A man who started a petition against NJ Transit for fencing off access to the Teterboro-Williams Avenue train stop brought his plight to borough officials Tuesday night who agreed something needs to be done to improve rail access to the borough.
Lino Brescia says he had an easy commute in and out of New York City at that train stop until NJ Transit constructed a fence which now blocks any access to the stop from the Hasbrouck Heights side of Williams Avenue.
It's believed the intention was to make the stop "safer" says Brescia however he and other commuters who used to cross the tracks at the Hasbrouck Heights side to board the train now have to walk up the Route 46 ramp onto the highway which he says is much more dangerous.
He says other stops along the rail line are wide open with people walking over the tracks such as in Hackensack.
Brescia says driving to the Wood-Ridge train station is of course a possibility but why should Hasbrouck Heights commuters not have access to this stop which is just "a stone's throw away" from their homes. He cited other reasons the rail stop is important to the community, as the lack of access to NYC could bring down property value. It would also be a benefit to the community for the Super Bowl event next year, said Brescia.
Mayor Rose Heck agreed stating that she has tried to get NJ Transit to improve the area to transform it into a Teterboro/Hasbrouck Heights stop. She says there was a commitment from the developer currently constructing in Teterboro near the train stop to provide space, at no cost to NJ Transit, to add hundreds of parking spaces for commuters but they refused it.
The mayor pointed to other options NJ Transit could take to expand that station including purchasing the empty gas station which borders the tracks.
"Why they make these so-called improvements at the expense of the commuters is beyond me," said Heck.
Heck said she reached out to NJ Transit alerting them to situation working towards bringing representatives to a borough meeting so that Brescia and fellow supporters could present their case.
The meeting is expected to be set up in the coming weeks.