10 months after first approaching the governing body at a Mayor & Council meeting, Alex Haluszczak’s efforts have paid off with a bus stop at Valley Road and Westfield Avenue.
During the September 3rd Mayor & Council meeting last year, Alex – accompanied by a petition signed by his fellow travelers in the morning – spoke on the record to request a bus stop on West Westfield Avenue by the intersection of Valley Road on both sides of the state highway.
“We take the bus currently in front of Burger King and we just found out that’s not actually a New Jersey Transit bus stop,” Alex said during the public comment portion of the meeting, “Most of the drivers do pick us up because I’ve been taking it for eight years and that hasn’t been an issue but lately a couple of bus drivers just pass us by.”
Alex came prepared with a map which showed that that next stop to the west is in Cranford past the Dairy Queen on John Street and to the east the next bus stop is on Faitoute Avenue in Roselle Park – a mile apart. He explained that during the wintertime, when it snows, bus commuters take to walking on the actual roadway to get to those bus stops since the sidewalks get iced over and make walking hazardous. Doing his own legwork before approaching council, Alex stated, “I called NJ Transit and they said you guys have to approve it.”
“The main complaint from the bus driver is that he’ll get a ticket,” the fifth ward resident commented as to why the bus no longer stops there, adding, “He actually stopped the other day and yelled at another bus driver for picking us up. Every morning he picks us up, he yells at us, and then he is on the phone with management the entire trip to Port Authority.”
In addition to the stop at Burger King Alex requested a designated bus stop across the highway – going west – by the 7-Eleven. He stated that drivers have refused to drop him off there as well on return trips home.
Mayor Carl Hokanson, at that meeting, told Alex and his fellow commuters in attendance that the request would need to be reviewed by the Borough Attorney and sent through the proper channels. Sure enough, the request went through the different government official levels of reviews and requests. Four months after Alex’s presentation, the governing body supported the bus stops in Resolution 46-16 during the January 21st meeting of this year. Roselle Park Police Chief Paul Morrison was also involved throughout the process, keeping tabs on its progress. Finally, at the July 21st meeting it was announced that the bus stops were put in place by New Jersey Transit.
Alex commented, “I and the other commuters would like to thank the Mayor and Chief of Police in working with us to get this installed. They were both very responsive to our concerns [and] kept me informed of the status and answered my emails when I requested an update every month.”
This is the second of Alex’s suggestions that have improved the quality of life for other Roselle Park residents. His first suggestion, a community garden, finally took off last year and is still active on Valley Road.
Below are the bus stops for the eastbound and westbound side of Westfield Avenue by Valley Road.