May 18, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
May 18, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

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

If we did not think that it was a priority for us to be at the forefront of what is going on around town, we would not do so.

The dangers of crossing New Bridge Road at Westminster have not gone away. They are perhaps even more significant at this time. It seems that as long as no one gets hurt for a period of time, things remain quiet. People are risking their lives each time they cross at that corner and, again, no one seems to bother to address the issue. It is inevitable that someone will be hit there. It could be our children or grandchildren, our spouses or our parents, but it will happen sooner rather than later. We are not certain that if that were to happen anything would be changed, as it certainly did not make any difference when the crossing guard was hit on a Yom Tov morning. No doubt everyone felt terrible, but changes were not made.

There are those who allow young children aged eight or nine to walk to Beth Abraham by themselves. What are they thinking? True, there is a crossing guard present on Shabbat morning, but only for a limited time. He can only do the best he can. We watch others who think that they know better and cross from the driveway adjacent to the Beth Abraham building, assuming that they feel they are saving time by not walking to the corner. That is another bad lesson that we are teaching our children, and it stems from the attitude that “nothing will happen to me.” Bad things, some think, only happen to other people.

In an informal conversation with Corey Galio, the city administrator of Bergenfield, on the day that Nina was working at the polls, she suggested that the implementation of crosswalk signs that are lit up with light bulbs all around would make a significant difference to both drivers and pedestrians. His response was almost comical. He said that the City of Bergenfield could never do that because of the number of complaints they would get from the homeowners in the surrounding areas on the corners. They would complain that there was too much light shining into their homes.

We would suggest that Mayor Schmelz and his city council, as well as Galio, take a lesson from other cities which implemented this system long ago. Perhaps the citizens of Bergenfield are more agitated by light, but we do not think so. Would the shining red lights coming from an ambulance be more acceptable? It has been suggested that the mayor, together with his council, stand at the corner in question. Within a short time they would experience the frustration and danger that is shared by all of us every time we make the attempt to cross to the other side of the street at that location. In the evening it is almost impossible to be seen by a car. During the daytime everyone is in too much of a rush to stop for the pedestrians trying to make it across the street.

It appears that harping on necessary changes does little to change the human psyche. Although we feel that the city needs to take responsibility for the crosswalks, the pedestrians must take responsibility for where they cross, as well as what they wear in the dark of night. This neighborhood is not known for brilliant street lights. Do most people think that the reason the rabbi mentions each week the importance of wearing reflective sashes in the Beth Abraham weekly announcements is because he has nothing better to write about? Yet, person after person, with family members and alone, walks in their traditional dark suits, making it just about impossible for drivers to see them. As we have said many times in the past, it is very likely that one day someone will be hit by a well-meaning driver who has no way to see the pedestrian in the blackness of the night.

Wake up everyone. Please do not wait until it is too late.

 

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick are living in Bergenfield after many years of service to the Montreal Jewish community. Rabbi Glick was the rav of Congregation Ahavat Yisroel as well as a practicing clinical psychologist in private practice. He also taught at Champlain Regional College. The Glicks were frequent speakers at the OU marriage retreats. Nina coordinated all Yachad activities in Montreal and was a co/founder of Maison Shalom, a group home for young adults with special needs. They can be reached at [email protected].

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles