- Associated Press - Monday, January 22, 2018

LEONIA, N.J. (AP) - The Latest on a New Jersey town that has restricted access to residential streets in response to navigation apps sending thousands of cars on shortcuts to the George Washington Bridge (all times local):

10:15 a.m.

So far, so good for a New Jersey town that has put up traffic restrictions in response to navigation apps sending motorists on shortcuts to the George Washington Bridge.

Monday marked the first day that motorists passing through Leonia will have to avoid side streets or face a potential $200 fine. Police say thousands of cars routinely clog the streets in the town of 9,200, causing safety problems.

One resident described Monday’s decreased traffic volume as “peaceful” and “beautiful.”

Police Chief Thomas Rowe said his officers initially will give motorists warnings, but will eventually begin writing tickets.


7 a.m.

A New Jersey town less than two miles from the George Washington Bridge is putting up a “keep out” sign for motorists seeking a shortcut to the world’s busiest span.

As a response to navigation apps that re-route some of the tens of thousands of vehicles headed to the bridge, Leonia was to start imposing fines Monday on non-residents who drive on residential streets during the morning and evening commutes.

Local officials and police say the decision isn’t a hasty one and that they’ve done extensive traffic studies. They say it’s a safety issue, as well as a congestion issue for residents trying to get out of their driveways in the morning.

Police Chief Thomas Rowe says the goal is not to write tickets, but to change driving behavior.

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