Introducing Newark’s First Bike Corral!

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The Division of Traffic and Signals has constructed Newark’s first bike corral at 95-97 Halsey Street. The Division partnered with the national sandwich chain, Jimmy John’s, who requested that a corral to be located outside their new Downtown store for use by their customers and employees, and with the Newark Downtown District (NDD), who provided the planters and who will maintain the corral.

The bike corral features five of Newark’s very own bicycle racks, designed and manufactured right here in Newark, which means the corral not only creates 10 new bicycle parking spaces within one vehicle parking space, but in doing so, it also supports local industry and proudly displays an important part of Newark’s story.

The Division of Traffic and Signals is now working with NJ Transit and the Ironbound Business Improvement District (IBID) to create the city’s second bike corral, which will be located near to Penn Station.

If you represent a community organization or a business, and are interested in hosting your own bike corral, please contact Jack M. Nata, Division of Traffic and Signals, for more information by email or at 973-733-3985.

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Bike Ironbound Public Meeting – November 16, 2015, 6-8pm

Shape the future of cycling in Newark!

Bike Ironbound, a study jointly funded by the City of Newark and the New Jersey Department of Transportation, is focused on improving bicycle facilities in the Ironbound neighborhood – making it safer and easier for residents and visitors alike to get out and bike!

A public meeting will be held from 6-8pm on November 16, 2015 at the Prospect Street Fire Station, 56 Prospect Street, Newark, NJ 07105. Please come along to review and comment on the proposed bicycle network for the Ironbound neighborhood.

For those who are unable to make the meeting, we encourage you to still have your say on Bike Ironbound’s Wikimapping website, where you can indicate areas where you would like to see bicycle improvements, areas where you currently bike or find it difficult to bike, and record any other comments that will help improve bicycling conditions in Newark.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Park(ing) Day comes to Newark!

On Friday, September 18th, Bruen street in the East Ward saw the transformation of an otherwise empty parking space into a relaxing park, a little green haven away from the busy city, complete with deck chairs and refreshing lemonade!

The event was the creation of Dave Robinson and Madeline Ruiz, principals of the Newark-based Studio for Urban Architecture + Design (SUAD). The big idea, Robinson explained, is to challenge how we think about public space in the city, and – just for a day – to reimagine an often underutilized space, the parking lot, for the better.

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A young Newarker enjoys the transformed parking space

The initiative came as part of Park(ing) Day, a global phenomenon that encourages urban citizens to reclaim a little bit of the public realm for people, not cars! The event has its origins with the San Francisco design firm Rebar, who in 2005 (so the story goes) one day decided to feed a parking meter, but instead of parking a car – set down some chairs and some planters, and created a mini park! They called it a parklet, and since then the concept has grown, with several cities now installing permanent parklets as part of their open space provisions.

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Park(ing) Day comes to Newark!

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What is a parklet? Click on the image to download our handy poster

On a brilliant sunny day in Newark, this particular parklet was a resounding success. Children relaxed on the miniature lawn, curious passers by stopped to see what was going on, and – just as I was leaving – a thirsty family of four stopped by for an after-school lemonade!

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A perfect day for a refreshing lemonade (as this reporter can testify!)

This isn’t the first parklet to appear in Newark this year either: as part of the ongoing efforts of Better Block Newark, the City created several demonstration parklets that made appearances across the city throughout the summer, beginning on Bergen Street in the South Ward in June.

These efforts are just the beginning, as the City has already begun to explore how and where to install permanent parklets of its own throughout the city. Such attempts to reimagine the urban realm – as one built for people, not cars – strike a particular chord at the moment, and can be seen as a natural complement to other City of Newark events, such as the Occupy the Block initiative by Mayor Ras J. Baraka. Newakers have spoken: it’s time to take back our streets!

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Newarkers claim back the streets through Mayor Ras J. Baraka’s successful ‘Occupy the Block’ initiative

Did you host or spot another parklet that we missed? Interested in hosting a parklet for your community or business? Or even if you’d simply like to know more about parklets, we’d love to hear from you! Please either leave a comment here or drop Newark OPZS an email at wellburnr@ci.newark.nj.us.

