Private property. No Trespassing. Will this happen to the Weehawken Waterfront?

This walkway in Edgewater, NJ is supposed to be open to the public. With development designs like this, the dream of a continuous walkway from the GW Bridge to the Bayonne Bridge will remain just a dream.  This picture was taken on Saturday afternoon, April 16, 1999 from Edgewater Park.  The park was filled with vistors. Not one person was using this fenced off public space.

The design of Shelter Bay has a fundamental flaw. Its design encourages a natural conflict between private and public space.   The backyards of the private condominiums are directly adjacent to the public walkway. The property owners objected to strangers walking along their backyards and invading their privacy. The condominium owners fenced off the walkway with a chain-link fence and barbwire.  The NJ DEP is challenging this in court.

This is precisely the same design that Weehawken faces in Roseland’s Phase One development of 58 townhouses on the waterfront. The walkway, even if it remains open to the public, will not feel like a public space. You will feel like you are imposing on someone’s private property.

The most effective way to avoid this conflict is to put a public roadway between the townhouses and the walkway. This is something the Township of Weehawken can insist on. It is a municipal right to plat the streets, which would guarantee public access to the waterfront forever.

Roseland's waterfront design will eventually privatize the waterfront in Weehawken. The citizens of Hoboken battled to make sure a road separates the private from the public insuring the public's access to the water's edge.  Tell your elected officials you want a better design for Weehawken. We recommend that you visit the Hoboken and Edgewater waterfronts and see the difference with your own eyes. In south Hoboken, near the PATH train, their new park is scheduled to open by the end of April, 1999.
Back to homepage        Wide angle view of Shelter Bay Condominiums, Edgewater, NJ.