Traffic light on Broadway becomes a reality for Fair Lawn and Elmwood Park

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By bidadmin June 12, 2015 08:00 Updated

Commuters and pedestrians have long struggled with crossing Broadway (Route 4) at E. 55th Street. It has served as a dangerous crossing point for many during any hour of the day or night. At one point a crosswalk didn’t even exist and pedestrians had to climb over the guardrail. Since 2008, a cooperative effort between the boroughs of Fair Lawn and Elmwood Park, the State Department of Transportation, state legislators and the Broadway Improvement Corporation have been working toward the goal of providing a safe way to cross this busy four-lane thoroughfare near NJ Transit’s Broadway Station.

Traffic light on Broadway becomes a reality for Fair Lawn and Elmwood Park

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the new traffic signal on Route 4 on May 22 with Sen. Robert Gordon and representatives from Fair Lawn and Elmwood Park.

In 2011, after a Department of Transportation study, a system of flashing lights was installed to alert drivers of pedestrian presence. Although similar systems have worked in other locales, it proved to be ineffective at the Fair Lawn/Elmwood Park border. Even though pedestrians pushed the buttons to activate the flashing lights, many of the cars coming their way failed to stop. Borough and state officials felt that safety was lacking and needed to be improved upon further.

With the help of State Sen. Nellie Pou and Assemblyman Robert Gordon, Jamie Fox, the new Department of Transportation commissioner, visited the location. Fox later ordered in a meeting in early February with representatives from Elmwood Park and Fair Lawn, that a traffic signal be installed and that the project be completed no later than April 30. The project was completed on schedule and the light has been functional since late April.

With the traffic signal now in place, the officials who worked tirelessly to step up safety for the members of their communities came together to celebrate this cooperative achievement at a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 22.

“I think it was great work by both boroughs and the state,” said Councilman Joseph Dombrowski of Elmwood Park. “It shows that we are all concerned over the safety of the pedestrians.

Mayor Richard Mola of Elmwood Park added, “This improvement has been under discussion for a long time. I am glad to see it completed for the safety of all those who use our parking facilities and the train station.”

In regards to the results of this cooperative effort, Gordon reflected on how he hopes this level of teamwork between boroughs continues.

“What you see here is an example of what happens when the business community works in partnership with the public sector,” he explained. “We really get something done that’s important for the safety of the public and I think, indirectly good for business in the Broadway district. I hope this will be just the first of many other improvements that we’re making in this corridor.”

Bob Beshlian, president of the Broadway Improvement Corporation (the business organization which serves as an advocate for the improvement of Broadway), noted that, “With the safety of the public in mind, it is clear that teamwork moves mountains, and helps to get through the red tape. It may have taken more than six years, but where many would have given up, our staff, volunteers and elected officials persevered.”

“I believe this is a giant step toward increasing pedestrian safety on Broadway,” said Fair Lawn Mayor John Cosgrove. “This was a cooperative effort on behalf the Boroughs of Fair Lawn and Elmwood Park, the State Department of Transportation, our state legislators and the Broadway Improvement District. I thank all the stakeholders for making this a reality.”

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By bidadmin June 12, 2015 08:00 Updated