I would like to begin by applauding Mayor Smith and the city council for their efforts in bringing countless shopping centers to Bayonne. Shopping centers consisting of quality stores and restaurants, a convenient location between Jersey City and Staten Island, and a close proximity to one of the largest cities in the world designates Bayonne as an ideal destination for shopping and dining. Although the issue of Broadway must be addressed, I would first like to draw attention to what I believe is a major flaw of the shopping centers on the 440 Route; the lack of a cross bridge for pedestrians to safely cross over this highway. While traffic lights are present at all intersections of the shopping centers, drivers nevertheless will drive with no regard for pedestrians. I myself have come close to being struck by vehicles operated by people oblivious to their surroundings. Because of Bayonne’s small size and easily accessible public transportation, many residents, including myself, find the need for a car unnecessary. With such a large percentage of pedestrians, safe walking conditions should be a priority, and many of Bayonne’s occupants would feel much safer with a cross bridge to make crossing 440 worry-free. The implementation of a cross bridge would also assist the senior citizens and disabled individuals who are currently unable to get to these shopping centers.
I would like to see Bayonne do the necessary research in the construction and continued maintenance for cross bridges over 440 at both of the shopping centers available. These cross bridges would aid in improving the safety of the citizens and the employees who work in these centers, but also contribute a role to benefiting Bayonne and the shopping centers themselves. Providing easier accessibility to these shopping centers by alleviating any fears pedestrians may have of getting across 440 makes the shopping centers a more desirable place to go to for potential shoppers, essentially providing an increase of income to the business owners and city itself. If elected I would implore the administration to do the research into the construction and continued maintenance of the cross bridges. To reduce the burden of taxpayers, who already pay more than necessary, the city should meet with the state of New Jersey to explore ways of funding the project without putting it on the backs of the taxpayers.
First Ward Council Candidate