Permanent space

Dear Editor:
The Township of North Bergen and Hudson County are applying to NJ DEP for a diversion which would permanently give the No. Bergen Preschool 1–2 acres of Braddock (North Hudson) Park land. 15 years ago North Bergen built what was supposed to be a new preschool next to the Lincoln School. Upon completion it got used for other purposes, so Mayor Sacco leased 16 double-wide trailers for the preschool and moved them into Braddock Park in violation of NJ DEP Green Acres regulations designed to protect Braddock Park’s open space and recreational offerings.
On 8-3-2001 Mayor Sacco said “Everyone understands that it is temporary.” Now North Bergen wants the land permanently and intends to build a structure on the site where the preschool trailers sit. North Bergen is extending its influence on what’s supposed to be a county park in other ways … recently, Freeholder Vainieri took credit for painting ancient bedrock boulders in Braddock Park red and gold, the colors of North Bergen H.S. He said they were painted for traffic safety, so motorists would see them better. Unfortunately, Mr. Vainieri did not check before painting to find out if red and gold were appropriate for safety purposes.
One wonders if a few small roadside reflectors could have served the same purpose, much less obtrusively. The county needs to exert its influence to protect Braddock Park from municipal encroachment and development otherwise what is next for Braddock Park – a new North Bergen High School, or maybe another Hudson County town would like an acre or two for their school or other municipal building? In 2000 the community rose up and defeated plans to build a new North Bergen High School in the Park. Now is the time to speak up against this diversion. And Mr. Vainieri should agree, because only a few feet away from the painted boulders is an even more dangerous traffic condition: the preschool is served by a 1 lane road that handles 2 way traffic, entering and exiting. This road can’t be widened without flaunting Green Acres regulations again, so in the interest of saving Braddock Park’s open space and improving safety, residents are urged to sign the following petition to help stop this diversion and move the preschool out of Braddock Park:

Robert Walden

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