Today’s Geography Lesson: Where is Bayonne?

Two Hudson-Bergen Light Rail trains passing ea...

Hudson-Bergen Light Rail trains near Exchange Place, Jersey City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Uh, it’s on the other side of the Bayonne Bridge. Simple, but sometimes New Yorkers can be so myopic about that vast mass of industrialization on the western edges of the harbor. Ask a typical New Yorker what is the name of this or that town visible along that shoreline, and they will usually shrug and say ‘It’s New Jersey.” Even the skyscrapers of Jersey City, the state’s second largest city, will leave many New Yorkers perplexed.  The fact is that there are a dozen different townships, counties and other municipal entities over there, all trying to deal with the same environmental, economic and social problems that we deal with here, especially on Staten Island just across the Kills. It would make a lot of sense to work with them on some of these problems. Yes, that’s Bayonne over there, but do you also know that the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail has its terminus just a mile or so away from this Bridge? And has anyone calculated the economic benefits that could be gotten if they were to extend that light rail system to Staten Island? I know the Port Authority of NY and NJ has not…. I asked them that question at the public meeting about the Bayonne Bridge roadway project and they deftly avoided answering. “We looked at some studies that were made a few years ago for a different project,” was the non-answer. So shouldn’t they be working on this? “We are waiting for Staten Island to get back to us on their intentions, what they are willing to invest in terms of infrastructure.” I’m paraphrasing, but I doubt that anyone will be able to pin them down anymore than that.

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