Downtown: Ridgewood, NJ



Downtown, Ridgewood, NJ
Originally uploaded by joesixpacktech.

There was a story in the LA Daily News yesterday about how developers plan to build along the Orange Line in the San Fernando Valley.

I thought of a town near where my parents live called Ridgewood, NJ. It has a train station where one can ride into New York City in about 45 minutes, and a historic downtown filled with restaurants, shops and pedestrians.

As the inevitable LA “homeowners” backlash begins, in which various NIMBY’s sound the alarm about transit development and its “horrors”, (while they conveniently ignore auto oriented auto pollution and traffic), I will think of Ridgewood, NJ as a model of how to integrate public transportation and everyday living.

One thought on “Downtown: Ridgewood, NJ

  1. It is the duty of planners to begin the discussion with residents very early on. Begin with video presentation of the sort of towns you mention. For instance if you let them score images they like you can then assemble them to try to get a coherent picture of what the neighbors will accept. Mention transit, high density, mixed use and you are dead. All they will think about is “North Hollywood” or whichever local area is considered the “bad place.” Let each neighborhood council or HOA along the route have a say in the architectural theme of the development that will take place. I would even say that the potential developers should take key stakeholders, those who tend to lead the various groups of homeowners by default, on a trip to see the sorts of developments they would like to build. I recall that the planning commission and city council of my parents’ city here ion SoCal were not convinced about mixed use and higher densities until the planners began to arrange tours of similar developments in the region. As soon as they saw what it could be like they were sold on it.

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