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A major step was taken a few days ago when Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop joined City Council members and the Department of Infrastructure to break ground on the community-driven Coles and 12th Street Streetscape project.  The improvement project will create a much safer, more usable public space, with a range of enhancements designed to meet the diverse needs of residents and visitors alike.  Currently, the site is a dimly lit, unsafe location for pedestrians.

At the event Mayor Fulop stated, “We made this improvement project a priority to help safely connect neighborhoods near Holland Gardens, the Embankment House, and the other side of 12th Street near the Holland Tunnel entrance with a new raised bikeway, reconstructed sidewalks and crosswalks, utility upgrades, and various safety improvements.”

The entire goal of the Coles and 12th Street project underscores Jersey City’s commitment to sustainable urban development and inclusive growth.  The project will incorporate the city’s broader goals with Vision Zero elements, resiliency and sustainability goals, pedestrian safety, and expanding outdoor public space.

“My office has been working with Mayor Fulop, Councilman Saleh, community members, Jersey City’s Department of Infrastructure, and key stakeholders for years to make Jersey City and Ward E’s streets safer,” said Ward E Councilman James Solomon. “The redevelopment of the Coles Street underpass is a critical step in building a more resilient, more open, and more pedestrian-friendly Jersey City.”
Rendering Courtesy of the City of Jersey City

The upgrades aim to fix the poorly lit area and fragmented sidewalk and create a canvas for more programmed public space—all within a single streetscape initiative.

According to a press release from the city, Key features of the project include:

  • Permanent skate park
  • Sidewalk reconstruction for improved safety
  • Tree plantings and landscaping for beautification
  • A bikeway for improved pedestrian connectivity
  • Street replacement
  • Utility upgrades
  • Stormwater drainage and flood mitigation
  • Significant lighting improvements

“We envision the Coles Street streetscape as more than just concrete and sidewalk; it’s a space that will be transformed for neighborhood residents to utilize, fostering community and furthering our shared commitment to a better, more connected Jersey City.  A thousand thank yous to Mayor Fulop, Councilman Solomon, Director Patel, and her team for bringing this important project to fruition,” added Ward D Councilman Yousef Saleh.

The project is already underway, with the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority having completed the critical infrastructure and utility work as part of the initial phase.

Department of Infrastructure Director Barkha Patel stated, “This project is all about safely connecting neighborhoods for biking and walking, which is what we are working to accomplish citywide.  We will also formalize the skatepark that currently exists and is widely used by the community in a way that maintains the DIY character of the space while improving safety and visibility for all users.”

As part of the planned improvements, a consecutive sidewalk throughout the entire length of Coles Street from 10th Street to 14th Street will be established, and along 12th Street from Monmouth Street to Coles Street.

In line with Jersey City’s commitment to sustainability, the planned enhancements to pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure will further improve connectivity between neighborhoods, encouraging active transportation and reducing reliance on cars.