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Downtown Jersey City Neighborhoods

Historic Neighborhoods

Parts of downtown Jersey City are part of historic preservation districts. These districts were created by municipal ordinance in an effort to prevent the demolition or alteration of historic structures. The historic Preservation Districts refer to specific lots which fall under the ordinances domain, and generally the actual neighborhoods are considered to be larger than the preservation districts. The parking zones also correspond roughly with neighborhoods.

The historic neighborhoods include: Hamilton Park, Harsimus Cove, Van Vorst Park, the Powerhouse District, and Paulus Hook. The neighborhoods also have active community groups. With the exception of the Powerhouse District, a neighborhood consisting of historic warehouses and industrial buildings, the historic districts consist of three and four story brownstones from the 19th century.

Critics of the preservation neighborhoods claim that the oversight board is overly intrusive, making a simple procedure such as replacing a window into a long process slowed by red tape. However, the historic districts have indeed preserved the character of many of the older neighborhoods in Jersey City.


During the last century, most of the downtown Waterfront was factories, warehouses, and rail yards. Beginning in the mid 1980's however, an effort to revitalize the city was begun. The revitalization efforts required cleaning up toxic waste and removing the remnants of the railroads and old industry.

The waterfront can be broken into two main components: Newport in the north, and Exchange Place / Colgate Center in the south. Newport is a planned, mixed use community created by the LeFrak family. Newport residences are mostly mostly rental units, though there are currently two condominium towers. There are also multiple high rise office towers, and each building has ground floor retail. One of the earliest components of Newport was a suburban style mall.

Newport Center, the waterfront towers controlled by the LeFraks, is similar to but not identical to the Newport Redevelopment Zone. LeFrak built several low rise residential buildings adjacent to Hamilton Park. While they are part of the Redevelopment Zone, and owned by the LeFraks, these buildings are generally considered part of the Hamilton Park neighborhood. LeFrak's master plan illustrates the long term design of Newport. Below, several Newport residential towers.

Exchange Place and Colgate Center

The waterfront south of Newport largely consists of office towers. The Harborside Financial Center plan includes a total of 10 towers, half of which have been built and occupied mostly by tenants in financial services. The Colgate Redevelopment zone is a cluster of street blocks south of Exchange Place that includes the Goldman Sachs Tower.

In recent years, the rise in residential condominium prices and reduced demand for office space lead to the construction of several high rise residential towers in place of offices, including 77 Hudson Street.

Liberty Harbor North

Liberty Harbor North is a planned, mixed use community between the Van Vorst Park historic district and the Morris Canal. The northern section of the development attempts to seamlessly integrate with the surrounding brownstone neighborhood with low rise homes and street level retail. As the development continues south, mid-rise and high-rise towers will be constructed, creating an evenly rising skyline away from the existing low-rise neighborhoods.


Jersey City Street Parking

Parking on the streets of Jersey City can be a confusing adventure for residents and visitors alike. There are a multitude of signs, restrictions and prohibitions. This guide covers Zone Parking, Street Cleaning, Snow Emergency Routes, and Police Emergencies.

2 Hour Parking Except With Zone Permit

Throughout the residential neighborhoods of Jersey City, Zone Parking has been instituted to prevent drivers from outside the community from parking on the streets and commuting into Manhattan providing parking availability to local residents. The downtown area of Jersey City is divided into a number of smaller zones. Residents within the zone can purchase a resident decal from the Jersey City Parking Authority. All other vehicles without a zone decal are subject to ticketing, booting and towing. Time limits posted on the signs indicate the duration a vehicle may be parked on the street before the parking authority will issue a ticket.

The 2 and in some cases 4 hour limits are imposed on all vehicles without zone permits. This limit includes vehicles owned by local residents if the vehicle does not have a zone permit. The Jersey City parking authority patrols the streets daily in small three wheeled vehicles. Time limits are for zones—not parking spaces. If a driver moves his or her car within the zone, the vehicle is still subject to the time limit.

Residents can apply for and purchase zone decals from the Jersey City Parking Authority located at 394 Central Avenue in the Heights district of Jersey City. Resident permits cost $10 per year and will only be issued to residents without outstanding parking tickets. The parking authority does not accept credit cards. For residents who have previously bounced a check written to the Parking Authority, a bank check is required.

In addition, residents must provide a driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance card with their Jersey City address. Part-time residents, students, or other persons who for some reason do not have a qualifying Jersey City address on their driver’s license and matching vehicle registration will be denied a permit. In addition, leased vehicles registered to a company outside of Jersey City are also not eligible. Drivers of leased vehicles should call the parking authority directly regarding the necessary steps to ensure they receive a permit on the first round 201.653.6969.

New residents may provide a PSEG bill and signed lease for proof of residency, though in many cases will receive only a temporary parking permit. The Parking Authority is one of the most temperamental government agencies of the city.

Be Prepared Before You Go
You need to have / provide:

Driver’s License
Vehicle Registration
Insurance Card
$10 Check

View the Parking Zone Map

No Parking Between the hours of...

