Blog: Montclair Motorists: Shame on You – Big Increase in Pedestrians Hit in the 1st Quarter of 2016

Baristanet-BlogsThe following post is by Alex Kent, a coordinator at Drive with Care in Montclair and a community liaison for Montclair Health and Wellness Partnership:

In the first quarter of 2016 the number of incidents where a car hit and injured a pedestrian in Montclair almost doubled from a year earlier, to 18 pedestrian crashes this year versus 10 last year. February was the worst month, with 9 crashes. Also disturbing is the fact that two of the victims were children who were hit near their schools, a 9 year old by Hillside School, and an 11 year old by Bradford School. Both incidents were the drivers’ fault, not the childs’. Drivers were responsible for 15 of the crashes, with 3 being attributed to the pedestrian.

Once again Bloomfield Avenue was the most dangerous street with 3 crashes, followed by Valley Road with 2, and the Mountainside Hospital parking deck with 2.

The Pedestrian Safety Committee is working to encourage drivers to be more aware: put down the phone, don’t speed, and if you are in an area with crosswalks, be pro-active about looking for pedestrians trying to cross.

Baristanet Blog disclaimer

Grove Street is a prime example of a street where speeding happens all the time, despite the many crosswalks there. The Committee has commissioned an engineering study of Grove Street, which was recently completed. The consultants recommend lowering the speed limit to 30 miles per hour, and more importantly, instituting traffic calming measures such as medians, pedestrian refuge islands, and bike lanes to narrow the roadway and encourage motorists to slow down. The reality is that Montclair does not have enough traffic officers to keep up with the number of speeders. A “road diet” is what is recommended to force motorists to slow down.

The consultants also finished their study of the two intersections in Upper Montclair: Valley/Bellevue and Valley/Lorraine. They recommend that Right on Red should not be allowed at any time at those corners. They would also like to see the traffic signals include a Leading Pedestrian Interval, which means pedestrians are allowed to start crossing about 10 seconds before the traffic moving in the same direction. This means pedestrians can get to the middle of the crosswalk before cars start turning into the crosswalk.

The next step is to work with the Township and the County to start making these changes happen. PLEASE, PLEASE drive with caution in our town. 18 injured pedestrians is too many over 3 months, and hitting two children is indefensible.


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  1. I disagree that a road diet is an appropriate option for pedestrian safety on Grove St. I am confused because you also seem to be merging road diet with complete streets. They are different concepts with different problems and needs.

    Grove Street also has a current vehicle volume that places it at the fringe limits of any road diet benefits. Future traffic growth will quickly move the street from consideration.

    Complete streets adds “sharing rights” to forms of mechanical conveyance, at widely disparate speeds, going in the same direction. I support the initiative, but not with the same attributes for an urban artery like Grove St. What I don’t like about Complete Streets is it lacks significant recognition for age differences in applying it. It tends to use a “typical” bicyclist or pedestrian.

    What has been the increase in tickets issued since Jan/Feb?
    What are the recommendations for parking decks and surface lots?

  2. Our children are at a bus stop on Grove Street and shocked at the amount of cars speeding past us and not allowing us to cross the street. We asked the town officials for a pedistrian signage IN the street, as you see all over town- and they said “they will get to it.” Almost a year later, no sign in he street. Unreal.

    Waking to the train is a sport. I cannot believe how little care drivers take for their fellow humans. They speed, tailgate, go around a car that stops in a crosswalk. People are just all about them. Their appointment, picking up their child. Slow down folks and stop the insanity. It’s narcissistic culture we live in. Me me me.

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