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Passaic, New Jersey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Passaic, New Jersey
City of Passaic
St. Mary's General Hospital
Map of Passaic in Passaic County. Inset: Location of Passaic County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Map of Passaic in Passaic County. Inset: Location of Passaic County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Passaic, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Passaic, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°51′27″N 74°07′45″W / 40.857552°N 74.129089°W / 40.857552; -74.129089[1][2]
Country United States
State New Jersey
IncorporatedApril 2, 1873
 • TypeFaulkner Act (mayor–council)
 • BodyCity Council
 • MayorHector C. Lora (term ends June 30, 2021)[3][4]
 • AdministratorRick Fernandez[5]
 • Municipal clerkAmada Curling[6]
 • Total3.24 sq mi (8.39 km2)
 • Land3.13 sq mi (8.11 km2)
 • Water0.11 sq mi (0.28 km2)  3.33%
Area rank326th of 565 in state
11th of 16 in county[1]
Elevation98 ft (30 m)
 • Total69,781
 • Estimate 
 • Rank15th of 566 in state
3rd of 16 in county[14]
 • Density22,179.6/sq mi (8,563.6/km2)
 • Density rank7th of 566 in state
1st of 16 in county[14]
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
Area code(s)973[17]
FIPS code3403156550[1][18][19]
GNIS feature ID0885342[1][20]

Passaic (/pəˈs.ɪk/ pə-SAY-ik[21] or locally /pəˈsk/ pə-SAYK[22]) is a city in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 69,781,[9][11][12] maintaining its status as the 15th largest municipality in New Jersey with an increase of 1,920 residents (+2.8%) from the 2000 Census population of 67,861,[10] which had in turn increased by 9,820 (+16.9%) from the 58,041 counted in the 1990 Census.[23] Passaic is the tenth most densely populated municipality in the entire United States with 22,000+ people per square mile.

Located north of Newark on the Passaic River, it was first settled in 1678 by Dutch traders, as Acquackanonk Township. The city and river draw their name from the Lenape word "pahsayèk" which has been variously attributed to mean "valley" or "place where the land splits."[24][25][26][27]


Main Avenue in 1911
Main Avenue in 1911
Old Passaic City Hall
Old Passaic City Hall

The city originated from a Dutch settlement on the Passaic River established in 1679 which was called Acquackanonk. Industrial growth began in the 19th century, as Passaic became a textile and metalworking center.

A commercial center formed around a wharf ("landing") at the foot of present-day Main Avenue. This came to be commonly known as Acquackanonk Landing, and the settlement that grew around it became known as the Village of Acquackanonk Landing or simply Acquackanonk Landing Settlement.[28][29][30] In 1854 Alfred Speer (later owner of the city's first newspaper[31] and public hall) and Judge Henry Simmons were principals in a political battle over the naming of village. Simmons wished to keep the old name, while Speer wished to simplify it to Passaic Village. Speer was losing the battle, but convinced the U.S. Postmaster General to adopt the name, and hung a Passaic sign at the local railroad depot. The de facto name change was effective.[32]

Legally, Passaic was formed as an unincorporated village within Acquackanonk Township (now Clifton) on March 10, 1869. It was then incorporated as an independent village on March 21, 1871. Passaic was chartered as a city on April 2, 1873.[33]

663 Main Avenue, Passaic's tallest tower.
663 Main Avenue, Passaic's tallest tower.

The Okonite company owned an industrial site here from 1878 to 1993. It was the company's headquarters and primary manufacturing plant for most of the company's history. Early uses of the company's insulated wires include some of the earliest telegraph cables, and the wiring for Thomas Edison's first generating plant, Pearl Street Station in Lower Manhattan.[34][35][36][37][38][39] The property was then turned into a furniture factory, whose owners redeveloped into an upscale mall, Contempo Plaza, in 2015.[40]

The 1926 Passaic Textile Strike led by union organizer Albert Weisbord saw 36,000 mill workers leave their jobs to oppose wage cuts demanded by the textile industry. The workers successfully fought to keep their wages unchanged but did not receive recognition of their union by the mill owners.[41][42]

Passaic has been called "The Birthplace of Television".[43] In 1931, experimental television station W2XCD began transmitting from DeForest Radio Corporation in Passaic. It has been called the first television station to transmit to the home, and was the first such station to broadcast a feature film. Allen B. DuMont, formerly DeForest's chief engineer, opened pioneering TV manufacturer DuMont Laboratories in Passaic in 1937, and started the DuMont Television Network, the world's first commercial television network, in 1946.

