Monday, February 25, 2008
Railing on Transit
While PATH was celebrating its 80th anniversary with free rides for all today, NJ Transit was pooping at the party in Bloomfield with parking fees for it's popular Grove Street commuter lot. Starting March 1, the daily rate will be $2 or $40 monthly.
Adding insult to injury was the Sunday Times mostly glowing report on NJ Transit Village success stories that singled out Bloomfield lagging efforts. Since winning the designation in 2003, the township is still looking for the light at the end of its tunnelvision:
Nine years after it was officially created, the state's Transit Village program has been extended to 19 communities eligible for grants and aid to revitalize the deteriorated neighborhoods around train and bus stations.
In a number of those communities — notably Hoboken, Jersey City, New Brunswick and Cranford — the program has generated tangible success, with thriving shopping areas and new condominiums and rental apartments enlivening once empty streets.
In other towns, change is clearly in the works. In Montclair, for instance, new housing and retailing is in place beside the downtown train station, and a large mixed-use building is under construction. In a few communities, like Bloomfield and Hamilton, progress has mostly been stalled by local land-use debates.
Right now, though, even as the overall real estate market languishes, developers and analysts report that many Transit Village projects are proceeding and more communities are applying to the program.