Currently, Trenton’s waterfront is overwhelmed by a sea of mostly state-owned parking lots and Nj Route 29. A reclaimed waterfront will create the opportunity to develop a vibrant, mixed-use community that could offer new commercial and residential space, and serve as a magnet for new private investment. It could also become a regional destination as a great public space for creative patterns of use and define physical, cultural, and social identities as the heart of Trenton.
Route 29 has been re-envisioned to be a very different facility – one that will fit into its context and better serve both the transportation needs and social and economic goals of the City. The current Route 29 will be re-designed as an urban boulevard that will move traffic efficiently, but at lower, safer speeds. It will form the spine of the waterfront redevelopment area in the downtown and will provide physical and visual connections to the river. For more information on this Project, see the Waterfront Reclamation and Redevelopment Project action.
Reclaiming the waterfront is a major undertaking. It will require significant additional planning, property acquisition and assembly, programming the Route 29 project on the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), engineering design, an environmental review process, significant stakeholder involvement, and substantial investment. In addition, the State is currently using the area for surface parking, and this use will need to find a new home. As such, this effort is closely linked to the Convert Surface Parking to Productive Uses Initiative
In the short term, completing the Downtown Parking Management Plan will give the City a better understanding of how it can convert the surface parking lots into active uses. Moreover, the City can begin moving the process forward by creating a Waterfront Reclamation and Revitalization Strategic Plan to guide the process. Once complete, the City should add actions from that plan to this initiative.