Alternate side parking in Jersey City
Most streets in Jersey City have a two hour block of time twice a week, usually between Monday and Friday that is used for street cleaning. The Jersey City Incinerator Authority is in charge of cleaning the streets with a street sweeping machine. However, the JCUIA works in conjunction with the Parking Authority. The Parking Authority scooters travel ahead of the street sweeping machine writing tickets.

In some cases, the Parking Authority scooter will honk a distinctive horn alerting residents that they are on their way down a street for cleaning. However, the horn is certainly not a guarantee, and the best way to avoid a ticket is simply to move a car off the side of the street before the specified block of time.

Residents with permits will get tickets. Zone permits have nothing to do with street cleaning and zone permits do not exempt vehicles.

On most federal holidays or city holidays, the incinerator authority is usually not in operation. However, to ensure that street cleaning is suspended, drivers should call the authority directly on any given day 201.432.1150.

Emergency Snow Route

Emergency snow routes in downtown Jersey City
Some streets throughout the city are marked with red and white signs declaring the street a snow emergency route. These streets are given priority for snow removal—a good tip to know if you absolutely need to drive somewhere in a heavy snowstorm.

Snow emergencies are declared by the city. Usually, after a snow emergency is declared, the police or fire department will announce over loudspeakers that cars on particular streets need to be removed by a certain time. Vehicles that are not moved will be towed. However, it should be assumed that anytime the road is covered with enough snow for a plow, vehicles parked along emergency snow routes should be removed.

In addition, after heavy snowstorms, some streets may have parking restrictions for further snow removal. This is to ensure that main arteries do not become narrow after plows have pushed snow against parked cars.

Several inches of snow are normally required for snow removal crews to use snowplows. Light snow that is easily removed with salt will not usually result in a snow emergency.

Police Emergency

No Parking Police Emergency signs in downtown Jersey City
From time to time, streets will have posted specialty "No Parking" signs specifying a date and time when parking is prohibited. There are a number of uses when police emergency signs are posted including parades, construction or utility work, or special permits issued by the city. These restrictions often start before scheduled street cleaning, often as early as six or seven in the morning. Read these signs carefully as they are enforced most often with straight up towing.

Parade season begins mid-spring and continues through much of the summer. There are often parades at least one day per weekend in the spring and summer, though they take different routes and do not always require parking to be prohibited. These signs are also used from time to time for snow removal, which obviously is a winter only event. During the 2006 blizzard, an overnight parking prohibition was used to clear snow from certain streets.

In most cases, the "No Parking" signs will be placed every ten to twenty feet twenty-four to thirty-six hours before a scheduled street closing. However, there certainly have been cases when the city has forgotten to issue the "No Parking" permits ahead of time, and hours or even minutes before an event, post "No Parking" signs.

Disclaimer: Drivers should read all signs before parking. We are not responsible for any parking ticket you receive.


Hudson Bergen Light Rail

The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail line links communities throughout Hudson County. From the south, connects Bayonne with PATH services at Exchange Place, continues north through Hoboken, terminating in North Bergen. Future expansion of the light rail is uncertain.

The light rail connects with PATH services at Exchange Place, Pavonia-Newport, and Hoboken, and connects with ferries at Essex Street, Hoboken, Lincoln Harbor, and Port Imperial. The PATH and ferry systems operate independently from the light rail and separate fares are required.

Tickets and Fares

The light rail uses a time stamp system where one time fare tickets are stamped with a date and time by a time validator. Tickets are then valid for 90 minutes and inspectors may check for tickets at random intervals, or sometimes not at all. Failure to show a valid ticket can result in a $100 fine.

Monthly passes are also available as well as monthly parking, and joint NY Waterway passes. Parking is only avalaible at certain stations

Tickets for the light rail system may be purchased from automated vending machines available at most platforms. Tickets must be validated before boarding the trams or certain platforms. To validate a ticket, insert the ticket print side up with the New Jersey Transit logo facing left into a validator machine. Once stamped, the ticket is valid for 90 minutes.


There are three routes provided; Tonnelle Avenue to Hoboken, Tonnelle Avenue to Westside Avenue (Jersey City), and Hoboken to Bayonne.

Visit the Official NJTransit Map (PDF) for a precise look at where the trains go, or visit New York's Sixth's Transit Overlay Map for a comprehensive look at how the light rail connects with other forms of rail transportation.


During the week, the Light rail runs every ten minutes during rush hour and every fifteen minutes during off-peak hours. Between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m., service is every 20 minutes. Between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., ther is no service. Weekend and Holiday service is every fifteen to twenty minutes.



New York's Sixth Directory is a review and listing of services, buildings, restaurants and shops in the de facto borough of New York: Jersey City / Hoboken.

This directory is part of the New York's Sixth network which is owned by

All original photographs and content copyright 2006 to Ian MacAllen, unless otherwise attributed.
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