UPDATED: Vainieri: Braddock Park to close due to overcrowding and people disrespecting police


While James. J. Braddock Park has only been open for two weeks following an order by Gov. Phil Murphy (D), the open space is being closed due to overcrowding and people not respecting police officers, Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders Chair Anthony Vainieri (D-8) announced.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Due to the overcrowding in Braddock Park, people not respecting social distancing and yelling back and being disrespectful to our sheriff officers, the park will now be closed,” Vainieri posted on Facebook minutes ago.

Braddock Park, located in North Bergen, was one of several county parks that opened on May 2nd after Murphy gave the green light for state and county parks to get back to business.

Last week, Vainieri announced that one of the roads that lead to the traffic circle in the park would be closing on weekends for bicyclists, similar to open space concepts being utilized in Hoboken, but that is clearly being put on hold – at least for the short term.

However, at 8:06 p.m., Vainieri clarified that while the park was shut down early, no one was asked to leave and it will open tomorrow.

“A decision was made to shut the roads down entering the park asap. That would eliminate more people coming in. The park remained open and no one was told to leave. People may have been told to break up more than 10 people, as that is the law right now,” he wrote.

“Tomorrow, all roads will open, however if the park gets [overwhelmed] again, roads will close again.”

Murphy has announced that beaches will be opening for Memorial Day Weekend with social distancing provisions, as well as non-essential businesses opening for curbside pickup and non-elective surgeries resuming on May 26th.


Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information.

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  1. Went this morning to walk my dog and the roads were still closed to enter the park. Police were driving by and telling people the park is closed and to walk back and exit the park. However, they weren’t forcing anyone to leave.

  2. This seems motivated more by the hurt feelings of disrespected authority than it is about health concerns. If I see a circle of friends sitting closely in a park together, and they are voluntarily choosing to sit that close together, that’s their own prerogative. They’re not hurting anyone especially if they are wearing masks. But closing the park because cops feel disrespected is super childish and thin skinned. I was walking around the lake yesterday and people stayed within their own groups and respected social distancing with strangers.