In 1992, the voters of Passaic Township in Morris County voted to change the name of their municipality to Long Hill Township, to avoid confusion between the City of Passaic and the largely rural community 22 miles (35 km) away, as well as association with the more urban city.[44]

Passaic is served by two regional newspapers, The Record and Herald News, both owned by Gannett company and predecessor North Jersey media Group.

The city previously had many of its own newspaper companies, among them Speer's The Passaic Item (1870-1904), the Passaic City Herald (1872-1899), the Passaic Daily Times (1882-1887), the Passaic City Record (1890-1907), the Passaic Daily News (1891-1929), the Passaic Daily Herald (1899-1929), and the Passaic Herald News (1932-1987). The Passaic Herald News went through several mergers with other Passaic County newspapers to become the current Herald News.[45][46][47][48][49]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 3.24 square miles (8.39 km2), including 3.13 square miles (8.11 km2) of land and 0.11 square miles (0.28 km2) of water (3.33%).[1][2]

Passaic's only land border is with neighboring Clifton, which borders Passaic to the north, south, and west. The Passaic River forms the eastern border of Passaic. Four additional neighboring municipalities in Bergen County immediately across the river from Passaic are East Rutherford, Garfield, Rutherford and Wallington.[50][51][52]

Passaic and Wallington are connected via the Gregory Avenue, Market Street, and Eighth Street bridges. The city connects with Garfield at the Monroe Street Bridge and Passaic Street Bridge. The connection with Rutherford is via the Union Avenue Bridge, which is located on an extension off of the northbound lanes of Route 21. One cannot cross from Passaic into East Rutherford by vehicle directly, however, as there is no bridge connecting the two municipalities. Drivers wanting to cross from Passaic to East Rutherford must use either the Gregory Avenue Bridge which is located near Wallington's border with East Rutherford, or the Union Avenue Bridge, where East Rutherford can be accessed via surface streets.

Passaic is located 10 miles (16 km) from New York City, and 12 miles (19 km) from Newark Airport.

The city

St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Church on Lexington Avenue, built in 1959–1960
St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Church on Lexington Avenue, built in 1959–1960

Passaic has several business districts: Main Avenue begins in Passaic Park and follows the curve of the river to downtown. Broadway runs east–west through the center of the city, ending at Main Avenue in Downtown. Main Avenue has many shops, restaurants and businesses reflecting the city's Latino and Eastern European populations.

The city is home to several architecturally notable churches, including St. John's Lutheran Church, First Presbyterian of Passaic, and St. John's Episcopal Church.

Passaic Park

Many residents of Southwest Passaic (known as Passaic Park) are part of Orthodox Judaism communities. With over 1,300 families (estimated at 15,000 population) this is one of the state's fastest-growing Orthodox communities. Home to over 20 yeshivas and other institutions, there are also many kosher food and shopping establishments.[53][54]

Passaic Park takes its name from Third Ward Park. This area is also noted for its large mansions and homes of various architectural styles, especially Queen Anne and Tudor. Several condominium and cooperative apartment complexes are also located here including:

  • Carlton Tower, a condominium of 21 stories, the city's tallest structure[55]
  • The Towers, rental across the street from Carlton Towers
  • Barry Gardens, co-operative garden apartments next door to The Towers
  • Presidential Towers, condominium


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Passaic has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[56]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)69,703[13][57][58]−0.1%
Population sources: 1880-1920[59]
1880-1890[60] 1880-1900[61] 1890-1910[62]
1910[63] 1880-1930[64] 1930-1990[65]
2000[66][67] 2010[9][10][11][12]

Among the speakers of Polish in Passaic are many Gorals.[68]

Passaic, with over 20 synagogues and an Orthodox Jewish population of 15,000, has one of the largest Orthodox Jewish communities in New Jersey, along with the townships of Lakewood and Teaneck.[54]

Census 2010

The 2010 United States Census counted 69,781 people, 19,411 households, and 14,597 families in the city. The population density was 22,179.6 inhabitants per square mile (8,563.6/km2). There were 20,432 housing units at an average density of 6,494.2 per square mile (2,507.4/km2). The racial makeup was 45.06% (31,440) White, 10.64% (7,425) Black or African American, 1.07% (745) Native American, 4.36% (3,040) Asian, 0.04% (27) Pacific Islander, 33.37% (23,284) from other races, and 5.47% (3,820) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 71.02% (49,557) of the population.[9] The city's Hispanic population represented the fourth-highest percentage among municipalities in New Jersey as of the 2010 Census.[69]

Of the 19,411 households, 42.8% had children under the age of 18; 41.7% were married couples living together; 23.7% had a female householder with no husband present and 24.8% were non-families. Of all households, 19.5% were made up of individuals and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.57 and the average family size was 4.02.[9]

31.5% of the population were under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 7.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29.2 years. For every 100 females, the population had 100.9 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 99.2 males.[9]

The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $31,135 (with a margin of error of +/− $1,280) and the median family income was $34,934 (+/− $2,987). Males had a median income of $30,299 (+/− $1,883) versus $25,406 (+/− $2,456) for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,424 (+/− $581). About 25.0% of families and 27.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.9% of those under age 18 and 25.5% of those age 65 or over.[70]

Same-sex couples headed 107 households in 2010, a decline from the 142 counted in 2000.[71]

Census 2000

As of the 2000 United States Census[18] there were 67,861 people, 19,458 households, and 14,457 families residing in the city of Passaic, New Jersey. The population density was 21,804.7 people per square mile (8,424.8/km2). There were 20,194 housing units at an average density of 6,488.6 per square mile (2,507.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 35.43% White, 13.83% African American, 0.78% Native American, 5.51% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 39.36% from other races, and 5.04% from two or more races. The cultural groupings for Hispanic or Latino of any race were 62.46% of the population.[66][67] As of the 2000 Census, 59.3% of residents spoke Spanish at home, while 28.9% of residents identified themselves as speaking only English at home. An additional 2.5% were speakers of Gujarati and 2.4% spoke Polish.[72] There were 31,101 foreign-born residents of Passaic in 2000, of which 79.4% were from Latin America, with 31.3% of foreign-born residents from Mexico and 27.2% from the Dominican Republic.[73]

There were 19,458 households, of which 42.0% had children under the age of 18, 43.7% were married couples living together, 21.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.7% were non-families. 8.2% of Passaic households were same-sex partner households. 20.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.46 and the average family size was 3.93.[66][67]

Aycrigg House
Aycrigg House

The city population comprised 30.8% under the age of 18, 12.5% from 18 to 24, 31.6% from 25 to 44, 16.9% from 45 to 64, and 8.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.4 males.[66][67] The median income for a household in the city was $33,594, and the median income for a family was $34,935. Males had a median income of $24,568 versus $21,352 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,874. About 18.4% of families and 21.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.6% of those under age 18 and 16.0% of those age 65 or over.[66][67]

St John Lutheran Church
St John Lutheran Church


1 Market St. adaptive reuse conversion to loft apartments
1 Market St. adaptive reuse conversion to loft apartments

Portions of the city are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ), one of 32 zones covering 37 municipalities statewide. The city was selected in 1994 as one of a group of 10 zones added to participate in the program.[74] In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the UEZ, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3.3125% sales tax rate (half of the ​6 58% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants.[75] Established in August 1994, the city Urban Enterprise Zone status expires in August 2025.[76] Overseen by the Passaic Enterprise Zone Development Corporation, the program generates $1.2 million annually in tax revenues that are reinvested into the local zone.[77]


Local government

The city of Passaic is governed by the Faulkner Act system of municipal government, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under the Mayor-Council (Plan B), enacted by direct petition as of July 1, 1973.[78] The city is one of 71 municipalities (of the 565) statewide governed under this form.[79] Under this form of government, the governing body is comprised of a mayor and a city council. The mayor is elected directly by the voters for a four-year term of office. The seven members of the city council serve four-year terms on a staggered basis, with either three seats (together with the mayoral seat) or four seats up for election in odd-numbered years. Elections are non-partisan, with all positions selected at-large in balloting held in May.[7]

Barry Gardens Co-operative - located on former Barry Estate
Barry Gardens Co-operative - located on former Barry Estate

As of January 2020, the mayor of Passaic is Hector Carlos Lora, whose term of office ends June 30, 2021.[3] Lora was appointed in 2016 to fill a vacancy that followed the resignation of Dr. Alex Blanco after he was indicted on federal corruption charges; Lora was the Director of the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders at the time and was forced to resign his position. He served the remainder of Blanco's unexpired term and was elected to a full term in 2017.[80] Members of the Passaic City Council are Council President Gary Schaer (term ends June 30, 2019), Jose R. "Joe" Garcia (2021), Terrence L. Love (2021), Thania Melo (2019), Chaim M. Munk (2019), Zaida Polanco (2019) and Daniel J. Schwartz (2021).[3][81][82][83][84]

In addition to his role as council president, Schaer also holds a seat in the New Jersey General Assembly. This dual position, often called double dipping, is allowed under a grandfather clause in the state law enacted by the New Jersey Legislature and signed into law by Governor of New Jersey Jon Corzine in September 2007 that prevents dual-office-holding but allows those who had held both positions as of February 1, 2008, to retain both posts.[85]

Corruption charges over the past decades have resulted in the federal convictions of two mayors, seven councilman and other public officials.[86][87] Passaic Business Administrator Anthony Ianoco was terminated in February 2011 after he was charged with cocaine possession, following his arrest in Hoboken, where police arrested him after he was caught driving the wrong way in a Passaic city vehicle.[88]

Passaic City Hall
Passaic City Hall

Alex Blanco became the first Dominican-American elected as mayor in the United States when he won a special election in November 2008 to succeed acting mayor Gary Schaer, who, as City Council president automatically moved into this position upon the resignation by previous mayor Samuel Rivera, after Rivera pleaded guilty to corruption charges.[89] Blanco was elected to serve the remainder of Rivera's term, and was re-elected to a full term on May 12, 2009, with 53.1% of votes cast, defeating Passaic Board of Education member Vinny Capuana.[90].

Federal, state and county representation

Passaic is located in the 9th Congressional District[91] and is part of New Jersey's 36th state legislative district.[11][92][93] Prior to the 2010 Census, Passaic had been part of the 8th Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections.[94]

For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Ninth Congressional District is represented by Bill Pascrell (D, Paterson).[95][96] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021)[97] and Bob Menendez (Paramus, term ends 2025).[98][99]

For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 36th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Paul Sarlo (D, Wood-Ridge) and in the General Assembly by Gary Schaer (D, Passaic) and Clinton Calabrese (D, Cliffside Park).[100][101] Calabrese was sworn into office on February 8, 2018 to fill the seat of Marlene Caride, who had resigned from office on January 16, 2018 after being nominated to head the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.[102][103]

Third Ward Memorial Park - Boathouse Cafe
Third Ward Memorial Park - Boathouse Cafe

Passaic County is governed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, who are elected at-large to staggered three-year terms office on a partisan basis, with two or three seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election in a three-year cycle. At a reorganization meeting held in January, the board selects a Director and Deputy Director from among its members to serve for a one-year term.[104] As of 2017, Passaic County's Freeholders are

Director Cassandra "Sandi" Lazzara (D, 2018; Woodland Park),[105] Deputy Director Bruce James (D, 2017; Clifton),[106] Assad R. Akhter (D, 2018 - appointed to serve an unexpired term; Paterson),[107] John W. Bartlett (D, 2018; Wayne),[108] Theodore O. Best Jr. (D, 2017; Paterson),[109] Terry Duffy (D, 2019; West Milford),[110] and Pasquale "Pat" Lepore (D, 2019; Woodland Park).[111][112][113][114] Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Kristin M. Corrado (R, 2019; Totowa),[115] Sheriff Richard H. Berdnik (D, 2019; Little Falls)[116] and Surrogate Bernice Toledo (D, 2021; Prospect Park).[117][113]


As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 24,227 registered voters in Passaic, of which 8,753 (36.1% vs. 31.0% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 2,063 (8.5% vs. 18.7%) were registered as Republicans and 13,408 (55.3% vs. 50.3%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 3 voters registered to other parties.[118] Among the city's 2010 Census population, 34.7% (vs. 53.2% in Passaic County) were registered to vote, including 50.7% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 70.8% countywide).[118][119]

In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 77.1% of the vote (12,011 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 22.1% (3,447 votes), and other candidates with 0.8% (119 votes), among the 15,755 ballots cast by the city's 27,433 registered voters (178 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 57.4%.[120][121] In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 12,386 votes (72.7% vs. 58.8% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 4,012 votes (23.6% vs. 37.7%) and other candidates with 93 votes (0.5% vs. 0.8%), among the 17,033 ballots cast by the city's 25,496 registered voters, for a turnout of 66.8% (vs. 70.4% in Passaic County).[122] In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 9,539 votes (66.3% vs. 53.9% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 4,291 votes (29.8% vs. 42.7%) and other candidates with 62 votes (0.4% vs. 0.7%), among the 14,391 ballots cast by the city's 23,389 registered voters, for a turnout of 61.5% (vs. 69.3% in the whole county).[123]

