Newark, NJ – February 22, 2012 – Mayor Cory A. Booker and Engineering Director Mehdi Mohammadish announced today that the City of Newark is installing new benches at 104 bus shelters throughout the City’s commercial corridors.
The benches are being installed by AR James Media of Allentown, New Jersey, which owns and maintains the shelters, at no cost to the City. The benches will be completed by June 2012. The benches are partially made of recycled material.
“We are determined to improve the quality of life in the City of Newark,” Mayor Booker said. “Providing benches at our bus stops extends our hospitality to everyone who rides a bus in Newark, resident and visitor alike. I commend the Department of Engineering on this program.”
“These benches are being installed at no cost to the City of Newark,” said Director Mohammadish. “So we are improving our street furniture and quality of life, without burdening taxpayers.”
Under the Booker administration, the Department of Engineering has begun a vigorous program of improving the City’s infrastructure. The City of Newark is close to completing the largest park expansion and rehabilitation initiative in more than a century. On July 28, 2009, Newark opened Nat Turner Park, the largest city-owned park. Through public-private partnerships, the City was able to secure $40 million for the parks initiative, in collaboration with GreenSpaces, a public/private partnership, and the Trust for Public Land. Thus far, the City has completed new parks and fields at St. Peter’s Park, Kasberger Field, Boys Park, First Street and Thomas Silk Parks, Ironbound B Field, and, in cooperation with Newark Public Schools, has built a new athletic complex at Weequahic High School. Parks have been renovated in every ward throughout the City.
In May 2008, the Department of Engineering won the New Jersey Concrete Committee’s Merit Award in the Decorative Category for the first phase of the Broad Street Streetscaping, which saw massive renovations to denote the historic nature of the historic “Four Corners” intersection at Broad and Market Streets. The project reconstructed sidewalks, created fence panels, installed new street furniture and traffic lights to promote pedestrian safety.
In November 2009, the Department won the New Jersey Society of Municipal Engineers Honor Place Award in the Municipal Construction Management Projects “F” Category for the first phase of the Ferry Street Streetscaping Project. The $1.9 million project, funded by the City of Newark and the New Jersey Department of Transportation, was a partnership with the Ironbound Business Improvement District, designed to enhance the Ironbound’s central artery and gateway to businesses and restaurants in the East Ward, as well as improve safety conditions for pedestrians crossing the busy thoroughfares. Under the program, state-of-the-art sidewalks with planters and decorative lighting were placed down Ferry Street from Union to Madison Streets. These sidewalks improved safety for motorists and pedestrians. The project also reconstructed sidewalks, utilities and drainage, created fence panels and utilized already existing bike paths. New street furniture, signage and traffic lights also enhanced safety for pedestrians.
The Department of Engineering has also undertaken a number of pedestrian safety improvements, highlighted by “Project Red Light,” a partnership with the Police Department, the Municipal Court, and RedFlex Systems. This automated photo enforcement system snaps pictures of license plates of cars that run red lights at key intersections and automatically sends tickets to the cars’ owners. Operating since December 2009, this system has made these intersections safer for both motorists and pedestrians.
The Department has also launched a comprehensive rehabilitation of the City’s Recreation centers, Police precincts, firehouses, and other facilities. At the same time, the Department of Engineering has opened new repair facilities for City-owned vehicles, added environmentally-friendly electric cars to its motor fleet, launched green initiatives, and is continuing the restoration of historic City Hall.
For information on all City of Newark programs and policies, contact the Non-Emergency Call Center at (973) 733-4311.