View Poll Results: Should NJ's northeastern cities be combined into one large city?

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Thread: Consolidaton of NJ's northeastern cities

  1. #21
    New Jersey Ambassador Admin & Founder JerseyDevil's Avatar
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    NewarkDevil5 - I haven't had time to welcome you, so welcome.

    I agree with the northeastern part of the state being consolidated, Jersey City, Newark, etc. I just can't see it being beneficial for the rest of the state to be consolidated in a like fasion. I can see the two Princeton's become one, but I do not agree with them becoming part of Trenton. It's just not a metropolitan area.

    I agreed with the consolidation of the NJ universities being folded into Rutgers and the school being renamed "New Jersey University" with each individual college being mentioned at the end - such as - "New Jersey University Rutgers" etc. Of course that was shot down for the same reason consolidating the cities would be shot down. People don't want to lose their identity. Yet what is ironic about that is that no one has a problem with the numerous items in NJ which carry the NY name. The only way for New Jersey cities to become power houses is to joint together and consolidate. Los Angeles has a huge population, but it's also half the size of Rhode Island. :rolls:
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  2. #22

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    Perhaps Mercer would be best served becoming two cities, Trenton and Princeton. I also could see the case being made for parts of southern New Jersey and northwestern New Jersey remaining balkanized, but more than just the northeast portion could be turned into one city. Monmouth could easily be divided into two cities. Middlesex as well. A good chunk of Ocean County could be merged into Toms River. Most of Camden, Burlington and Gloucester could be merged into Camden.

    In my opinion, Rutgers College (College Avenue Campus) should be allowed to slowly return to being a private institution as should the University of Newark (Rutgers-Newark). Rutgers-Camden should become the eventually private University of Camden. Cook/Douglas should become the eventually private University of New Brunswick. Busch/Livingston should become the new centerpiece of a new University of New Jersey-North and a new campus should be opened up in Vineland/Millville as University of New Jersey-South. In other college affairs, parking spaces on college campuses in New Jersey should be limited and statutes passed making it mandatory for students to live on campus for the first year at least with encouragement to schools who mandate the first two years.

    See on the one hand its ok for some schools to maintain their history, but there should be at least a few schools that bear the name of their cities and of the state.

  3. #23
    New Jersey Ambassador Admin & Founder JerseyDevil's Avatar
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    I highly recommend the book Municipal Madness. It's the last book on the page.
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  4. #24
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    sometime in the 60's the city of Vineland annexed a bordering town. that was the last time any significant annexation took place. i always thought Vineland should have also annexed the bordering city of Millville. in a setting like Vineland, which is basically a more rural city if there is such a thing, experimenting with this sort of annexation could be less damaging and more easily reversed.

    i do think it is really possible for many cities in New Jersey to expand their borders. it just needs to start small. for instance, Edison/Metuchen/Highland Park becoming one town again, all 3 municipalities are already within each other and were formerly one municipality. this would allow the benefits and downfalls of municipal annexation to play out in a less drastic climate. the same can be said for Bridgewater/Somerville/Raritan/Bound Brook, Princeton Boro/Princeton Twp, Bordentown City/Bordentown Twp, Freehold Boro/Freehold Twp, Burlington City/Burlington Twp., the Wildwoods, Pemberton Boro/Twp, each of these less densely population, and already closely related. once the benefits of this consolidation play out on a small scale, they'd be an easier sell for applying it to a larger scale, say turning most of Hudson county into Jersey City.

    the hurdle of citizens voting these kinds of annexation down are very real, just look at the Princetons, Princeton Twp is all game, the Boro is not. and that sell will be even harder for cities and towns with different histories and names. Hoboken is basically within Jersey City, but Hoboken also has a rich and storied history. convincing residents to annex with JC would seem near impossible. at the same token look at Woodbridge. Woodbridge is a town comprised of 10 communities. Avenel, Hopelawn, etc., they are all their own places, but in the end are a part of a larger community. Hoboken would still be Hoboken in the end, just a part of Jersey City.

    imagine the benefits of Jersey City growing in size. for starters, it'd make it much harder to ignore JC. it's a major city but it is looked over constantly, but if JC annexed much of Hudson county, a population around 600,000 would be hard to ignore. it is already the most densely populated major American city outside of New York City. and it's not like attempts haven't been made to promote the city. for one, the movie industry has always had interest in JC, but it is also frustrating on their end, filming in such a limited area. go a few blocks too far you're in Hoboken, or Union City. it's cheaper to just go somewhere else where there's more miles to film within. beyond the film industry, annexation would allow developement to be concentrated around a city center, and promote a skyline. companies who locate to New Jersey have many options, Englewood Cliffs, Fort Lee, Hackensack, Rochelle Park, etc. if Northern Jersey was comprised of 4 major cities, Paterson, Newark, Elizabeth, Jersey City, then these companies might be more inclined to locate into downtowns, and public trasnportation would also be easier to manage.

    either way, something must be done, property taxes are too high, our cities are under utilized, and frankly uncared about outside and inside the state.

    here's some reworked ideas for what could one be NJ's major cities

    Newark/the Oranges/Belleville/Nutley/Kearny/Harrison/East Newark/Bloomfield/Irvington/Maplewood

    Elizabeth/Linden/Rahway/the Roselles/Hillside/Union/Kenilworth

    Jersey City/Hoboken/Bayonne/Union City/West New York/North Bergen/Guttenberg/Weehawken

    Paterson/Passaic/Clifton/West Paterson/Little Falls

    New Brunswick/E Brunswick/North Brunswick/Milltown/South River

    Trenton/Ewing/Hamilton

    Camden/Gloucester City/Haddon/Oaklyn/Collingswood/Audubons/Woodlynne/Pennsauken/Merchantville (maybe one day move some of that Cherry Hill boom to the Camden waterfront)

    Vineland/Millville

    Toms River/Island Heights/maybe Lakewood

    pretty extravagant ideas there. maybe one of them will come true.
    Last edited by sir lord baltimore; 05-23-2006 at 03:42 AM.

  5. #25

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    Perth Amboy, Woodbridge and Carteret.

    Edison, Metuchen, Highland Park, New/East/South Brunswick, South River, Franklin Township, Bound Brook.

    All of Essex County as well as Kearny, Harrison, East Newark and North Arlington.

    All of Union County.

    All of Hudson County except Kearny, Harrison, and East Newark.

    Absecon, Atlantic City, Brigantine, Egg Harbor Township, Linwood, Longport, Margate City, Northfield, Pleasantville, Somers Point, and Ventnor City.

    All of Camden County except Chesilhurst, Winslow TWP, and Waterford TWP.

    Chesilhurst, Winslow TWP, and Waterford TWP.

    Glassboro, Pitman, and Clayton.

    Avon-By-The-Sea, Neptune City, Bradley Beach, Neptune TWP, Tinton Falls, Ocean TWP, Asbury Park, Interlaken, Loch Arbour, Allenhurst, Deal, Long Branch, West Long Branch, Eatontown, Oceanport, Fair Haven, Red Bank, Monmouth Beach, Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury TWP, Rumson, and Sea Bright.

    Wall TWP, Brielle, Manasquan, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Spring Lake Heights, Belmar, and Lake Como.

    Matawan, Aberdeen TWP, Holmdel TWP, Hazlet TWP, Keyport, Union Beach, Keansburg, Higlands, Atlantic Highlands, and Middletown TWP.

    South Amboy, Sayreville, and Old Bridge.
    Last edited by NewarkDevil5; 05-23-2006 at 12:20 PM.

  6. #26
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    Default I like the consolidation groupings sir lord Baltimore

    and Newark Devil came up with. The only problem I see is that we still need the ONE BIG CITY that is the showcase of NJ. Or else you will have all these newly consolidated cities fighting one another for funds, jobs, etc. kind of like they do now!!
    If we can make one city the financial, sports and entertainment hub of the state, maybe it help unify people in NJ. I already know of a city that would do the role nicely, but people's perceptions about that city will have to change first. Anyway, we'll have to do something soon about all these municipalities and school districts soon, or we'll wake up one morning and we'll see the New York State flag flying on our city buildings!