In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Democrat Barbara Buono received 59.6% of the vote (4,109 cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 39.1% (2,697 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (88 votes), among the 7,143 ballots cast by the city's 28,209 registered voters (249 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 25.3%.[124][125] In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 5,958 ballots cast (68.7% vs. 50.8% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 2,319 votes (26.7% vs. 43.2%), Independent Chris Daggett with 124 votes (1.4% vs. 3.8%) and other candidates with 52 votes (0.6% vs. 0.9%), among the 8,672 ballots cast by the city's 24,219 registered voters, yielding a 35.8% turnout (vs. 42.7% in the county).[126]



The Passaic City School District is a comprehensive community public school district serving students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district is one of 31 former Abbott districts statewide,[127] which are now referred to as "SDA Districts" based on the requirement for the state to cover all costs for school building and renovation projects in these districts under the supervision of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority.[128][129] As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of 17 schools, had an enrollment of 14,504 students and 839.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 17.3:1.[130]

Public School 11
Public School 11

Schools in the district (with 2018–19 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[131]) are Vincent Capuana School No. 15[132] (277; PreK), Sallie D. Gamble School No. 16[133] (465; PreK), Thomas Jefferson School No. 1[134] (788; K-8), George Washington School No. 2 (172; K-1), Mario J. Drago School No. 3 (formerly Franklin School)[135] (803; PreK-8), Benito Juárez School No. 5[136] (472; K-8), Martin Luther King Jr. School No. 6[137] (1,124; PreK-8), Ulysses S. Grant School No. 7[138] (391; PreK-1), Casimir Pulaski School No. 8[139] (%32; PreK-8), Etta Gero School No. 9[140] (690; 2-8), Theodore Roosevelt School No. 10[141] (905; PreK-8), William B. Cruise Veterans Memorial School No. 11[142] (1,253; K-8), Daniel F. Ryan School No. 19[143] (874; PreK/2-8), Passaic Gifted and Talented Academy School No. 20[144] (959; 2-8), Sonia Sotomayor School No. 21[145] (; PreK-5), Passaic Academy for Science and Engineering[146] (702; 6-11), Passaic Preparatory Academy[147] (701; 6-11) and Passaic High School[148] (2,618; 9-12).[149][150][151].

Passaic County Community College
Passaic County Community College

Passaic County Community College opened a new campus in the city on September 11, 2008, which will allow PCCC to reach the 15% of its students who come from the city of Passaic. The college's nursing program will be relocated and expanded at the new campus to provide a qualified program to help fill the longstanding nursing shortage.[152]


St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic School is an elementary school founded in 1943 that operates under the supervision of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson and the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia.[153][154]

Established in 1895, the Collegiate School is a private coeducational day school located in Passaic, serving students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.[155]

YBH Passaic
YBH Passaic

The Yeshiva Gedola of Passaic is an institute of Talmudic learning for post-high-school-age men. It is led by Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Meir Stern. Passaic has two primary Orthodox K-8 elementary schools, Yeshiva Ketana and Hillel, each with a boys and girls division.

Noble Leadership Academy is an Islamic school located downtown, serving students 320 students from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade.[156]

Emergency services


In October 2016, Deputy Chief Luis Guzman became the first Dominican-American to be selected to lead the city's police department.[157]


The Passaic Fire Department (PFD) is a paid fire department with over 100 firefighters. The PFD was organized in November 1869 and became a paid department in 1909. There are two fire houses equipped with four Engines and two Ladder trucks. Passaic also operates a large foam tanker truck, a Quick Attack Response Vehicle (QRV), a haz-mat decon trailer, a utility unit, a rehab unit, and a Zodiac rescue boat.[158]


In October 2015, the city approved a contract under which ambulance service in the city is covered by Monmouth Ocean Hospital Service Corporation (MONOC), a non-profit consortium which also provides paramedic services to other municipalities in the area. Under the plan, Passaic laid off 30 EMS workers who had been employed by the city.[159]

Hatzolah of Passaic/Clifton EMS is a volunteer service that primarily covers the Passaic Park section of town and parts of Clifton, in addition to assisting Passaic Police and EMS when requested in other parts of the city. Hatzolah operates two ambulances strategically parked throughout the community with a third on standby and available to assist neighboring chapters.[160]

Office of Emergency Management

The OEM coordinates emergency response by all of the city's agencies - Police, Fire, Ambulance, health, and public works - to disasters and other emergencies, including large storms. The city OEM is affiliated with the Passaic County and New Jersey State OEM agencies and with the state's Emergency Management Association.

OEM also manages street traffic at all large events in the city, including festivals and parades.

The office is run by representatives of the Police and Fire departments. In addition to city staff, it makes use of volunteers from Passaic's Community Emergency Response Team and other community organizations.[161]


Route 21 northbound in Passaic
Route 21 northbound in Passaic

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the city had a total of 70.14 miles (112.88 km) of roadways, of which 53.20 miles (85.62 km) were maintained by the municipality, 13.82 miles (22.24 km) by Passaic County and 3.12 miles (5.02 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.[162]

The main highway directly serving Passaic is Route 21. New Jersey Route 3, the Garden State Parkway and I-80 are nearby. The city has six bridges in use spanning the Passaic River. A seventh bridge serves railroad traffic but is not currently in use.

Public transportation

Local bus transportation, much passing through the Passaic Bus Terminal, is provided by NJ Transit and Community Coach with service to Paterson, Rutherford, Newark, Clifton, Garfield, and Wallington among other locations on the 74, 702, 703, 705, 707, 709, 744, 758, 780 and 970 routes. NJ Transit bus routes 161 and 190 provide local service and interstate service to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City.[163][164]

NJ Transit's Passaic rail station[165] is located in the Passaic Park section, providing service on the Main Line southbound to Hoboken Terminal, and to Secaucus Junction for NJ Transit connections to New York Penn Station in New York City, Newark Airport and points north and south. Northbound service is provided to Paterson, Ridgewood and New York stations in Suffern and Port Jervis.[166]

Passaic formerly had four train stations (Passaic Park, Prospect Street, Passaic and Harrison Street) on the Erie Railroad main line. In 1963, these stations were abandoned and the main line was moved to the Boonton Branch.[167]

Commuter jitney buses operate along Main Avenue providing frequent non-scheduled service to Paterson, Union City, the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal in Washington Heights, Manhattan, the Port Authority Bus Terminal and points between.[168][169]

Films shot in Passaic

Notable people

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Passaic include:


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  255. ^ Lambert, Bruce. "Mark Rosenberg, Movie Producer, Dies at Age 44 ", The New York Times, November 8, 1992. Accessed July 29, 2013. "Mr. Rosenberg was born in Passaic, N.J., and attended Bard College and the University of Wisconsin."
  256. ^ a b c Corliss, Richard. "Nostalgia Hits the Tracks in 'Be Kind Rewind'", Time (magazine), February 22, 2008. Accessed January 13, 2011. "Ah, Passaic, New Jersey! That crumbling, grumbling city across the Hudson from the gleaming skyline of New York, yet worlds removed from Manhattan magic. A place whose residents shiver in dour poverty, and whose most famous native sons and daughters had to leave town to make it big. The honor roll would include Joe Piscopo, Paul Rudd, Steely Dan's Donald Fagen, Gilligan's Island creator Sherwood Schwartz, three-time Oscar-winning producer Saul Zaentz, sitcom regulars Loretta Swit and Larry Storch, sports hysteric Dick Vitale...and, Be Kind Rewind tells us, the legendary pianist and composer Fats Waller."
  257. ^ Padilla, Mariel. "Carl Ruiz, Celebrity Chef and Restaurateur, Dies at 44; He made frequent appearances on the Food Network as a competitive chef and celebrity judge.", The New York Times, September 22, 2019. Accessed September 23, 2019. "Carl Albert Ruiz was born on April 4, 1975, in Passaic, and graduated from Collegiate School in Passaic and then from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York."
  258. ^ Thomas, Robert McG. "Bob Russell, Entertainer, Is Dead at 90", The New York Times, February 2, 1998. Accessed April 22, 2012. "A native of Passaic, N.J., Mr. Russell, whose father was a Russian-born baker, lived in Schenectady, N.Y., before moving to Manhattan at 9, catching the opera bug and changing his name from Roltner to Russell."
  259. ^ Bob Russell Archived August 21, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, Songwriters Hall of Fame. Accessed January 13, 2011.
  260. ^ Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey, Volume 197, p. 255. E.J. Accessed April 3, 2019. "Mr. Rys was born June 24, 1913, in Passaic. He was educated in the Passaic parochial schools, and graduated from East Rutherford High School."
  261. ^ Weber, Ben. "Sakiewicz Named New Metro Gm", New York Post, January 13, 2000. Accessed February 1, 2011. "Investor-operator Stuart Subotnick, the MLS equivalent of the MetroStars' owner, announced that [Charlie Stillitano] would be replaced with Nick Sakiewicz of Passaic, N.J."
  262. ^ Verongos, Helen T. "James Salter, a 'Writer's Writer' Short on Sales but Long on Acclaim, Dies at 90", The New York Times, June 19, 2015. Accessed June 20, 2015. "James Salter was born James Horowitz on June 10, 1925, in Passaic, N.J., to L. George Horowitz and the former Mildred Scheff."
  263. ^ Staff. "Zoe Saldana Trabajo De Estrella", El Nuevo Herald, October 2, 2003. Accessed January 20, 2011.
  264. ^ King, George. "Yank Bats Stay Hot; Blast Three Hrs In Rout Of Tigers", New York Post, July 27, 2001. Accessed January 28, 2011. "Knoblauch, who has been the leadoff hitter the Yankees need the past week, snapped a 5-5 tie with his fifth homer off former Passaic (NJ) High School pitcher Victor Santos."
  265. ^ Pringle, Peter. Experiment Eleven: Dark Secrets Behind the Discovery of a Wonder Drug, Bloomsbury Publishing USA, 2012. ISBN 978-0-8027-7895-6. Accessed April 29, 2015. "Albert Schatz...was three, when they (the family) moved to Passaic, New Jersey...During the Great Depression the family lived mostly in Passaic."
  266. ^ "Elroy Schwartz (1923–2013)", The Desert Sun, June 25, 2013. Accessed October 16, 2013. "Born in Passaic, N.J., he moved to the Bronx where he attended school."
  267. ^ Staff. "William Winfield Scott; Lawyer and Official Historian of Passaic", October 2, 1935. Accessed October 16, 2013.
  268. ^ Sullivan, Tom. "Passaic's Shirelles follow 'Jersey Boys'", The Record (North Jersey), January 21, 2011, backed up by the Internet Archive as of September 24, 2012. Accessed December 3, 2017.
  269. ^ Offensive Coordinator Rich Skrosky, Monmouth Hawks football. Accessed February 23, 2018. "He served as an assistant coach at St. Peter's Prep in Jersey City in 1984 and later served as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at his alma mater Lodi (N.J.) High School in 1985 and 1986. Skrosky and his wife, the former Suzanne Quentz, reside in Howell, N.J."
  270. ^ Staff. "Robert Smithson", The New York Times. Accessed January 3, 2015. "The artist Robert Smithson is best known for the Spiral Jetty, which has lain in the Great Salt Lake since 1970. Born in Passaic, NJ, in 1938, Smithson died at 35 in an airplane crash in 1973."
  271. ^ Dr. Edith E. Sproul, National Library of Medicine. Accessed October 16, 2013. "Her work with George Papanicolou at Cornell University Medical School led to the development of the pap smear test for cervical cancer, and she and Charles Gutman of Mount Sinai, New York, were co-discoverers of the association between prostatic cancer and the enzyme acid phosphatase. Edith Sproul was born in Passaic, New Jersey, in 1907."
  272. ^ Mark Stevens, Accessed September 25, 2019. "Born: February 19, 1962 (Age: 57-218d) in Passaic, NJ... High School: Passaic (NJ)"
