JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Imagine: it’s a beautiful, sunny day and you need to get from Manhattan to Jersey City. Do you take a bus? A PATH train? How about a stroll over the Hudson?
That latter is the wish of a Jersey City resident who is petitioning the mayors and governors of New Jersey and New York to create a pedestrian pathway connecting the cities.
Dubbed the Liberty Bridge, the span is the brainchild of Kevin Shane and was designed by Jersey City architect Jeff Jordan. Posted last week, Shane’s petition has garnered more than 1,600 supporters as of 1:45 p.m. Friday. Its goal is 2,500 signatures.
In his own words, Shane makes an impassioned plea for the bridge’s purpose, which he says goes beyond improving the commute between the Garden State and the Big Apple:
… this idea is far from far-fetched. With the way our country is moving towards a green, eco-friendly, Tesla-esque future, a walking bridge could be a solution to more than just a Jersey City commuter nightmare. Yes, a walking bridge would provide a Brooklyn Bridge-like experience from the Jersey side, but it would also symbolize a movement that is part of the biggest topic in the world right now–climate change. Even the Pope is concerned about it! Given the opportunity to walk, run or ride a bike to work every day from NJ… people would jump all over it. Would it be a motivating factor for people to walk or ride a bike to work? Absolutely!
Shane cited several reasons why a bridge would be necessary. He said PATH trains are notoriously overcrowded, making the commute painful, and with more people moving to the NYC-adjacent but still affordable Jersey City, those trains are bound to get even more packed.
He also pointed to a pedestrian walkway as being a “powerful tool” in case of a catastrophic event that requires a safe evacuation route out of Manhattan.
His petition still needs nearly 900 signatures — and an introduction to the powers that be. Shane released this list of ways supporters can help make his vision for Liberty Bridge a reality.