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Planning & Zoning Determinations now available online!

Good news from Newark OPZS!

In response to public feedback, the determinations made by the Central Planning Board (CPB), the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA), and the Landmarks & Historic Preservation Commission (LHPC) are now available online – just click here to view any determination since the start of 2014, and to download agendas for upcoming meetings (posted as soon as they become available).

These board determinations are an important part of the planning process, as they guide what is and isn’t allowed to be built in Newark. When a property owner wants to build or renovate a building or structure in the city, they must make an application for approval to either the CPB, the ZBA, and/or the LHPC. To find out more about this process, click on the image below to download our handy guide ‘Who makes decisions about what gets built in Newark?’

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This process is also explained in the “Instructions for Site Plan and Variance Applications to the Central Planning Board & Zoning Board of Adjustment”, while the various filing fees associated with CPB and ZBA applications can be found here.

For any other information, including meeting dates and downloadable copies of materials relevant to the application, please click on the link for the Central Planning Board, the Zoning Board of Adjustments, or the Landmarks & Historic Preservation Commission, or feel free to call the OPZS office at 973-733-6333. To report a zoning violation, call the Newark Code Enforcement office at 973-733-5453.

Putting the determinations online is an important part of our ongoing attempts to make planning in Newark a more transparent process – by making information relating to the development of your city easily available to everyone.

Be sure to check in regularly to see the outcomes of future meetings!

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Wed 2/4 12:30 pm Municipal Council Hearing & Final Vote to Adopt Zoning

Over the last 2 years, hundreds of Newarkers have been involved in the massive effort to overhaul Newark’s zoning for the first time since the 1950s: hosting and attending Newark Zoning Workshops, providing comments on draft zoning, and participating in other ways to make the proposed zoning & land use regulations best reflect the city that Newarkers want.

UPDATE! NZLUR was adopted by the Newark Municipal Council on 2/4/15.

Next Wednesday, February 4, at 12:30 pm, the Municipal Council is scheduled to hold the 2nd reading & final vote on adopting the results of these labors: the Newark Zoning & Land Use Regulations, or NZLUR (pronounced NUZZ-LER).

While the meeting falls mid-day, all interested in ensuring a positive outcome are encouraged to attend & provide testimony.

Newark Zoning & Land Use Regulations Council Hearing & Final Vote
Wednesday February 4, 12:30 pm
Newark City Hall Council Chambers
920 Broad Street 2nd floor

Newark Zoning & Land Use Requlations (NZLUR) Quick Facts

NZLUR contains rules governing the uses and design of buildings in Newark as well as regulations for many other parts of Newark’s built environment such as landscaping, parking lots, fences, signs, and storm water management. Newark’s zoning has not been comprehensively revised since the 1950s, but many things have changed in the past 60 years. NZLUR simplifies and modernizes the way Newark’s zoning deals with the uses of buildings. It eliminates out-of-date uses like leather tanneries and pool halls and consolidates many others based on what Newark residents and businesspeople have said creates development conflicts. NZLUR also proposes common-sense standards for how new buildings will be designed. These ideas grow from the successful 2009 “Box & Beyond” implementation of zoning reforms for Newark’s most common building types, two- and three-family houses, which focused on improving the quality and safety of Newark’s streets by setting standards for windows, front set-backs, and the location of primary entrances that keep eyes on the street.

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Newark-designed, Newark-made Newark Bike Rack

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After 2 years of development, the Office of Planning, Zoning & Sustainability is happy to unveil the Newark Bike Rack, designed by Damon Rich and manufactured in Newark by Mainsource Metalfab LLC at 59-61 Poinier Street. The first dozen have been installed by the Urban Enterprise Zone, with more to come. With a wealth of manufacturing resources, we want a city where even the street furniture strengthens our local economy and tells our proud story. Thanks to Natalia O’neill Vega, Perris Straughter, Elizabeth Reynoso, and all bikers and traffic engineers who offered advice and guidance. Contact OPZS (973-567-6020) if your organization is interested in using the Newark Bike Rack design to manufacture and install your own.
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