What Traffic Concerns Do You Have in Glen Rock?

Do illegal left turns over the double yellow line on Rock Road make the list? Nervous about speeding in school zones? Let us know!

Every town has its traffic issues – it's one of the drawbacks of a car culture. In neighboring Ridgewood, concerns with have led to police decoys, student-based awareness campaigns and new crosswalks.

Spend some time in Glen Rock's downtown and you're likely to see vehicles driving down Rock Road, crossing the double yellow line and parking in the angled spaces.

"There are numerous signs posted downtown saying that left hand turn is against ordinance," said Glen Rock Police Department Cpt. Jonathan Miller. "I think you get people coming into town that aren't aware of it."

The police captain said the turn is a safety hazard, one borough police strongly discourage motorists from making.

Miller also noted there have been a number of "close calls" over the years with motorists and crossing guards in school zones. 

"When passing through school zone, please watch out for crossing guards and give them room," he said. "It's a tough job."

One commenter on the Glen Rock Police Department's Facebook page was appreciative the borough's men and women in blue were recently in the right place at the right time.

"After dropping off my kids at Central, I was waiting to make a left onto Maple from Parkside when I saw a motorcycle blow past the crossing guard," wrote one resident. "Suddenly lights flash out of the parking lot -- he was pulled over before he could get to Ackerman! Thanks for keeping our families safe!"

Like any place, Glen Rock faces some traffic issues. Let's get a list together to identify some of the troubles and see if solutions can be found.

Are there problem intersections you've identified? Downtown? Speeding in school zones? Quiet streets with loud traffic problems?

We're going to be doing a series on traffic safety in town and are looking for reader input. So comment below with places you've seen as hairy in the borough.

James Kleimann September 10, 2012 at 05:35 PM
No specific issues near schools, folks?
Mary Deutschman September 10, 2012 at 05:39 PM
The speedway known as Rodney. When school is in it seems everyone runs late and drives 50MPH down Rodney.. You take your life in your hands everytime you cross the street! The light on Glen has only made this worse. The police would make a fortune if they were to sit on Birchwood and pull over the speeders on Rodney. Also if drivers were less in a hurry and willing to let cars out Rodney/Main/Rock CVS would be less of a nightmare. People continually block the intersection so that no cars can "get ahead " of them..
Kevin Davitt September 10, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Main & Rock - if you're approaching Rock from Main and you want to make a left across the tracks, particularly after a train has just passed, it can get dangerous. There are 2 lanes of traffic approaching you from the left, one on the right, and pedestrians on both sides.
Kevin Davitt September 10, 2012 at 05:43 PM
p.s. The "cycle" of red/green at the light on Glen and Maple is way too long. Folks speed down Glen from Harristown and down Glen from Rock to make it across because otherwise the wait is interminable.
Margaret September 10, 2012 at 06:14 PM
In a perfect community, no one would be on their cell phones talking or texting while driving and they would drive the speed limit (not 10- 20 mph over!). They'd stop for pedestrians (who are in the crosswalks) and acknowledge that the street signs that say STOP and NO LEFT TURN DURING SCHOOL HOURS are actually rules and not suggestions. These are all items on my wish list!
Rocky September 10, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Put Waldron on the list. Since you are prohibited from making a left hand turn out of the Hamilton School Parking lot, folks make a right onto Harristown then speed around the "Rodney-Waldron Loop" to get to 208...it is a tragedy waiting to happen.
JAFO September 10, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Kevin hit the nail on the head. Trying to turn left from Main to Rock is very difficult and dangerous for cars and pedestrians alike. As much as it pains me to say - they should probably make that a no left turn (like Ridgewood did by Van Neste Square). Force everyone wanting to turn left to head to Glen instead.
Ralph September 10, 2012 at 07:08 PM
The worst intersection in GR/Ridgewood is at N Maple and Franklin Ave in Ridgewood. When heading North on Maple (from GR toward Hohokus), in order to take a left onto Franklin one has to get under the traffic light and wait for oncoming traffic to pass. It's impossible to tell if the light has changed and many people make a left without noticing that the traffic from Franklin is now coming at them. There are near misses at that intersection constantly. Someone is going to get into a very bad accident there at some point.
James Kleimann September 10, 2012 at 07:31 PM
This one is from a Facebook reader: "Corner or Prospect and Cornwall - a large number of people get off the bus here in the evening and it's impossible to cross the road with the rush hour traffic."
Mary Deutschman September 10, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Rocky, it would be nice if it were only 1 school... however we have Hamilton folks as well as all MS/HS parents flying down Rodney, the worst time is 7:30 AM which is MS/HS drop off.
John Hahn September 10, 2012 at 08:15 PM
IF main were no left turn onto Rock (which can take a while w nerves of steel & patience of Job) it might kill Rock as a thorofare. The back up between Main & Glen Ave can take 3 -5 minutes and it is one block. I am against traffic lights because they are true time wasters most of the time. Perhaps there could be a light that runs from 8 AM to 7 PM and then goes to flashing the other 13 hours when it is not needed.
John Hahn September 10, 2012 at 08:18 PM
One need in a school zone is to train the crossing guard at Belmont & Harristown. He may be a nice guy but he thinks his job is to hold traffic while he sees a kid walking. He should learn to hold up the children & then let them cross enmass. every few minutes. He hinders the proper flow of traffic at the corner from 7:30 AM to 8:00 AM. A few lessons on how to do it better would make the corner safer and allow the cars to disperse quickly & safely.
John Hahn September 10, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Simply enforce the no talking/texting on a cellphone while driving. My wife recently saw a young male driver at the corner of Hamilton & Harristown with his phone at the top of the steering wheel as he typed away while looking to cross Harristown. Perhaps as a community our goal could be NO TEXTING WHILE DRIVING in GLEN ROCK. Every eligible driver in GR to take the pledge. I will not read or write texts while I am driving period. I would hate to hear of the accident caused by driver was distracted by texting.
jp1 September 10, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Why not a police officer instead of him sitting in his patrol car reading the paper.
Cheryl Pimlott September 10, 2012 at 09:38 PM
I agree the crosswalk at Prospect and Cornwall is very dangerous. I have had cars refuse to stop for me in the crosswalk and even blow the horn at me.
Marc D September 10, 2012 at 09:41 PM
It is not unusual to see a GRPD car on the corner near my house running radar (no I am not going to give away where! SORRY). A few of our local officers seem to like the spot for good reason as they seem to catch a lot of speeders, count me as a first hand witness. But guess what? People still continue to speed down the street. When my kids where younger I would not even let them play in the front yard and I did my fair share of complaining about the speeding problem.. Now my daughter drives and she just got her first speeding ticket. Do I have to tell you what street she was on? YOU GOT, RIGHT PAST OUR HOUSE!!! Her "but we live here" excuse did not work any better with me then it did with the officer. She also won't be too happy about my putting this on the Patch either. OH WELL!
GLEN ROCKER September 10, 2012 at 09:57 PM
I would say that you are one in a million. Parents today do not pay enough attention to the things their children are doing. Hope your daughter learned an important lesson. Good parenting goes a long way.
