May 19, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Join Me in a Good, Old-Fashioned ‘March’

Those who join demonstrations today seem to be less a part of the mainstream than in years past. Further, unless an issue is one which an individual is greatly affected by, the amount of interest they might display can be next to nothing.

We remember the days when thousands of us would join together to rally in Ottawa for the release of Natan Sharansky. Irwin Cotler, a good friend and defender of human rights for all, fought diligently for his release until that famous day when Anatoly (Natan) actually was freed. There were many other days when we stood outside in the frigid cold on behalf of human rights. I remember very well in the month of May, 1968, standing on the corner of 181st Street and Broadway in Washington Heights with my 2-year-old running around and my extremely pregnant stomach getting in the way of my trying to hold out a pushke, whose proceeds would go directly to the State of Israel. Wow, I could not see myself doing that today, although maybe I could! I still feel that feisty part of myself being alive and well.

It is usually easier to request favors from others when you yourself are not deriving personal benefits from the favor. Over the years that was one of the most uncomfortable aspects of taking on a major role in the establishment of our daughter Naama’s group home, Maison Shalom. A significant need for the home is fundraising, and had I not had a child living there I would have felt more comfortable asking people for money.

I am writing this long preface to ask a favor of all of you, and that is to join me on a very short “march” next erev Shabbat. On Friday evening, can I ask you to help me cross the street in the pitch black at the crosswalk, which is really not at the corner of Westminster and New Bridge but is sort of at the corner of New Bridge and Surrey?

It is quite charming, as to get to the crosswalk one has to walk along busy New Bridge until arriving at what is supposed to be the crosswalk. I honestly do not blame drivers for not stopping, because at night the street is pitch black unless a car is driving by and there is no lit indication that there is a crosswalk. I reached out to the city of Bergenfield and was told that it would be extremely thoughtless to put a flashing light at the corner because “Mrs. Glick, would you like to have a light shining into your bedroom at night?” When the person who made that statement, perhaps, was told that his remark was ridiculous, he was informed that the perfect excuse could have been that New Bridge is a county road and therefore the city of Bergenfield has no responsibility for it. I am assuming that the city and the county never speak with each other.

When it is nighttime and pitch black, cars driving along New Bridge have difficulty seeing pedestrians who have no sidewalk to walk on as they attempt to make it to the crosswalk; therefore one can see people cowering in fear of the traffic which is coming towards them as they walk on the street. Once we are able to cross we find ourselves on New Bridge with sidewalks that would do well in a bumper car rally.

A mere half block from the corner to our home means that each time we walk, we are petrified that Mordechai will fall out of the wheelchair which he now sits in. There is a stretch of about five houses whose sidewalks are so broken up that even not being in a wheelchair, I find walking at night in the pitch black with no street lights and no cars appearing with shining lights makes it nearly impossible to avoid falling or tripping from the bumps and cracks through the street.

Why do I need your help? I have begged for a stop light to be erected at the corner of Cameron and New Bridge to make it easier for everyone to cross. I have been told that it is a county street and therefore the city of Bergenfield cannot deal with a county road. It amazes me that in Teaneck, the city was able to put up a flashing sign to indicate a cross walk in several places, one of which is a county street (River Road).

In many cases these signs and lights were put up unfortunately due to tragedies occurring at these destinations. We all know of the tragedy that took place last year outside of Bnai Yeshurun, where one man lost his life as he crossed in front of the shul and the other has B”H made an amazing recovery after months and months of rehab.

I am aware of the fact that the sidewalks are the responsibility of the individual homeowners. I do not want to be the person who is blamed for their expense. Although honestly if someone were to fall on their property it would probably cost them much more to settle a lawsuit.

I was told by Corey Gallo, the borough administrator, that he would be sending over inspectors to check the sidewalks in question. I cannot even remember the number of months ago that was told to me (perhaps even a year). It was also his explanation for not being able to put up a flashing light at a crosswalk because of the disturbance of the local homeowners.

My personal situation has gotten much worse. This request is not just for me but, 1) for everyone who crosses at that corner and takes their lives into their hands, 2) for the children who stand there in some cases probably without their parents’ knowledge trying to make it across, and 3) for each person walking along New Bridge towards Cameron whether they are physically fit, pushing a baby carriage or at this point I have to say pushing my husband’s wheelchair. I believe these situations are despicable and I invite all of you to join me, weather permitting, next Friday night, October 23, at 8 p.m. in front of Beth Abraham, with social distancing of course, and perhaps in unity we will make a difference to the city of Bergenfield. I am so tired of begging for what we all deserve. Many thanks.

By Nina Glick

 

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