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New York City to Newark NJ by Bicycle! It's going to happen!

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New York City to Newark NJ by Bicycle! It's going to happen!

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Old 06-26-17, 11:23 AM
  #126  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Rt 10 is too highway-ish to ride on. Avoid it.

Here is a modified route. I took you off Springfield Ave earlier so you can go through nicer parts of Maplewood. Also, Glen Ave in Millburn is nicer than Millburn Ave. I routed you off Rt 10 in Livingston.

Thanks for the pro tip about Maplewood from a former resident. I will take that suggestion for sure.

And, from having crossed Route 10 a few times, I know that it is nearly highway-like. Your comment helps me realise that I shouldn't join it at Northfield Avenue. But I see that the short (0.4 miles) segment between Walnut Street and the exit onto the street called Okner Parkway has a shoulder the whole way. Here is a typical view. And from Okner Parkway west to River Road, you can take a service road which is just a normal street (and also features a shoulder), as seen here. So that seems highly doable.

I care a lot more about the hills. I see that your latest route abandons Parsonage Hill Road and puts me back on Old Short Hills Road. I think I prefer the less punishing climb of the former.

I really appreciate the help on this! Thank you for the effort of making suggestions.
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Old 06-27-17, 07:58 PM
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OK, sounds good. I like climbing, and I tend to forget how hard it is for some. I don't remember either of those hills being harder than the other, but it's been about four years for me.
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Old 08-06-17, 09:47 AM
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[QUOTE=Ferdinand NYC;19676612]I went back there today. And the path from Jersey City into Kearny is indeed much better than it was a few weeks ago.

Also, I crossed over to the south side at Hackensack Avenue, and found that that side is easier to navigate because the sidewalk goes all the way to Doremus Avenue. (This is of more importance when leaving Newark.)

/QUOTE]

Well. I'm finally able to get pictures back on Bike Forums again!

I took a trip on a Saturday and the road was much better especially entering the second bridge going west. The sand was removed making it very easy. They also cleaned the garbage dumped when going under the Skyway.

After leaving Lincoln park going west, the road is totally clear and safe. (see first picture) To make the trip easier after exiting the first bridge, cross the street to the other side and continue going west to Newark. A much easier trip and there's actually a walkway that leads down the ramp to Doremus avenue.

I made the make and decided to walk down the hill where the stairs used to be! As you can see in the second picture, the over-growth in weeds make it hazardous! I was about halfway down the hill when a HUGE possum came out of the growth and started walking toward me!!! I was screaming at the top of my lungs and was ready to throw the bike at him. He scared the **** out of me. Well, he continued to walk but turned left and boy was I relieved!

Anyway, I survived and look forward to doing the trip again. This time, I'll take some pictures of the pedestrian ramp going west to Newark.
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Old 08-16-17, 07:41 AM
  #129  
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post

Anyway, I survived and look forward to doing the trip again.
Should be doing this part the Sunday before Labor Day as part of our club's annual ride to Brooklyn. (It was cancelled last year due to the storm threat.) Nearly everyone rides the rode between Doremus and Lincoln Park. Two year ago we had a volunteer in a vehicle who escorted (from behind) groups over the bridges. Don't know if that's going to be the case this year.


A few years ago, when the earth steps were still there, we took the north side path for a while. I remember that sand/dirt and the weeds. It was awful. And the trash. My then GF got a plastic bag stuck in her RD. It took us several minutes to get it all out.
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Old 08-16-17, 08:32 AM
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What a disgrace that passage is.
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Old 08-16-17, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Should be doing this part the Sunday before Labor Day as part of our club's annual ride to Brooklyn. (It was cancelled last year due to the storm threat.) Nearly everyone rides the rode between Doremus and Lincoln Park. Two year ago we had a volunteer in a vehicle who escorted (from behind) groups over the bridges. Don't know if that's going to be the case this year.


A few years ago, when the earth steps were still there, we took the north side path for a while. I remember that sand/dirt and the weeds. It was awful. And the trash. My then GF got a plastic bag stuck in her RD. It took us several minutes to get it all out.
Good for you!