  7. #27

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    Three cities made up of Essex County, Union County and Hudson County could make up the Tri-City area that would pull the vast bulk of investment. Essex, due to its central location and easy access, as well as the fact that it already has the largest population, would most likely wind up with the most pull and the most investment.

  8. #28
    New Jersey Ambassador Admin & Founder JerseyDevil's Avatar
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    I figured I'd revive this thread again. I'm reading "New Jersey's Municipal Madness" which discusses the many reasons New Jersey has 566 independent municipalities. It also discusses what forces prevented our cities from getting to national prominence. It is very interesting. Do You know there is a municipality that is actually a country club and has "no trespassing signs"?

    We need to rejoin these towns. We need to reverse the "municipal multiplication" of the past. The problem is that it's a power thing. The leaders of these 566 municipalities don't want to give up their control. New Jersey could be so much of a stronger state if we weren't always fighting amongst ourselves. Neighboring municipalities fighting amongst each other, northern NJ fighting with southern NJ, suburban fighting with urban. We need to take pride in our state, our cities.

    I have been hating the suburban creep for some time. The lack of any town square. The lack of any developmental vision. The shore region seems to be developing into a suburban nightmare. Bricktown isn't the small town I once grew up in. It's now big box town. Toms River is just as bad, with traffic unbearable. All this affects quality of life.

    We should be putting more energy into reviving our great cities, Camden, New Brunswick, Newark, Asbury Park, Perth Amboy, Jersey City, Atlantic City, etc. We should limit suburban sprawl. We should reduce the number of municipalities. Most NJ municipalities are only 2 square miles in size. These 566 municipalities all fighting for the same ratables, while trying to keep the expenses (hospitals, schools, etc) down. Instead of corporations building headquarters in our great cities, they are enticed to move to the suburbs and develop corporate parks on what was once beautiful bountiful farmland.

    New Jersey has to start to look at our future. Do we want to be a sprawling suburb, with no cities? Do we really want our communities to be so cookie cutter that where you live is just like any other suburb in the US? You look at Bricktown and Toms River now and there is no difference anymore. They've lost their identity. Driving along 72 to Long Beach Island is no different than driving on Rt 37 through Toms River anymore.

    I don't think New Jersey politicians get it though. One of Corzines great plans, since the selling of the toll roads hasn't gotten any support, is to allow malls and box stores to open up along the turnpike. Great, more sprawl, more eye sores, more of the same....
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyDevil
    I don't think New Jersey politicians get it though. One of Corzines great plans, since the selling of the toll roads hasn't gotten any support, is to allow malls and box stores to open up along the turnpike. Great, more sprawl, more eye sores, more of the same....
    This would be sad. On thing that I like about the GSP is that there are (with exception of the limited service areas) no malls, stores, etc connected (directly) to it and the drive is very scenic is some areas.

    This would only lead to more traffic and congestion on these thoroughfares and defeat their designed purpose: To move traffic efficiently and safely.

    I oppose the leasing of the turnpike or other public properties.
    If our politicians cannot properly manage the money they currently receive, what makes us think they will be able to properly manage the money from leasing the roadway.

    This will only encourage disrepair of competing roadways.
    The roads are currently paid for (via tolls) and they should be maintained by more efficient (ie non-toll) method. (fuel-tax is one example that comes to mind, although other methods do exist.)

    Politicians need to properly manage the money we currently receive.

    The state needs to get out of areas that are not its concern.

    State needs to spend the dollars we do receive in a more intelligent and practical way than how it currently spends money today.

    I think one legitimate concern that small towns and municipalities have is what will happen to them when they merge into a larger group.

    Will the needs of all in the new larger group be met in an equitable manner?
    Will some areas be shortchanged while other areas benefit at their expense?

