After many residents complained, a dangerous fence on West 7th Street has been moved.
The fence ran along West 7th Street and continued along the property along the intersection of West 7th Street and Kennedy Boulevard. For almost two years, the fence was improperly placed, preventing access to the sidewalk.
This made the area dangerous, considering the nearby on ramp to Route 440 and the nearby off ramp from the Bayonne Bridge.
First Ward City Councilman Neil Carroll, whose ward the fence is in, was at the forefront of efforts to have it pushed back.
While the issue was first raised publicly at the May city council meeting, Carroll and residents have been working on a fix for over a year. Carroll has held multiple community meetings with residents regarding the “dangerous” fence.
“We had council meetings where it was brought up, but several people on 7th Street asked me to come down and meet them on the block,” Carroll said. “I went down there on two occasions and met with about 10 people each time. We walked up and down the block, not only looking at that issue, but also other traffic issues that are being addressed now.”
Seeking to solve the problem, Carroll sent numerous messages to Mayor James Davis’s office.
“All my messages said the same thing: ‘This is dangerous, someone is going to get hurt, and we need to address it immediately,’” Carroll said.
Carroll said he sent more messages during the winter.
“If we started plowing snow up against this area, it’s going to become twice as dangerous because now people are going to have to walk further out in the street,” Carroll said.
The issue persisted until residents and other city officials publicly expressed concerns about the intersection in May. Shortly after Carroll, City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski, and the rest of the council echoed resident calls for the fence to be pushed back, the mayor’s office quickly got involved, Carroll said.
“From that point it was moved quickly,” Carroll said. “It seems so simple, but we, as a city, were after [the owner] for over a year to do something with that area of land.”
After Davis’s involvement, code enforcement officials from the Building Department pushed the fence back. The sidewalk was usable again by the time news of the fence being moved back was made known to the public at the June city council meeting.
“The sidewalk had been worked on, so it’s not as pretty as it could be, but it’s level and safe,” Carroll said. “The fence has been pushed back so that there is an appropriate amount of spacing for the sidewalk.”
Public Information Officer Joe Ryan confirmed the fence was moved back and that the sidewalk was usable again.
Carroll thanked residents for speaking out and getting the job done. He encouraged residents to continue to advocate at public meetings to accomplish the changes they desire in Bayonne.
“Thank God the people I was meeting with took my advice and came and spoke at the meeting,” Carroll said. “It’s all about advocacy, and I can only do so much. Residents need to come and advocate for themselves as well. They did, and it helped move things along.”
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.