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Mixed Signals About GWB Routes Causing Traffic Woes In Fort Lee

FORT LEE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Residents in Fort Lee are seeing an increase in traffic speeding through their community, and some are pointing blame at how the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey has been directing commuters coming over the George Washington Bridge.

At crunch times the GWB can seem like a game of Pac-Man when traffic on the access roads stands still and drivers start detouring onto local roads, reports CBS2's Meg Baker.

GPS and routing apps like Waze give you the fastest route, which is often through Fort Lee, but Maureen Theis echoed a thought held by many of her fellow driver: "I want to get to my destination quicker."

To solve the problem, the Port Authority took to social media urging people to avoid creating congrestion through the New Jersey community: "George Washington Bridge users: Be a good neighbor. Stay on highway to access bridge unless otherwise instructed."

But the tweet is seen by some as the Port Authority sending mixed messages. Earlier this month, without notice the agency changed the traffic pattern coming out of the tolls on the Palisades parkway to a severe merge from six lanes to one, incentivizing some drivers to cut through Fort Lee.

"I travel here all the time and it just hit me I didn't get enough warning," said driver Jamie Restrepo.

Jerry Gallipoli owns a Binghamton Bagel & Deli in Fort Lee and says drivers treat Lemoine Ave like just another highway to the bridge.

"It does not help any of the store people here (and) causes problems," said Gallipoli. "Too much traffic is a deterrent."

Despite going public with this initiative today, complete with a news release, when asked to go on camera to explain the ramifications of permanently closing one lane of the Palisades Parkway helix, the Port Authority said it had no one available to speak.

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