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NJ town by GWB rethinks non-resident travel ban after dip at local businesses

“The point is this, we implemented a plan, and there appears to be an unintended negative consequence,” Mayor Judah Zeigler said.
Less than a month after Leonia, New Jersey banned non-resident traffic to alleviate gridlock from delays on the nearby GWB, officials are rethinking their stance as it's affecting local business.
Less than a month after Leonia, New Jersey banned non-resident traffic to alleviate gridlock from delays on the nearby GWB, officials are rethinking their stance as it's affecting local business. (File)

Less than a month after a New Jersey town near the George Washington Bridge banned non-resident traffic on its streets during rush-hour commutes, officials are rethinking that stance.

The move comes after businesses in Leonia began to see a significant decline in non-resident patrons, the New York Post reported.

“The point is this, we implemented a plan, and there appears to be an unintended negative consequence,” Mayor Judah Zeigler said in a statement.

In late January, officials in Leonia, which is near the western approach to the GWB, announced that dozens of secondary streets would be closed off to non-resident motorists to alleviate gridlock when there are delays on the span that connects northern New Jersey to Upper Manhattan.

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The GWB is the world’s busiest motor vehicle bridge, serving more than 103 million vehicles annually, and where there are travel issues, Leonia often sees a drastic increase in traffic as drivers look for alternatives. The town’s population is just south of 10,000 residents.

Residents were given yellow tags for their vehicles to travel on the closed roads, and motorists who violated the travel ban could face a $200 fine. 

But that will now change if those non-resident drivers want to visit a Leonia business.

“We’re making revisions in order to ensure that people clearly understand that if they want to patronize one of our stores, they can utilize any of our streets, at any time, without fear of a citation,” Zeigler said.
 

 
 
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