    If we have good leaders and sensible management, this should not be an issue.
    Sincerely,
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  10. #30
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    Hi Jersey Devil, I do not know who makes the decision to consolidate but here is how I feel about it. I think that many people feel that the small town atmosphere may be lost in consolidation.That would be like our cities here, Reedley, Dinuba, Parlier, Sanger, Fowler being consolidated. I am sure there would many advantages but the problem is implementing the changes. Anything that looks tacky should be discouraged as New Jersey is known for it's beauty. Perhaps working on the cities you mentioned and making improvements would help. Corzine always has plans in mind, usually having to do with taxing something.lol. As for the consolidation I would think that it most certainly can be done provided there is co-operation of all parties involved. It would be a large undertaking. Marianita

  11. #31
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    Default It's going to be hard to change peoples' views about

    consolidation here. In the long run, we can save $$, but how do you get the surrounding Essex and Union suburbs to merge with Newark and Elizabeth? Many people up there would rather be annexed by NY than join forces with Newark, even if merging would make a stronger NJ mega-city on an even keel with NYC. Then you got the southern Jersey politicans who would fight it, using the old north/south argument, although merging could open up the same opportunities for Camden and surrounding areas to become a big city separate from Philly.There just isn't enough state pride or vision in our leaders and most unfortunately, our people.

  12. #32
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    Hi beatmen, Here is how this can be accomplished: Find a way to convince people that the Exxex and Union suberbs merging with Newark would take them no furthur from NYC then they already are. It would be merely a consolidation to save money. I think it could be done but Corzine might not go for it. The fact that it would save money should be a help and Camden would benefit. I am not sure it is a lack of pride so much as it is the fact that many people are not aware that it can be done. Marianita

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by beatman10
    cosolidate into one mega city. Or, at least, the cities shold be allowed to annex the smaller towns around them. For example, Newark, should be all of Essex County, with maybe Harrison and Kearny thrown in also. We probably wouldn't see this anytime soon, because of peoples' obsession with "HOME
    RULE" which is a joke.
    You might be able to annex Upper Montclair, the Caldwells, Livingston et al into Newark... around the year 2040. That's about when the last people with vivid memories of the '67 Riots will kick the bucket. Until the middle of the 21st Century you'll have a sizeable chunk of people... voting people... who remember how afraid they were back then, and who'd rather move or die than live in "the armpit of the Northeast".

  14. #34
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    Smile consolidation

    Hi roadbldr, Newark is mostly industrial so it lacks the beauty that the rest od Jersey has. By the way I have to laugh at what was said about people who remember the riots of 67 kicking the bucket. I remember them well. I lived in Los Angeles during that time. Anyway isn't Upper Montclair a bit too nice to combine with Newark? But why would it take so darn long?

  15. #35
    New Jersey Ambassador Admin & Founder JerseyDevil's Avatar
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    The thing that gets me about the Newark Riots it's as if it was a New Jersey thing merely restricted to Newark. There were race riots all over this country at that time. It's as if Americans don't want to face this so they want to just forget and act as if it was merely a Newark thing. Why is New Jersey always saddled with it's negative past while it's proud heritage is just swept under the rug?

    Concerning the comment about Newark being industrial - it's not industrial. The surrounding area is industrial. However Newark is the 3rd oldest city in America and has beautiful churches, museums, entertainment venues and include Branch Brook Park which was designed by the same person who did Central Park in Manhattan. Branch Brook Park also features more cherry trees than Washington DC and has a much larger Cherry Blossom Festival than Washington.

    Although Newark has gone through a rough time, if our politicians worried about New Jersey cities, instead of subsidizing New York's economy, Newark can once again grow. The Prudential Center is going to be beautiful with a new park at the entrance called Triangle Park.

