If New Jersey is the new Brooklyn, then it’s going to need better transport to Manhattan, according to resident Kevin Shane. The PATH train, which goes underneath the river, is overcrowded as it is (it carries 240,000 people every business day). And the Hudson ferry is too expensive, at $8 a ride.
So what’s the alternative?
Shane says it’s to build a new bridge across the river just for pedestrians and cyclists. He teamed up with architect Jeff Jordan to envision a one mile walkway linking Jersey City with Battery Park at the bottom of Manhattan. The bridge, called the Liberty, would rise 200 feet tall and offer a “park-like experience” with greenery, artwork, free Wi-Fi, and cafes. It would be like the High Line, just higher.
The model for the project is the magnificent Walkway over the Hudson, located 80 miles away in Poughkeepsie, New York. An old railway bridge recently repurposed, it’s one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world at 1.3 miles. But then it wasn’t built from scratch. It’s been there since 1889. The new bridge would cost considerably more to put up: as much as $1 billion, Shane estimates.
“My plan for funding would be to take a similar route that sports teams take for stadium funding–sponsorship,” he says. “Given that the Liberty Bridge would be a globally known, iconic structure, I am confident that a large corporation (or two) would love to put their name on it–in a tasteful manner, of course.” The rest of the money would come from crowdfunding, so taxpayers wouldn’t necessarily have to contribute, he hopes. That sounds great, but it’ll be a big ask.