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  1. #1
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    Newark/Elizabeth/ Northern NJ & NYC

    I'll add a question for locals - do you have any comments on Newark/Elizabeth in general, and winter commuting in this area?

    I'll be working in Newark NJ starting next week (Washington St, 0.7 mi to Newark Penn Station) and staying at a Marriott in Elizabeth by the Newark Airport (Glimcher Realty Way). Google show 6-7 mile routes for pedestrian, bicycle, and bus.

    I commuted year round for many years in Wilmington (DE), Philadelphia, Baltimore & Boston and have studded tires if needed. My questions relate to these areas in NJ and traffic enforcement/driver behavior. When I had a summer job at Prudential 30 years ago, none of the suburban employees stayed in Newark after 5 (but considered Newark in 1984 better than during their summer jobs in 1967).

    Would you bicycle around Newark and Elizabeth after dark in Jan or Feb? Any parts of town or any roads that are particularly bad or good? Can I bicycle to work in the morning and take a late bus home (6 - 10 pm depending on deadlines)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by English3Speed View Post
    Can I bicycle to work in the morning and take a late bus home (6 - 10 pm depending on deadlines)?
    I'm not from Newark but not all the busses have bike racks on NJT busses north of Princeton so you'll need to verify that the busses you need are equipped. There are peak restrictions on the trains so you won't be able to take them until after 7PM.

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    In the words of Tom Lehrer, "if the hoods don't get you, the monoxide will."

    The crime rate in Newark is (2012 statistics) roughly two to three times the average of crime in urban US.

    Your hotel is wedged between the Jersey Turnpike, Newark Airport and the Port of Newark. It's a transfer hub, where trucks are loaded from container ships or air freight. The air is perfumed by the oil refineries which lie about 1.5 miles to the southwest.

    The map shows something called "Jersey Gardens" within walking distance of the hotel. It's an outlet mall. For dining you can have breakfast at an IHOP and dinner at an Applebee's. You are out of luck, if you have more exotic tastes.

    You did not say were on Washington St your worksite will be. I'm assuming it's within running distance of the Newark City Subway's Washington St stop. That should keep you off the streets until you get to Newark Penn Sta. There's a bus terminal within the building. The #40 bus should get you within a brisk walk of your hotel.

    The corridor between Elizaberth and Newark Penn Sta is used by cyclists to get out of NYC. The word is to go fast until you are past Elizabeth. Don't stop and ride the rims, if you get a flat. That route used McCarter Hwy (NJ 21). That route avoided the Newark Airport traffic and US 1/9. Any bike route to get you to your hotel would use NJ21 to NJ27 to avoid the airport, and turnpike traffic.

    One thing to remember if you do ride a bike, the roads are filled with Jersey drivers.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mgwilder's Avatar
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    I've never ridden this area, but I do drive around there often. Personally, I would not ride this area if it were daylight. It has much more to do with the traffic, driving behavior and quality of roads than with anything else. As mentioned above, this is a commerce hub and there's a lot of erratic driving. You would need to ride North Ave going west and this is more or less a highway which feeds the port of Elizabeth from the Turnpike and Rts 1 & 9. You would then cross Rts 1 & 9 (North gets better) and continue to Rt 27 (Lincoln Highway) and make a right (north). This road is only marginally better than North, but with a mixture of business and residential. You eventually funnel your way onto Broad St., which is a major road in Newark. Again, the drivers and quality of surface are sub-par. Steer clear of rt 21 (McCarter Highway) as this is a very intense road. Washington is parallel with Broad and I cannot comment on it.

    Newark is better than it was 30 years ago and the area near Penn Station is constantly seeing rejuvenation.

  5. #5
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    I realize this may be coming too late, but can you stay at the Hampton Inn in Harrison instead of the Marriott in Elizabeth? It will be much easier to reach Washington St. by bike. Although Harrison/Kearny/Newark North Ward area is still urban, it's not as crazy as the EWR/Elizabeth, IMHO.

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    I'll echo what Pug says about staying in Harrison. The Marriott is in the middle of several intensely driven highways. My sister stayed there this summer when she came up to visit the city and although it's a perfectly safe and pleasant place to stay, it's in the middle of an urban desert. From Harrison, on the other hand, you can not only ride to your job but on the weekends ride north through Kearny and up into some of the nicer places in Bergen County.

    I drive into Manhattan everyday. I don't get the cracks about Jersey drivers coming from New Yorkers.
    A ride on a bike is not a walk in the park

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    I've rode my bike to the Jersey Gardens many times. Guess what? I survived easily and at night too!

    First, I happen to like the Jersey Gardens mall and it's just a short ride to where his hotel is at. In fact, I prefer their stores instead what you'll find at the Woodbridge mall because they tend to be unique stead of the ordinary Sears, JC Pennys and Macys you'll find everywhere.

