HACKENSACK, N.J. — Downtown Hackensack is about to get a bit more pedestrian-friendly, thanks to a group of landscape architecture students from Rutgers University.
The eight students are working with Coach Leonard Vazquez of the National Consortium for Creative Placemaking to come up with development ideas to propose at in April to city officials and members of Creative Hackensack — a group dedicated to making the city an "arts destination."
The students — split into two groups — are in the early phases of researching, and are concentrating on Main Street along with the roads between the train and bus stations.
“The project focuses on how arts and culture can help make Hackensack an even better place to live, work and visit,” Vazquez told Daily Voice.
Students from the Main Street team identified the space between the YMCA and the municipal buildings as having potential for more retail shopping, Junior Thomas Barracato of Matawan said.
“We saw that a lot of the stores ended where government buildings began,” he said. “We thought the YMCA was a great ending point because of its importance to the community.”
The students are taking into account what the residents want — whether its more parking spots, trees or longer sidewalks, Barracto said.
He cited the mural along Main Street is an example of a straightforward way to beautify the downtown.
“Simple things,” he said. “Things people would enjoy for the space.”
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