Taking a short cut to the GWB? Not today, unless you live or work in this town

Drivers who cut through the side streets in Leonia every day to get to the George Washington Bridge might have been met with a surprise during Monday morning's commute -- signs and police officers telling them they soon won't be allowed to cut through the town.
The small Bergen County borough kicked off its new traffic initiative Monday, banning non-resident drivers from about 60 town-owned streets during morning and evening rush hour times. After a brief grace period, local officials said they plan to soon start doling out $200 tickets to drivers who are no longer permitted on the town's roads.

Beginning Monday, the town's new rule is in place -- dozens of signs around Leonia say so. But, commuters will have two weeks before they might face forking over their Benjamins for driving on the roads. Leonia Mayor Judah Zeigler said officers are using the time to educate drivers on the new law change, and will only give verbal warnings to people who improperly drive on the roads during the rule's first two weeks.

Morning commuters were greeted by signs broadcasting the new rule change as drivers approached one of the town's intersections that gets the busiest during rush hours. Leonia Police Chief Thomas Rowe said Monday that the morning commute already seemed a little less hectic than it usually does, when streams of cars take to local roads in an attempt to evade bridge traffic.

Rowe said he wants to make implementing the new rule as "fair" as possible. The town will assess driver familiarity with the new rule after the first two weeks pass, he said.
Rowe said he scheduled additional officers to work at short-cut hot spots Monday, directing traffic and explaining the new rule to commuters. It seemed, he said, that most motorists trying to drive on at least one of the newly-restricted roads lived or worked in town

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