Town to appraise land for new parking lot

Postpones vote to lower speed limits near schools

At the town’s Board of Commissioners meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 26, the commissioners adopted an ordinance to purchase 1132 Hillside Place. The town intends to build a parking lot for police parking. Currently, the land holds an abandoned building, officials said.
The parcel was appraised at $100,000. The city may pay for the land through the town’s capital budget, but will try to seek other funding.

15-mile-per-hour speed limit tabled

Also at the meeting, the commissioners, for the third time, tabled a vote to establish a 15-mile-per-hour speed limit on streets surrounding seven township schools. The speed limit would be in effect 45 minutes before school starts and 30 minutes before the school day ends.
The commissioners are waiting for data collected by the traffic division and township engineers. The matter will be up for a vote again at the next meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 9.

A member of the public asked for more stringent guidelines for jitney buses.
It would affect streets near Fulton School, Horace Mann School, Lincoln School, Franklin School, McKinley School, Kennedy School, and the Fulton School Annex.
The current speed limit is 25 miles per hour.

Introduction for two one-way streets

The commissioners voted to introduce an ordinance designating parts of Adams and Jackson streets as one-way streets. The one-way sections will be Adams Street between 70th Street and 73rd Street, and Jackson Street between 73rd Street and 70th Street. Traffic on Adams Street will head northbound, and on Jackson Street it will head southbound.
The ordinance will be up for a hearing and final vote at the next meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 9.

Call for stricter local bus regulations

Veteran and Fairview resident Pat Bencivenga, 85, spoke at the end of the meeting about a fatal accident on Bergenline Avenue that lead to the death of 11-year-old George Gonzalez on Friday, Oct. 14. Gonzalez was struck by a jitney bus driver who allegedly had a suspended license.
Bencivenga said at the meeting that he wants a law that requires police to frequently check the companies and their employees for problems like a suspended license, compared to “every now and then.”
Bencivenga said he had brought this concern to all Hudson County mayors, council members, and commissioners before the accident, and said it’s their fault for not listening to him.
Mayor Nicholas Sacco replied, “I feel we passed a law that’s effective.” Sacco was referring to Angelie’s Law, which applies to buses that operate on public highways and carry no more than 40 passengers within New Jersey or between states. The law mandates that the buses must have a sign with a phone number for customers to call and make complaints. Investigators from the Division of Consumer Affairs may ask to view the company’s registration and insurance for vehicles, licenses, a record of fines and arrests, and can view signed documents by drivers taking pledges not to text and drive.
Angelie’s Law was passed after a baby girl from North Bergen was killed in 2013 in West New York when a jitney bus driver accidentally drove into a light pole, which fell on her baby stroller. Her mother was pushing her along the waterfront. Sacco was one of the law’s co-sponsors.
Police Chief Robert Dowd said that the law is being enforced on busy Bergenline Avenue each day, with over 600 tickets given this month.
Phil Swibinski said, “In order to put more strict laws on the buses there would have to be a law passed in Congress.” Swibinski said he thinks the buses are commonly used because there aren’t enough other public transportation options available in North Bergen. Most buses go back and forth into New York City. Swibinski said he thinks the proposed New Jersey Transit Light Rain expansion into 91st Street would help this problem.

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