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Ridgewood Residents got their first look the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Design Assistance Program on August 12th

bike lane

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Ridgewood residents got their first look the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Design Assistance Program on August 12th .Lets hope these improvements are more soundly implemented than the “suicide bike lane” and traffic easing disasters of the past witch created dangerous congestion for Ridge school and Ridgewood School students .

The “suicide bike lane” and traffic easing disasters were driven by grant money with little thought to their practical application ,in the real word.

Continue reading Ridgewood Residents got their first look the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Design Assistance Program on August 12th

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Reader says , “The root of the problem is the failure of our Village Council to distinguish between their Narrow interests and the underlying drivers of value for Village residents”

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“The root of the problem is the failure of our Village Council to distinguish between their Narrow interests and the underlying drivers of value for Village residents. Their self-interests are reflections of important aspects of Village business; but however important and useful for Village planning, they should not be used in a self-congratulatory list of “accomplishments” as surrogates for the underlying value of the Council’s work. Genuine value creation fur residents requires a Council culture that compels our Governing body to pursue projects that promise to improve life for all residents, whether it be property tax reduction or paving our third world roads – while not treating their own narrow self-interests (Schedler, Elks HQ, Hudson Garage) as ends in themselves.”

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Reader says ,”the approach is it be wrapped up in a neat pretty bow call it ‘sustainable’ and many jump on the bandwagon because they want to be on the climate change platform and save the earth”

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“Many of the towns and their lifestyles are being destroyed. People are lulled into sleep and their eyes glaze over even when they are pointed in the right direction. They refuse to accept they are being manipulated or deceived.

Agenda21 has been out there for a while but people have forgotten the impact A21 wants to make upon living conditions, their family and lifestyles.

Continue reading Reader says ,”the approach is it be wrapped up in a neat pretty bow call it ‘sustainable’ and many jump on the bandwagon because they want to be on the climate change platform and save the earth”

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Reader says No amount of words will ever change the fact that forcing an artificial reality

bike path way ridgewood train station

The original poster (Reader Attempts to explain the flawed logic behind the Garber Square Traffic Mess) is lots of bloviating to “add gravitas” to a series of conjured up assumptions and desires in an attempt to force a narrow vision of “utopia” (which really translates to a state of misery) upon the “ignorant masses” (in this case RW residents)
No amount of words will ever change the fact that forcing an artificial reality (misguided utopia) upon the people does not change the actual reality nor will the imposition of a forced artificial “utopia” change the actions of the people.
The prudent, common sense and responsible thing to do would be to ACCOMODATE the desires of the people while trying to make the situation safer and “better” (for example, scarifying the asphalt).
Unfortunately common sense is no longer taught nor valued in America.
Just curious… is the OP a product of a Ridgewood education?

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Reader Attempts to explain the flawed logic behind the Garber Square Traffic Mess

Bike Lane Traffic Easing Ridgewood

” The problem in Garber Square is that it is really dangerous for bikers and pedestrians. Biikes used to use the sidewalk and often walked their bikes in that locatiom. No one is using the bike lane now except the cars. While bilking and walking are better for the people and the environment, not all areas are conducive to both cars and bikes. Garber Square is one of those areas.”

Reader Attempts to explain the flawed logic behind the Garber Square Traffic Mess:

“Understanding that this will not be popular on the venue, but here is the other side of the bike lane issue. The process started with the realization that the Garber Square roadway needed to be repaved. When last done the asphalt surface was scarified or roughened to give more traction so that the motor vehicles who were speeding around the curves didn’t crash as often. The modern approach to safety now is to engineer the roadway to slow cars down as opposed to trying to find ways to let them go faster, thus making roadways safer for all users. There are engineering standards for the width of traffic lanes which vary according to the speed limit, with the principle being the narrower the lane the slower a driver will go as there is less room for error.

The NACTO Guide ( suggests that maximum lane width be 10’ except on truck or bus lanes and that 11’ or wider lanes (which are the norm currently in Ridgewood) lead to more speeding and other negative consequences.
So if you design the roadway with narrower lanes to make it safer, what do you do with the now extra space? Typically this affords the opportunity to add things like bike lanes or additional median space and even bump outs for pedestrian crossings.

