Noise from Newark annoying Kearny residents, bike-share plan rejected

Kearny residents fed up with music blasting at them from across the Passaic River into the wee hours have a chance to make themselves heard on this side of the water.

Mayor Alberto Santos is inviting them to take note that he will be convening a public meeting on the subject Monday, Oct. 2, at 6:30 p.m. in the Town Hall council chambers. A representative of the Hudson Regional Health Commission is expected to attend.

“I feel pain for our residents,” said Councilwoman Carol Jean Doyle, from whose ward many of the complaints are coming. “Some have their air-conditioners running, TV on and windows shut and they can still hear [the music]. I know of one person who likes playing Mozart and he’s certainly affected by this.”

The unpleasant vibrations are said to be emanating from Verona Ave. and McCarter Highway in the Brick City, primarily during the weekends, according to Doyle.

Terrace Place resident Kelly Logue said her family – like others on her block – have been suffering with the noise for a while now.

“It’s going on now two, maybe three years,” Logue said, “during August and September, toward the end of summer. I’m lying in bed with the TV and the A/C on, trying to sleep, and … it’s like being in a concert at [MetLife] Stadium.”

The first time she heard it, Logue said, “I thought, ‘My neighbor is having a huge party.’”

And, typically, she said, it happens on Sunday nights. “I’ve got four young kids I’m trying to put to bed and they’re not getting to sleep until 3 a.m.”

A neighbor, Logue said, told her the sound is so loud, “the water in their pool is vibrating.”

When she called the KPD to complain, “they directed me to the Newark police,” Logue said. “And they told me they don’t know where it’s coming from. It’s very frustrating.”

Oddly, when resident Melanie Ryan raised the issue at the Sept. 12 meeting of the governing body, the mayor essentially shrugged it off, saying the situation was “not within our jurisdiction. If they [the city of Newark] don’t enforce their noise regulations, we can’t do it.”

Santos said the only possible remedy open to Kearny is to “file a lawsuit,” which, he added, would likely get tied up in the courts. And, given a lot of other issues Newark faces, noise is likely “not at the top of their list” to deal with.

Now, however, the mayor is reportedly calling on the Kearny health officer – who serves as the town’s noise enforcement officer – to get involved in the matter.

So maybe Kearny will be taking Newark to court after all. Stay tuned.

No bike-share program for Kearny

In November 2016 Kearny put in motion a plan to put residents on wheels … two-wheelers, that is.

Despite reservations voiced by several Town Council members, Mayor Alberto Santos persuaded the majority to authorize filing an application for a state Transportation Alternatives grant to set up a bicycle share and bicycle lane project.

Unfortunately, the proposal never made it past the starting gate.

In a letter dated Aug. 11, Michael Russo, state Department of Transportation director of local aid & economic development, informed the mayor the Kearny project “was not among those selected to receiving funding.”

“The T.A. program continues to be very popular and increasingly competitive,” Russo wrote. “As a result, we regret that we are unable to fund many worthwhile projects this year.”

Statewide, there were 133 applicants requesting more than $100 million and, of those, 37 were approved for $26.9 million in funding.

Among the applicants, aside from Kearny, from The Observer coverage area, were Lyndhurst, North Arlington and Bloomfield. None were selected.

Ron Leir | Observer Correspondent

Ron Leir has been a newspaperman since the late ’60s, starting his career with The Jersey Journal, having served as a summer reporter during college. He became a full-time scribe in February 1972, working mostly as a general assignment reporter in all areas except sports, including a 3-year stint as an assistant editor for entertainment, features, religion, etc. He retired from the JJ in May 2009 and came to The Observer shortly thereafter. He is also a part-time actor, mostly on stage, having worked most recently with the Kearny-based W.H.A.T. Co. and plays Sunday softball in Central Park, N.Y.