During the 8/9/06 Village Council Public Meeting, Mayor David T. Pfund
announced that Council members have now decided NOT to endorse any of the
design proposals submitted by NJ Transit for a proposed ADA compliant
renovation of Ridgewood’s train station.
In his public statement, Mayor Pfund cited the following concerns relative
to the three potential design schemes: 1) emergency access to the westbound
platform, 2) the proposed station’s proximity to existing senior citizen
housing, 3) potential changes in motor vehicle traffic patterns in the
vicinity of Ridge Road, and 4) increased walking distances for commuters.
So, it would seem as though we’re back to square one again. Only time will
tell if NJ Transit gets annoyed enough to take legal action.
NJ Transit has announced their intention to make Ridgewood’s train station
fully compliant with provisions of the American Disabilities Act (ADA) by
installing high level, wheelchair accessible platforms. Ramps and/or
elevators will be constructed to facilitate platform access from street
level. The platforms will be approximately 700 feet long, and equipped with
canopies to provide shelter in inclement weather. The canopies will also
house lighting, closed circuit television cameras, and loudspeaker paging
At the suggestion of Village Council members, NJ Transit has proposed
constructing the platforms and canopies at a location that would shift train
embarkation and disembarkation to a point beginning at, or beyond, Franklin
Avenue and heading magnetic north. That is, the southernmost end of the
platforms would be located at Franklin Avenue (or north of Franklin Avenue);
their northernmost end would be approximately 700 feet further up the
tracks. Constructing the platforms and canopies at this location would
ensure that the vista between North Broad Street and the Garber/Wilsey
Square areas would not be blocked by the high level platforms and canopies.
In conjunction with completion of the ADA related renovation project, NJ
Transit will shift disembarkation for homeward bound commuters to the train
doors facing Pease Library (instead of those facing North Broad Street).
Commuters will exit onto a high level platform, and then make their way to
staircases or elevators, then through pedestrian underpasses to North Broad
Street. Staircase and underpass access will also be provided to the
existing commuter lot opposite Garber Square.
Is protecting the vista between North Broad Street and Garber/Wilsey Square
important enough that commuters won’t mind such a significant shift in the
point at which they will be getting on and off their trains? Also, will
there be evening delays associated with a trainload of commuters trying to
access a limited number of staircases from the high level platform to
pedestrian underpasses? What do you think?