Now another argument is that the new design reduced the capacity of the road as there were sort of two lanes before and now there is one lane with a right turn lane added at each end. If you look , on the east side both Broad and Franklin are one lane roads, as are Ridgewood Avenue and Godwin Ave/Wilsey Square on the west side. Having Garber remain two lanes all the way doesn’t speed things up or increase capacity if the roads leading into it remain one lane. The only change is that fewer cars can be stacked in there waiting for red lights which is an issue only at the busiest times. When the plan was presented I remember people screaming that the line of cars would back up all the way to Midland Park. I would say the changes have been minor. Traffic backs up at 8am, 3PM and around evening rush hour just like it did in the past.

It seems like our Village Council spends more time on issues involving cars than any other issue, between whether or not we need a parking garage, complaints from neighborhoods about commuters parking on their streets all day and the complaints about traffic delays or speeding thru neighborhoods. Instead of trying to find more ways, at great expense, to cram more cars onto our streets we should be looking at ways to allow residents to get around without depending completely on cars. Thru the mid 20th century most children got to school either by walking or riding a bicycle. Now almost 90% are driven to school with the resulting traffic jam in town twice a day. The village and Board of Education have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars widening roads or adding new ones to create drop off areas and we force school administrators and teachers to become traffic cops two times a day. It would be cheaper for taxpayers and much healthier for kids if we stop spending money trying to make it easier to drive to school and instead find ways to make it easier and safer walking and cycling there. The distances are short and the obstacles few.

There are many studies showing that making central business districts more walkable and bikeable increase the economic vitality of the area. Simple google searches will get dozens but here is a general resource about the concept ( In short, if folks are more comfortable walking around downtown, they will stay there longer and spend more.

Right now on nice days 50-60 bicycles are locked up at and around the train station. Improved parking facilities and making their trip to the station easier and safer would increase their numbers which in turn means fewer cars and less fighting about parking spots and garages.

Summing up, I think the problem is we have too few bike lanes in town. Adopting a Complete Streets Plan, and encouraging walking, bicycling and mass transit can do a lot of good for Ridgewood. It can improve quality of life, health of our residents and improve the economic vitality of our village . I am a realist and understand the automobile will remain the dominant mode of transport but if Ridgewood ignores the demographic trends occurring in millennials (lowest rate of car licensing/ownership since WW2) and current trends in planning and street design ( ) it will become less attractive as a town folks want to live in. My credentials include riding a bicycle about 3000 miles each year and being Board Chair of the largest bicycle safety and education organization in the USA ( ). And by the way, the design of the bike lane meets all current engineering standards and is the safest way by far for a bicyclist to cross from the west to east side of town.

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Readers Point to the”Green Bike Lane” as a Major Safety Issue for Ridgewood Motorist

bike path way ridgewood train station
Yes, get rid of the green bike lanes and restore the crucial car lanes we lost between the Franklin Avenue underpass and West Ridgewood Avenue. Ridgewood went soft-headed in the recent past, which included getting caught up in the so-called “traffic calming” trend. What was this, an effort to reduce traffic “incivility?” We need to sharpen our thinking again and start doing what’s right for Ridgewood residents.

If the traffic is backed up all the way to Lincoln, adding another lane for three hundred feet isn’t going to solve the problem.

One of the things I like about Ridgewood is that there are no street level railroad crossings like Glen Rick has. The trains have no impact on traffic. As a trade off, there are only three crossings: Ackerman, Franklin and Glen. When one is closed off, it is a major inconvenience. Unfortunately, we’ll have to deal with it.

That underpass needs to be re-opened, the safety committee wiped clean, and we need a real safety/speed czar.

The worst “traffic calming” device of all has been to close major arteries and create gridlock at many intersections in town. That only leads “road rage”: more speeders, this time on cut through/side streets and more dangerous road conditions. There are simultaneous posts on Facebook right now about speeders on side streets and gridlock in town…this is not a coincidence people!

