Sidewalk Flap Casts Shadow On Beautiful N.J. Rec Center

LYNDHURST, N.J. (CBS 2) — A New Jersey town is being praised for building a recreation center with a pre-school and brand new fields.

But some residents say the town forgot one thing — the sidewalk.

It’s rare to see parents take risks when walking down the dangerous hill to a pre-school in Lyndhurst, but CBS 2’s Christine Sloan found at least one mother who does. Sheena Tripodi has a 4-year-old at the school and said there should be a sidewalk on Valley Brook Avenue.

“There’s a few parents who walk back and forth and as you can see it’s dangerous because the top of the hill you can’t see who is coming. If you walk on side with no sidewalk a car could hit you,” Tripodi said.

There is no sidewalk on one side of the road but there is one on the other side.

“I wish I could walk but I can’t because half of it doesn’t have a sidewalk,” parent Kristen Dimler said.

Sloan came to Lyndhurst after receiving an e-mail from a concerned resident. The majority of parents who have children in the pre-school applaud the town for building the recreation center two years ago. Most said they drive here and love the fact it costs them $10 a day for pre-school.

“I am thrilled the rec center picked up the pre-school or else it wouldn’t have been,” parent Carol Rigano said.

“This is a beautiful facility,” another parent added.

The town also rents the fields to the Red Bulls soccer team organization. The commissioner of Lyndhurst Parks and Recreation told Sloan the town is planning on renovating a pathway behind the fields within the next six months, now that it has received a $150,000 grant.

“If you look in the back of this facility there is an entrance from the top of the hill. We don’t really need a sidewalk on this particular street. It’s a two-way street. There’s no much we can do,” commissioner Tom DiMaggio said.

Police are also on hand at the recreation center directing traffic and the commissioner said school kids who use the facility are bussed in and that no one should be walking this busy road.

The viewer who sent us the email did not want to talk on camera but said the problem is worse in the evening when kids are leaving soccer practice.

Town officials said most recreation centers and little league fields around the state are built in busier areas with lots of space and that the majority of parents drive their kids to games and practices.

Town administrators said there is no ordinance that requires them to build a sidewalk on the road.

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One Comment

  1. Debbie Wertalik says:

    I think Lyndhurst did a proactive thing by starting affordable pre k in the aftermath of what Gov Cristie did with his budget cuts. Most towns cut programs without a thought to what it would do to the children. I know a surrounding town that wishes they could have the fields and facilities Lyndhurst has. In fact their fields are so dangerous that they have to borrow Lyndhurst’s fields to provide their children with sports and Lyndhurst gladly helps them out. Lyndhurst has new beautiful fields and facilities and if it weren’t for the current administration Lyndhurst wouldn’t have those amenities. Commissioner Di Maggio did a wonderful thing by starting this program in a state of the art facility. Thanks Lyndhurst and Commissioner Di Maggio for always putting the children and their safety first and for making Lyndhurst a town the residents can be proud of.

  2. Kathleen Ann Bianco says:

    The townspeople should use the sidewalk on the appropriate side of the street instead of subjecting themselves tothe dangerous traffic. I am a former resident of Lyndhurst and I commen the Town for even having a low-cost daycare center for their Townspeople. Other towns do not offer this. The peopel who are putting themselves in danger of the traffic are putting themselves aqt risk for some reason knowing that they need to walk onthe appropriate side of the street to stay safe., Kudos to Tom DiMaggio and the Town for always considering their residents by offering the day care and by at least having the sidewalk on one side for the protection of walkers.

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