Leonia Police Chief Thomas Rowe calls for aid to make roads safer in wake of fatal crash

The police chief of a local town says an influx of traffic from state roadways is causing massive traffic. Chief Thomas Rowe says the town

Chief Thomas Rowe says the town of Leonia

Chief Thomas Rowe says the town of Leonia is overwhelmed with the spillover and their pleas are falling on deaf ears. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

LEONIA - The police chief of a local town says an influx of traffic from state roadways is causing massive traffic.

Chief Thomas Rowe says the town of Leonia is overwhelmed with the spillover and their pleas are falling on deaf ears.

On Thursday, 60-year-old Leyla Kan was killed when she was struck by a bus during rush hour while trying to cross a busy street.

Trucks, cars, pedestrians and buses converge on the areas at all times and Rowe says not only is the traffic dangerous, but it's too much for them to handle alone.

As many as 30,000 cars spill into the area from the George Washington Bridge and the New Jersey Turnpike daily.

"They need some more crossing guards around here," says truck driver Luis Amres. "They need some police officers so they can stop the trucks and help the people cross."

Leonia does have two crossing guards, but can only budget them for the school year. Two police officers are also assigned to the intersection of Fort Lee Road and Broad Avenue, where Kan was struck, but on Thursday they had been pulled from that assignment for a domestic dispute.

The entire police department is made up of less than two dozen officers and Rowe says they are stretched thin. He says for years he has asked Gov. Chris Christie and the Port Authority to help and has received nothing.

"Two multibillion-dollar quasi-government agencies that provide absolutely no money to the Leonia Police Department," he says.

Rowe says some of the millions of dollars collected from the GWB should go to local municipalities.

The Port Authority has not returned News 12 New Jersey's request for comment.

 

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