Downtown plaza on Newark Avenue opens next week
Mayor Steven Fulop and the Municipal Council announced that street closures, as part of the plan to convert a portion of Newark Avenue into a pedestrian plaza to enhance the city’s vibrant downtown commercial and cultural district, will go into effect beginning Tuesday, Aug. 19. Newark Avenue from Grove Street to Barrow Street, and Erie Street from Newark Avenue to Bay Street, will be closed from 3 p.m. to midnight Monday through Friday, and between 12 a.m. and midnight, Saturday and Sunday.
The change will result in the following altered traffic patterns, and parking restrictions will take effect on the streets in the downtown neighborhood:
Barrow Street from Newark Avenue to Christopher Columbus Drive will change from a two-way street to a “one way” street traveling south, and Bay Street from Newark Avenue to Erie Street will be reversed from a “one way west” to a “one way east.”
To accommodate the disabled, a reserved parking space has been designated on the southeast corner of Barrow Street at Newark Avenue and at 333 Grove St. The reserved parking spaces will be open to any disabled person with the proper Disabled ID from the Motor Vehicle Commission displayed on their vehicle. The parking restriction will be in effect daily, 10 a.m. to midnight.
To accommodate deliveries to and from Newark Avenue, a loading zone has been designated on the east side of Barrow Street, south of Newark Avenue, and at 339-341 Grove St. Both loading zones will be in effect daily, 10 a.m. to midnight.
Police station to be named after fallen police officer
Mayor Steven Fulop and At-Large Councilman Daniel Rivera announced today that they will present an ordinance to the City Council at next week’s meeting to name the new West District Police precinct in honor of slain Detective Melvin Santiago.
An officer in the city’s West District, Det. Santiago, 23, was on patrol when he was shot and killed in the line of duty on July 13, 2014 while responding to a call of an armed robbery at the Walgreens on Communipaw Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard.
“This is a fitting tribute for Detective Santiago who made the ultimate sacrifice for Jersey City,” said Council President Rolando Lavarro, Jr. “We will always remember.”
The West District is expected to be completed in late fall with a dedication ceremony to follow.
Virginia tornado claims Jersey City teenager
Critically injured as a result of tornado striking a camp ground in Virginia, Jersey City resident Lheandrew Balatbat, 13, died on Aug. 10 as a result of his injuries. Lheandrew had survived the tornado that killed both of his parents, Lord Balatbat and Lolibeth Ortega.
The family had been on vacation when the tornado struck and toppled a tree onto the tent in which the family was saying.
Cunningham Foundation awards scholarships
A foundation established after the untimely death of Glenn Cunningham in 2004 gave $1,500 scholarships to 16 college students from Jersey City and Bayonne. The Sandra and Glenn Cunningham Foundation gave the scholarships to Tianna Gourdine, Tiana Carr, Melvin Badger, Bryan Julot, Naomi Lopez, Dominique Cunningham, Samiyah Perkins, Pierre Ligonde, Kevin Bonners, Brianna Lawrence, Shanice Lewis, Derrick James, Ashley Harrison, Cornelius Hagins, Raquel Smith, Darell Dublin.
Jersey City touted for reduction in unemployment
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for the first year of the Fulop administration show Jersey City has outpaced both the nation and state in reducing the unemployment rate with a decline that doubles the national average. At 7.8 percent, Jersey City also has the lowest unemployment rate of any large city in New Jersey.
From June 2013 through June 2014, Jersey City’s unemployment rate dropped from 10.6 percent to 7.8 percent, representing a 2.8 percent decline, while New Jersey’s only dropped 1.8 percent during the same period and the nation’s unemployment rate dropped 1.4 percent.
Jersey City has also closed the gap with New York City, as New York City had a 7.7 percent unemployment rate as of June 2014.
Contributing to Jersey City’s drop in unemployment is the administration’s focus on attracting new jobs to Jersey City. In the last 12 months, Jersey City added 1,565 new jobs to its economy, while in the 12 months prior only 706 jobs were added. In other words, Jersey City had more than doubled the job growth, something that is not a global or regional phenomenon. Newark, by comparison, added only 1,061 during the same time period even though its population is greater.