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Ridgewood Central Business District Choke Points and Congestion about to get a lot Worse

photo of Ken Smith

August 8,2018
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ , in April 2017 the Ridgewood blog suggested that the over looked issue for the central business district is not parking , but congestion . There are just to many choke points in the CBD. Be they caused by ill planned “traffic easing” with suicide bike lanes or PSE&G upgrades it has become increasingly difficult to get in or out of the Central Business District.

Bike Lane Traffic Easing Ridgewood

suicide bike lane

With 3 current projects going forward , Brogan Cadillac, Ken Smith and now the Hudson Street garage congestion will be far worse than it is now .We still need need a comprehensive plan that factors in moderate development, infrastructure , retail, restaurants , mass transit , pedestrians, cycles and parking .


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Reader Warns of Sidewalk Clutter in the Ridgewood Central Business District


June 19,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, this comes up almost every year. The Village has even gone as far as to press charges on a plastic sheep .

The rules seem to be unevenly applied in the past .

Reader says “The restaurants Ad Hoc sidewalk patio table walls are growing in number
look at chestnut corner burgher restaurant..they are made of steel..try getting up on to the sidewalk from a parked car ..good luck….then add in the flower pot plantings further narrowing the walks ..these are even worse for elders and handicapped pedestrians exiting a car or assist a ride buses even during off hours..are these permitted by town?”

Boyd Loving , “The Village’s Code Enforcement Official has been observed in the past with a tape measure in hand checking to ensure restaurants were not encroaching on the ADA required passage widths of sidewalks. I know of at least one (1) restaurant that was issued a summons for an alleged encroachment. If you have a specific complaint, you could refer it to the Code Enforcement Official. See link to her name, e-mail address, and phone number below.”

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The Ridgewood Central Business District does not need more parking


file photo by Boyd Loving

February 1,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the Village reported that a total of 267 cars were parked during the trial period for the centralized valet parking in the central business district of Ridgewood .Leaving the Village with a tab of $23,000  to pay the vendor. While we commend the Village Council for trying as many options as possible we are wondering why the CBD restaurants  did not support the project ? One can only conclude from the results that the CBD does not need more parking .

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Ridgewood Central Business District Parking Garage Update


July 1,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the Council discussed the Hudson lot options . Bob Rooney Village CFO gave the following options  1) sell the lot on Hudson Street, 2) lease property  to garage builders . Which is only available for non profit s  3) Award a contract for design 4) declare Hudson Street as a redevelopment zone with no restrictions.

The Village Council chimed in with both Bernie and Jeff said own and build , the Mayor said redevelopment seemed impractical.
A new “Walker Study ” was needed due to the all the new development projects and on going urbanization of  the Village adding  additional traffic and congestion.   Bob Rooney said “Walker” would not have to start from scratch but revise their numbers .
Councilwomen Walsh tackled the elephant in the room by stating the parking garage will end up being filled by Central business district tenets instead of shoppers and commuters . Bob Rooney pointed out that the previous Walker report had already laid out the allocations for how many spots must be allocated to what type of parking .
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PSE&G Ridgewood Central Business District WORK ALERT !


file photo by Boyd Loving

January 18,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog


Ridgewood NJ, from the desk of the Mayor Susan Knudsen, During the PSE&G construction, parking spaces are needed for PSE&G’s work area, their equipment, and to shift traffic in order to maintain 2-way traffic as much as possible. The parking spaces which will be taken on various streets in the CBD from Jan. 19 through Jan. 31 are as follows:

• Thursday 1/19 Installation of Precast Manhole on North Broad St near E. Ridgewood)
• Total of 9 Spaces West Side of North Broad St (NJ Transit Side)
• Total of 13 Spaces on East Side of North Broad St (Merchant Side)

• Friday 1/20 Installation of Precast Manhole Near Taxi Stand ( North Broad St Near Franklin Ave )
• Total of 13 Spaces on East Side of North Broad St – From Franklin Ave to Driveway After Bicycle Shop

