North Bergen tragedy spurs Vainieri to action


After the recent tragic events in North Bergen that claimed the lives of two teens and seriously injured a third on 26th street and Kennedy Boulevard, Freeholder Anthony Vainieri (D-8) is taking steps to make the dangerous thoroughfare safer for pedestrians and drivers.

“We have a $3 million grant from the state (North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority) and that’s for safety for the roads and they are evaluating the Boulevard and they’re doing it a little slow.  I’m trying to expedite that immediately,” Vainieri says.

“I’m implementing a policy to start at Bayonne and end in North Bergen and evaluate every inch of the Boulevard with every municipality separately.”

With either their mayors, chief of police, administrators, traffic division or personnel from police departments and find out where the trouble spots are.

“Whether it be turns, lighting, could be signage, it could be fluorescent striping on the ground, could be speed strips,” the freeholder says.

He directed the administrator to call PSE&G to do something about the lighting on the Boulevard.

“They’re gonna start in phases of upgrading every pole,” Vainieri says.  “Right now they’re 200 watts. They’re gonna upgrade them to 400 watts. So that’ll help a little bit with lighting. So that’s where we’re starting right now — we’ll see where it goes.”

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Jillian has a passion for news, giving voice to the voiceless and telling stories that make an impact. A New Jersey native, she spent the past two years as a multimedia journalist/one-man-band at WTAP-TV, the NBC affiliate in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where she covered everything from meth busts to fracking to the homeless to a young man struck by lightening. She was her news director’s “go to health reporter” and also covered many education and political stories. She frequently interviewed the mayors of Parkersburg, Vienna and Williamstown, WV and Belpre and Marietta, Ohio. She interviewed OH Gubernatorial Candidate Ed Fitzgerald and OH Congressional Candidate Jennifer Garrison, as well as WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and WV Senator Joe Manchin. Jillian was a regular fixture at the local police, sheriff’s departments, prosecutors’ offices and courthouses. Many looked forward to her ‘Mom of the Month’ series. Her story about two women who lost their children to heroin was widely recognized, along with her much loved piece on the Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis band camp. In her free time, Jillian enjoys yoga; working out, live music, spending time with friends on both coasts and the Mid-Ohio Valley. Follow on Twitter @JillianRis


  1. I don’t see how brighter street lights will help stop drunk drivers i think the money will be better spent on speed bumps or raised Medians, Bollards or other protective barriers to stop the car before it hits someone


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