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Council Intrigued by Train Station Advertisement Plan

Officials, however, seem to want a greater focus on local advertisers and say NJ Transit still hasn't completed about $100,000 worth of work during the station's renovation.

Ridgewood officials to the walls of the train station tunnels, but seem to prefer doing it on their own terms.

At the July 11 council meeting, representatives of New Jersey Transit and its advertising contractor, Titan Outdoor, provided the village council a detailed look at how they can improve the aesthetics of the historic station while boosting revenue.

The famous "Welcome to Ridgewood" mural has fallen due to a lack of maintenance and occasional vandalism in recent years. The cost of touching it up would be prohibitive, Village Manager Ken Gabbert previously said, adding that advertisements present a revenue opportunity for the village.

Should officials agree to Titan's plan, that area – and the station building housing Village Taxi – could be the home of national, regional and local advertisers.

Sign frames would be placed around the station, with Titan checking by a few times a week to swap out any advertisements that have been vandalized, Titan reps said. The ads – likely up for 12-24 week periods – would have to meet NJT's standard, though the property owner makes the final determination as to what's acceptable.

In the minds of village officials, the local angle served most appealing.

"The idea of additional revenue is very enticing," said Mayor Paul Aronsohn. "But some of us, maybe all of us, are interested in promoting our local businesses, and it's not all about money. There's something more important here, so we have to strike that balance."

Gabbert previously said the revenue stream could be as much as around $60,000 a year, though the figure hinges upon a greater level of national advertising.

Some local component is included already in the pitch, but Titan officials were less than enthused with village interest in more local advertising potentially taking the place of bigger businesses, lowering the overall revenue ceiling.

Councilman Tom Riche said NJ Transit's interest in advertising at the station – and bringing some business to its contractor, Titan – might give Ridgewood some leverage in compelling the transit agency to fulfill what he said was $100,000 of promises not kept during the $40 million renovation of the station.

Whether or not village officials agree to make the station underpass a bit more Madison Ave., NJ Transit will likely be adding advertisements to the platform facing the parking lot. Riche and Councilwoman Bernadette Walsh were both suspect of the NJT ad placements.

The council will further discuss the proposal at a later date.

Boyd A. Loving August 07, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Any specifics regarding the alleged $100k in "promises" not kept by NJT?
AMAMOM August 07, 2012 at 12:16 PM
I would love to see an improvement but I am not a fan of adding the advertising frames underground. This was done in Hoboken, in the tunnel between the NJT trains and the PATH trains. It just looks like ad's hanging over peeling paint and water drips. Ads don't address the smells, the garbage, the peeling paint. Sadly, I don't have a better suggestion.
RdgwdGRock August 07, 2012 at 03:36 PM
stinks down there
Paul August 07, 2012 at 05:07 PM
stinks up here too!
Paul August 07, 2012 at 05:28 PM
But seriously folks, Why oh Why didn't you just hire some Art students over the summer from Bergen Community College & Ridgewood Highschool, like I asked ya to do 6 months ago?? Clean tunnel, great art, promos all around,Sometimes I wonder if anyone reads this sight?? If you want Team Sprit for Ridgewood then do it don't just outside it!! So what do you think Artists here in Ridgewood? Are you up for the job?
RdgwdGRock August 07, 2012 at 05:31 PM
install some urinals down there so peeps have some place to pee besides the floor
Boyd A. Loving August 07, 2012 at 07:02 PM
This idea was discussed at an open public meeting of the Village Council. It was killed on the spot after Council members were informed that there could be lead based paint in the tunnel. It was decided not to risk exposing volunteers to the possibility of coming into contact with lead dust during the preparation process for painting. A licensed environmental remediation contractor will likely be hired to prep the tunnel walls prior to the installation of advertising materials. The contractor would be paid by NJT or Titan.
Brian August 07, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Probably don't even have to hire kids. Let a school do it as a community service project or something. This is not a hard problem to solve. To the extent to which the train station is a welcome home to many residents or a "first impression" for visitors it would be nice to have it become a statement about the town instead of a minor revenue source.
Paul August 07, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Brian, Great comment! As for Mr. Boyd A. Lovings Why is there still Lead based paint in the RIDGEWOOD TUNNEL IN 2012 to begin with sounds to me like the OLD Village Council left this Mess for the New Village Council to clean up!! Sounds like what I hear over and over and over. So maybe and I say maybe things might get painted in that crawl space someday! But the town I think would rather spend $$$ making the town look cats and dogs meow at the RIDGEWOOD DUCK POND !! Walk down there tomorow and everyone will see where there Tax $$$ are going!! Like I said before SMELLS UP HERE! Have a great Fall season People of Ridgewood N.J.
In The Wood August 07, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Paul - pretty certain that the Duck Pond project is a Bergen County project not Ridgewood. We still pay, but spread across with all other county residents. You can thank the Ridgewood neighbors who complained about the barking for the added expenses of moving the bark park.
James Kleimann August 07, 2012 at 11:30 PM
In The Wood is right – the bark park is a county project. If memory serves, the plan was to work on it last year but Irene blew up the timetable.
Harlan Consider August 08, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Tile it. There are tiles that are capable of resisting graffiti. Tile may be an expensive alternative to paint, but it solves the graffiti problem and it doesn't require re-painting every few years. As for the smell complaints, nothing can fix that. Anywhere water collects where there's no sunlight, you will get that dank effect.
Paul August 08, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Harlan, GREAT IDEA! Lets look into your tiles, sounds good, will look good, might work. Better than Advertising Frames.
Joe August 08, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Have another drink, Paul

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