Bergenline Avenue

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Facing north at 32nd Street in Union City.

Bergenline Avenue is a major commercial district in the North Hudson section of Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. The north-south streets passes through Union City, West New York, Guttenberg, North Bergen. Its southern end is at Union City's Second Street, the north boundary of Washington Park. From there north to 47th Street, the street is one-way southbound; New York Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard serve northbound traffic. Between 48th and 49th Streets, an elevator on the west side provides access to the underground Bergenline Avenue station of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail. After passing through West New York and Guttenberg and into North Bergen, the street meets North Hudson Park, running along its west side from 79th Street to the Bergen County line through the community of Nungesser's and crosses Kennedy Boulevard. The northernmost 0.04 miles (0.064 km) of the route from Kennedy Boulevard to the Bergen County line is designated as County Route 721. North of the county line the street name becomes Anderson Avenue, which is the major commercial district for Fairview, Cliffside Park, and Fort Lee.

Use[edit]

Currently the longest commercial avenue in the state, boasting over 300 retail stores and restaurants, many of which became the outlet for Cuban entrepreneurs who had immigrated to Union City.[1] Also known as the "Miracle Mile", Bergenline's largest concentration of retail and chain stores begins at the intersection of 32nd Street and continues north until 92nd Street in North Bergen, and while it is a narrow one-way, southbound street throughout most of Union City, it becomes a four lane, two-way street at 48th Street, just one block south of the town’s limit. Bergenline Avenue is also used as the route for local parades,[2][3] such as the annual Memorial Day Parade[4] Cuban Day Parade[5] and Dominican-American Parade.[6]

The street is also a major transportation corridor, served by New Jersey Transit buses to local points (22, 22X, 84, 86, and 89) and to the Port Authority Bus Terminal (156 and 159) and George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal (181) in Manhattan. The portion along the west side of North Hudson Park sees almost 300 buses in each direction on a normal weekday, an average of one every five minutes.[dead link][7]

History[edit]

Bergenline Avenue then and now: Facing south toward 32nd Street, circa 1900 (left), and in 2010 (right).

Originally, Bergenline Avenue was the width of a cowpath, and was not regarded as a business center. Street car tracks were expected to be laid on Palisade Avenue, where the Union Hill's Town Hall was located. However, an influential citizen named Henry Kohlmeier, who had just built his residence on Palisade Avenue, did not wish to be disturbed by the noise of the passing cars, and proposed that the tracks be laid on Bergenline Avenue, two blocks to the west, and before those who would have objected to this became aware of this change, the motion was approved.[8]

Today Bergenline is the heart of the Cuban-American community in North Hudson, and home to many other Hispanics.[9] It was once an Italian-American strip, but was predominantly Cuban by 1981.[10]

Notable residents[edit]

  • Esther Salas, the first Hispanic woman to serve as a United States magistrate judge in the District of New Jersey, and the first Hispanic woman to be appointed a U.S. District Court judge in New Jersey.[11]
  • Erick Morillo (born 1971), DJ and music producer known for the single "I Like to Move It", grew up in an apartment at 1406 Bergenline. That portion of Bergenline, between 14th and 15th Streets, was renamed in his honor on October 12, 2012.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Perez-Stable, Marifeli (December 3, 2009). "That other Cuban community". The Miami Herald.
  2. ^ Staab, Amanda (May 10, 2009). "Attracting shoppers to Summit Ave." The Union City Reporter. pp. 3 and 11.
  3. ^ Cullen, Deanna (March 6, 2011). "Is end near for biz districts (and 3.5 % sales tax)?". The Union City Reporter. pp. 1 and 8.
  4. ^ "The Union City Memorial Day parade is today". NJ.com. May 27, 2010
  5. ^ Mestanza, Jean-Pierre (June 4, 2011). "Cuban Day Parade and Festival set for tomorrow in North Hudson". NJ.com.
  6. ^ Mestanza, Jean-Pierre (October 14, 2010). "Dominican-American Parade to fill Bergenline Avenue with music, fun". NJ.com.
  7. ^ New Jersey TransitBus[dead link]
  8. ^ Twentieth Anniversary: 1919 - 1939 West Hoboken Post No. 14 Union City, New Jersey. The American Legion. Department of New Jersey. p. 31
  9. ^ Wayne Parry, Associated Press (via the San Francisco Chronicle), Menendez Inspires Pride in Cuban-Americans, December 8, 2005
  10. ^ Fred Ferretti. "New York, New Year, Old Delights". The New York Times. December 30, 1981. section C, page 1
  11. ^ Sanabria, Santo. "Local roots". The Union City Reporter. July 24, 2011. pages 1 and 12
  12. ^ Machcinski, Anthony J (October 12, 2012). "House music superstar Erick Morillo returns to Union City for emotional street naming ceremony". NJ.com.

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing