LEONIA, Bergen County (WABC) -- Signs warning motorists not to use certain residential streets in Leonia are illegal, according to New Jersey State's Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.
The state's attorney general made the statement during a legislative meeting in Trenton, but it has touched off a debate in Leonia over who has the right to control access to local roadways.
Back in January, Leonia put up the limited access signs as a way to discourage drivers making their way through local streets to get to the George Washington Bridge. This was done in part because motorists using apps like Google Maps had flooded the streets with traffic during the morning and evening rush hours.
Grewal said Wednesday that his office was just following a ruling, which came down in 1955.
"We've told them about it," Grewal said. "They agreed to stand down in the enforcement because they won't have the authority to stop people, because it's not a lawful restriction."
However, Mayor of Leonia, Judah Zeigler, strongly disagrees. Zeigler feels Grewal is basing his decision on old facts, which have been updated by legislative action.
The mayor has no plans to remove the signs and plans to issue a letter to Grewal stating why the driving restrictions are needed and legal.
Zeigler stated that the situation is all based on politics, and added no citations have been issued and the borough has done everything possible to ensure that drivers know Leonia is open for business.
The hope is that a compromise can be reached, so drivers won't use Leonia as a shortcut when there is a major backup or delays at the bridge.
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Road signs in Leonia causing rift between town, state of New Jersey