  273. ^ Gilpin, Kenneth N. "Thomas G. Stockham Jr., 70, Digital Pioneer", The New York Times, January 31, 2004. Accessed December 3, 2017. "Thomas Greenway Stockham was born on Dec. 22, 1933, in Passaic, N.J. He earned his bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. degrees at M.I.T."
  274. ^ Tyronne Stowe Past Stats, Statistics, History, and Awards, Accessed February 19, 2008.
  275. ^ via Associated Press. "Welcome Back, Kotter star and former Passaic resident Marcia Strassman dies", The Record (North Jersey), October 27, 2014. Accessed August 6, 2016.
  276. ^ Staff. "Signed, sealed, delivered", The Washington Times, July 25, 2009. Accessed January 28, 2011. "The Passaic, N.J., native also mentioned that regardless of his fitness level, it may be hard for him to get on the field right away, especially considering how stacked United is at midfield."
  277. ^ via Associated Press, "Minor glitch in Janikowski deal", Lodi News-Sentinel, July 21, 2000. Accessed January 28, 2011. "Szott has a son with cerebral palsy and he and his wife have decided a school near his home in Passaic, N.J., is the best place for him."
  278. ^ via Associated Press. "Passaic native Jack Tatum, NFL star known for vicious hits, dies at 61", The Star-Ledger, July 27, 2010. Accessed August 28, 2011. "Tatum was born in North Carolina but grew up in Passaic, where he was named an All-American as a senior at Passaic High School. In 1999, The Star-Ledger named Tatum, a running back, fullback and defensive back at Passaic despite starting his football career as a sophomore, one of New Jersey's top defensive high school football players of the 20th century."
  279. ^ via Associated Press. "Osel Tendzin, 47, Head of Tibetan Buddhists, Dies", The New York Times, August 28, 1990. Accessed August 28, 2011. "Mr. Tendzin, who was born in Passaic, N.J., met Mr. Trungpa Rinpoche in 1971 and became his top student, receiving the name Osel Tendzin, or 'radiant holder of the teachings.' His name had been Thomas Rich."
  280. ^ Vajra Regent, Ösel Tendzin Archived October 11, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, Accessed August 28, 2011. "Born in Passaic, New Jersey, in 1943, Thomas F. Rich attended Fordham University, graduating in 1965."
  281. ^ Twentieth-century Children's Writers, p. 1251. Macmillan International Higher Education, 1978. ISBN 9781349036486. Accessed August 22, 2018. "Tresselt, Alvin. American. Born in Passaic, New Jersey, 30 September 1916. Educated at Passaic High School, graduated 1934."
  282. ^ "Paul Troast, Led Jersey Turnpike" The New York Times, July 23, 1972. Accessed December 28, 2017. "Born in 1894 in nearby Garfield, Mr. Troast spent his life in developing resources in Passaic and Clifton. In 1908, when he was graduated from Passaic High School, where he had been president of the senior class, he shared much of his time with the vice president of the class, Eleanor Mahony, who later became his wife."
  283. ^ Van Antwerpen, Franklin Stuart Archived September 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, Federal Judicial Center. Accessed June 2, 2008.
  284. ^ "Drexler, Calhoun And Woodard Highlight 16 Finalists For Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame" Archived October 30, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, Basketball Hall of Fame press release dated February 15, 2004. "Dick Vitale, a native of Passaic, NJ., has been synonymous with college basketball for more than 20 years as the lead color announcer for ESPN."
  285. ^ Thomas Wright "Fats" Waller, Performances in Transcription, 1927-1943, Volume 41, ed. Paul S. Machlin (Middleton WI: A-R Editions, 2001). ISBN 0895794675, 9780895794673
  286. ^ Orley, Emily. "The Actress Behind Paris Geller Is All Grown UpLiza Weil, best known for playing Rory Gilmore's neurotic frenemy on Gilmore Girls, talks about what she learned from life in Stars Hollow, working in ShondaLand for five years, and becoming a series regular again on How to Get Away With Murder.", BuzzFeed, September 17, 2014. Accessed January 3, 2015. "Though she was born in Passaic, New Jersey, she spent her childhood traveling around Europe with her mother, father, and their comedy troupe (a far cry from Paris' stuffy prep school upbringing)."
  287. ^ Sturken, Barbara. "Off the Field, Giants Call New Jersey Home", The New York Times, March 31, 1991. Accessed January 14, 2013.
  288. ^ Staff. "Darrin A. Winston, 42, of Clarksburg in Millstone Township", Asbury Park Press, August 17, 2008. Accessed September 4, 2008. "Darrin A. Winston, 42, of Clarksburg in Millstone Township, passed away Friday, Aug. 15, at CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Township. Born in Passaic, he lived in Edison before moving to Millstone Township 10 years ago."
  289. ^ Narvaez, Alfonso A. "Oscar Winners Return For Passaic Festivities", The New York Times, May 1, 1976. Accessed December 3, 2017. "Porky Zaentz and Beansie Lieberman came home today, and Mayor Gerald Goldman, members of the City Council and 200 others gathered on the steps of City Hall to honor the two local boys who had made good."
  290. ^ Staff. "Physical Examination for Frankie Zak Wednesday", Chicago Tribune, April 22, 1945. Accessed August 28, 2011. "Zak, Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop, was notified today by his Passaic, N. J., draft board to report for a physical examination there next Wednesday."
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