July 17, 2024
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July 17, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Let’s Not Wait for Tragedy at Our Crosswalks

We were driving on Newbridge Road. It is not necessary for us to tell you how dark some of the streets in this neighborhood are at night. It always puzzles us that the street lights in Bergenfield and Teaneck are few and far between. When we are walking on our street at night, if a car is not coming, allowing their headlights to shine on us, it is almost impossible for us to see the sidewalk. Uprooted from trees and other weather-related incidents, the sidewalks are bumpy, patchy and cracked. In the dark, that can prove more complicated than walking through a House of Horrors at an amusement park. We remember being in Disney in the Twilight Zone Hotel of Terror, and although Nina was petrified and was only there to show our grandchildren how brave she was, at least we were all prepared for the fact that it was going to be scary.

Getting back to driving, we actually were five feet away from hitting someone dressed completely in black, who had obviously been at Beth Abraham. He just walked across the street, expecting the cars to stop. Aside from the fact that it is a ridiculous assumption, thinking that because there is a crosswalk people will stop their cars, it was indeed impossible to see him.

With the very best of intentions, the crosswalks, in the evenings in particular, are difficult to notice. We know that last week a man was killed while crossing at a crosswalk on Cedar Lane. It is time for us to act on this before someone else dies. We did notice the last time we were in Montreal that at the crosswalks there are illuminated signs indicating that cars should slow down and look. Is there a reason that we cannot beseech upon our city councils the idea that such signs are a necessity in this community? Obviously, the most effective means of convincing people to stop would be a traffic light. At the corner of Newbridge and Westminster, the reason, as had been explained to us, for not having a light there is because there is one already installed at the corner of South Prospect and Newbridge. It seems to us that when driving on busy streets in many other places, traffic lights are visible on practically every corner and are synchronized to allow the traffic to flow at a safe and convenient rate. Why can that not be done here?

We began writing this before Shabbat. Lo and behold, when Mordechai and our grandson Yoel were walking home from shul after Maariv on Motzaei Shabbat, they began to cross the street, thinking that the car that was driving close to them was stopping. Instead, the car drove within two feet of them and suddenly stopped. The lady driver opened her window and said quite apologetically that she absolutely had not seen them. That incident occurred with them wearing reflector belts across their jackets. How is this all going to end? We as a community need to rally together to make changes that will enable us not to have to worry every time one of our family members walks home from shul in the daytime and the evening. It is time for us all to contact our local councils and ask them to reexamine this critical situation. We can’t imagine that anyone will disagree with the danger. The question is how many serious if not fatal accidents will happen before action is taken.

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

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