February 2016
Riverview Park Renovation
Restaurant Ovelay Proposal
Mayor Fulop Community Meeting
NJ Transit Meeting
RNA Board
Central Ave Visioning Meeting
Spoken Word Series Returns
Take Steps For RNA
Keep up with the latest news and activities
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Next RNA Meeting:
Tuesday, February 9th at 7:30 PM

 

Location:
Harbor View Health Care Center
178 Ogden Avenue
1st Floor Cafeteria
 
Agenda:

Police and Residence Response Center

Guest: Aaron Johnson, Landscape Architect for the City of Jersey City will discuss the Riverview-Fisk Park Renovation and accept feedback

Discussion and Membership vote on whether to support the  Proposed Restaurant Overlay District for Palisade Ave

Neighborhood Updates 
 
Membership Dues
Membership dues and donations help sustain the RNA. Annual dues are $10. Please join on our website, at an RNA meeting, or make checks payable to Riverview Neighborhood Association and mail to:
RNA
PO Box 7176 
Jersey City, NJ 07307

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Greetings!

Please join us this Tuesday, February 9th at 7:30 PM at the Harborview Health Center, 178 Ogden Avenue (at Franklin St) for the Riverview Neighborhood Association's (RNA's) monthly meeting. We have two major agenda items - we will discuss plans for the Riverview-Fisk Park Renovation with our guest Aaron Johnson, the landscape architect for the City of Jersey City, and we will  be taking a memberhsip vote on the proposed Restaurant Overlay District proposed for Palisade and Central Avenues.  All are encouraged and welcome to attend.
Plans for Riverview-Fisk Park Renovation

Aaron Johnson, the landscape architect for the Jersey City Department of Architecture, will be our guest at the monthly meeting on February 8th.  The RNA board has been meeting with Aaron over the last few months to come up with a preliminary design for an overall renovation of Riverview-Fisk Park. Aaron will present the design to get feedback from the community and answer any questions.  Please join us at this important meeting to provide input into the renovation of our beloved park.  Note: the gazebo rebuild project that is going out to bid shortly is a separate budgeted project that is being done independently from the park renovation.
Restaurant Overlay Proposed for Palisade Ave
- RNA Membership to vote whether to support this proposal or not

At the February 9th meeting, after discussion, we will hold a membership vote to determine whether the RNA will support the proposed Restaurant Overlay District for Palisade and Central Avenues that is on the Planning Board agenda on Feb. 23rd .  In order to vote, you must live within the RNA boundaries and your membership dues must be in good standing for 2016 (based on the calendar year).  

The proposed Restaurant Overlay District includes Palisade Avenue between Cuneo Place and South Street, the Central Avenue Business District and portions of Congress Street and Franklin Street (see map below).  A restaurant overlay zone would:

1. Remove distance restrictions for liquor licenses (bars and restaurants) and also entertainment licenses.  If passed, within the Restaurant Overlay, Liquor and Entertainment licenses can be in closer proximity to each other than normally allowed.
2. Allows for cafe licenses with outdoor seating.
3. Maintain all other code conditions for any business requesting an entertainment, liquor, or sidewalk cafe license.
 
In making a decision whether to support the Restaurant Overlay or not, some things to consider are the economic value of having a concentration of restaurants/bars within a walkable distance, the quality of life issues that may arise if there were to be a concentration (e.g potential increase noise, traffic, garbage, parking issues), whether this change would be positive or create unintended consequences and whether the benefits of allowing this change outweigh potential detriments. 

Please come ready to listen, discuss and vote.
Town Hall Meeting with Mayor Fulop Draws Huge Crowd

Riverview Neighborhood Association, in coordination with The Washington Park Association of Hudson County held a Heights public community meeting with Mayor Fulop on Monday February 1st. Over 200 area residents were in attendance.   In case you missed it, and to hear directly from the Mayor and his staff, you can watch a video of the meeting here.

We have highlighted some of the follow-up items that the Mayor agreed to below:
  • Promised that the gazebo rebuild in Riverview Park would be completed this year and the overall Riverview Park renovation would be started this year.
  • Agreed to attend a meeting with NJ Transit and state legislators to pressure them to provide comprehensive and reliable transportation to the Heights based on the following stated RNA goals (see article below - meeting scheduled for Feb 8).
  • Will endeavor to add a "Citibike" station at the Hoboken PATH so people have the option of using the bikes to go between the Heights and the Hoboken PATH station.
  • Will participate in working meetings for six months with the Heights United For Clean Streets group to implement specific measures to address the cleanliness of the streets in the Heights.  The detailed goals will be published next week.
  • Promised to follow the will of the people (via a referendum on the November ballot allowing casinos in Northern NJ) to let voters decide if they want to allow a casino in Jersey City.
  • Promised to fix the city's web site so that ALL Planning and Zoning Board Meeting agendas are posted 10 days in advance of these hearings.  The city has already updated the agenda pages, here are the links:
    • City's website.
  • Recreation director to follow up with St. John's Church to expand recreation programs in their Gymnasium and at other locations in the Heights.
  • Will address the abandoned property issues is the Heights using tools like the Abandoned Property Rehabilitation Act.
NJ Transit Coming to the Table

