Wednesday, May 12, 2021

In 1973, on a cold and rainy winter night, I was returning home to my apartment at Terrace Circle in Teaneck, from classes at NYU. I was recently married and this was my first time taking the bus from Port Authority. Having no cell phone or GPS tracker, I got off as soon as the driver called out “Teaneck Road.” That night I would learn the hard way that Teaneck Road and Degraw Avenue are not remotely close to Teaneck Road and State Street. I cried the whole walk home as bus after bus drove past me—of course outbound buses won’t pick up passengers. I walked into my apartment, turned to my husband and exclaimed, “I hate New Jersey!”

Like it or not—whether you work in the city, eat in its restaurants, or, like me, try to avoid it under any circumstances—our community is inextricably tied to the businesses, culture and good restaurants that reside on Manhattan’s packed streets.

But how does one commute to their job in Manhattan? It’s a question that as a Realtor I have been asked over the decades countless times, and have enjoyed the animated and creative responses/conversations that ensue. Some have sworn by the carpool lane, others have fared better than I on the express bus. Those seeking comfort find it on the train, and the romantics amongst us take pleasure in the skyline views found only on a ferry crossing the Hudson River.

This conversation is one of the many that has taken on new meaning in the time of COVID, and whose outcome is yet to be determined. Will congestion pricing below 60th Street, long discussed, finally become a reality? Will APP-driven bus routes that recently began picking up passengers to the delight of many in underserved areas in Bergen County come back? Will offices remain permanently at reduced capacity, making this conversation moot for many of Bergen County’s professionals?

With changes coming to Washington, there has been talk of a focus on “large infrastructure projects.” Imagine if we could add to this conversation the restoration of the West Shore Line, which is now the current CSX railroad tracks that bisect much of Teaneck and Bergenfield. There are old photographs of Teaneck’s RailRoad station across the street from where my desk is on Palisade Avenue. A direct train line to NYC from the heart of Teaneck and Bergenfield would certainly be a game changer.

If you have any thoughts on the best way to get to the city currently or what you think future commuting will look like, feel free to email me at [email protected]

Nechama Polak is the broker of record and owner of V&N Group LLC at 1401 Palisade Ave., Teaneck. She can be reached at 201-692-3700.