City of Hackensack Completes
Main Street Two-Way Conversion
Major Infrastructure Project Will Support City’s Downtown Revitalization
Today, Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse and the City Council joined acting City Manager Thomas Freeman, members of the Main Street Alliance, local business owners and others for a ribbon cutting ceremony commemorating the first time that the entire length of Main Street was opened to two-way traffic since 1976. The completion of this multi-phased project marks a significant milestone in the city’s overall revitalization efforts and marks another step in the rebirth of Hackensack’s downtown.
“Today we’re righting a wrong that contributed to the hollowing out of our downtown by finally returning two-way traffic to Main Street,” said Mayor Labrosse. “This project includes many important infrastructure and drainage improvements, a new streetscape design, better ADA compliance and much more, but perhaps even more importantly it signifies the rebirth of our Downtown. The progress we’re making in our overall redevelopment efforts is bringing new residents and businesses to Main Street and helping our city regain its place as the cultural and economic center of Bergen County.”
According to top urban planning and economic development experts, a two-way walkable downtown area is key to the health of a community’s local economy, environment, and health of its residents. The streets will be more accessible and safer for drivers, transit users, pedestrians, senior citizens, cyclers, and children. It is also proven to generate substantial private investment and lowers taxes, increasing property values throughout the entire community.
“As new developments along Main Street come online and begin leasing we wanted to make sure we had the infrastructure in place to support them, and this project will ensure that this is the case,” said Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino. “The fact that we were able to complete a project of this scope while limiting the impact on city taxpayers is excellent and I would like to thank our professional staff and consultants for seeing this project through to the end.”
The City secured significant grant funding and low interest financing to complete the project including:
- $2.3M of grant funding towards the infrastructure and streetscape efforts
- 1.38M from New Jersey Department of Transportation Local Aid and Transit Village Grants and
- The balance of costs for the Streetscape efforts from Atlantic to Berry are financed with low interest financing through the New Jersey Transportation Infrastructure Bank.
- Sewer Separation efforts have received $1M of Principal Forgiveness Grant through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.
The city passed the ordinance to convert Main & State Streets to one-way in July, 1975. The conversion happened in early 1976. By June of 1976, the Chamber of Commerce was already asking that it be converted back to two-way after conducting a decisive survey of businesses along Main Street who believed It was hurting business, according to City Council minutes at the time. Mayor Labrosse and the City Council first started the process of converting Main Street back to two-way in 2014.