Lastly, look at towns suck as Westwood, Waldwick and kenilworth nj. The police presence is so great, and ticket writing so frequent that drivers brake as they enter town. Our PD, or citizens if need be, should study and employ their practices here because road safety is a major issue for everybody.

If the traffic is backed up all the way to Lincoln, adding another lane for three hundred feet isn’t going to solve the problem.

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Ridgewood Village Mangers “Traffic Easing” still a total Unmitigated Disaster

welcome to ridgewood

April 25,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Almost two years later the “Traffic Easing “project continues to appear ,”very ill-conceived, and frankly, dangerous”. When this project was initially hatched a project no one in town including some very long term residents had ever heard of until ground was basically broken.

“The only time in recent memory that I almost got hit was in this intersection and that was after the bike lanes were added ,narrowing the driving lanes to one each way. Someone tried and succeeded to pass me on the left as I was heading from the west side under the bridge. Now people are so used to no bikes in the bike lanes that the cars are actually using them to some degree. I do feel the bike lanes are dangerous to bikers and have made navigating this area more difficult. So, I don!t blame anybody for this recent accident but I do think Garber Square is an “accident waiting to happen.”

The Village Manager created a far larger traffic head ache with her “very ill-conceived, and frankly, dangerous” design. To make matter worse the Village manger placed a Village Digital sign in the vicinity to further distract , distracted drivers .

The “traffic easing” has also limited access for Emergency services vehicles , now the potential may be made worse by an over sized garage on Hudson street  further restricting traffic patterns , What a mess Roberta !


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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

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Ode to Traffic Easing

garber square LED sign
by Linda McNamara

Reducing lanes at Garber Square
Has made congestion hard to bare
Bike lanes to nowhere not so great
This plus over development need not be our fate

The council has heard our many suggestions
It’s not too late to change direction
We love this town so charming and rare
Let’s move forward with caution and care

Happy Holidays to all and a Happy New Year too
May the spirit of the season last all year through
For the good people  working so hard for us all
Let’s hope they are listening especially Roberta and Paul!

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Village Officials Continue to try to put lipstick on a pig for “Aronsohn’s Folly” resurfacing project


Village Officials Continue to try to put lipstick on a pig for “Aronsohn’s Folly” resurfacing project
June 11,2014
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Yesterday commuters faced heavy delays in the area of Garber Square and all roads leading to the area due to construction.

Ridgewood PD had warned travelers to ,Avoid the area and plan an alternate route if possible.

The Village also issued a June 10 , Traffic Alert for Garber Square

Tuesday, June 10 AM -Traffic delays are being experienced at this location due to work going on around Garber Square this morning that will result in alternating one lane of traffic going each way; in other words police will close and open the one lane alternating between east and west bound traffic. This will probably cause delays throughout the morning and maybe into afternoon – this is NOT the Village’s Complete Streets Paving Project – this work is being done by Fletcher Creamer for a Verizon project. Fletcher Creamer has hired two Ridgewood police officers to address traffic flow and safety at Garber Square for this project.

Some readers claim they were stuck in bumper to bumper traffic from Monroe all the way to Whole Foods Market,When I left the parking lot I turned left to go back to Monroe. traffic was backed up past Lincoln.

The Village through Gwenn Hauck on the Ridgewood Police Facebook page were quick to play the blame game and point out “BECA– USE VERIZON is doing ROADWORK! “

Still not sure why no one though of any of this before the Village embarked the the Wilsey Square , Garber Square repaving project ,known as Aronsohn’s Folly .

I would say perhaps they relied on the same traffic engineers who continue to promise that that despite the doubling on the size of Valley Hospital ,10 years of construction, and 4 new large multi family housing developments slated for the Central Business district ,” the latest multifamily housing hearing said that their proposed use would result in less additional downtown traffic than other allowable uses” – See more at:

But apparently they never did a traffic assessment or CBD impact study on the “traffic easing” .