Thank you for the invitation to comment on your recent article, “Development vs. Preservation. As a resident of West New York for the past eight years, beginning approximately two years ago, I found myself becoming alarmed at the rapid pace of the destruction of the Palisades Cliffs.
I grew up in this area and chose to purchase an apartment here because although I work in Manhattan, I did not wish to live among the hoards of people and busy traffic found across the River. The proximity to NYC made it convenient, and the quality of life was enhanced in this “small town” community by the natural beauty of the cliffs with its abundance of trees and foliage and the open space found along the waterfront.
Over the past couple of years, I began to sense the gradual decline in the quality of life in my community.What used to be an easy and convenient commute into NYC has become a nightmare with people taking the bus far exceeding the service available. Most people find themselves with “standing room only” options at any given time. Bus lines at the Port Authority to commute back into NJ wind along the corridors to the back of the terminal should you arrive there after 5pm with no reprieve until after 8pm. It’s difficult enough that people find themselves working harder and longer hours at their jobs, now only to find that their commute only adds to their stress and fatigue.
It’s clear that urban sprawl is taking over our humble little communities. We don’t wish to become NYC; in fact, many people moved to NJ from NYC for a better quality of life which is now gradually being stripped away from us.
Your article notes the developers’ contention that the removal of the rocks from the cliffs (250 million year old natural treasure) are “minimal” and that replacing them with buildings are for our benefit. That’s really ludicrous. How can any serious consideration be given to what these developers say with respect to the damage being done when they are clearly biased and profiting from the destruction?
Consider also the multitude of edifices that have already been constructed along the waterfront as well as those built west of Boulevard East (adding thousands upon thousands of people to an already overcrowded community). The argument continues to be the same - we need more tax ratables! How many huge buildings do we need to build to pay for our local towns’ bloated budgets? The news is rife with stories about corruption and waste in our towns; maybe we, as residents and taxpayers, should take a stand against this false argument that building more highrises in place of our open spaces will be good for us, and open our eyes to what is truly occurring?!
I for one am sick and tired of losing my community and quality of life to fatten the pockets of a handful of developers, politicians and civil servants who take advantage of the hard-working and trusting people in our towns. Our mayors and county officials would do well to truly serve us and do a better job of bringing commerce into our towns - something that will sustain our growth for the long-term, instead of taking the easy way out and simply overbuild to make the easy argument of “tax ratables.” They would do well to disclose the flipside of the ratables argument, which is: Stress on our environment, stress on drainage systems, traffic congestion, overcrowding and lack of resources to our school systems, diminishing green and open space, and overall diminished quality of life.