They really cleaned it up and I get the feeling this thread had a lot to do with that! ;-) I found some pictures of a large group WALKING over the two bridges. They were doing exactly what I said to do and that was once you cross the second bridge going west, you cross the street. Afterward, you continue going west because the side has a very safe and protected ramp for bikes and pedestrians. There are a couple of issues and I will photograph them next week.
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Old 10-07-17, 09:12 PM
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I had a great day today because a German couple that were bike touring started in New York City at JFK airport and were going to Newark as their first stop. They were asking questions in Jersey City on the street and totally lost. The couple had a very small road map and it's amazing how they used no GPS or cell phone to get mapping information. Quite old school if you ask me.

Regardless, I decided to take them on the route to Newark using the bike path. The couple were in the late 70's and I didn't want to see them using that high speed road way at all! Both couples were riding German touring bikes with step through frames and had incredible bright lights!

Again, riding over both bridges did not create any issues at all. It was totally fun and the first time I actually had a convoy following me!

Once we reached Newark, it became a challenge trying to find them a hotel since they did not bring camping gear or make reservations. The first two hotels were sold out and I was almost out of options but kept asking others and sure enough, we found a place they could spend the night. As we reached our destination, the woman fell off her bike by hitting the curb. Luckily, she wasn't hurt but as they say, it's not a bike ride until someone fall off!

You know folks, I didn't know that Newark has a night life that wasn't there 20 years ago. I felt totally safe.

The husband wanted to give me money but it really was fun. I'm glad I discovered this route.
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Old 10-07-17, 10:55 PM
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What a great tale! Those people are lucky that they met you. And let it be known that Newark is all the way back.

By the way, back in 2012 when I first joined this board (because of this thread), I didn't yet have a cell phone. I rode to Seaside Heights and back that year using only paper maps.
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Old 01-07-18, 12:16 PM
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Great thread, exactly the info I came looking for.

I’m interested in riding the full NJ section of the East Coast Greenway (ECG), including the alternate route from Jersey City to GWB. As I studied the ECG map, I was not thrilled by the route as described between JC and Newark, specifically the bridges with no shoulder. I’m all for “taking the lane” as needed, but sometimes that’s just dangerously wishful thinking. I began map planning my own alternative route (I use Ride With GPS as a mapping tool) and was relying on Google Earth satellite imagery to identify rideable shoulders. Just today, I discovered that NJ DOT’s Biking in New Jersey website has a very nice .pdf guide of the ECG and it shows a proposed long term route from JC to Newark that is probably what this thread has established.

Anyway, thanks for the quality discussion. I plan to re-read it to compare with the NJ DOT guide and revise my RWG file—which can be exported as a .kml file—accordingly. My goal is to submit it to NJ DOT to supplement their .pdf offering since many of their other tour guides are available as .kml files.
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Old 01-07-18, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by davlafont View Post
Great thread, exactly the info I came looking for.

... the full NJ section of the East Coast Greenway (ECG) ...

<snip>

... I was not thrilled by the route as described between JC and Newark ...
FYI: photo is from Feb 2013 looking west at the sidewalk on the south side of US 1 – 9 (Truck) between Jersey City and Newark. You can see the East Coast Greenway sign.

I’ve biked on this roadway in both directions, but I wholeheartedly agree with you: only an ideologue would insist on biking this segment of road instead of using the adjacent sidewalk. That said, as others have noted, the sidewalk can be sketchy, too. My experience is that west of the Hackensack River, the sidewalk on the south side of US 1 – 9 is in better condition than the north side. “Better condition” is relative. Sometimes, there’s been active maintenance on one or both bridges making use of the sidewalk difficult or impossible. 511nj.org :: Traffic Map might provide a head’s up, but I wouldn’t count on it.
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Old 01-07-18, 06:00 PM
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I'm probably repeating myself in this thread. I've got great nerves for riding in traffic, and the stretch from Jersey City to Newark is the one that I would not do again. And I've ridden in many places with bad conditions.