Martha Mc September 11, 2012 at 01:54 AM
The MS area between Harristown, Belmont and Emerson is awful. Also, it depends who the crossing guard is on duty. Our regular crossing guard Phil, has it down to a science. Today another crossing guard was there and it was a mess. After sitting in the long line, I found the jam was caused by the crossing guard's car on the side of the road with no parking. In addition, parents create the traffic jam by making u-turns on Belmont blocking the flow of traffic. Dropping the kids off on the corner on Harristown & Belmont doesn't help either despite the cones that are clearly visible. In my six years of driving my kids to the MS & HS, I have never seen a parent get a ticket. The other morning, an officer stood in front of the MS parking lot, as a parent went through the crossing guard's stop sign to make a left turn off of Harristown Rd onto Belmont. The crossing guard didn't see the car because he had his back to the car watching the children pass. The officer didn't even notice. My suggestion is to make Belmont a one way street going towards the MS during the morning rush. ( Byrd School uses this method & it works well.) I'm aware that there is parking on one side of the street. It's 2 hour parking, so not being able to park from 7:30 to 8:00 AM on weekdays shouldn't be a big deal. This will keep the traffic flow moving one way and you can either turn right or left and go on your way.
John Hahn September 11, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Glen Rocker: Good parenting does go a long way. I do believe there are many good parents here in GR.
John Hahn September 11, 2012 at 12:13 PM
THANK YOU, MARTHA Mc. well written!
J.C. Lee September 11, 2012 at 07:52 PM
We parents have no one to blame but our selves, we create these problems. Perhaps if children walked to school more often and each of us realized that you can't drive your kid directly to the school house door each day we would be a lot better off. Our roads were never built to handle this type of traffic. The volume of cars and the "ME FIRST" mentality has to be reduced. A platoon of school crossing guards at each corner could not solve this problem and we can't afford to pay for it!
Martha Mc September 11, 2012 at 11:12 PM
@ John Hahn - Thanks
Elizabeth Cox September 12, 2012 at 02:16 AM
harristown and rodney- thankfully Howard will scream to protect our kids over there!
Elizabeth Cox September 12, 2012 at 02:18 AM
you also have academy of our lady over there- i like that you can't make the left out of school- traffic in that lot would back up forever!
Elizabeth Cox September 12, 2012 at 02:21 AM
try crossing with kids- i have people come very close to running us over bc someone would stop and then someone else would try and go around them!
Elizabeth Cox September 12, 2012 at 02:24 AM
you can't make a street one way for a period of time- will cause to many accidents- but maybe if people started walking to school it could solve a lot of issues-
Dave S September 12, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Consider reviewing the traffic signal timing at Rock/Ackerman. When the signal was first installed several years ago it worked great. However, the timing was changed 1-2 years ago. Now the Rock Rd traffic must often wait and backup while only 1 car passes on Ackerman. At times it takes 2 signal cycles for a car waiting on Rock Rd to get through the intersection. Also consider red/yellow flashing mode during many hours of the day.
John Hahn September 12, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Dave S. wrote: Also consider red/yellow flashing mode during many hours of the day. I agree with this. The light at Maple & Ackerman goes to flashing about 11 PM. Yet the light at Spring & Maple does not. The light at Maple & Glen, Rock & Glen could both be on flashing 11 PM to 6 AM. The lights at Ackerman & Harristown and Prospect & grove could also be an overnight flashing lights.
WhyNot September 28, 2012 at 11:47 PM
1) Van Allen at Maple. During school hours, Van Allen is clogged at the S-bend with cars. This makes the road extremely dangerous as there is only enough room for one car at a time through a big S-bend. I still can't believe no head-on collisions have happened here. Make one side of Van Allen No Parking to prevent the issue and ensure ambulances and fire trucks can get through (they can't when it's blocked by parked vehicles in the S-bend). 2) Harding and Ackerman. The school guard always parks right on the corner of Harding, so someone going south on Ackerman turning west onto Harding is instantly met with his car, so the driver swings wide to get around him, into the path of cars leaving Harding, pulling up to Hamilton. 3) People "block the box" at Rock Road and Harding Plaza when the train comes through. This is an intersection our emergency responders use, but cars clog access for that extra 30 feet of space. 4) Maple Ave northbound at Harristown. Cars hold up northbound traffic on Maple while they sit there to make a left to get on 208 North. They've already been presented with an opportunity to get on Northbound's right-hand ramp 500 feet prior to the intersection. If they miss that, they can turn on Waldron or Hanover to circle back instead of holding up the Maple light.
Fercho September 29, 2012 at 01:05 AM
right on point. The more I think about it the more I realize how backward we are with pedestrians and their right of way. Here in GR there really is no school bus system. Fair enough. Parents and kids can then walk to school as it's within 0-2 miles. There is no reason why with a bit of planning we can't make a 3-4 block radius around schools and only allow pedestrian/bikes from 7:30-9 am, weather permitting of course. Look at countries like Holland and Sweden that continue to build paths for their bike lanes/walking lanes. I know you have rush bus traffic lanes going thru Maple. If you even only allowed one way nyc bound bus only lanes on Maple between those hours that would help tremendously. You think it can't happen? Look at Times Sq and Herald Sq in NYC. Anyone would have told you 10 years ago that those would be walking only areas you would not believe it...just sayin'


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