• Monday 1/23 to Tuesday 1/31 Enlarge Existing Manhole #24 Working on South Broadway between Hudson and E. Ridgewood Ave
• 8 Spaces on South Broad St on West Side between Hudson and E. Ridgewood Ave – Road will be closed to traffic and detour will be in place.
• 1 Space on Prospect St and E. Ridgewood on West Curb
• 1 Space on Prospect St and E. Ridgewood on East Curb (Next to Town & Country)
• 2 Spaces on Prospect St since traffic is detoured on to Prospect St to help with the extra volume of cars turning in both directions on to E. Ridgewood Ave.

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PSE&G work Creates Major Traffic Snarl in Ridgewood Central Business District

garber square LED sign
file photo by Boyd Loving
July 13,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, PSE&G work in Ridgewood is causing major traffic impact for the Ridgewood and makes the central business district almost inaccessible.

As previously posted on this blog a Traffic Alert “beginning Friday 7/8/16 W.Glen Ave will be closed between Oak Street and Upper Boulevard while PSE&G continues their gas main replacement project from 7am to 4pm Monday through Friday for approximately 2 weeks as the crew works through the train trestle. This will have an impact on traffic traveling west and east through Ridgewood. Traffic will be diverted to the Franklin Ave Underpass for cars. Trucks will be diverted to Wyckoff Ave in Waldwick due to height restrictions. Officers will be deployed to critical intersections to assist the traffic flow. Please plan an alternate route if possible.”

On Tuesday afternoon traffic is backed up on Oak Street in front of the “Y”, Franklin ave , West Ridgewood Ave and Godwin.
Clearly in case of an emergency valuable time would be lost with the trestle being impassable . Perhaps its time to reopen the “traffic easing ” and face facts that the idea was an ill conceived total failure because in the best of circumstances it blocks off the CBD, ties up traffic at the trestle, and backs traffic up West Ridgewood all the way to Midland Park , All because of  a “suicide” bike lane installed  for people with death wishes.
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Ridgewood Central Business District : New Traffic Lights at Garber Square?

welcome to ridgewood

file photo by Boyd Loving

Roberta, Paul and Neighbors,

I am forwarding/resending an email that I sent to Roberta a year ago (12/9/14) on the traffic issue.  Since that time, nothing meaningful or effective has been done to alleviate Residents’ traffic and safety concerns at Garber.  To the Residents on this chain, I will say that Roberta did respond very quickly at the time (which I appreciated).  However, in the email she put forth her belief that the Village never promised new signals, but rather a calibration of the existing signals.

My takeaway from the Underpass meetings was that the Village would clearly be looking at ways to better and more safely address traffic flow at this problematic bottleneck.  I firmly believe there was specific discussion of traffic light changes as an option.  At the very least, we need that.  Turn signals that allow the train station and West RW Ave traffic to turn towards the underpass as separate times, without competing would be a great holiday gift to us all!

This morning at 8:50, traffic from Garber was backed up past Heights and even past the McNamara’s house.  That’s a bad and unnecessary thing.  Wasn’t like that before.  And once again, a Ridgewood business (this time Sook) lost my breakfast business, because I couldn’t get there and had to reroute away from our CBD.

Roberta and Paul, please… let’s use this current stream of emails as a catalyst to effect something positive that your Residents are really asking for and clearly need:  Something far simpler and less expensive than an almost football-field-sized parking garage, that will have an immediate positive impact for all Residents, especially the West-siders.   Perhaps right after the New Year we can meet again to discuss this situation.  Again, I see an OPPORTUNITY to fix something that’s broken, using real “data from the field… your Residents input.”

At those preconstruction Underpass meetings, there was a commitment from the Village to continue the discussions and situational monitoring once the work was complete.  Now is a great time for us to talk again.

Happy and Merry Everything.  May your New Year be fruitful and filled with many short trips through the underpass!