You can take a bike on a PATH train (at least at some hours) between Jersey City (or NYC) and Newark.
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Old 01-08-18, 10:31 AM
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Same here. Even if I could ride on bike lanes or on a trail, I just don't have any desire to ride through that industrial area.
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Old 01-08-18, 11:57 AM
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Well, perhaps I have said this before, as well. But the stretch between Jersey City and Newark is unpleasant and is "maintained" to a disgraceful standard; but it is far from dangerous. You ride on a sidewalk for most of the time, not with the cars. The last time I did this ride I crossed paths in Kearny with a family with two small children riding the other way.

And, once in Newark, Doremus Avenue is no one's idea of scenic; but it is not so busy as to present a real problem.
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Old 01-08-18, 03:58 PM
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Yeah, if you're heading west, once you're in Newark, you'll be fine. Newark has some run down areas, and crime might still be a concern, but the streets lead to roads, and the roads will take you anywhere. Well, anywhere but east.

I used to live near Newark, and I rode through it many times. I never felt threatened while I was on my bike.

I had a church gig in Short Hills in July. The NJ Transit trains could not get me to the church at 9am on Sunday morning, so I took a PATH subway from Manhattan to Newark, and I rode from Newark to Short Hills, even wearing my jacket and tie, in the summer heat.
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Old 01-13-18, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Ferdinand NYC View Post
Well, perhaps I have said this before, as well. But the stretch between Jersey City and Newark is unpleasant and is "maintained" to a disgraceful standard; but it is far from dangerous. You ride on a sidewalk for most of the time, not with the cars. The last time I did this ride I crossed paths in Kearny with a family with two small children riding the other way.

And, once in Newark, Doremus Avenue is no one's idea of scenic; but it is not so busy as to present a real problem.
+100000000

After going over the bike path to Newark 16 times, and surviving, I can say without a shadow of a doubt it's much safer than riding in New York City traffic. During the weekend, Doremus Avenue is dead as a door nail. You are riding 90% of the time on sidewalks free of traffic! The path on the bridges are also free of traffic and the views are breath taking.

The German couple send me an email thanking me for helping get them to Newark. I believe they reached all the way to the Carolina's when the couple decided to have a truck assist them to a motel. The woman broke her leg coming down from the truck so that ended their epic tour. They were still happy to have done it anyway. ;-)
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Old 01-13-18, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Ferdinand NYC View Post
Well, perhaps I have said this before, as well. But the stretch between Jersey City and Newark is unpleasant and is "maintained" to a disgraceful standard; but it is far from dangerous. You ride on a sidewalk for most of the time, not with the cars. The last time I did this ride I crossed paths in Kearny with a family with two small children riding the other way.

And, once in Newark, Doremus Avenue is no one's idea of scenic; but it is not so busy as to present a real problem.
I found the pictures taken last summer. I wanted to show how safe it was going down the ramp going west to Newark. In the first picture, I'm almost at the point where you can see the ramp going down to Doremus Avenue. The second picture is me on the ramp, free of all cars. The third picture is from across the street after I went down the ramp. As you can see, the ramp is in very good condition and safe.

IMG Down The Bridge.jpg

IMG_On Ramp.jpg

IMG_Accross the Street.jpg
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Old 06-22-18, 11:47 AM
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Last weekend I made my first visit of the year to Newark; this was in preparation for my ride to Philadelphia, which I intend to do this coming Wednesday.

Last year I learnt to cross over to the south side sidewalk at Hackensack Road on the Kearny peninsula. This is much better than dealing with the south side, whose sidewalk does not continue all the way to the landing at Doremus Avenue.

