A shift worker for a local company, Robert W. Archibald, has strolled along the public walkway next to the Bayonne Golf Course at all hours of the day. So he knew the routines of the place and knew that at the end of the day, the golf course staff would ride along the walkway to check for stragglers before locking the gate for the night.
But on Dec. 13, as night approached, he didn’t see any workers or their carts.
“I know the workers,” he said. “They’re great people. They always wave and say hello when they go by.”
He didn’t think much about it until he reached the gate and found it locked – with him on the wrong side.
The gate – which closes the walkway off from the parking lot walkway near South Cove mall – is situated at the end of a short bridge over a water culvert, making it difficult to go over or around. While Archibald might have found a way to climb out without getting hurt, others might not – especially many of the senior citizens who use the path regularly.
“Unfortunately, the call box wasn’t working.” – Ron D’Argenio
So Archibald went over to a phone, picked it up, and found – nothing.
It wasn’t operating.
“Fortunately, I had my cell phone on me and I called the police, asking them to notify the golf course, but I was told they didn’t have a contact number for the golf course,” he said. “I could have climbed around the gate, but I decided to wait for the police.”
Ron D'Argenio, the attorney that represents the golf course, said that the matter is being looked into.
“We have call boxes and procedures,” he said. “Before we lock the gate, we have a cart that checks the walkway for anybody that is there. Obviously something happened. Unfortunately, the call box wasn’t working. And we regret that this happened. I don’t blame the gentleman for being concerned. We are looking to correct the situation. We have already contacted Verizon. We feel badly about the incident. Thank god no one was injured and there was no real problem. We have also spoken to the police to make sure that we are notified if there is ever a problem.”
The Bayonne Golf Club - which has won national and international recognition for its design - is located at the site of a former municipal trash dump and industrial property previously owned by PSE&G, and has since become a destination for some prominent people. Members include former President George H. Bush. Former President Bill Clinton, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and others have played on its difficult greens.
As part of the agreement to clean up and develop the site, the club agreed also to build the walkway, which fills in one of the remaining gaps in the Hudson River Walkway, and is frequently used by senior citizens, joggers, and nature lovers.