Rush hour driving ban in NJ town frustrates residents of nearby towns

LEONIA, N.J. — You will be fined $200 if you cut through local streets in Leonia, NJ to get to the George Washington Bridge.

“We’re actually going to be fined as well for making a turn on our own street or go to the bank we normally go to,” said Angelina Rivera, who lives in Englewood, one town over from Leonia.

Since the new traffic law has been in place things have gotten worse for people who live in Englewood.

“A commute to the bank that would take three-minutes will take 10, one-way,” she said.

“It’s extremely frustrating and kind of hurts, this is my town my area.”

If you do not live or work in the borough and are caught cutting thru to the bridge during the morning or evening rush-hour, officers can give you a $200 fine.

According to police, it was enforced because the traffic was causing too much chaos and danger to residents. As a result, yellow tags were given to residents of Leonia to hang in their cars.

“My biggest concern is civil liberties, I don’t think anyone should get yellow tags,” said Diane Jansen, another Englewood resident.

“I’m concerned people might be stopped and targeted.”

Englewood Councilman Michael Cohen says his constituents have been calling him non-stop since the new policy was put in place.

“I think they have to make sure all local residents have a flowing ability to use the streets around them and use the facilities around them too,” he said Tuesday night.

Residents who live in towns next to Leonia say they’re not outsiders trying to get on the bridge, they share the same streets and frequent the same businesses, including ones in Leonia, they should not be subjected to the fines.

“A fair solution would be for the neighboring towns to also get yellow tags,” said Rivera.

PIX11 is waiting to hear back from the Leonia Police Department on if they will issue yellow tags to neighboring residents too.