Nothing really has changed, except that the sidewalk on the bridge between Newark and Kearny (over the Passaic River) has a lot of sand, enough to make me ride very slowly.
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Old 09-03-18, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Ferdinand NYC View Post
Nothing really has changed, except that the sidewalk on the bridge between Newark and Kearny (over the Passaic River) has a lot of sand, enough to make me ride very slowly.
Just went eastbound from Doremus Ave. yesterday during our club event to Brooklyn. For the last few years we have had an vehicle escort across the bridges, but this year no one volunteered for the early shift so I and the two people left in my group took the sidewalks. My God. The south side of the first bridge is an absolute horror going east. The dirt/sand is well over 1" deep in many places on the downslope. Had to skateboard in spots. Trash, a few car parts, weeds and broken glass as well. At the light we crossed to the north side for the second bridge. Upslope was fine. Down slope was not. More dirt/sand, but better than the first bridge. There were some giant bags filled with trash, indicating that some cleanup had taken place.
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Old 09-14-18, 09:57 AM
  #144  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Just went eastbound from Doremus Ave. yesterday during our club event to Brooklyn. For the last few years we have had an vehicle escort across the bridges, but this year no one volunteered for the early shift so I and the two people left in my group took the sidewalks. My God. The south side of the first bridge is an absolute horror going east. The dirt/sand is well over 1" deep in many places on the downslope. Had to skateboard in spots. Trash, a few car parts, weeds and broken glass as well. At the light we crossed to the north side for the second bridge. Upslope was fine. Down slope was not. More dirt/sand, but better than the first bridge. There were some giant bags filled with trash, indicating that some cleanup had taken place.
I am sad to see that another summer season has passed with no real improvement.

This thread began seven years ago when the sidewalks to the bridges were made rideable. They have barely hung on to that status ever since.

But I am curious about something else. When you say that you had a vehicle escort you across the bridges, do you mean that you rode your bikes in the road behind this vehicle? Or do you mean that some kind of van carried your group and your bicycles across the bridges?
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Old 09-14-18, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Ferdinand NYC View Post
IWhen you say that you had a vehicle escort you across the bridges, do you mean that you rode your bikes in the road behind this vehicle? Or do you mean that some kind of van carried your group and your bicycles across the bridges?
We used to simply ride in the road, or take the sidewalks. But for the last few years we have had a volunteer based at the ramp from Doremus. He drives behind groups of riders with flashing lights and a sign on the back of his vehicle. Then he comes back and waits for the next group. The hardest part can be keeping people in a tight bunch so a car doesn't get in between the group and someone who has gone off the front. Sadly, there is often one person in every group who cannot follow instructions. As noted, the three of us took the sidewalks this year because we only had an afternoon volunteer who had not arrived yet.
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Old 09-14-18, 02:33 PM
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Has anyone asked someone working for Newark to remedy the problems?
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Old 09-14-18, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Has anyone asked someone working for Newark to remedy the problems?
The bridge over the Passaic River is partly in Newark and partly in Kearny. And the bridge over the Hackensack River is entirely in Jersey City. Maybe the fact that all three cities have some jurisdiction here is part of the problem of maintenence.
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Old 09-14-18, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Ferdinand NYC View Post
The bridge over the Passaic River is partly in Newark and partly in Kearny. And the bridge over the Hackensack River is entirely in Jersey City. Maybe the fact that all three cities have some jurisdiction here is part of the problem of maintenence.
It could be. Are they state roads? I have no idea how to contact the state DOT. I tried when I lived in NJ, using their web site. No answer.

Doug Greenfeld, the planner for Jersey City who oversees this stuff is very pro-bike. Maybe he knows people in Kearny and Newark.
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Old 09-14-18, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Has anyone asked someone working for Newark to remedy the problems?
Originally Posted by Ferdinand NYC View Post
The bridge over the Passaic River is partly in Newark and partly in Kearny. And the bridge over the Hackensack River is entirely in Jersey City. Maybe the fact that all three cities have some jurisdiction here is part of the problem of maintenence.
Originally Posted by noglider View Post
It could be. Are they state roads? I have no idea how to contact the state DOT. I tried when I lived in NJ, using their web site. No answer.

Doug Greenfeld, the planner for Jersey City who oversees this stuff is very pro-bike. Maybe he knows people in Kearny and Newark.

The bridges carry US 1 and 9. So perhaps that's another wrinkle, that the Federal government owns that road.
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Old 09-14-18, 03:10 PM
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The federal government may have built the US routes, but that was long ago. My understanding is that states own and run them. In fact, that is true of Interstate roads, too; they are built by states with federal subsidies.
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