Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

What's Behind Some Puzzling Street Sights?

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

What's Behind Some Puzzling Street Sights?

Article excerpt

What is it?

That's the question road warriors ask when they spot the high- rise slowly going up near the Route 495 helix on the Weehawken waterfront near the Lincoln Tunnel.

The answer is The Estuary, a three-building, luxury residential complex whose first tower should be completed by January. But most readers appear more interested in a second question:

What does it mean?

"Ever since 9/11, I've treasured the view across the river even more than before," said Teaneck's Jane Abraham. "I'd be sad if it was obstructed."

"Is nothing sacred anymore?" asked Alan Tlusty of West Milford.

Yes, but apparently sacredness has its limits.

Initial plans called for two 10-story office towers. But complaints about obstructing the view for drivers helped kill it, and eventually the state Department of Environmental Protection restricted heights so that a "view corridor" of the river and New York skyline would be preserved, said Bob Drasheff, Weehawken's waterfront development consultant. Plans by the joint developers -- Hartz Mountain and Roseland Properties -- call for only one tower to reach the maximum allowable height.

What is it? and What does it mean? are common questions as road warriors make their way across North Jersey. Here are more examples:

Bizarre obstruction

Each time Maureen Smith tries to enter southbound Route 17 in Paramus when she pulls out of the parking lot of Leslie's pool supply store, a bizarre alignment of obstacles blocks the fast- moving parade of oncoming traffic when she looks over her shoulder to the north.

What is it?

"Mailboxes," Maureen said.

What does it mean?

"I'm taking my life in my hands," said the Paramus reader.

Indeed, four evenly spaced mailboxes for Leslie's and three other stores in this strip mall are lined up along the highway's edge in a way that blocks a driver's line of sight, especially when traffic moves into the right lane to exit at nearby Midland Avenue.

"I thought it only affected me because I'm short," said Maureen.

Not so, said fellow pool owner Jeff Seise, who is taller.

"It affects everyone who goes there," said the Waldwick reader.

Route 17 for-sale signs

Barely noticeable, they're both for parcels on the southbound side of the crowded highway, each of which house small vacant commercial buildings. …

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