Friday, July 30, 2010

Pedestrian Safety on CR 27 / Palisade Avenue

July 30, 2010

Mayor Gerald A. Calabrese
Borough of Cliffside Park
525 Palisade Avenue
Cliffside Park, NJ 07010

re: Pedestrian Safety CR27 – Palisade Avenue / Crosswalks.

Dear Mayor Calabrese,

Thank you for listening to me during the public comment portion of the Mayor and Town Councilors meeting held on July 13, 2010.

At the hearing I mentioned that I spoke to the County and learned that in the past they have reached out to the Borough by providing paint, but that the Borough has the final say do to, "home rule." I researched circumstances that over-ride "home rule," and read that laws out of Trenton would be one, and then made reference to New Jersey's new pedestrian safety law that took effect April 1, 2010, that requires motorists to stop and stay stopped for pedestrians in marked crosswalks.

I'm following up today, calling upon my elected officials to once again forgo "home rule,"and to please accept any assistance the County Department of Public Works offers so that wider zebra or wider ladder styles of crosswalks be painted at all intersections along
CR27 - Palisade Avenue from Prospect to Riverview Street, I believe one already exists at Riverview Street but not at the intersection of Gorge Road, I'm not certain.

At the hearing I mentioned that the neighborhood has many new families, more children and residents age 65 and older all living on or near Palisade Avenue. In addition I pointed out that three of six of our schools, the largest being the High School, the Library and Municipal complex are on Palisade Avenue / CR 27 or one block away.

These crosswalks would aide our crossing guards when doing their jobs during the day. When the crossing guards are gone these crosswalks and the newly installed white lights that have been installed would provide an even safer neighborhood for all residents, especially those who are walking home after their evening commute from Manhattan.

Lastly, there are the many businesses, i.e. gas stations with convenience stores, conveniences stores, take out eateries, dry cleaning and other new stores a majority all open at night.

We've addressed the cell phone issue with signs, people still talk using a hand held and worse texting is at an all time high. I thank you all for your attention to my appearance at the hearing, I hope my follow-up letter today helps clear up my points and ask you to please discuss as soon as possible and add it to next meetings agenda and take a vote on August 17, so that the wide crosswalks can be painted in time for the upcoming school season.


Stephen A. Puibello, Founder
Friends and Neighbors of the
Back Bay NAG.
Neighborhood Action Group
Community Activist since 1996

cc: Council President Thomas Calabrese
Councilwoman Donna Spoto
Councilman Larry J. Bongard
Councilman Bernard J. Fontana
Councilwoman Dana Martinotti
Councilman Kenneth J. Corcoran
Bergen County Executive Dennis McNerney
Bergen County Director of Public Works Tom Connolly
Cliffside Park Director of Public Works Al Martone

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

NJSA 39:4-8.1 Approval of Handicapped Parking Spaces, Signs

39:4-8.1. Approval of handicapped parking spaces, signs

July 14, 2010

Mayor Gerald A. Calabrese
Borough of Cliffside Park
525 Palisade Avenue
Cliffside Park, NJ 07010

RE: Approval of handicapped parking spaces, signs

Dear Mayor,

Currently residents of Cliffside Park can request that a designated parking space be placed in front of their home, I believe the law is NJSA 39:4-197.5 The request is mentioned at town meeetings for passage.

I'm writing today asking if that regulation or possible NJSA 39:4-8.1 which I quoted below can be applied to residents who have the Blue Handicap Plague which allows them to park at designated parking spaces at shopping centers, movies, etc.?

Sir, I've been asking that my father's driveway be designated with white lines and or yellow paint left and right of his driveway, please read my blog entry Public and Private Driveways for a better understanding of what I'm asking, thank you.

I'm hoping that residents who own homes, hense private driveways, should have these drivways painted with the universal handicap logo in the picture above. The law accomodates residents who are handicapped who don't own a home, why shouldn't it be applied to the disabled resident who owns a home with a driveway.

Mayor Calabrese I'm asking that you and the Council Members help me resolve this matter. I've included the NJSA 39:4-8.1 law for your review.

"1. Any municipality, which pursuant to the provisions of R.S.39:4-8, R.S.39:4-197, section 1 of P.L.1977, c.202 (C.39:4-197.5) or section 1 of P.L.1977, c.309 (C.39:4-197.6) designates restricted parking spaces for use by handicapped persons, may, in lieu of having the Department of Transportation inspect those parking spaces and any signs erected in association therewith, designate the municipal engineer to determine whether or not those parking spaces and signs conform to the current standards prescribed by the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, adopted by the Commissioner of Transportation, and any other Department of Transportation rules and regulations governing such parking spaces and signs.
Any such parking spaces and signs shall be deemed approved and operational, and in need of no additional inspection by the Department of Transportation, when the municipal engineer, under his seal as a licensed professional engineer, shall certify to the commissioner that the parking spaces and signs:
a. have been approved by him after investigation; and

b. conform to the current standards prescribed by the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, as adopted by the commissioner, and any other Department of Transportation rules and regulations governing such parking spaces and signs.
The municipal engineer shall submit to the commissioner, together with his certification, detailed information as to the location and number of parking spaces, a certified copy of the ordinance, resolution or regulation designating the restricted parking spaces, and such other information as the commissioner shall deem necessary.


Stephen A. Puibello, Founder
Friends and Neighbors of the Back Bay NAG
Neighborhood Action Group

CC: Council President, Thomas Calabrese
Councilman, Bernard J. Fontana
Sgt. M. Sciancalepore # 77, Traffic Officer
Sercan Zoklu, American Disabilities Act Coordinator

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Public and Private Driveway Ordinances

Today I'm blogging about both public and private driveways in our neighborhood of Cliffside Park, especially on Gorge Road, Anderson Avenue and Palisade Avenue's, and especially in the neighborhood that are zoned as multidwelling properties.