Dave Slomin

Subject: New Traffic Lights at Garber Square?

Good Morning Roberta,

Hope all is well with you and a happy almost New Year.

Back in the Spring, when we were discussing the Garber Square project, you indicated that an important facet of the project, to ensure proper traffic flow, was the installation of new traffic lights with turn signals.  These were referred to as necessary to achieve the desired traffic flow goals of the project and to improve safety.  As such, when will these be installed?

As a West-Sider, I am finding – especially at rush hour times when train station pickups and drop-offs are in full force – that traffic on W. Ridgewood Ave often backs up well past Washington Place due to the fact that cars leaving the train station lot, turning right, have the right of way.  Now that there is only one vehicular lane of traffic heading East, cars on W. Ridgewood Ave have to wait until all the cars coming out of the station lot are through the light.  Oftentimes only one or two vehicles on W. Ridgewood can get through the light before it changes, leading to this backup.  On many recent occasions, I have sat through 4-5 turns of the light before reaching the intersection.  I have also witnessed some problematic and unsafe jockeying for position at this intersection, as W. Ridgewood Ave drivers assert themselves more aggressively to get through the intersection.

Frustration aside, the downside to the Village and its businesses is that at rush hours  – which are also the dinner and breakfast/coffee hours – my family and I have started avoiding that intersection.  At the evening rush, we have been diverting from downtown Ridgewood to Midland Park more frequently than in the past.  In the morning, I’ve been getting my coffee in Fairlawn or Glen Rock, rather than stopping in at Carlo’s or Ridgewood Coffee and having to deal with Garber Square.  I hate doing this, but it’s just easier not to deal with Garber Square at those times.  Again, bad for Ridgewood business.  But fixable…

As we discussed earlier, that intersection is the “gatekeeper” to Ridgewood’s CBD from the west side.  I hope that the lights will be going in soon to keep that gate more fully open.

Please let me know where this stands.

Thanks much,

Dave Slomin

David Slomin, President
Andover Properties
25 East Spring Valley Ave, Suite 280
Maywood, NJ 07607
Tel:  201-368-5900 x101
Fax: 201-368-5959
Eml: [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]

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Reader suggests Muni Meters for the Ridgewood Central Business District

November 23,2015
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Long time resident suggests what the Ridgewood blog suggested some years ago and was barraged by disparaging comments from friends of Tommy Rica .

“I care very much about this village and I never felt we needed this parking garage.  I own properties in the the downtown and I do not feel burdened by a lack of parking or the need for much more parking.

Furthermore I hardly ever feel I can’t quickly and cheaply (compared to NYC) find a parking spot on the block I’m going to, and I’m in town every day.

My suggestion though to the village fathers would be to go to a Muni Meter system as we use in NYC.   The cost savings would be tremendous… Less maintenance and I think most people pay with a credit card… So needless to say we wouldn’t need to worry about a half million $$$ in quarters disappearing!”

Obviously if you have been downtown lately, you must have noticed the little green stickers affixed to our existing meter-heads. That is because now, you can park anywhere in the central business district, using credit cards, phones, coins, or the incredible park! And, you don’t have to walk to another location to get a piece of paper to leave on your windshield…

We have had for awhile now. It is amazing.

While park mobile has its pros and cons , its a shame that we had a simple solution so many years ago and it was ignored ! The Village even went out of its way to install quarter meters at great inconvenience to commuters at the Ridgewood train station.


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Ridgewood Central Business District : Are these signs legal?

parking signs cbd

November 5th 2015

the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ , Seen in front of the old Brogan Cadillac property on South Broad Street.  Looks like something you’d see at the Jersey Shore , Jersey City or Paterson  to us . Voting in favor of a new parking garage does not imply people are looking to turn the CBD into a “slum district”.
These signs are clearly out of keeping with the character of the Village , so lets leave Tito’s alone , stop playing favorites and focus on preserving the historic character of the Village .
Nice to see the downtown littered with garbage .