PATERSON, NJ - The Paterson City Council voted 5-4 in support of a pair of ordinances to make a portion of 21st Avenue open to one-way traffic while changing the current parallel parking to angled parking.

The plan, championed by 6th Ward Councilman Al Abdelaziz, will create 60 parking spaces. 

While dozens of senior citizens from the area, including many from Governor Towers, raised their concerns about the increased traffic safety concerns the changes will cause to their street, Abdelaziz countered that under the proposed improvements, including the installation of speed humps and flashing signs, and additional street lining to 20th Avenue, are also included. 

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With the public having their say City Council President Maritza Davila offered her colleagues the opportunity to be heard. It was during this time that an elongated discussion, centering primarily on whether or not area residents were adequately informed of the changes, took place. 

Recalling that the long standing proposal was brought to his attention soon after he was sworn in to the position, Abdelaziz said that he is “proactive” and believed the time was right to finally advance it.

“We can sit here and let things go by, and nothing happens,” Abdelaziz said. “That’s failing our residents.”

Doing nothing, he added, means only that not only will traffic continue to be a problem on 21st Ave, but the improvements slated for the adjacent street also won’t occur. 

With the vote sitting at 4-4 Davila offered the final support urging the residents in attendance, to believe that while the final outcome may not be what the now exiting seniors had hoped for, “we do care.”

Voting in support of the measures were Councilmembers Michael Jackson, Shahine Khalique, Al Abdelaziz, Maritza Davila, and Flavio Rivera.

Voting against the measures were Ruby Cotton, Bill McKoy, Luis Velez, and Dr. Lilisa Mimms.

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