Recreating the Morris Canal as a 100+ mile Greenway across New Jersey from the Delaware to the Hudson

Authors: Sutapa Bandyopadhyay*, North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority
Topics: Transportation Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Communication
Keywords: Greenways, Active Transportation, Bicycle, Pedestrian, New Jersey, Morris Canal
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Empire Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This paper will describe the ”Morris Canal Greenway Corridor Study,” which developed the first-ever comprehensive plan for a 111-mile continuous pedestrian and bicycle route across six counties in North Jersey following the path of the historic Morris Canal. Some counties and municipalities had previously developed their own plans to preserve their sections of the old canal towpath route, but this effort looked at the entire route in a holistic manner. The plan, led by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, the Metropolitan Planning Organization for 13 counties in New Jersey, which spearheaded creation of the Morris Canal Working Group several years earlier. The plan was developed in close partnership with the working group, which brings together dozens of public and private stakeholders, including the Canal Society of New Jersey.
Building the Morris Canal Greenway involves much more than building an active transportation facility. It also includes preserving the historic resources and conveying the stories of the canal. Hence while suggesting the route, a sincere effort was made to include and seamlessly connect existing greenway segments. The study also developed design guidelines that consider several canal-related physiographic and historic features like aqueducts, basins and lock tender’s houses, while recommending details of the facility and amenities. A marketing, branding and outreach plan was also developed to tell the canal’s compelling story in order to gain public support for the greenway.

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