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henry hudson trailPHOTO:  Henry Hudson Trail is closed (AHHerald file photo)

FREEHOLD, NJ – Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone and County Park liaison Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, on behalf of the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, issued the following statement regarding the closure of the Henry Hudson Transit Trail:

“When the Governor ordered the closure of all state and county parks on April 7, the Henry Hudson Transit Trail was not included as the Monmouth County Park System maintains that it is a transit way not a recreational trail. Meaning, many patrons use them to get from one place to another to perform essential functions, such as going to the grocery store, pharmacy, to get to their place of employment as essential personnel or to access public transportation.

The complete closure of this transit way causes serious safety issues that cannot be ignored. The Henry Hudson Transit Trail provides a safe way for Monmouth County residents to get to work by providing a way for residents to avoid walking on major highways.

By design, since there are no open lawns or recreational amenities, patrons have little opportunity to congregate and Monmouth County park rangers and local police have been monitoring the trail to respond as necessary to any reports of gathering.

The many mayors whose towns are affected by this closure stand in strong support of keeping the trail open to ensure the safety of their residents who will be forced to walk on major highways during its closure.

It is no secret that we are opposed to the closure of our County parks, which serve as a resource for the mental health and wellbeing of our residents, but the closure of the Henry Hudson Transit Trail is even more significant as it deals directly with the safety of our residents.

The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders truly hopes that the New Jersey Attorney General will reconsider this closure as we are sure he would agree that the last thing we want to do during this global pandemic is put more lives at risk.

Further, we strongly urge Governor Murphy to reconsider the closure of all County parks.”