    I agree it would not be too smart to ride at night but during the day it's fine. I ride down Verterns Memorial drive (or take the sidewalk) and turn on Trumbull street. You'll end up in Elizabeth and ride route 27 to Newark. Simple.

    At night, he can board the New Jersey Transit #40 bus at Newark Penn which will stop at Jersey Gardens that's 5 minutes from his hotel. Also, that bus has a bike rack making the return trip safe and easy.

    There's a reason the company choose this hotel and this is to save money! Quality hotels around Newark and Elizabeth are expensive! Taking cabs to an from this hotel each day will set him back about $45-$60 dollars each day!
    Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 12-25-14 at 08:23 PM.

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I think the staffing agency has a deal with Marriott, and the account execs find the airport convenient. For daily work, the commute is not convenient (car, bike, ...), so then the client has to fix the accommodations.

    There is a newer extended stay hotel in Harrison (Element) they used before, so I am moving there today. It should be a much easier trip to the office in Newark, and to New York on weekends.

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    Quote Originally Posted by English3Speed View Post
    Thanks for the replies.

    I think the staffing agency has a deal with Marriott, and the account execs find the airport convenient. For daily work, the commute is not convenient (car, bike, ...), so then the client has to fix the accommodations.

    There is a newer extended stay hotel in Harrison (Element) they used before, so I am moving there today. It should be a much easier trip to the office in Newark, and to New York on weekends.
    I'm glad it worked out for you.

    I'm saddened that everyone scared you away from Newark. The mall has better resturants to eat than what you'll find in Harrison or Newark. You can't even compare the shopping at that mall to the stores in Harrison.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    I'm glad it worked out for you.

    I'm saddened that everyone scared you away from Newark. The mall has better resturants to eat than what you'll find in Harrison or Newark.
    No way. There are a vast number of better restaurants in Newark than there are in Jersey Gardens Mall. Especially all the Portuguese places, as well as the new(er) restaurants around the Prudential Center. Harrison has a couple of decent places around the Red Bull Arena as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    I'm glad it worked out for you.

    I'm saddened that everyone scared you away from Newark. The mall has better resturants to eat than what you'll find in Harrison or Newark. You can't even compare the shopping at that mall to the stores in Harrison.
    I'll admit haven't found interesting stores in Harrison, but the new hotel is much more convenient than the airport hotel in Elizabeth - it's not being scared by other posters:

    Getting to and from work is much easier. This alone is enough to justify the move. Driving had been terrible (congestion, short distances for high speed lane changes), with multiple transfers for public transportation and the driving problems affecting bicycles at rush hour. Now transit and bicycle are easy, walking is manageable and the new hotel has a shuttle (i.e. someone else does a short drive for me)

    Getting to New York is much easier - I can walk to PATH trains that run all night; I don't need to drive or rely on NJ Transit (may stop at 11 on weekendss) to get to the PATH station.

    The Ironbound (Portuguese section) in Newark is not far from the office or the Harrison hotel. This part of Newark is easier to get to from Harrison than it is from the airport hotel in Elizabeth. I expect to find restaurants in New York and the Ironbound that will be as interesting as the ones at the Jersey Gardens Mall. It's been 6 years or so since I've been to Angelic Kitchen or Souen in Manhattan, so I'm looking forward to going back soon.

    I can still get to the mall on a weekend, so if you (or Jared or others) have any restaurants or stores to recommend in the area or at the mall, I'm open to suggestion.

    My initial choices will probably be vegan restaurants like Angelica Kitchen before/if I get to any of the steak houses recommended 30 years ago.
    Last edited by English3Speed; 12-25-14 at 11:42 PM.

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    Bike Coops/Shops?

    Noglider recommended the Newark Bike Exchange - it's been helpful for some small parts and lights. On line I also noticed a Times Up in New York (Manhattan and Brooklyn) with open shop hours.

    Does anyone have experience with Times Up? Easy to find? Differences by location?
    Other recommended bike shops in New York or NJ for commuter/utility bicyclists?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jared. View Post
    No way. There are a vast number of better restaurants in Newark than there are in Jersey Gardens Mall. Especially all the Portuguese places, as well as the new(er) restaurants around the Prudential Center. Harrison has a couple of decent places around the Red Bull Arena as well.
    Totally agree but as noted it's easier to get to them from Harrison than from the Marriott in Elizabeth.
    A ride on a bike is not a walk in the park

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by English3Speed View Post
    Other recommended bike shops in New York or NJ for commuter/utility bicyclists?
    As far as shops go, Grove Street Bicycle in Jersey City is fine. It's close to the PATH station.

    Montclair Bikery is better, but probably more difficult to reach from Harrison, I think.

    Not familiar with co-ops.

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