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Improved Safety in Garber Square? Not Yet

Congestion, hazards of Garber Square construction prompt protests among Ridgewood residents, report says.

Traffic since construction (top) versus typical traffic (bottom). Red indicates congestion while green indicates a good flow of traffic. Via Google Maps.
Traffic since construction (top) versus typical traffic (bottom). Red indicates congestion while green indicates a good flow of traffic. Via Google Maps.

Construction began last week in a Garber Square Complete Street project meant to improve safety for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. But, according to a report on theridgewoodblog.net, some Ridgewood residents find construction is doing just the opposite. 

"That area is already a traffic nightmare," one resident said in the report. "This has the potential to go down as one of the greatest mistakes ever in the Village of Ridgewood."

The Garber Square project has reduced traffic to one lane, despite Village Manager Roberta Sonenfield's assertions that "The project will not increase volume in the corridor, the report says. The dedicated right turn lanes are reduced in length, for pedestrian and vehicle safety."

By the time the project is complete, the area will have medians, trees, and new bike lanes.

"The addition of bicycle lanes will provide a means for cross-town travel that is easier and safer," reads the Village's official Garber Complete Streets Project plan. "It will encourage bicyclists to use the street as the law requires, rather than the pedestrian tunnel." 

Bike lanes in the area are now being used for emergency vehicle access, causing the protesting residents to question whether the long term benefits outweigh the short term costs. 

They have even created a petition to convince Mayor Aronsohn and the Village Council to end the project. 


kevin May 30, 2014 at 09:37 AM
Can the patch post a drawing of the plans, if there is a bike lane going from west to east will that aliminate the right hand turn lane onto North Broad street? The same from east to west, no right hand turn lane onto west ridgewood ave? And if this does not work thats $500,000 down the drain because of a "residents concern" and the munincipality brain storming. Can we see the comprehensive traffic study that was already done by the town?
Rose Driscoll May 30, 2014 at 10:08 AM
Here is the link to the Village's plans: http://mods.ridgewoodnj.net/pdf/engineering/2013WestSideStreetscapeOptionE.pdf
kevin May 30, 2014 at 11:34 AM
awesome, thanks Rose.

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