Watsessing Avenue is a fast and dangerous road. Residents from Bloomfield have to cross Watsessing Avenue to get to the New Jersey Light Rail station and children have to cross to get to some of the areas schools.
For years residents of Bloomfield have brought up this road’s lack of safety as an issue and were met with the roadblock of “Watsessing is a county road.”
If you’re in any city in Essex County the phrase “it is a county road” is a towering wall that can only be scaled with time, connections, more time, and more connections and even then after you die your headstone will read, “She tried.”
I myself almost a month ago was almost crashed into on Watsessing Avenue while walking to the NJ Light Rail.
I also believed that it was a county road as this is what I was told by a person who was told by someone else and who was told by someone else.
But an investigation of the list of county roads on the Essex County website does not have Watsessing Avenue listed as a county road.
This was such a shocking revelation to me that I called the Department of Public Works, Essex County to confirm that Watsessing Avenue was not a county road.
I spoke to Anna in general inquiries and was told, “Watsessing is under the township of Bloomfield.”
I still couldn’t believe it, so I called the office of the Director of Roads and Bridges and was told by Joe, “Watsessing is not a county road.”
I even emailed the Essex County, Director & County Engineer, Sanjeev Varghese and asked is Watsessing Avenue a county road and I wrote, “Greetings, My name is Lark Lo. I’m a ped, bicycle, complete streets advocate covering the Essex County area. I would like to know is Watsessing in Bloomfield a county road. Thank you so much for your assistance in this matter.” and the response I received from Varghese was, “It is not.”
When and who started the rumor that Watsessing Avenue was a county road and more importantly now that we know it is not a county road who will be our champion in getting Watsessing Avenue safe for the people who walk across it to get to the Newark Light Rail, walk across it to get to school and ride their bicycles and walk along it to get to the NJ Train?
by Lark Lo