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Ordinance Will Make 'Drive 25' the Law in Ridgewood

Council introduced Ordinance #3344 to effectively reduce the maximum speed limit of 25 mph in all of Ridgewood's residential roads.

In one of his last initiatives as mayor, Keith Killion saw an zones pass introduction last Wednesday.

The outgoing mayor, who chairs the Citizens Safety Committee, said he finds it baffling a select few streets in the densely-packed village allow for speeds upwards of 35 or 40 mph. North Monroe and Lincoln avenues are two of the notable thoroughfares that allow such limits.

In many cases, Killion said, drivers already exceed the speed limit by 10 mph or more, a dangerous situation given how many residents walk Ridgewood's streets and drive its roads.

The ordinance is likely to pass during the public meeting in June.

J.D. Luke May 15, 2012 at 12:04 PM
I just wish that we could get traffic on Linwood down to somewhere near the existing 25 mph limit. Time after time, as I cruise along (generally at around 30, to be perfectly honest) I have cars within just a few feet of my back bumper. I have not yet decided whether slowing to make the turn onto my own street is an exercise in bravery or purest folly. One of these days some Valley employee who is a few minutes late for work is going to have his insurance company buy me a new car.
J.D. Luke May 15, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Don't worry, he probably only means "soccer moms". Oh, wait.
paco rabanne May 15, 2012 at 12:15 PM
if the cops weren't to busy retiring early, you might be able to get them to patrol the streets and slow traffic down. or stop some of the recent break ins!
No One May 15, 2012 at 01:00 PM
I have no problems with the speed limits on Monroe as a pedestrian and I really see no reason for it to be changed. And with regards to the claim that people go 45mph on Monroe, is there any facts to back this up?
RdgwdGRock May 15, 2012 at 02:11 PM
or parked by Ridgewood Coffee Company
Ridgewood Mom May 15, 2012 at 02:17 PM
I see the police, quite frequently, on Ridgewood Avenue in the CBD pulling people over. I applaud the PD for stepping up with vehicles there. I agree with comments in an earlier article about J walking being a problem there. Pedestrians should be careful rather then prideful, even when they do have the right-of-way. But of course, the onus is and should be ultimately on drivers to yield to the pedestrians in all cases. It is worth noting that the traffic issues in the CBD have more to do with certain drivers refusing to yield to pedestrians, and one another, and less to do with speeding. I think there is more of an issue, with speeders, on the thoroughfares that are not right in the center of town. I agree with J.D. Luke about Linwood Avenue being a problem. Same goes for Ridgewood Ave. further east, Grove, and Monroe and Lincoln.
CPA May 15, 2012 at 02:43 PM
I believe the CBD should be a pedestrian mall on Friday evening and Saturdays to attract more interest in Ridgewood.
Boyd A. Loving May 15, 2012 at 03:42 PM
And how on earth would we fund the massive police overtime that would be required for such a plan?
jp1 May 15, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Very true watch as they drive the kids to school going a tad too fast while talking on there cell phones.
jp1 May 15, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Is this something new?
jp1 May 15, 2012 at 04:20 PM
It already is with all the jay walkers.
jp1 May 15, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Do not need massive ot just have the police do the job during regular work hours.
Ridgewood Mom May 15, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Boyd, How about a ticket quota system involving incentive payments to officers on a per ticket basis, with a fixed cut going to the Village to pay for miscellany? :)
James Jr. May 15, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Correct me if I am wrong, but has there been any recent incidents in these 35 mph zones? Why are these areas being focused on while we have hot spots of accidents which are not promptly being addressed? The area around GW on Monroe is already 25 mph during school hours. These streets are mostly flat, straight, and wide enough for safe driving at higher speeds. Only 35 mph zone I would lower is Lake Street, however I believe that street is shared with Midland Park.
Concerned Ridgewood Dad May 15, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Boyd, The problem would be solved VERY quickly if the police we ALREADY have would just DO THIER JOBS and write some tickets. Have you ever heard the term "force multiplier"? Its basically the addition of a capability to a force that increases the potential of that force to accomplish their mission. For the RPD, the force multiplier is the ticket book in their back pocket. The sheer number of violations we all see constantly happening in the CBD coupled the commensurate lack of enforcement give drivers and pedestrians too the sense that their won't be consequences for their law breaking. We (the Ridgewood PD actually) needs to flip this notion on its head. If they would start SERIOUSLY enforcing the laws word would spread like wildfire. I can hear the conversations now... "I'm so pissed, I just got a ticket in town for jaywalking", "oh yeah, I just got one because some idiot "jumped out" in front of my car"! Without enforcement NOTHING is going to change peoples behavior.
Ridgewooder May 15, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Much bigger problem, IMHO, are people who park on the street on Monroe. It forces drivers across a double yellow line and into oncoming traffic. Lawsuit against the owner of the parked vehicle waiting to happen...
J.D. Luke May 15, 2012 at 05:08 PM
I'm not condoning parking in stupid places, but I don't think any driver is 'forced' into oncoming traffic. They may be forced to cross a double-yellow, but they have complete discretion as to when. We have these wonderful devices called 'eyes', which in concert with our 'brain' allows us to determine whether or not it's safe to pass the parked car. The issue of people swinging out and violating the right-of-way of oncoming traffic is similar in many ways to many of the other complaints one can raise about self-entitled drivers who think that whatever they wish to do needs to be accommodated by those around them. When the car in front of you stops, don't just blindly go around them in the hope that they didn't stop for a crossing pedestrian (someone passed me this way one time in a parking lot when I stopped for a crosser). When a car (or much worse, a landscaping truck and trailer) is parked along the side of the road, slow down or stop and wait for a safe opportunity to pass. We all need to take responsibility for our own actions, because even when "it's the other guy's fault" if we could have avoided it we're at least partially guilty ourselves.
alex drivanos May 15, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Have there been many reports of accidents or pedestrian hittings on these >25 streets? And if so, are the numbers any greater than the slower streets? Otherwise I see no reason to do this.
Ridgewood Mom May 15, 2012 at 08:29 PM
A pedestrian hit in a 30 mph speed zone is 3 times more likely to die than one hit in a 25 mph zone. http://www.keepkidsalivedrive25.org/index.html
James Jr. May 16, 2012 at 01:25 AM
The same can be said at 10 mph and 15 mph or even 5 mph, however you can't just make every street that slow just because. I actually think crossing on Monroe is safer because you can judge the speed of cars and have better visibility of traffic. Again, if there are facts that correlates these 35 zones in Ridgewood to higher accidents then maybe I will rethink my opinions -- however I feel like this is putting a cast on an arm that isnt injuried while your leg is broken (meaning there are known spots of constant accidents but no visible sign of action).
Tired Of Glen Ave May 16, 2012 at 02:44 AM
They should try something new and change the speed limits throughout the day. Since there are so many schools during day 25mph is feasible, but I work the night shift and driving the full length of glen avenue at 2 am at 25-30 mph gets annoying
Matt May 16, 2012 at 09:38 AM
Making every road in Ridgewood 25mph would be a disaster. It means living in the center of town practically guarantees a 15 minute drive to get out or to highways. That will really attract outsiders to our shops. And I'll say it again. I've had more close calls at the intersection of West Ridgewood Ave and the Square than in the hundreds of miles I've walked through Manhattan in the past year. And as a driver with a flawless record, there continues to be area that gives me more anxiety than downtown Ridgewood. Visibility onto sidewalks or even into crosswalks are completely obscured by parked cars. Pedestrians constantly pop out and cross away from the crosswalks. The roadway is incredibly narrow for 4 cars across, forcing nervous drivers and larger vehicles to cross the center lines. And there are drivers who refuse to stop at the ends of the side streets. Is anybody really surprised that there are a lot of pedestrian strikes in an obstacle course? Forget the cell phone issue; every driver is distracted just by being in the downtown. If Ridgewood really wants to make its downtown safer, it needs to take creative but drastic actions. Options below: 1) Put a light at the intersection of Broad and E Ridgewood Ave. 50% of drivers get it wrong. That makes it especially dangerous for pedestrians. 2) Eliminate parking on Ridgewood Ave, widen sidewalks. 3) Left turn signals at major intersections.
