says he thinks the Pulaski Skyway being partially closed for construction plays into the neglect.
“This is a detour for it so they don’t want to block the road the Department of Transportation doesn’t want to block the road with trucks that they use for cleaning and getting the weeds,” said Borelli.
Some parts of the trail are clean and clear up here on the bridge.
Where we stopped to see the most scenic part of the trail– views of Hudson and Essex Counties and boats passing by.
From there we also spotted a small clean up crew parked and working beneath the bridge. They were weed-whacking near the trail but not on it.
“They definitely need to clean the sidewalks the pathways themselves get the sand and gravel and garbage off them regularly and they need to do something about the weeds which might mean more than just trimming them back maybe removing some of these plants maybe putting down some cement so they don’t grow wild all the time,” said Borelli.
Some have suggested that local cyclists themselves should get together and clean up the path. Borelli says some have, but the weeds are quick to grow back and drivers continue to throw trash. He believes the trail needs regular attention.