BOSTON (WBZ-AM) Next time you get stuck in one of our increasingly epic traffic jams, try to put it in perspective by realizing how lucky you are to not live in Leonia, New Jersey.
The town is a popular cut-through for traffic coming on and off the George Washington Bridge. And now that everybody has a GPS and/or an app like Waze guiding them through the back streets to avoid traffic jams, Leonia has become a nightmarish scene of rush-hour gridlock.
Imagine traffic so bad, you cannot exit your driveway.
So Leonia officials have instituted a rule. If you don’t have a yellow resident tag hanging from your rearview mirror and the cops spot you on about 60 of their streets from 6 to 10 a.m. and between 4 and 9 p.m., you can be slapped with a $200 fine. There are loopholes; if you come up with a good enough reason why you have to be there, you’re good to go.
What could possibly go wrong?
I don’t blame these folks for being mad. They’ve got a legitimate public safety problem. Maybe if they tried a few more signs, some strategic road closures and pressure on the Wazes of the world to stop steering traffic there, they could avoid the near-certain blizzard of lawsuits to come.
But if they do go ahead with the fines and get away with it, that opens up a world of opportunity for others. What if Quincy, Milton and Dorchester could get paid for every non-resident on the Expressway? Cape residents only allowed on the bridges during prime-time in the summer would really cut the traffic.
And if they want to take the New Jersey Turnpike away from the rest of us? Be my guest.
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