NJ town is sued over road restrictions for non-residents

Many Leonia, New Jersey, residents are happy about the rush-hour travel restrictions currently in place. But some trouble is on the horizon.

Citing years of unimaginable traffic nightmares, Leonia officials enacted a ban on motorists who are not residents of the borough from using side streets as shortcuts to and from the George Washington Bridge.

But attorney Jacqueline Rosa filed a complaint in Bergen County Superior Court challenging the legality of the ban. She said the ban not only stops cars from getting to the bridge, it also restricts people going about their everyday business shopping in the town or bring their kids to school and more.

Mayor Judah Zeigler has received tremendous town support for his actions, which he said fall under a 1977 U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled that municipalities have the right to create restrictions on roads under their control.

Leonia has proposed fining violators $200 if caught on the 60 or so affected roads. That aside, Rosa said she has an even greater worry—the potential domino effect. She said other towns will follow Leonia's lead and think they can start closing streets to nonresidents.

For now, the ban stays in place and the town is ready to fight.