Great bones: Halcyon Park

I live in the neighborhood  of Halcyon Park. When my partner Charles and I decided to buy a home in New Jersey we looked for four things:

*Diversity
*Proximity to public transit
*Bikability
*Complete Streets resolution

The Halcyon Park neighborhood of Bloomfield has all four.

What Are Complete Streets? Walking a few blocks to a local restaurant along a busy thoroughfare with narrow sidewalks, nonexistent crosswalks and a generally unwelcoming environment can be daunting. Unfortunately, this is a common situation for many residents nationwide. Complete streets can help resolve such problems by integrating the needs of all transportation users into one plan to create a balanced, multi-faceted transportation system. Because streets often are built with only cars in mind, they may not meet the needs of residents who want to use alternative transportation.  (Shinkle, 2007)

Halcyon Park is a two minute walk from the NJ light rail (two trains away from NY) and a 20 minute walk from the Watsessing (one train away from NY) NJ heavy rail.  Within the neighborhood there is also a great park, calm streets and wonderful people.

Have you ever went bike riding in Halcyon Park? It is wonderful. You can cycle regardless of age or ability. You can ride your bike slowly and look at the great scenery. You can do this, because the narrow roads and one way streets forces people in cars to drive no faster than 15 mph and even better, it encourages people to walk if they are going a short distance. It is much more pleasant to walk by the pond on the way to the grocery store than it is to try to drive through the neighborhood.

When people come to visit me and my partner they don’t want to just tour our home, they want to tour our neighborhood. The streets in Halcyon Park make you want to walk. We walk visitors up the winding calm streets, we look at the cute little houses, the trees and then we typically end up at the Halcyon Park Pond, which even during these cold winter months (I am originally from Los Angeles, 50 degrees is freezing) always has a visitor or two.

In Halcyon Park children play in the streets, bicyclists leisurely stroll around the community and the middle aged and the seniors do their walking exercises.

Activities that many other have to get in their car and drive to do, here in Halcyon Park we just walk, play and cycle through our community, because our streets are great examples of some aspects of Complete Streets.

Halcyon Park streets are perfect for walking and cycling. Halcyon Park’s streets are perfect for joining together a community.

Halcyon Park streets are perfect for people and awful for cars and those are both great things.

by Teka-Lark Lo

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