Northern Valley Greenway: Convert Unused, Unsightly Dangerous Rail Tracks to Trails

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This petition is to gain support for conducting a study to examine the feasibility of replacing a portion of CSX’s unused Northern Branch train line (the section from Tenafly to Northvale) with a greenway (think: cycling and pedestrian path). 

Based on comparisons with other Rails to Trails conversion projects, the Northern Valley Greenway should generate a wide range of benefits for the greater Northern Valley community, including increased physical activity, fewer pedestrian and cyclist crashes with motor vehicles, increased business activity and improved working environment, and less air pollution.  

If you have any doubt about the need for such a path, simply get on the road between 6am and 9am any day of the week.  The interaction between automobiles, buses and trucks with cyclists, joggers, and children walking to school is absolutely frightening.  

Think about a beautiful greenway with the following in mind: 


The unused, unsightly, dangerous train tracks have a name: the Northern Branch.

There is a great write-up on the Northern Branch on Wikipedia. The train line has been in the news as the part of the line that starts in North Bergen and travels through several towns ending in Englewood. That portion of the line is slated to be converted into a commuter rail. The project was originally proposed to terminate in Tenafly but Tenafly residents successfully fought it. Sullivan, S. P. (December 21, 2011), "As NJ Transit plans light rail for Bergen County, Tenafly officials look to divert the train",, retrieved 2011-12-21. As it stands now, the train will terminate in front of Englewood Hospital, leaving the rest of the line from Englewood Hospital through Tenafly, Cresskill, Demarest, Closter, Norwood, Northvale and Piermont, unused.

This proposal is focused on Tenafly to Northvale but could easily include connecting to the existing Piermont pedestrian path. In fact, the Northern Branch traveled far upstate New York but the tracks were removed and converted into a trail and bike path. The paths that replaced the rail tracks are known by several names - the Joseph B. Clarke Rail-Trail to Piermont, the Old Erie Path to Grand View, and the Raymond G. Esposito Trail to Nyack.” 

Background Sources and Reference Sites:

Haworth Teen Gets Interest In Rail Trail Back On Track | Northern 7, 2016 - TENAFLY, N.J. — Alex Philliou of Haworth, a junior at Dwight-Englewood School, has collected 1215 signatures on a petition ..

Alex Philliou '18 is “on track” to change Rail Trail
Alex Philliou '18 is “on track” to create a new rail trail along an unused CSX train line on the Northern Branch Line. The proposed rail trail would create a walking Alexander Philliou letter to the Editor 12/1/15 Letter: Petition to turn rails into pedestrian trail. Alexander Philliou, 11/21/16

Northern Valley Greenway hearing on March 5, 2019