Village Gateway to Memorial Park

 

The Redevelopment Plan that was the basis for Clarus Maplewood featured a new “Village Gateway” as the key public benefit of the project.  This concept was stressed with the developer during early negotiations.   It is reflected in the following excerpts from the Redevelopment Plan goals:

  1. Maintain or improve pedestrian and vehicular circulation patterns in the rehabilitation area and Maplewood Village as a whole
  2. Maintain and improve pedestrian access to the Maplewood train station through the rehabilitation area

The Gateway area appears in the center portion of the photo below, above the NJT Transit tracks and at the rear of the Village Post Office structure.   The NJT Transit tunnel egress area has been widened after removal of the Post Office structure, and a new roadway parallels the train tracks connecting to Ricalton Square.  Vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian access is featured north-south from Baker Street to Ricalton Square, and east-west from Maplewood Avenue to Memorial Park.  Views while walking to and from Memorial Park are improved.

gateway-aerial

 


In September, 2016 an agreement was reached by the Clarus developer that would incorporate a 4,000 square foot restaurant in approximately 40% of the retail space.  A request has been made to place a grease interceptor and seven dumpsters in the Gateway area.  Updates on this request and the Planning Board hearings are available.


 

The developer’s proposal is in direct conflict to the Redevelopment Plan goals, and flies in the face of the priorities discussed with him since he was first engaged.

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Excerpt from Redevelopment Plan:

New development shall provide at least one direct vehicular connection through the site between the existing parking lot to the south of the re­habilitation area and Maplewood Avenue. A maximum of one driveway shall be permitted on Maplewood Avenue.

A pedestrian and bicycle connection shall be provided through or along the southern edge of the redevelopment area between Maplewood Avenue and New Jersey Transit railroad station’s southern pedestrian tunnel. The connection shall be a minimum of 10 feet in width and may be part of a pedestrian plaza. The connection shall include a paved pathway with a minimum width of six feet to allow for pedestrian and bicycle travel. Traffic calming techniques must be utilized in any location where the pathway crosses a driveway. If not part of a pedestrian plaza, attractive paving and ground-cover edge landscaping shall be provided along the pathway. An unobstructed line of sight shall be provided be­tween the southern pedestrian tunnel and Maplewood Avenue. The re­developer is strongly encouraged to work with New Jersey Transit to improve the pedestrian tunnel, such as by widening the tunnel and pro­viding barrier-free access on both sides of the railroad tracks.

The existing pathway to the south of the rehabilitation area parallel to the railroad right-of-way shall be extended through the rehabilitation area to connect to Ricalton Square as a bike path along the eastern boundary of the rehabilitation area. The path shall incorporate lighting, landscaping and other features to make it safe and attractive,

These connections shall remain open for public use at all times.

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This site chronicles the five year public process leading to the construction of Clarus Maplewood.   We recently re-arranged it to provide easier access chronologically and by topic area.  Check out the changes here or use our tag cloud and search features.