BAYONNE, NJ - An unimproved portion of 2nd Street at the foot of the Bayonne Bridge could soon become Bayonne’s version of a pedestrian walkway, and provide the city with advertising revenue to boot.

The portion of roadway located near the foot of the Bayonne Bridge was part of a block that was featured in Steven Spielberg’s 2005 War of the Worlds.

On Tuesday the Bayonne City Council introduced an ordinance to allow for a portion the street to be leased for the construction, and installation of an 80-foot billboard and tower that would be visible to traffic on the bridge, similar to an arrangement Secaucus has for signs overlooking the New Jersey Turnpike. 

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The revenue generated from selling that billboard space to advertisers will go to fund the construction of the pedestrian mall.

This will not be like the Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza in Jersey City, said Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski.  “We’ll widen the sidewalks, but there will be no permanent structures installed there,” she said.

The street, a portion of which was featured in Steven Spielberg’s 2005 War of the Worlds,  is mostly a gravel roadway used for parking by local businesses, as well as a storage space for truck trailers, and runs from Kennedy Boulevard to Avenue A, extending under the arches of the Bayonne Bridge.

The plaza would close off the street to any potential future traffic for exclusive use for pedestrians and may serve as a place where special events might take place or just as a kind of pocket park.

According to city officials the  property was designated for use as a pedestrian plaza in 2018 and could eventually serve as the first step in creating a larger park that would run north/south under the arches of the Bayonne Bridge itself. This could ultimately become the last leg in a long-sought after Newark Bay Walkway connecting Rutkowski Park on the northern boundary of Bayonne and Dennis Collins Park in the south.

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