Crosswalk safety beacons and bump outs help pedestrain safety in Fair Lawn

River Road Improvement Corp.
By River Road Improvement Corp. May 16, 2012 18:59
TUESDAY DECEMBER 20, 2011, 12:19 PM
BY VINCE BAGLIVO
RIVER ROAD IMPROVEMENT CORPORATION
COMMUNITY NEWS (FAIR LAWN EDITION)

The installation of crosswalk safety beacons near the Broadway Train Station and curb bump outs near the post office on River Road are contributing to greater pedestrian safety on two of Fair Lawn‘s busiest roads.

A recent visit to the locations by representatives of the Broadway Improvement Corporation (BIC), River Road Improvement Corporation (RRIC) and the Fair Lawn Police Department demonstrated that motorists are getting the message and pedestrians and local quality of life are the beneficiaries.

“I was pleasantly surprised by what we saw and experienced,” noted Police Chief Erik Rose. “Many people are using the safety beacons when they cross Broadway and motorists are appropriately stopping. On River Road, of 38 pedestrians I witnessed crossing at the bump outs, drivers stopped 35 times as required by law.”

While River Road does not have two lanes of traffic moving in each direction, it is still a busy thoroughfare with pedestrians taking advantage of shopping, dining and services provided by the area’s many businesses and restaurants.

“The bump outs, which feature safety reflectors to enhance their visibility to passing motorists, have proven to be a good investment and a welcome addition to the River Road streetscape,” stated Bob Landzettel, RRIC President.

Bob Beshlian, BIC President, said making Broadway a safer and more desirable place to shop, dine and do business was the goal of the business improvement district.

“Broadway has many medical offices, schools and retail stores and we want people to appreciate the area’s safety as much as Broadway’s convenience and welcoming atmosphere,” Beshlian concluded.

The flashing strobe beacons have a push button panel, enhanced lighting, and two sets of beacons on each side of Broadway. Their purpose is to attract the attention of drivers to stop their vehicles while pedestrians, including commuters, are using the crosswalk. They were approved by the Federal Highway Administration as an acceptable traffic control device in 2008. Bump-outs, also called curb extensions, are designed to narrow portions of a street to reduce the pedestrian crossing distance and cause motorists to slow their speed.

“Successful implementation of these projects involved extensive coordination on behalf of the Broadway and River Road managed districts with multiple bureaus of NJDOT, two supportive municipalities and PSE&G,” according to Mark Gordon of Urbana Consulting, who helped implement the traffic calming strategies along Broadway. “Improving safety is a key step in making Broadway and River Road more pedestrian friendly to enhance the environment for people who live, work, shop and dine inFair Lawn‘s business improvement districts.”

New Jersey law requires motorists to stop for people in a crosswalk with or without safety beacons. However, Chief Rose emphasized that pedestrians also have a responsibility to cross safely and be attentive to cars and trucks approaching from both directions. “Even if a pedestrian has the right of way, no one wins in a confrontation between a person and a motor vehicle,” he concluded.

Appropriate compliance requires education and enforcement for the new safety devices. Local business leaders worked with the Fair Lawn and Elmwood Park Police Departments to hand out informational notices and warnings to motorists. Periodic police enforcement has resulted in drivers being ticketed for non-compliance with existing traffic laws.

For more information about their programs and services provided by the BIC and the RRIC, visit BroadwaySID.com or FairLawnRiverRoad.com.

River Road Improvement Corp.
By River Road Improvement Corp. May 16, 2012 18:59

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