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Perspective

Fort Lee, Beyond Bridgegate

The town next to the George Washington Bridge is fed—and cursed—by cars and trucks flowing to New York City. But there’s more to Fort Lee than traffic.
In Fort Lee, New Jersey, the George Washington Bridge looms large.
In Fort Lee, New Jersey, the George Washington Bridge looms large.Julio Cortez/AP

I grew up in Fort Lee, New Jersey, in an apartment building that was about as close to New York City as any dwelling outside the Big Apple’s city limits can get.

The mouth of the George Washington Bridge sat less than half a mile from my childhood home. On any given day, some 140,000 cars, buses, and trucks cross into New York via Fort Lee. The vehicles come from all over: trucks hauling goods from California, buses carrying workers to Manhattan, sedans and minivans pulling carpool duty for commuters.