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