MontClairVoyant: Discussing Greenway But Not Green Day


Is the Essex-Hudson Greenway project — which would create a long trail through Montclair and seven other towns — in danger of not happening?


The Path to Glower

There’s been worry about whether the state will adequately support EHG. But EKGs at cardiology offices are fine — as confirmed when patients croon “My Heart Will Go On.”


Please leave Celine Dion and the “Titanic” film out of this. What do you think of Essex-Hudson Greenway and its proposed 8.6-mile-long, 100-foot-wide size?


Big (Without Tom Hanks)

Mostly positive feelings, and one fear. The fear is that a Celine Dion song might play on the radio and I’d have to hurl said radio out the window.


We’ll get to the real fear in a moment. EHG positives?


Reelin’ in the Fears

Greenery! Open space! A place to hike and bike! A place to listen to Chrissie Hynde sing “2000 Miles” minus 1,991.4 miles!


The fear?


Fear Prudence

That neighborhoods near the Essex-Hudson Greenway would become more gentrified and more expensive. You know, like how the “High” in The High Line could refer to prices in that part of NYC.


Speaking of things environmental, longtime Montclair sustainability officer Gray Russell retired from that position July 1. Comment?


Gone But Not Forgotten

He thankfully helped make our town more “green” than many other suburbs. But Montclair has some environmental contradictions, despite no residents ethnically identifying as Contradiction-Americans in the last Census.


What do you mean?


Clara Fication

Montclair has many eco-minded residents yet lots of big homes, hulking SUVs, and gas-powered leaf blowers. At least there’s some park-and-ride action: kids park their tricycles and “ride” that green car in the Edgemont playground.


Speaking of young people, free meals are being offered this summer for our town’s students. Where do families get details about that great program?


Food for Thought

Via a link on the Montclair School District home page. People who live in apartments rather than homes can access that page as well.


Meanwhile, a recent email from Councilor-at-Large Peter Yacobellis said Montclair has a new Citizen Request Management Portal to report potholes, not-working streetlights, not-picked-up trash, etc. Thoughts?



Sounds great if it works efficiently. And it makes more sense than setting up a portal to report portals.


In other news, progressive Imani Oakley announced she’s running for U.S. Congress in the 10th District, which includes part of Montclair. Your reaction?


There Is a House…in DC

The Montclair High alum has had a stellar career, and moderate incumbent Donald Payne Jr. might be too cautious for the district. Just remember that 5th District residents can’t vote twice and expect to be part of the 10th District tally.


One town Essex-Hudson Greenway would go through is Glen Ridge, where a 110-unit “luxury” rental-apartment building near Montclair’s Bay Street Station is almost complete. Your reaction?


Baldwin Street Blues

I’m glad the “Clarus” includes 17 “affordable” units, but the rest of the apartments are way too pricey: one-bedrooms reportedly start at $2,500 a month, two-bedrooms are more than $3,000, and 90-bedrooms are less than…factual.


Why is new housing in or near Montclair almost totally for the affluent? Where are lower- and middle-income people supposed to live? Any other questions that need asking?


We Wish You a Query Christmas

When a cardiologist determines that a “luxury” developer lacks heart, what does that doctor tell the developer’s medical-insurance provider?



Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.



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  1. FYI, Kearney has withheld their support. Over a third of the Greenway runs through Kearny.

    So far as I can see, neither of our U.S. Senators or any U.S. Congressperson whose district falls within the Greenway has indicated their support. Yes, Representative Sherrill has, but she represents the 11th.

    The good news is Montclair’s proposed makeover of Glenridge Avenue is projected at a measly $4MM/mile compared to the EHG’s $18MM/mile.

  2. Thank you for the comment, Frank.

    Is Kearny withholding support for the Greenway because of its price tag? From your figures, the Greenway does seem quite expensive; I assume a good chunk of that cost is actually buying the land. As for what it will cost to make that land a nice nature trail, I don’t know.

    At least we have Glenridge Avenue as a not-much-nature trail… 🙂

  3. They are bat-crap mad that they were stripped of train service 20 years ago because it was too expensive to repair the drawbridge…in Kearny!

    Now they see all these officials saying they have been supporters for a trail for almost as long. And the key they all admit to is that the drawbridge needs to be rebuilt! Seriously! And they make a PowerPoint presentation asking for Kearney to support it with their wallets. Then they tell them cost specifics are not available.

    And now everyone is shocked and mad at Kearney. I couldn’t make this up if I tried.
    Most people don’t even know where Kearny is, but we want them to fund $4 out of every $10 in trail costs. And where was any support to close and cap the Keegan Landfill? Crickets!

    I said before we need some grownups on point to lead this proposal.

  4. Interesting, Frank. Sounds like Kearny has a good, historical reason to be annoyed. Perhaps, if all else fails, an Essex Greenway (from Montclair to Newark) rather than an Essex-Hudson Greenway?

  5. Yes you would be unwelcome.
    It is a 4th Ward project. You are a ward or two away. As At-Large, but 3rd Ward resident Councilor Yacobellis pointedly pointed out Tuesday to 4th Ward Councilor Cummings, we mix inconsistently.

  6. Well, residents from all parts of Montclair could potentially use the Greenway. 🙂 I would like to walk or bike on it, if the trail becomes a reality.

  7. Sorry David. I Segway‘ed without signaling. I was commenting on Councilor Yacobellis criticism of Councilor Cummings’s stalling tactic ( of citing the need for community input)…on the Council’s Economic Development Committee bike path project. The EDC operates behind closed doors.

Comments are closed.