Ever since the 99s direct New York City bus service was pulled from Palisade Avenue (replaced by the NJ Transit 123 after a long battle), RNA has been working feverishly to improve transportation options in the Heights. Working in conjunction with the Washington Park Association and numerous elected officials, we have had some success. However, there is still a long way to go and we have been advocating for a meeting to be held that brings together the Mayor, the Hudson County delegation (assembly and senators) and the senior leadership of NJ Transit (rather than starting over each time an elected officials asks NJ Transit to get involved).  That meeting will be held on February 8th with representatives of RNA in attendance.  RNA's objectives for the meeting, that the mayor supports, are:
  • Most importantly: Have buses that actually show up!  For years Heights residents have dealt with off/on horrendous service where buses don't come at all, come very early, or extremely late.  Heights residents don't have ready access to other forms of mass transit, an overwhelming amount of us have to rely on buses to get to work.  This is especially prevalent on the 119 line --ask NJT to take over service of the 119 line and run it natively instead of contracting it out to Academy.
  • Establish extremely reliable and frequent bus service especially during rush hours.  The goal for the AM/PM peak is to have 119 AND 123 bus trips every 15 minutes during the peak rush times.  Right now, Heights commuters run the risk of simply not being able to fit on a bus to/from NYC as it's too packed.
  • Establish 24/7 hour bus service to the Heights (currently the latest 123 bus cuts off at 1:15am on weekdays and 1:45am on Saturday, the 119 ends at 10:10pm and does not run on Sunday).
  • Break up the 87 into two routes to establish express and local bus service into Hoboken.  This would help solve the "long route" issue that causes ballooning on this route (e.g. three buses arriving together) after very long gaps.
  • Have NJT and Jersey City assess the feasibility of implementing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines through the Heights along commuter routes. This is a possible solution as we don't have access to other forms of mass transit and could be a more permanent solution for how to provide better service along the most heavily traveled routes.
  • Possibly establish a replacement service for the jitney's that would provide "metro" service for travel from the Heights to downtown, JSQ, union city, North Bergen, etc.  There is a massive ridership opportunity here as people only take the loosely regulated jitney's because there is no other option.  This would also solve the dilemma for how to get directly downtown on a Saturday night and then get back to the Heights.  (The 84 to downtown stops at 9:13pm and the last return trip is 10:00pm with buses only once an hour prior to that).

Stay tuned to hear the outcome of this meeting.

 

Congratulations to the 2016 RNA Board 

At the annual meeting in January, the election for the  2016 Board of Directors was  held.  The membership elected:

Kern Weissman - President
Nick Buffum - Vice President
Jocelyn Patrick - Secretary
Roger Heitmann - Treasurer
Kristina Behrens - Director At Large (volunteer coordinator)


Please give the 2016 Board your support and reach out to them to volunteer, lend support or to make suggestions on how to continually improve our neighborhood.  
Central Avenue Community Visioning Session

Come out and lend your vision for how to improve Central Avenue for both small businesses and residents alike at this afternoon meeting taking place on Saturday, February 20th at 2:00pm.


Spoken Word Series Returns to the Heights!
 

Our local Height's poet James Ruggia is back curating an RNA produced Spoken Word series entitled Backroom Broadsides. It will be held in the Parlour Room at the Fox and Crow.

The first evening of spoken word will be Tuesday February 16th at 8:00pm (the event will run every other Tuesday - four events total). There will be an open mic portion for poets and singer/songwriters on each night.  If you missed these spoken word events at 942 Summit, this is your chance.  Some of the readers include: 
Feb 16 - Greg Masters & Mike DeCapite; Joel Lewis, Elinor Nauen, and others TBA. 

The event dates are:  Feb 16th, March 1st, March 15th, March 29th. We welcome all poets, writers, readers and spoken word enthusiasts to come participate. 

Take Steps for RNA with Charity Footprints

Want to feel even better when you exercise or need a bit of extra motivation to get you going? Then TakeStepsForRNA: run,walk or cycle and help us raise $1000 by March 31st. All you have to do is register (with a minimum pledge of $10), decide how many miles you are willing to walk, run or bike for the amount you pledge, and then (optionally) ask others to sponsor you to meet your goal.

You can register at charityfootprints.com, download their app (for iphone users) and then track your miles using the app (or log them in if you are an Android or other mobile platform). Click below for more information. Thank you in advance for your participation!

Here is the link to the RNA campaign: TakeStepsForRNA

Keep up with the latest news and activities

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Kern Weissman
Riverview Neighborhood Association
Riverview Neighborhood Association, PO Box 7176, Jersey City, NJ 07307
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