Gateway Tunnel funded
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Amtrak announced this week that each will contribute $35 million toward conducting preliminary engineering work on the long-awaited, critically important Gateway Tunnel Project. The Gateway Tunnel Project would create a new rail tunnel connecting New Jersey to midtown Manhattan, a critical infrastructure need for commuters on both sides of the river. Funding for the engineering work is an effort by the agencies to speed up the project.
“The need to provide new rail tunnels under the Hudson has never been greater. Riders are suffering from delays, the current tunnels are in severe disrepair and today’s announcement can help move the project forward,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell, a longtime advocate for transit infrastructure investments. “We know that this problem could have been alleviated sooner if the Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) Tunnel project had continued, but when Governor Christie shut down the project with shovels in the ground, New Jersey was set back greatly. One key element of the ARC project was the Secaucus Loop, which provides thousands of passengers from Passaic and Bergen counties a single-seat ride to midtown Manhattan. It is imperative that the loop is a part of the Gateway Project and we solve this problem for North Jersey commuters.”
The Secaucus Loop would allow for a one-seat ride to New York City for the Main/Bergen and Pascack Valley New Jersey Transit Lines, as well as Metro-North’s Port Jervis Line. In October 2015, Rep. Pascrell announced the formation of the North Jersey Rail Coalition, formed to increase transit options in one of the most densely populated regions of the nation.
Easter bunny and father both charged after mall brawl
Following an investigation, Jersey City police detectives have charged a man dressed as the Easter Bunny and the father of a child in connection with an incident at the Newport Centre Mall on Sunday, said police spokesperson Jennifer Morrill.
Kassim Charles, 22, of Bergen Avenue (who was playing the Easter Bunny at the mall) and Juan Jimenez-Guerrero, 44, of Bright Street were both charged with aggravated assault and disorderly conduct. Both men also had outstanding warrants, police said, including a warrant for Charles (the Easter Bunny) for (ironically) “fare hopping.”
Both men were remanded to the Hudson County Correctional Center.
Jersey City police responded to the Newport Centre Mall just after 5 p.m. Sunday night on reports on an alleged fight between the mall’s Easter Bunny and a male. According to the statement to police by the 22-year-old male who was playing the role of the Easter Bunny, the father of a 1-year-old child started an argument after the girl slipped from the chair following her photo, Morrill said.
A fight ensued between both the father and the Easter Bunny, with both being taken to the JCMC-Barnabas Health for minor injuries, according to Morrill.
Hudson County has largest percent population increase in the state
The U.S. Census Bureau reported on March 24 that Hudson County led the state in percentage growth with 0.8 percent increases between July 1, 2014 and July 1, 2015
Hudson County was followed by Bergen County (0.6 percent), and Union County (0.5 percent).
With respect to numerical growth, Bergen County added 5,670 people over the period, more than any other county in the state. It was followed by Hudson County, which grew by 5,334 people, and Middlesex County, which grew by 3,561 people.
Bergen County is the most populous county in New Jersey, with 938,506 residents, followed by Middlesex County and Essex County.
This information is based on annual population estimates for each of the nation’s counties, county equivalents, metropolitan statistical areas, and micropolitan statistical areas since the 2010 Census and up to July 1, 2015. Internet tables are available showing rankings and components of population change (births, deaths, migration).
PATH bans hoverboards due to safety concerns
Saying that the safety of PATH riders and its employees is its top priority, PATH announced that hoverboards will no longer be permitted in stations or on board trains due to safety concerns related to these motorized scooters.
“While there have been no incidents on our PATH system, we are taking a proactive approach by banning these hoverboards,” said PATH Director Michael Marino. “Across the nation, there have been reports of injuries and fires caused by these hoverboards, and we want to ensure the continued safety of our riders and employees.”
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued an official notice regarding compliance with hoverboard safety standards set by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL). The federal agency deemed hoverboards unsafe unless manufacturers meet UL’s safety requirements.
PATH currently prohibits customers from the personal use in train stations of wheeled vehicles, such as skateboards, skates or scooters. Customers are also barred from possessing hazardous or flammable materials in the PATH system, and the lithium-ion batteries used to power hoverboards pose the risk of fire.
Mass transit systems across the country have issued regulations and instituted bans on hoverboards, including the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Amtrak and NJ Transit. The use of hoverboards is prohibited at the airports, and most major airlines prohibit hoverboards on board its aircraft.
To learn more about the Port Authority, visit www.panynj.gov or on our blog at portfolio.panynj.gov.
Empty Sky Memorial Walk scheduled for April 17
At the Empty Sky Memorial Walk will be held on Sunday, April 17 (rain or shine) in Liberty State Park. Check in begins at 8:30 a.m. The walk begins at 10 a.m. The $40 admission fee includes an Empty Sky t-shirt. Children 10 years old or younger will be admitted free.
The Empty Sky Memorial, named after a song written and performed by Bruce Springsteen, is comprised of two steel walls containing the names of the 749 New Jersey residents who perished in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
The fundraising walk held by the NJ 9/11 Memorial Foundation helps defray costs of maintenance and the completion of the monument’s outside walls. The memorial suffered damage to its lighting and irrigation systems during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
To purchase tickets called (732) 859-3700. For sponsorship opportunities call (908) 209-3108. For more information visit the website: NJ911memorial.org/walk.
Children’s Dental Health Day at Newport Centre
Simon’s Newport Centre will team up with the Hudson County Dental Society (HCDS) to host Children’s Dental Health Day on Sunday, April 10 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will take place in Macy’s Court.
That day, dentists from the HCDS will be on hand at Newport Centre Mall with an informal display to educate the public about the importance of children’s dental health. During the event, they will distribute toothbrushes, demonstrate proper tooth brushing to children, and spread the word about good dental health.
Bayonne Dentist Dr. David Gleaner, chairman of “Children’s Dental Health Month” for the HCDS, a division of the New Jersey Dental Association and the American Dental Association, is teaming up with Newport Centre for this activity.
“This is just one of numerous outreach events we have for CDHM, a national event promoted by the American Dental Association every February since 1941,” said Dr. Gleaner. “Any chance we get to reach out to the community and educate them about the importance of dental health is welcomed by our membership. Newport Centre on a Sunday is a great place to get our message across.”