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Fort Lee Tickets Jaywalkers, Should Ridgewood?

What do you think of an $85 ticket issued to those who jaywalk in Ridgewood's downtown?

If you jaywalk in Fort Lee, you might be heading home with a pamphlet and an . The new enforcement and awareness initiative comes after three recorded pedestrian deaths and a total of 20 pedestrian strikes thus far in 2012.

The Fort Lee program stands a sharp contrast to Ridgewood, which has documented pedestrian safety troubles of its own but a decidedly less aggressive approach toward jaywalkers.

The focus in the village has been on through pamphlets and .

The level of traffic enforcement in the village has increased due to a newly-reconfigured traffic bureau, and community-based approaches like "Stop, Look and Wave" have also beared fruit in 2012, according to Ridgewood Police Chief John Ward. will continue to keep drivers on their toes for not yielding to pedestrians, Ward said.

While the last several years averaged between 20-23 strikes with, there have been five pedestrian strikes, only .

Though numbers in 2012 point to progress on pedestrian safety initiatives, any casual observer can see scores of pedestrians hopping out in front of cars on E. Ridgewood Ave.

What do you think – should the police be spending more time issuing tickets to those jaywalking in the Central Business District? Leave a comment, let us know how you feel.

Ellie Gruber May 14, 2012 at 10:25 AM
Yes, yes and yes; many of us have been saying this for years; this is a no-brainer revenue stream. How can we get this done? Surely whatever extra cost for a patrolman is offset by tickets; every single day I see mothers and young children, adults talking on cellphones dashing across, mostly in front of the small parking lot across from Fox, across from Daily Treat, near the UPS store. We face an obstacle course just to drive through town. We painted the crosswalks red, what more can we do to show pedestrians the correct place to cross? If people are too lazy to walk an extra 10 feet to cross at the walks, let them pay the price and we can reap the revenue.
jp1 May 14, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Ridgewood does not have the backbone to enforce much of anything j-walking in the village is totally out of hand. Maybe if some one is seriously injured or killed then maybe law enforcement will start doing there job.
Jim Finn May 14, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Yes, tickets need to be issued and yes, they will pay for themselves. Someone who waits until there is no traffic is one thing, but the vast majority of people defiantly walk in front of cars, like they really think they have the right of way. Then after seeing this, we have young children doing the same. Something needs to be done before we loose one of those children.
Cari P May 14, 2012 at 12:49 PM
YES....defintely...If pedestrians are too lazy to cross at the MANY crosswalks in Ridgewood then they should receive a ticket. I travel Ridgewood avenue several times a day and it is an obstacle course daily and at all times of the day. Once we start giving out tickets then more pedestrians will start walking over to the crosswalks.
mary smith May 14, 2012 at 12:55 PM
I think the police department has a lot to learn...not just he public.. I was driving down Rwd Ave towards the train station and a police car stopped mid block to let a jaywalking woman cross the street..I was coming in the opposite direction and never imagined that he'd stop to let her cross (thought he was going to admonish her)..I had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting her..what the h___l! Also, this ticketing is ridiculous...my husband had stopped at the stop sign on Broad and Rwd Ave, proceeded through and a police car followed him to the drycleaner to give him a ticket because a man had stepped off the curb to cross and he had to wait for the next car to stop..my husband was already pretty much through the crosswalk after a full stop...the pedestrians also must be aware that they are not to step off the curb until the cars have stopped and the drivers are aware of them. Was my husband supposed to slam on his brakes and get rear ended by the car behind him. The pedestrian needs to know to watch and wait not just to walk across and assume that everyone sees him. The town needs to get a grip! In many states if you STEP off the curb and it is not your turn to go, you will get a jaywalking ticket...Wait, Watch, Wave, Whatever...pay attention...moms push their carriages into traffic, on their cells without a care in the world.....WAKE UP !!! Both parties have a responsibility!
News Man May 14, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Issuing high fine tickets to educate a careless pedestrian and to justify its use it as a "money raiser" is a pathetic approach. Perhaps, our local scouts can assist by just handing out informational flyers. Lots cheaper than police officers being required to attend court hearings (over time) on challenged tickets. Funny that the lead photo here required three highly paid police officiers to sell this topic story.
Boyd A. Loving May 14, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Our limited police resources should be directed to resolving the most critical issues first. Two pedestrian deaths and many serious pedestrian injuries involved crosswalk violations. Let's bring those completely under control before we start targeting jaywalkers.
Concerned Ridgewood Dad May 14, 2012 at 01:27 PM
It's clear to anyone with functioning eye site that the Ridgewood PD is loath to enforce yield to pedestrian laws as well as jaywalking violations. The question is why? In my opinion, if the RPD were to start enforcing the laws as written, you would very quickly stir up a Hornets nest of irate taxpayers who would no doubt start taking a closer look at the department. Nobody in the Ridgewood PD wants closer scrutany of their pay packages and benefits. Problem is, while lawbreakers are allowed free reign in town, pedestrians are being killed and seriously injured in CROSSWALKS on a regular basis. Open thought to those Ridgewood police officers who turn a blind eye to the countless daily violations here in town; putting personal interests (i.e. raises & protecting Cadillac benefits) before public safety is deplorable. Write tickets already! And not just for a week or two. And save the "we're understaffed" BS for someone who cares - like Killion.
Gary J Negrycz May 14, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Between Jaywalker revenue and Cellphone drivers we could cut business taxes and help our downtown
Gary J Negrycz May 14, 2012 at 01:30 PM
a great place to get cellphone abusers is at the schools. Parents are so protective of their children the drive them to school while they talk on the phone and endanger all the other children one officer per school at AM and PM would be a huge money maker and improve child safety
Ridgewooder May 14, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Totally agree. It's completely lopsided against vehicles when pedestrians should bear a portion of the blame. They should be ticketed like the rest of us drivers.
Oliver Train May 14, 2012 at 02:11 PM
I'm an irate tax payer who's received three parking tickets for parking directly in front of my home. As much as I am frustrated by it, that's the police (or rather the three new Parking Officers) doing their jobs. Sure, it would upset people. Some might even see jaywalking tickets as discouraging business in the Village. But It's a primarily a safety issue. I teach my kids to look both ways and only cross in cross-walks...so should everyone else. Ticket!
Craig Hueneke May 14, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Gary's got a valid point. The driving while on the cell phone issue is out of control in this Village. However, it's not just the parent's picking up kids! The speed limit on Ridgewood Ave. needs to be enforced more than J-walking. You slow down the traffic, you address a lot of problems all at once. People need to realize that when you drive slower you notice A LOT more things and have enough time to react.
jp1 May 14, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Jaywalkers are the problem in the CBD and most of them are mothers with children in hand and should be targeted. I am sure as a resident you have seen this many times.
Laurie Goodman May 14, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Statistically it makes more sense to work on reducing crosswalk pedestrian strikes, since that's where the accidents have taken place, rather than jaywalking.
jp1 May 14, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Cell phones also seem to be a police problem, maybe when they go on duty they could leave there phones at the station.
Ridgewood Mom 26 May 14, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Pedestrians and drivers are equally responsible. I've seen people deliberately step off the curb and proceed to ssssslllllooooowwwlllllyyy walk across the street, as if to irk the drivers or dare them to hit them. Both parties need to have respect for the other and be alert and aware. Yes, we SHOULD ticket the jaywalkers. There is no need for that laziness!
Melvin Freedenberg May 14, 2012 at 09:33 PM
One thing the tax payers of Ridgewood can agree on is that the Ridgewood Police Department play the game called "Let's Hide The Cop." There is almost always a police car parked near the Ridgewood Coffee Company. Is there a policeman hiding in the car? Most of the time, the answer is "Yes." Can you imagine him standing at the intersection and actually doing something like showing police presence? Heaven forbid! Or what about a policeman on bicycle patrol? How about the meter men giving up those expensive Ford Hybrid Escapes for a few hundred dollar Trek bicycles? Double Heaven Forbid! Police presence in the Business District would certainly slow down speeders and prevent more traffic accidents. One cop, circling the Downtown Business District and showing some police presence can accomplish most of what the community wants; safe streets. With the new administration taking over, maybe that will be accomplished.
look May 14, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Most walkers I have witnessed over the past few years think they are in NYC and just dart across the street mid block and with the new NJ laws, expect the driver to stop to let them cross. I agree with the above commenter who witnessed the police also stop mid street to let a walker cross. What needs to occur is the teach all walkers never to cross mid block and when at a legal crosswalk to be defensive. That is don't dart out if a car is very close. The old rule of look left, then right, and then left again before walking should be drummed into all walkers. This is the first step to cut down on pedestrian accidents with a moving car.
No One May 14, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Most people in our town frequent the city and jaywalking has become part of our culture. Do you not like culture?
No One May 14, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Let us try to assume good faith. The location of a cop positioned at the Coffee Shop is because it is a perfect dispatch point in a critical point of town. It (more or less), is in the center of the central business district (which people always complain about not having a patrol officer). With regards to pulling people over in the CBD, where is there a place to pull over? I saw a police officer attempt to pull over a driver and the driver had to drive around several blocks to find a parking spot...
No One May 14, 2012 at 10:14 PM
According to RHS myth a cop targeted drivers around the school and this was deemed "abuse" and now he no longer can do it.
Anne LaGrange Loving May 15, 2012 at 01:37 AM
The most dangerous place to cross is at an intersection, with cars are coming from three directions and each driver is looking in three directions. If crosswalks were in the middle of the block, drivers would only have to be looking forward, and thus would be much more likely to clearly see a pedestrian. Likewise, pedestrians would not have to be spinning their heads looking for cars coming from left, right, and behind them. It really is challenging to cross on foot at a busy corner. And most, if not all, of the incidents in which a pedestrian has been hit in Ridgewood have taken place in crosswalks at the corners of intersections, not in mid-block. In Paris at the major intersections the crosswalks are not at the corner; they are a few yards back from the corner. Moreover, these intersections have several decorative metal "poles" (about 3 feet high) mounted in the sidewalk going around each corner. These serve a dual purpose: (1) They prevent pedestrians from crossing at the corner, thereby forcing them to move to the designated crosswalk, and (2) they would prevent a car from jumping the curb and hitting people standing on the sidewalk. I sent an e-mail to Police Chief John Ward in August of 2010 about this matter, suggesting that Ridgewood consider implementing this model at least in the business district. He replied promptly that he would forward the idea to the Engineering Department. I never heard anything further.
jp1 May 15, 2012 at 11:39 AM
Stupidity is not culture.
J.D. Luke May 15, 2012 at 11:58 AM
I really like this idea. Given the sheer number of pedestrians hit in our crosswalks, often by people who have finally found an opportune break in oncoming traffic which allows them to make a left turn, this makes a huge amount of sense. A possible side benefit is that if you stop for a pedestrian in the middle of the block, the ignoramus behind you might find it too difficult to dart around you and kill someone.
Tony Damiano May 15, 2012 at 04:38 PM
The Ridgewood Guild is supporting the HSA's new program "STOP, LOOK, WAVE." Log onto our website, www.ridgewoodguild.com to learn more about the program. "STOP, LOOK, WAVE" magnets are being sold at Mango Jam, Glamour Beauty Supplies, Pink Bungalow, and Jeykll and Hide to help support the program. Magnets can be purchased for $2.00 at the above mentioned locations.
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