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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.

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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