    Does Newark still have problems? Of course it does - but that doesn't mean things aren't changing for the better.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

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  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marianita
    Hi roadbldr, Newark is mostly industrial so it lacks the beauty that the rest od Jersey has. By the way I have to laugh at what was said about people who remember the riots of 67 kicking the bucket. I remember them well. I lived in Los Angeles during that time. Anyway isn't Upper Montclair a bit too nice to combine with Newark? But why would it take so darn long?
    Hey, Mari,

    Newark, lack beauty? Not true... not intrinsically anyway. Harrison and Ellizabeth are far more industrial than Newark is. When my parents bought their house in the Weequahic section of Newark's South Ward in 1964, it looked much as Upper Montclair does today. It was a wonderful place to live back then, until around 1970. The only reason Newark looks the way it does is because most of the people living there now feel, to paraphrase a movie I once saw, "It's normal for things to be shi**y".

    I'm not sure I agree with Jersey Devil that the riots are seen as a New Jersey thing restricted to Newark. Truth is, I don't really know how other people feel about any of it. For myself, race riots may have happened all across the country, but only the ones in Newark happened to me. There's something about being seven years old... seeing the building across the street from your Dad's law office firebombed live on TV... the National Guard standing between your edge-of-town middle-class neighborhood, and angry mobs itching to burn your house down... that you never, ever forget.
    Last edited by Roadbldr '59; 03-12-2007 at 08:32 PM.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyDevil
    Concerning the comment about Newark being industrial - it's not industrial. The surrounding area is industrial. However Newark is the 3rd oldest city in America and has beautiful churches, museums, entertainment venues and include Branch Brook Park which was designed by the same person who did Central Park in Manhattan. Branch Brook Park also features more cherry trees than Washington DC and has a much larger Cherry Blossom Festival than Washington.
    Speaking of parks, is anyone here familliar with Brookdale Park on the Upper Montclair/Bloomfield town line? I used to play there as a kid back in the late 60s, on daily field trips with the YM/YWCA Day Camp ...called the "Summer Fun Club" back then. It's a wonderful little park... I still go running there whenever I'm in North Jersey and have the time.
    Last edited by Roadbldr '59; 03-12-2007 at 08:33 PM.

  18. #38
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    Smile consolidation of NJ's northeastern cities

    Hi Jersey Devil, The way you described Newark makes me want to go there. Are the cathedrals open during the days to see? It sounds pretty. As for riots they do occur all over the country, not just in one place. I would like to see the Branch Brook park. So I will run that by my son. I think we are going to have a full agenda. Thankyou for the info. Marianita

  19. #39
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    Default consolidation of NJ's northeastern cities

    Hi roadbldr, I can well understand how bad you must have felt during the riots and only being 7 yrs old. I was a young adult when the Los Angeles riots broke out and I thought the Lord was getting ready to come back. I could not go visit my friends and they could not come visit me. Those memories are not pleasant.
    I would like to see Newark and will do. The cathedrals that Jersey Devil spoke of sound like something I want to see. I saw cathedrals in Mexico and they were awesome. So now I know that Newark is not industrial but only the surrounding areas. More Jersey stuff for me to learn. lol. I am soaking it up like a sponge. Marianita

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    There is the red granite grandeur of Trinity Cathedral, built the same year Thomas Jefferson was born (1743). That is the Episcopal Church I attended with my parents, and where my sister got married the first time. It's located in Military Park, in the triangle formed by Broad Street, Park Place and another street I can't recall, across the street from the Newark Y I mentioned above.

    A quarter-mile away are the Newark Museum and the world-class Newark Public Library. I attended science and art classes at the Museum in the early and mid 70s... and I can still smell the sweet, dusty must of the Library's Bookstacks even now!

    So don't get me wrong... I too would like to see Newark prosper once again. But I don't think that will happen so long as it's largely populated by people who think so little of themselves and their surroundings. Either the current residents will have to undergo a mass personality transformation... or pack their things and move elsewhere. A little Rudy Giuliani-style, zero-tolerance, "broken windows" policy is in order... it might help bring one of those two outcomes about, and frankly either one works for me.
    Last edited by Roadbldr '59; 03-13-2007 at 12:29 AM.

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