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Ridgewood Council Mulling School Pick-up/Drop-off Traffic Changes

Ridgewood Village Council to be voting on a dozen proposed traffic changes near schools on Aug. 8.

Substantial traffic changes near many of the village's schools will soon be up for a public hearing, and officials are hopeful residents add their proverbial $0.02. 

Roughly a dozen changes from  to  are scheduled for debate when the village council meets on Aug. 8 at Village Hall. A vote should be expected after the series of ordinances passed introduction on July 18.

The proposed changes are derived from a master list brought by HSAs and vetted by the school district, village and collaborative citizens safety committee. 

"I don't want you to feel any of this has been tossed," Village Manager Ken Gabbert told the council on July 11. "This has been thoroughly vetted by the Board of Education, by the safety committees, by our staff. And we didn't just agree to everything. We went through what was practical."

The initial list before the Citizens Safety Committee in late fall contained dozens of requests, ranging from stop signs, crosswalks, no-parking zones, no stopping-and-standing and more.

Most up for vote on Aug. 8 impact the / neighborhood. There are no changes proposed around , , or .

Not all requests developed were deemed necessary, Village Engineer Chris Rutishauser said.

"Some of the fields locations at the school – Cpt. [Jacqueline] Luthcke and I were there to witness some of the traffic that was brought to our attention," the engineer told the council. "We were both in agreement that a request in that location, which is a three-way stop sign, was not warranted."

Some on the council were skeptical all the changes would be effective.

Among the proposed changes is a queueing drop-off in front of Travell School on Bogert Ave., with the mid-block crosswalk removed.

Councilwoman Bernadette Walsh, a Travell-area resident, said she very often sees parents parking on the left-hand side of the one-way street, walking their children across the road. That could be dangerous without the crosswalk, she said.

Travell's principal, Margaret Leininger, will be working to avoid to prevent a queue-and-cross hazard, Rutishauser said. The school and safety committees will be also be aiming to strengthen enforcement, Gabbert added.

Ultimately though, said Gabbert, the village will need resident compliance if a good result is to be seen through.

"Parents are their own worst enemies because they're not following the signage, they're not following the rules that are there," Gabbert said.

Councilman Tom Riche said he hopes to see residents – the other stakeholders – attend the Aug. 8 meeting and provide their thoughts.

Here's the list of proposed changes:

Willard

Bedford Road turning left onto Morningside Road between 8 to 9 a.m. and 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on school days (Sept. 30 - June 30) will be prohibited.

Ridge 

Turning left from West Ridgewood Ave. onto North Hillside Place will be prohibited from 8 to 9 p.m. and 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on school days. Also, there will be no stopping or standing on North Hillside between W. Ridgewood and Madison avenues from 8 to 9 a.m. and 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., on school days.

Orchard

Dean Street will have a stop sign westbound at South Broad Street.

Hawes

There will be no stopping or standing on both sides of Houston Lane from South Pleasant to Stevens Avenue, 8 to 9 a.m. and 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on school days. This would replace that section's status from no parking during the above-mentioned hours.

B.F./Travell

Parking will be allowed on Bogert Avenue's west side from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on school days from the intersection of E. Glen for about 250 feet. From 250 feet to about 570 feet on E. Glen headed south, parking would be entirely prohibited.

Parking will also be prohibited on Fairfield Avenue east side, 280 feet south of East Glen to 426 feet south of East Glen, from 8 to 9 a.m. and 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., on school days. This replaces a no-stopping, no-standing distinction.

There will be no stopping or standing on Downs Street's south side from Fairfield to Pearsall Avenue, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., on school days. This would replace a no stopping or standing on Downs on the north and west side of Fairfield, 50 feet in each direction.

The mid-block crosswalk halfway between Meadowbrook and E. Glen on Bogert is also planned for removal.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Kleimann at James.Kleimann@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Boyd A. Loving July 27, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Some of the proposed restrictions are scheduled for enforcement Mon-Fri, while others will be enforced on school days only. An omission on the part of the Patch editor, or a lack of consistency in the ordinances themselves?
RdgwdGRock July 27, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Boyd - so persnickety. What's the diff between a partly sunny day vs. a partly cloudy day?
James Kleimann July 27, 2012 at 02:38 PM
For ease of reading, I wrote both "Mon-Fri" and "school days" with the implication being they were one in the same. The ordinances specifically state "school days". So holidays and off days, I imagine, would technically be different. I'll clarify in the text.
JAFO July 27, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Sometimes there is no school during the week (i.e. holiday).
James Kleimann July 27, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Right you are, JAFO. Again, I clarified the text. Enough about this – what do you guys think about the proposed changes? And more importantly, is all of this all for naught if parents don't abide by directions? I see parents parking and double parking for hundreds of feet on W. Ridgewood Ave. near Ridge Elementary. There's a big "no-stopping, no standing" sign that no one seems to care about. I know others have similar problems around the other schools.
JAFO July 27, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Yep - very few people think the signs apply to them. My bigger gripe however is why aren't more kids walking to school? The line of cars is crazy long and many of these kids live within a 15 minute walk.
RB July 27, 2012 at 04:26 PM
At BF Middle School on Van Dean, a number of parents like to drop off across the street. Not only is it dangerous, because now your little darling has to cross the street in the middle of the block to get to school, but you're also blocking the flow of traffic as there is no room to go around. I think this year I'm going to take pictures of the culprits and mail them to the police.
EKL July 27, 2012 at 07:09 PM
As for the changes for the Ridge school, I heartily approve banning left turns from West Ridgewood onto N. Hillside. I have seem more near misses on the corner of N. Hillside as parents make the left turn too quickly on a narrow street where cars are parked on both sides and just miss hitting a child crossing in the crosswalk. It is so dangerous a lot of parents who would let their child walk home pick them up instead on N. Hillside just so the child will not have to cross that street.
Mary August 06, 2012 at 05:32 AM
Kids being dropped off @ BF across from school has been problem forever - heaven forbid that these kids walk back to the crosswalk - "hello" crossing in middle of street is called Jay walking ........ & is VERY dangerous since most of the children don't look before they cross mid-street -
Mm August 08, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Willard school changes seem rather odd. How does one navigate around the school to the HHK train station coming from the streets west of the school? How much traffic will Morningside handle.

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