Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Middlesex Greenway opens in grand fashion on Sep. 15

Like the Greenway itself, this post is a little late in coming.

After twenty years in the making, the Middlesex Greenway opened in grand fashion on Saturday, September 15th.  The  mayors of Edison, Metuchen and Woodbridge, three towns that the Greenway traverses, along with numerous Freeholders and a US Senator were all in attendance.  While there are still a few details that need to be completed before the initial 3.5 mile trail segment is entirely complete, the popularity of the trail was readily apparent on the grand opening Saturday as at least one hundred people were observed using the trail, most of whom were not attending the grand opening ceremonies.

Some of the dozens of users seen on the Greenway.
It was interesting to see that this grand opening event attracted the attendance of Senator Bob Menendez.  Support for bike and pedestrian infrastructure would seem to make good politics.

Senator Bob Menendez speaks at the trail opening.
This project was spearheaded by the group Edison Greenways and not enough can be said of their persistence to get the project to this point.  Also of significant importance to the project was the East Coast Greeway Alliance that designated a portion of the Middlesex Greenway as a part of the 3,000 mile East Coast Greanway years before the first construction crews started work.  Being designated a segment of the East Coast Greenway has acted as a catalyst to get many trail, sidewalk, bike/ped bridge and even bike lane projects built here in New Jersey and in many other states that the East Coast Greenway passes.

Mike and Anne Kruimer of the East Coast Greenway Alliance pause on the bridge over US Route 1 built several years ago by NJDOT for the Middlesex Greenway as part of a highway renovation project.
This project also has great potential for providing a Safe Routes to School.  The Herbert Hoover Middle School of Edison is directly adjacent to the trail.  The new bridge over US Route 1 built by NJDOT now provides a nearly traffic free route for Edison students who live on the west side of Route 1 and might attend the school.  Middle school age children were seen riding their bikes almost every time this author traversed the bridge over US Route 1.

View Middlesex Greenway in a larger map

Finally, it is hoped by greenway planners and advocates that this 3.5 mile segment is only the beginning.  To the west there are already plans in Metuchen to extend the Greenway to the limits of the Metuchen boarder and possibly beyond.  On the eastern end there are tentative plans to extend the trail over the Garden State Parkway and into Perth Amboy.  This addition would greatly increase the transportation utility of the Middlesex Greenway.  However, even though the train tracks over the Parkway haven't been used for years, the railroad company has plans to reactivate the tracks in the future to service warehouses, industry and a possible port on the Raritan River in Edison.

Either way, the Edison Greenway is greatly welcomed  recreation and transportation amenity in northern Middlesex County and many hope that this will be the first of a number of other rail trail and other similar multiuse trail projects in the county.

For more photo's see the slide show below. All photo's in this post and below slide show are copyrighted and are the sole property of Andrew J. Besold.


Silvia said...

Great to see that the trail is already so popular. And how awesome to have a bike/ped bridge over Route 1. I can think of a few other communities that could benefit from something like that!

gary7 said...

It's about time!!!!!!!!! 21 yrs in the making and now a 3mi + corridor thru a heavily congested area.best yet it was kept out of the hands of developers, now onto South Plainfield and east to Perth Ambot to link with the Victory Bridge and shore and the Outerbridge crossing and SI and NYC...............

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