The problem is parking in the older neighborhood of town that have single driveways. Residents that have garage doors are lucky in that they have signage that educates or reminds motorists, as the signs say, "do not block the driveway." These signs can be purchased at hardware stores and hung without the need of an ordinance.

If you have no garage door to hang a sign, you presently are out of luck and left to telephone the police department who looks up the license plate # of a vehicle blocking a driveway, and if lucky the owner moves his car. If not towing is involved and you are inconvenienced during the process. Our police take this serious, respond promptly and do their best, thank you.

Is this fair, if you are coming from a supermarket with a trunk load of groceries, or just finished your morning routine and are on your way to work, or possible heading out to the doctors office or local hospital?

The mission statement of this site is, " As a community think tank, we analyze existing programs that are in the public eye, research what other cities and towns are doing, solicit community feedback, then share our findings so that friends and neighbors can discuss, build upon, and hopefully incorporate these new ideas back into their neighborhoods."

We aren't the only neighborhood in this Country or within the State of New Jersey with this problem. Drive through neighborhoods like North Bergen or Weehawken or Maplewood. There could be others, but three is plenty to point out as they addressed the problem, wrote new ordinances and lines and or yellow curbs have been implemented.

Sticking with my mission statement I'm hoping our elected officials look at these communities, as the framework for writing our own ordinance exist. Ordinances are laws that are written against the State of New Jersey's Constitution, so if muncipalitites within a state are doing something that yours isn't, then hopefully through lobbying efforts, letters and phone calls, what politicians refer to as "contintuent services," the issue like this one will happen.

How many times do you listen to the news and feel helpless in that you can't do anything at the Federal or State level, it is frustrating I've been there. But I have also been at the local level of Government, lobbying, wearing three hats, taxpayer, freelance writer and community activist.

Maybe instead of five feet, one foot left and right of both public and private driveways can be painted. Or we could paint white lines that designate both driveways and parking spaces, these are measured out parking spaces, plus they have a residental parking permit program.

Local officials are our neighbors, reside in the same town, may worship in your church, shop in the same supermarket, my point is they want to help, but they can't be everywhere all the time, they need our assistance. When talking to them treat them the same way you like to be treated, with respect. The job they provide is a vital one and I thank all of them who step up and take on the responsibilties.

I'm leaving my personal blogs open for discussion, please add your comments and suggestions, possible in your travels you've seen similar markings or others. To do nothing is wrong, to address this is right.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Edgewater's Town Hall Meeting

July 3, 2010

Congressman Steven R. Rothman
2303 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congressman Rothman,

Getting up early, 9:30 to attend a town hall meeting was well worth it, not just for me but to everyone who attended. The whole process brought back memories when I was actively lobbying Boston's Mayor, his Departmental Staff and the Boston City Council, the real heart of the City of Boston as over 70% of their work is constituent services.

It was an exciting time in my life, working at Pioneer Mutual Funds as an Unclaimed Funds Analyst, just purchased my first condo, started Friends and Neighbors of the Back Bay NAG, Neighborhood Action Group, and also writing freelance for America On Line, Digital City Boston now known as City Search, I was in my early 30's.

All this was prior to my diagnoses with BiPolar Disorder, but looking back at all that today one has to wonder how does one do all that, while also volunteering for thirteen years at Fenway Community Health Center's, on thier Crisis Intervention Hotline twice a week, as well as Consulting for Governor William Weld for a projcet called, "stop the hate." The answer as to how, oodles of energy also called mania, followed by period of lows, depression.

In addition to this resurrected project, I'm very active with the Mental Health Community as a Consumer Advocate with NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness as I'm a member of their GLBT-Leadership Group.

I wanted to write you today to introduce myself as well as thank you for assisting me with answers to question regarding caregiving to my aging dad, as well as property tax questions for people living on a fixed income and disabilities.

Your staff in Hackensack have been contacted and I look forward to hearing from them.

Again, thank you very much for your town hall meetings, I look forward to the next one in my area of southern Bergen County.


Stephen A. Puibello, Founder
Friends and Neighbors of the
Back Bay NAG,
Neighborhood Action Group, since 1996

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Next Time Out and About, Look Up!

July 2, 2010

Mayor Gerald A. Calabrese
Borough of Cliffside Park
525 Palisade Avenue
Cliffside Park, NJ 07010

Dear Mayor Calabrese,

Right time, right place. I had just returned from Pathmark and noticed a utility truck on Palisade Avenue, I looked up and noticed we have new street lights. It is these new energy efficient street lights that I'm writing about as I want to thank you.

According to the article I read PSE&G has invested $50 million to provide these new white lights into 220 municipalities of which Cliffside Park was choosen. According to the article I read on, January 12, 2010, "this program is a win-win for the communities we serve, said Ralph LaRossa, president and COO of PSE&G. It brings a new green source of lighting to our neighborhoods as it provides some relief to municipal budgets."

So far I've noticed only a few on Palisade Avenue and one up the hill on Prospect street, I was writing to also ask how many of these energy efficient street lights will Cliffside Park be getting and how much money will in fact this save our community?

Again I want to applaud you and our elected officials for helping us keep our municipal budget down, with New Jersey taxes being the highest in the nation we need all the assistance we can get to keep our property taxes from climbing.


Stephen A. Puibello, Founder
Friends and Neighbors of the
Back Bay NAG, Neighborhood Action Group