Elm Place

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Elm Place

Journeys into River Edge

In a couple of our previous “journeys”, we have spoken of some of the less familiar streets about town.

One mentioned that has brought a bit of interest and curiosity is Elm Place.

Around town there are a number of “spur” streets, roads with the same name as the parent road they come from: examples are Fifth Court (just off Fifth Avenue), Taft Court (Taft Road) and Monroe Court (Monroe Avenue).

Elm Place is different.

It will not be found off of Elm Avenue. In fact, it is hard to find because, while it is mentioned on a map (Google), there is no street sign advising a driver, biker or walker passing by that it is there.

There are no houses on Elm Place. The street is not paved.

But it is a “street” and there are signs of it to be found.

Elm Place is located just off of Center Avenue, just north of Tenney Avenue. It is a dead end street – running one block from Center Street to just before the train tracks – though there is brush that mostly hides the tracks from sight.

We took a quick hike down Elm Place and share some of the pictures of that trek below.

Of interest and evidence of how it remains a street are these reminders: the curb on Center Avenue cut out as if a paved street should be there; there is a sign advising “travelers” along the street: “No Parking at Any Time” and “No Dumping”, and finally a bit further down the road a dead end sign can be found.

Except for a couple of parked cars at the lip from Center Avenue, it appears that it has been awhile since there has been any vehicular traffic on Elm Place.

A clearing among the trees, bushes and home fences opens a space big enough for a paved road. The passage from Enter to just past the dead end leads to another narrower tree shaded path running parallel to the train tracks that ends up a block to the south where Tenney Avenue turns into John Lynch Way (previously Riverside Way) on the way to the DPW, Kenneth B. George Park, the River Edge Swim Club, the Boat Landing and the John J. Corbett Memorial Pistol Range. All in all, it is a pleasant walk except for the persistent bark of a dog that did not want me around (Fortunately a secure fence separated us).

A DPW crew was at work when I passed by. They were curious about my presence. When I mentioned my assignment they turned enthusiastic, mentioning the interesting nooks and crannies to be found in that neighborhood.

A long block further to the north on Center Avenue lies River Street. It too is a one block street – but it is paved an active road that passes Sherwood Court and then turns tight into Williams Avenue. Those streets were long a mystery to me, a local native.

In between Elm Place and River Street that Google map indicates that there is another street: Maple Avenue. At least it says there should be. But a drive up and down Center turns up no such street. Nor is there any evidence of a street. There is no sign. There is no cut put. Instead, there are a couple of fairly recently build homes at the site that I believe Maple Place once stood. The “street” has been replaced physically. But on at least one map it remains – though you would be trespassing in someone’s house if you actually tried to traverse it.

At least, Elm Place is still around, if you know where to find it.

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