More than 150 cyclists rode 57 miles from Newark to Trenton Sunday to raise awareness for the Essex Hudson Greenway and urge action by Governor Murphy to fund the project. The proposed rail trail would create an 11 mile stretch of outdoor recreation space starting in Montclair, ending in Jersey City, and passing through eight different municipalities along the way, using the old Boonton Line, retired after the creation of the Montclair Connection in 2002.
Norfolk Southern, which owns the rail line, has offered to sell it to trail advocates for $65 million, but that offer may expire in January, when other buyers could be considered. Trail advocates are looking for funding help from the state.
“That’s why we’re here,” said Patrick Conlon, an event organizer. “We want to get the message to the governor and the people he works with that there’s a lot of freaking people who care about this and want this thing to happen.”
Cycling groups participating in Bike2Trenton included:
· Bike JC
· Newark Community Cycling Center
· Sisters United Bike Club
· RBG Cyclist
· Trenton Cycling Revolution
· Bikes Will Save the World
· Trendsetta Cycling Clique
· Major Taylor Cycle Club
· Bike Hoboken
· Morris Area Freewheeler
“The Essex-Hudson Greenway Coalition is honored at the outpouring of support. The Greenway has been talked about for decades and today we are closer than ever to making it a reality, but we need Governor Murphy to join us in this effort,” said Debra Kagan, Executive Director of the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, one of the project’s main coordinating partners.
For decades, local community leaders have been calling for the creation of a linear park on the former rail line property.
For more information on the Essex-Hudson Greenway Project, visit www.essexhudsongreenway.org.