Reader says , “Don’t get too mad at her, she probably doesn’t even have the self awareness/common sense to understand the consequences of what she and the garage/high density crowd have done. Tim Whiting is another, loud garage supporter who now complains about how high the annual parking fees are. He also recently struggled to understand the difference between motivational banners for the football team and the “proper message for students”. Birds of feather…”
To the person claiming 25mph speed limits will reduce accidents and fatalities in Ridgewood by citing statistics from a city of London England traiffic study, please cite REAL statistics from the Village of Ridgewood on a street by street basis from prior to Ridgewood’s implementation of the 25mph speed limit to after its implementation. Show me any increase in safety of Ridgewood residents.
All the other theoretical and statistical studies are largely irrelevant to Ridgewood.
We can also argue the banning all cars is statistically safer, so lets ban all cars.
And while we are on the subject, why is Lincoln Ave not resticted to 25mph in Ridgewood?
Are the children on Lincoln Avenue not as important as other Ridgewood children?
Are the children on Lincoln Avenue smarter then other Ridgewood children and are able to better aviod being stuck by cars?
Or is the 25 mph speed limit just a feel-good-knee-jerk panacea implemented by a politically ambitious disgraced politician looking to get ahead professionally.
file photo by Boyd Loving
Cars frequently fail to slow to a safe speed when heading north from Glen onto Bogert or Cambridge, or when heading south along Cambridge or Bogert toward the common intersection with Glen. Those same drivers also often recklessly careen across to the wrong side of the road rather than reduce their speed and stay in their lane while negotiating the two relatively tight S-curves that connect with the common intersection. This must be the safety issue that led to the current change. Pedestrians do not have the benefit of sidewalks to negotiate those same S-turns so they are forced to share the roadway with the cars. The pedestrians are sometimes forced to jump up on the curb or onto the adjacent lawns to avoid being struck. Draconian parking regulations won’t change the behavior of these reckless drivers. The best answer is probably to install short lengths of sidewalk paving along the s-turns on Bogert and Cambridge and extend the same to the Glen Avenue sidewalks at the common intersection. There is already a short length of sidewalk on the west side of the common intersection extending north from Glen and terminating at the beginning of the the S-turn on the Bogert side. That sidewalk should be extended entirely along that same S-turn and terminate just north of it. That would improve safety much better than any parking regulation could.
The CSAC is absolutely right when it identifies parking lots as dangerous places and anything that makes them a little safer would be a welcome change. There is obviously be a cost associated with that plan – how much would parking lot re-striping cost? This is where the devil really IS in the details. As an example, how much change could there be in even one parking lot for the amount that was just spent on that electronic sign at the train station? There are ways to scrimp and save when something is really important.
Additionally, we can’t expect the police department to be everywhere all the time. It seems unrealistic to think they can provide full traffic safety coverage in the CBD all the time. An increased police presence would definitely be an effective deterrent and make people less likely to drive like maniacs, but in the meantime we must figure out some other ways to protect ourselves. Can’t we have (some version of) crossing guards in the most dangerous intersections at the most dangerous times of day? Crossing guards are not full-time and not paid much but, for the most part, drivers do yield to their directions. Reasonable hourly pay and no benefits makes it at least something to consider in the short term – until we figure out another way.
I think most of us appreciate Ridgewood for its relative safety, i.e. low crime rate. We have a town in which it’s actually possible to allow our kids to go downtown alone and walk around – in many ways a really nice throwback to an earlier era. However, even though we have that luxury, we have to worry that they will be killed by a car if we let them go. It’s sad and a waste of the police dept’s efforts to keep it a safe place.