Weehawken to block non-residents from clogging neighborhood streets

WEEHAWKEN, New Jersey (WABC) -- A New Jersey town is trying to cut down on the evening mass exodus from Hudson County towns like Hoboken and Jersey City.

Weehawken officials say shortcuts through its residential streets are clogging them, causing gridlocks and long delays during the evening rush hour.

Tuesday, Weehawken police will not let non-residential drivers make a right turn onto Pleasant Avenue to get to 495.

New signs went up on Tuesday morning to warn drivers.

A similar restriction is already in place at Shippen Street and Gregory Avenue from 7-10 a.m. That restriction has apparently worked well, so officials decided to try it at night.

Eyewitness News watched as a traffic officer stopped car after car from proceeding, ruining a shortcut some Manhattan-bound drivers have used for years.

"It's crap! They should put a sign back there, not over here when I'm about to go in," said Gladys Vadila, a driver. "I mean, it's a public road. I've been taking this for like five years."

Locals say the traffic is bad, and anything that might help is appreciated.

"During rush hour it's super bad, it's 4 o'clock, even 3:30 sometimes when I am headed to my evening classes, back-to-back traffic, people can't make a left turn, people can't make a right turn, sometimes a blockage in the middle, it's bad," a resident said.

Leonia began issuing tickets last month to non-residents caught using certain pass-through streets to get to the George Washington Bridge.

As a result, one woman is suing Leonia over the ban, saying that it isn't legal to close public streets.

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