jp1 May 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM
It is the law why do you have a problem with that. If on route 17 at 2am does that give you the right to do 80mph. time to grow up.
jp1 May 16, 2012 at 12:49 PM
I would say that 98% of roads in the village are 25mph and it does not take 15 minutes to get to a highway. The problem is congestion in a crowded state.
In The Wood May 16, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Once again, I believe that the only roads on the West side of Rt. 17 that are not 25 are the two mentioned in the article, Monroe and Lincoln (and maybe Goffle, not sure who would claim 'ownership'). If you head to East of 17, I think you would include East Saddle River Road. Why the big hub-ub over a small sampling of streets?
Rose Boniello May 16, 2012 at 02:58 PM
I have no problem with a 25 mph speed limit. Safety should always trump anyone's need to get somewhere quickly. I also think the CBD should have a 10 mph limit -- including Franklin Ave. Maybe that would discourage people from driving thru town. It astounds me how many drivers barrel thru the stop signs on Broad Street when they get to Ridgewood Avenue. The car coming up Ridgewood Avenue (westbound) is the only car with the right of way. All the other 3 intersections need to STOP or yield if you're coming out of the parking lot. One of the ideas I heard, which would impact a few parking spots, is that there should be another crosswalk between the RiteAid and Post Office, in the middle of the block. Pedestrians are lazy and are not going to go down to either crosswalk if they need to cross in the middle of the block. That is just a reality and it makes sense to look into the possibility of adding a crosswalk.
Harlan Consider May 16, 2012 at 03:12 PM
I am a frequent commenter on poor driving standards here, particularly as they relate to pedestrian crossings. However, I don't see any real benefit to this standardization of the 25 mph limit other than it giving the proponents some sense of accomplishment. Unless someone can provide evidence of increased accident rates in these increased speed zones, I think this is just an exercise in futility. By all the reports I read, the accidents are in the CBD or in residential streets where the limit is already 25 mph. If the logic behind this is that drivers speed anyway, where in a 25 mph zone they will drive 30-40 mph and in a 35 mph zone they will drive 40-50 mph, then the answer lies in enforcement. Do what Europe has been being for many years and introduce automated speed limit controls. The benefits are that they work 24/7, there's no playing favoritism, and it frees up the cops do do more worthwhile activities.
Over 50 yrs in town May 17, 2012 at 03:12 PM
How about Race Track Road? Despite posted as 25mph, most go faster and many go MUCH faster. During AM rush and lots of other times you can often see people going over 45mph, even many blocks west of Rt 17. There is seldom any enforcement. But when there is, they do give out a lot of tickets -- even stopping only those going over 40mph. HHK does more enforcement than Rwd- despite most of the worst speeding being on the Rwd side heading east toward Route 17. Traffic heading west off the highway usually can't go as fast as eastbound, because the ramp off 17 forces slower speeds. The street also gets a lot of pedestrian traffic - people walking to or from the Park and Ride and also commuter buses stop at several spots along it. Because the road is higher to the west where it meets Franklin Tpk and then dips down for several blocks before rising again where it joins Rt 17, people cannot see any hazards (or pedestrians) until they are almost on top of them. And there are often hazards -- too many people put junk in the streets (on both towns' sides) and people also park along the road - even though on Village side it's mostly illegal. It's become a serious problem. Even though the street always had traffic (and big trucks too) there did not used to be nearly as much over-the-top speeding as now. The road is also in poor shape, making the situation even worse.
Ridgewood Mom June 01, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Wasn't Monroe the site of an accident this morning? I sure hope everyone is OK.
Harry July 06, 2012 at 07:19 AM
It is a county road. This means the county sets the speed limit.


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