June 17, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
June 17, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

When a horrific accident occurs anywhere, after all is said and done, putting blame on the guilty person does not make the pain and suffering that a family might feel any easier.

We have been following the banter going on about the safety of bikers and drivers, joggers and walkers on our local streets. Obviously, due to the conditions we are all living under, the minute there seems to be a bit of sun everyone runs outdoors. It seems pretty natural to us, and we also are thrilled to take advantage of a break in the weather, which for many weeks was horrendous.

One week after excitedly getting a new car, Nina found herself squeezed by a very large tractor trailer as she approached the toll booths of the George Washington Bridge. Considering his size and the size of our car, we lost the battle. The entire driver’s side of our car was smashed in. Did we mention that the car was brand new? Obviously the driver of the truck, after he jumped down from his cabin with no damage to his truck and basically waited for the police, took some pictures and never thought of it again. Nina felt it was 100% the fault of the trucker, but did it really matter? We suffered the indignity of driving with a smashed-up car for a while, and worrying about the effect this would have on our insurance. The other guy couldn’t have cared less.

This was a seemingly unimportant incident in comparison to the many opportunities-in-waiting for tragedies to occur on our local streets now that it looks like “spring has sprung.” There are daily postings on various Facebook pages about the concern of drivers and parents for the safety of their children as they drive along on their bikes, trikes and skateboards.

We experienced several times the horror of watching a child riding along without a care in the world, and suddenly veering into the middle of a street as cars trailed behind. One incident that occurred with us personally was while driving slowly along Rutland between Rugby and Windsor. A young child who could not have been more than 8 (if that) was scooting along, not looking at anything, and if Nina had not blown her horn he would have plowed right into our car. We thought he was too young to be on the street by himself without any adult supervision, scooting as if he owned the place. Where are the parents of these young children? We understand that everyone is under tremendous pressure and the opportunity to get the kids outdoors is a godsend, but it does not give a parent the right to stay indoors to enjoy her few minutes of peace.

Social distancing does not seem to exist in the biking world. Kids are biking in groups right next to each other. It seems as though it has become their right to own the roads. Stop signs are not obeyed. It appears that no bikes are allowed on the sidewalks in Teaneck according to Sec 32-17 of the Teaneck code, so the solution to this problem is not an easy one. Should there be designated streets in Teaneck for bikers on a rotating schedule? Should there be bike paths and should cars not be allowed to park on the streets during this pandemic, even though it was offered to residents as a courtesy? When a child is riding his bike and suddenly has to swerve from his position close to the curb because a car is parked there he automatically puts himself at risk for driving closer to a car that is driving down the street.

This situation needs to be attended to before we start to hear the sound of ambulances picking up bikers and pedestrians from these tragedies that are waiting to happen. Everyone seems to have an idea of what they think would be best. What works for one would not necessarily work for the other. Perhaps the idea of a town hall virtual meeting should be called in order for the local cities to hear from their residents and try to come to some sort of agreeable situation.

When we read through the section of the code in Teaneck not allowing bike riding on the sidewalks, it also stated that horses are not allowed on the sidewalks. Perhaps it is time to reread this section and come to a more updated solution. Certainly times are not the same as they used to be. Who of our elder family members ever had a horse?

One of our pet peeves, which we note every time we take a walk, is the number of very young children out bike riding whose parents are hundreds of feet behind them. Several times Nina has found herself about to run across a street to stop a child from racing his bike, assuming that he was alone, before his parent slowly meandered from behind him. The killer for us was the child who sped through the corner of Thames into Westminster onto New Bridge, where he got off his bike and dangerously walked on the sidewalk-less New Bridge to the cross walk. This child for sure was not more than 7 years old. Nina was about to cross the street to speak to him when suddenly his father appeared from around the corner, slowly approaching, and responded in the affirmative when Nina asked him if the little boy was his son. When it was suggested to “Daddy” that this child was too young to be alone and zooming without an adult nearby, the response was “Thank you.”

We are scared for everyone. Action must be taken to ward off any tragedy. Name calling and finger pointing about this one allowing and that one not, this one social distancing and that one not, is not practical nor is it respectful of our community and how we should treat each other.

Hopefully a community forum will take place in the not-too-distant future to deal with this issue.

Until then, each parent has to take full responsibility for their children.

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

 

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles