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'Cops in Crosswalks' Decoy Program Catches Drivers Unaware

Despite a flashing yellow light, orange cones and a lined pedestrian crosswalk, few drivers stop for pedestrian decoy cop on Hudson Terrace.

The Fort Lee Police Department set up a pedestrian decoy cop at the busy intersection of Hudson Terrace and Central Road Friday morning to enforce their pedestrian safety initiative.

"One struck pedestrian is one too many," Fort Lee Deputy Police Chief Tim Ford told Patch. Which is why Fort Lee is participating in the Department of Highway and Traffic Safety's 'Cops in Crosswalks' Decoy Program this spring. Fort Lee received a $15,000 grant to fund the cost of paying police officers who participate in the program--from decoys to ticket writers.

Drivers who failed to stop to allow the decoy cop to cross at the pedestrian crosswalk were asked to pull over where they were issued a traffic violation that carries a fine of $230 and adds two points onto their driver's license.

"We're just trying to save lives one pedestrian at a time," said Officer Antonio Hernandez.

Within the first 15 minutes that decoy officer Vincent Buda crossed the pedestrian crosswalk, 12 cars were pulled over. When asked if they knew why they were pulled over, every driver said that they did not.

One of the drivers who was pulled over, Krishna Venkatesh, said he never even realized that there was a flashing yellow light and asked if it was new.

"I travel this road three times a week," Venkatesh said. "Aren't pedestrian crosswalks also supposed to have 'pedestrian crossing' cones in the middle of the crosswalk as well?" he asked.

One man, who did not wish to give his name, said that he was on his way to take his 81-year old father to the doctor. "I had no idea why I was being pulled over," he said. "I just want to get my dad to the doctor.

Missing a few close calls with cars as he made his way back and forth across the street, Buda said, "When it comes down to you and a two-ton car, you have no chance."

In January, a 65-year old Fort Lee man, Gerard A. Deangelis, was struck and killed as he was crossing Anderson Avenue on his way to Madonna Church. This was in additon to the four pedestrian fatalities that occurred in 2012, and the more than 60 pedestrians who were struck by cars while walking.

Deangelis's family sent a letter dated April 4 to Mayor Mark Sokolich and Police Chief Keith Bendul. The letter states that although the family "applauds" the recognition of the problem regarding pedestrian safety, they feel that the proposed initiatives are "inadequate, misguided and ineffective."

The family feels that the focus of law enforcement should be on distracted drivers. It is their position that Fort Lee's police presence should be "stepped up" by focusing on those who violate the traffic laws in Fort Lee.

Both Chief Bendul and Deputy Chief Ford said that they are also focusing on drivers who do not obey the traffic laws, which is why they are participating in the 'Cops in Crosswalks' program.

"We're addressing the problem from every possible angle," Ford said. "We are trying to educate pedestrians to safety issues while at the same time enforce traffic laws."

Ford also said that the Fort Lee Police will be conducting the decoy 'Cops in Crosswalks' program throughout the spring.

"We're going to focus on pedestrian-heavy areas like houses of worship and schools," Ford said. "With Little League season right around the corner, we also want to focus our attention to Whitey Lang Field on Anderson Avenue which is heavily trafficked by both cars and pedestrians during ball games," he added.

One female driver who was issued a ticket, but did not want to give her name, said, "[Hudson Terrace] is like Route 4. Why they would have a pedestrian crosswalk here is just crazy."  

 

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John JJ April 06, 2013 at 11:14 AM
Summer will be here soon, You will once again see Parked PD cars on the Island on the Northern End of Abbott Blvd.But it should be in the Southern End by Bluff Rd if anything , And if they didn't catch anyone ,They can be on stakeout Detail ?? Just in case one can't be to sure ??
Ottmar Pak April 06, 2013 at 01:09 PM
Several of the comments on this thread are extremely offensive. Why do you feel it necessary to cite Puerto Ricans, Asians and Mexicans? Your ethnic deficiency must be intelligence.
Ronne Bassman-Agins April 06, 2013 at 01:41 PM
Interesting that the decoy location was set up at a rarely used pedestrian crossing site. As I have said in many emails to the mayor and to the chief of police, and as I commented at the recent public meeting, most of the sites where there are pedestrian crossing signals, they do not operate in the best interest of pedestrians. Also, the intersection of North Bridge Plaza and Lemoine is a disaster waiting to happen, with left hand turn lights and right on red allowed, neither pedestrians or cars know how to proceed safely in a majority of situations. A block up from where the decoys did their task (Bruce Reynolds and River Rd./Hudson Terrace) pedestrians are literally at a loss. A pedestrian crossing Lemoine at Whiteman is in for an unpleasant experience. I have suggested that North Bridge and Lemoine be considered as a four way pedestrian crossing intersection, and that the same considered in other instances. I am aware that one of the issues in multiple jurisdictions (town/county/state). Well, we elect our officials to negotiate and move forward on behalf of our safety, do we not?
Howard L. Pearl April 06, 2013 at 01:45 PM
Anonymous blogging allows for ethnic slurs and offensive comments. Until there is an understanding that anonymous blogging is NOT covered under the First Amendment right to free speech, this type of irresponsible behavior will continue.
Andrey Postoyanets April 06, 2013 at 02:35 PM
That's a traditional place for such decoys. It allows FLPD to pull cars over without causing much traffic backup. Since the goal is to raise awareness of drivers and get their attention to the issue, it serves the purpose just fine. However, it's a very difficult spot for the drivers going both north and south - because of the hill, lanes merge, etc. I always go a bit under the speed limit there and watch out for pedestrian more than anywhere else. Granted, I rarely see one there...
Andrey Postoyanets April 06, 2013 at 04:26 PM
Based on my personal observations, most of the danger does come from drivers who are either distracted or not thinking a step ahead or just disrespectful and arrogant. If you are driving on a one-way two-lane street (Anderson Ave or Central Ave) and there is a marked crosswalk ahead and the car 150 feet in front of you stopped, why press on gas and speed up through the intersection? Just a bit of common sense and thinking would alert you to at least slow down if not stop... But why bother? Nobody is important, but me and where I am driving, right ? But let's not forget about other parties involved. If you drive near the Bridge Plaza bus stops, you know how many people are jaywalking - and it's scary. Luckily, most cars go at very slow speeds there, or we'd be reading about more incidents every week. As to the borough/PA/county, they should join the efforts. There are not enough signs, crosswalk markings and enforcement. Not every violation should result in a ticket. I believe that a one-minute private conversation with a police officer will teach you not to misbehave for a long time. Also, if someone would explain to me please, how to cross Hudson Terrace if you walk off the GWB and need to go north or take the stairs to Bridge Plaza North? There is a traffic light for cars, but nothing for pedestrians. And no marked crosswalk... Also, I think one is needed on Bridge Plaza North at Hoyt St (by high school road) for people who do use those stairs....
Andrey Postoyanets April 06, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Let's all make sure that if we hear/read about Fort Lee in the news, it's about exciting cultural programs, school achievements, charity events, and us being the best community in Bergen County - not about another pedestrian accidents. It all starts and rests with every one of us.
PAT KINNEY April 06, 2013 at 11:11 PM
Center Ave (between Whiteman and Hoym) 2 pedestrians in the dark (8:30 pm) crossed diagonally in front of me How I saw them, I don't know - but they had to see that my car was coming - it was the only car at that time. Why couldn't they wait to J-walk after I passed them? Its scary.
John Rubano April 07, 2013 at 04:40 PM
I live on that street and they changed a non pedestrian stop into one, by changing the street light into a blinking yellow and put out two red cones. When the light turns green your suppose to wait till the pedestrian sign turns white than you walk. why didn't they do it at a regular one like out side fort lee school. Or where accidents are happening. That was a total set up to people used to that light being a normal light. And another thing i watched him on the news channel on numerous occasions just stepping out two or three feet and than returning to the curb and who ever didn't notice the game he was playing got a ticket (230 dollars) Why don't they go do it on the streets that have a ped. crossing instead of making one. Cause ill bet you if they did they would have made nothing cause people for the better part know when and where to stop. If your going to put one there let people know its there for a week or so than hand out 230 dollars tickets... This is just being sneaky and it does more harm than good. Meaning the trust we have in you to see how sneaky you are. Also when the police handed out 70 dollar tickets at the corner lemoine and bridge plaza N. for two days for people walking across the street if the walk sign was yellow meaning if you didn't step off the curb by the time it was white and it was yellow a cop came out of nowhere and gave you a 70 dollar ticket right after they left, right back to normal for people walking the same way they have been.
Thomas DeAngelis April 07, 2013 at 06:15 PM
To the motorist who said "[Hudson Terrace] is like Route 4. Why they would have a pedestrian crosswalk here is just crazy." How do you propose a pedestrian get across Hudson Terrace?
Thomas DeAngelis April 07, 2013 at 06:18 PM
It is true that many pedestrians do foolish things and are a contributing factor in these accidents. But that does not justify drivers presuming to always have the right of way. The crosswalk law is designed to protect pedestrians, and it does add an extra burden of vigilance on drivers. Pedestrians need to be educated on expected safety measures they must take, and drivers need to be extremely cautious and drive defensively so as not to assume pedestrians will observe the law. Pedestrians do not need a license to cross a street and there will always be those who take risks; drivers get a license which requires they are familiar with and observe all laws and regulations, even those designed to protect non-observant pedestrians.
John JJ April 07, 2013 at 08:58 PM
The other day I was at Fairway First spot on Plateau Ave rite by Anderson Ave, An Asian WOMAN CAME DOWN Anderson South turned ,But another car Blew his horn to warn here, DUMB ASS j- p ? She swerved, turn her car to the right and almost hit me and I was parked Just waiting for someone, A few BOWS AH SO SO SORRY !, Then she made another U TURN RITE // 4 POINT, TURN THERE AND AGAIN ALMOST BACKING INTO MY CAR , HOW STUPID ARE THESE PEOPLE ?
BJ April 07, 2013 at 09:38 PM
What a pile of cack this was. Every possible angel? Really, where? Where are the speed traps? Where are the officers enforcing traffic laws instead of pulling over innocent OUT OF TOWN drivers. You know that's why they deliberately set this up where they did. I hope every single person that was issued a ticket storms that courtroom. 12 vehicles pulled over in 15 minutes. Every single one of these drivers was wrong? It has nothing to do with the driver. It's the law and the signs that are deceiving. All these drivers and not ONE OF THEM knew what they did. How is that possible. Stand on any street corner in the entire State on NJ and hell will freeze over before anyone stops. No one knows or understand the laws because the sign is so asinine. You can't even read half of them and the message is ridiculous. It's been around forever. No one stops. That's a fact! What a joke this is. I hope these drivers remember Sokolichs name when he runs for State Senate. I knew there had to be money involved. It's the only think that entices him. How many crosswalks were involved in the deaths of all these people that were killed in Fort Lee? What? because they didn't use one? Walk on Anderson, Center or Palisade. There's at least a 100 yards between the crosswalks. People are really going to walk blocks to cross a street. Get real! They don't even walk a few feet.
BJ April 07, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Thank you Rho Smith. You are 100 % correct. This is nothing but a horrible scam so Sokolich can claim he does in fact issue motor vehicle tickets. I can assure you that's not where the majority of pedestrians walk in Fort Lee or where people have been hit and killed by cars. I can also assure you it is however where the most out of town cars travel and why they did it there. Nothing but a classic publicity stunt so he can claim he is doing something. Hell will freeze over before they ever start enforcing traffic laws in Fort Lee and issuing speeding tickets and people that fail to stop at stop signs. The question is WHY? Someone on that line should've asked if any of the vehicles were Fort Lee residents. What a horrible thing to do to these people to use them the way he did. What does any of this have to do with the people that have been KILLED and HIT by vehicles IN Fort Lee? But Mark only cares about his political aspirations. He has no regard for human life. In the last 3 years over 200 have been hit by cars IN Fort Lee and over 20 are dead. This year it's already on par to surpass last years figures. Marks solution to this problem is 1) ice scrapers 2) rulers 3) coloring books 4) umbrellas 5) whistles and 6) reflective lights that not one walker on Abbott Blvd has since received. And now this just so he can say he does issue moving violations. Either this man is the most ignorant man on the face of this earth or he is laughing at all of you.
BJ April 07, 2013 at 11:11 PM
Excellent observation and points. Several questions remain. If last years Pedestrians Safety Program is now on record as a colossal failure why would you repeat it? How many people were at that town meaning? A dozen in a town of 40,000. I would hope that the Mayor will address this and how they are in fact educating anyone? More wasted tax payer money. Secondly, as you so noticeable pointed out, why would you set up a decoy at an intersection rarely used by pedestrians. Unless the road itself is also less travel by Fort Lee residents. Thirdly and most imperatively, Mr DeAngelis nephew presented the Mayor with some rather harsh accusations in his letter to the media on Thursday April 4th. Mayor Sokolich said he would be respond later that day and of course never did. This is a man who is famous for his loquacious speeches and yet his has no reply? Lastly may I just say that if you are completely conscious of the speed limits in town and abide by them - you are also 100% more apt to be aware of the pedestrians crossing as well. If Fort Lee were to enact a reputation for strict traffic laws all of these problems would correct themselves. Your goal is to alert the drivers. By continually focusing all your resources and attention solely on the pedestrians you are actually condoning the drivers complete disregard for safety. As someone on this board keep writing - the driver is responsible for their vehicle at all times.
Bob D April 07, 2013 at 11:21 PM
This seems like a step in the right direction but I can’t help but be skeptical. Let’s see if there is any follow through with similar programs on high traffic residential streets in town. I didn’t see anyone from Fort Lee ticketed and the residents are the worst violators of traffic laws. Just walk the streets in town and you’ll see how aggressively they drive; it’s not just speeding alone – total and utter disdain for pedestrians. The FLPD also needs to start issuing more speeding tickets and tickets for cell phone usage while driving. The family who sent the letter is correct that distracted driving is a big problem. Flagrant disregard for pedestrians is also rampant. You can see it in the comments from the drivers who were ticketed. They think they own the roads and shouldn’t have to share them with pedestrians. The sheer volume of tickets issued in this one sting is very revealing. Obviously the problem is endemic. Mr. Mayor and FLPD, PLEASE don’t stop here – more work needs to be done to eradicate the problem.
BJ April 07, 2013 at 11:24 PM
{Just a bit of common sense and thinking would alert you to at least slow down if not stop... But why bother? Nobody is important, but me and where I am driving, right ?} But that's exactly what the problem is in Fort Lee. This has gone on for so long the drivers have an attitude in Fort Lee. Walk the town. They are out of control. It was exacerbated ten fold by publicly blaming and humiliating the pedestrians. There's 40,00 residents in a town that is 2.5 square miles. You know how ecstatic drivers are to see this? You've literally green lighted their behavior. I was on Abbot yesterday and a silver Hummer went right at me. Not the first time this has happened. I want to ask these drivers how stupid are they when they get sued or worse, kill someone? What driver in their right mind behaves like this if it weren't for the fact A) Fort Lee does nothing to sto it and B) enables it by issuing hundreds of tickets to the pedestrians instead. Why are they not enforcing traffic laws?
BJ April 07, 2013 at 11:32 PM
In answer to your question it's because the entire situation is completely out of control. Drivers do as they damn well please because there are no consequences. The other side of that coin is pedestrians are playing the same exact game. This is why Fort Lee so desperately needs to establish a reputation for enforcing strict traffic laws. It is now a matter of life and death. When was the last time you saw a police car on Anderson, Center or Abbott pull anyone over? A constant police presence throughout the entire town is going to alert every and get people to pay attention. Take those 16 electronic signs they have and place them throughout the town telling people they've been warned. TRAFFIC LAWS STRICTLY ENFORCED. And then you do it. Travel to any town that has a notorious reputation and see how many people are getting hit or killed by vehicles. It's proven and factual.
Art Elmers April 08, 2013 at 04:54 PM
I wonder how many of these tickets will be dismissed in court or plead down to an offense that doesn't carry points? We will not hear a word about the outcome of theses tickets because they will "go away". If we really want to effect change on driver's habits, we need to make sure that there is a real downside to breaking traffic laws.
Art Elmers April 09, 2013 at 10:45 PM
What about unmarked crosswalks? Note that drivers must yield right of way to pedestrians in any "unmarked" crossing at most intersections. Go to: http://www.nj.gov/lps/hts/pedestrian.html and see NEW JERSEY STATUTE 39:4-36. So the argument that the intersection was not marked does not hold water. Also note that a pedestrian stepping off the curb just as a vehicle approaches is addressed so: "but no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield." Some given tickets may be able to use this as a defense if no police video exists showing the distance or time afforded the vehicle when approaching the "decoy" stepping off the curb. Finally, decoy officer Vincent Buda is beloved by most of the schoolchildren in Fort Lee and their parents. Speaking as one, I don't even want to think about the grief that would result if officer Buda wasn't quick enough to avoid injury or worse. I have related in the past, my experience of having a vehicle pass me on the shoulder almost hitting a grandmother pushing a stroller, after I stopped at a crosswalk. So to officer Buda I say; be quick, be careful and don't take any chances.
BJ April 10, 2013 at 12:02 PM
Mr Elmers: As I say NO ONE STOPS for pedestrians in crosswalks. Once again this accomplishes NOTHING. This is the third time they've done it and it did NOTHING to lower the number of people getting hit and killed. They've risen. It would take years and thousands of tickets to get this message out. As proven by the magnitude of cars pulled over - all of whom had no idea what they'd done wrong. I've never seen anything so asinine to address a life threatening situation. You also noticed how Sokolich never responded to the letter the DeAngelis family wrote? Talk about unmanliness. He calls himself a mayor? His answer to all of this is: Ice Scrapers? Whistles? Umbrella's? Coloring Books? Rulers? That's how he addressed this? Are you kidding me? Talk about incompetence. And giving tickets out to non residents in an area with NO foot traffic. Jokolich did however accomplish one thing. If he thinks they hated after the hurricane the disdain is now off the Richter Scale. I was in the PO yesterday. You should have only heard the things being said. They're livid. There were about 10 people on line and I "jokingly" passed a comment - the whole place ignited. He took Bendal down with him as well. Three months in office and their now questioning HIS sanity. Very sad - he's a nice guy and Mark took him down with him.
Art Elmers April 10, 2013 at 01:25 PM
BJ, just want to correct a few of your points. First, you state that "NO ONE STOPS for pedestrians in crosswalks". I stop and I hope that you do also as you drive. I guess I grew up in a time when people were aware of and obeyed traffic laws. I often think that I must be a fool for obeying traffic laws while watching others pass on the shoulder and or pass and go straight through a left turn only lane to beat the traffic light I get caught at. I placate myself with the thought that at least I can live with myself knowing that I don't disregard the rules of civilized society. And most importantly I watch for pedestrians, both at crossings and anywhere, because I don't ever want to have to deal with the horror of having injured or killed a child or any other human being. That would absolutely devastate me. You talk about the population of Fort Lee being 40,000. The US Census estimates our population in 2011 at 35,579. I personally think we were undercounted in the last Census after seeing our school enrollment grow to historic levels and all of the new housing going up around town. And I realize you may be rounding up to accentuate your point. How do you know that Mayor Sokolich did not respond to the DeAngelis family letter? Or even see it? You yourself say that the letter was presented through "the Media". In my dealings with the Mayor I have always received a response. Sometimes they were immediate and other times they were not. Continued in next comment....
Art Elmers April 10, 2013 at 01:43 PM
BJ Continued... It is obvious that you dislike our Mayor and would like to see him replaced. That is you prerogative. If you feel you can do a better job I would be happy to sign your petition to run for Mayor of Fort Lee. I believe everyone has the right to participate in our democracy. I, as every citizen of Fort Lee, would then exercise our right to listen to all the candidate's views and positions. Then on election day we could vote for the candidate who we feel will best represent us. And others will still have the right to voice their views and criticism as our Bill of Rights allow us to. The only thing I dislike is the lack of respect shown. As soon as I see someone belittle an elected official, whether it is the President of the United States, The Governor of our State, or our Mayor, I immediately derate whatever that commentator has to say. Calling our Mayor Jokolich, our Governor "Fat", or the multitude of names used to refer to our Presidents, past and present should not be a part of civil discussion. I want to be clear that I am not attributing all of these terms to you but is only an example of what I read throughout comments on the patch. While I find myself disagreeing with you at times, I also agree with you that we have a problem with driver's habits in Fort Lee that need to be addressed.
BJ April 10, 2013 at 02:14 PM
Mr Elmers: Always a pleasure to converse with you. And of course I abide by speed limits and stop at all crosswalks but we are far and few between. I drove down Anderson last night all the way into Fairview and every time I stopped for a person in a crosswalk I was either almost rear ended or they blow the horn at you. Simply put no one knows the law. It proves the sign is futile and needs to be redesigned Look at the magnitude of cars pulled over. As I say sir, can everyone honestly, ALL BE WRONG? Absolutely not. You know it and I know it but the vast majority of drivers unfortunately do not. The point of all of this was to lessen the number of people getting hit and killed by cars in Fort Lee. This does nothing to curtail any of it. It's not the first, second nor third time they've done it. And it has done nothing to lower the number of accidents. Therefore why are they doing it? I walk my dog 2-3 hours/day in Fort Lee. I pass dozens if not hundreds of crosswalks and as I say sir hell could freeze over before people stop. It's not arrogance as much as it's ignorance. The drivers however that are speeding and running red lights and stop signs are the ones who're in fact arrogant. As I say there's an ethos that has developed in this town. You take your life in your hands trying to walk safely anywhere. Just talk to the crossing guards, all of whom will confirm how bad it is. Cont ...
BJ April 10, 2013 at 02:31 PM
Re Population. The Fire and Police Officers that have both told me the population far exceeds 35,000. They actually say it's over 40,000. I was being kind. Re: Letter. Mayor Sokolich told the media he would respond that afternoon. The letter was sent certified mail to all recipients. I've dealt with the mayor as well. I gave him the benefit of the doubt knowing well in advance his reputation for grandstanding. I can now say I've never encountered a politician more arrogant than he is. His reputation certainly proceeds him. I too have emailed his office - like Mr. DeAngelis letter he avoids confrontation at all costs. He did the same thing during the hurricane - his response to that was., he too was without electricity. I've spoken with several esteemed members of the Democratic Party in Fort Lee about this entire situation. I truly had no idea they care for him even less than I do. And I won't begin to tell you how the Republicans feels. Sprinkle in the disdain of the residents and he'll have a tough time getting elected to anything. He can only buy so many votes. Lastly with regard to my anger sir. How can this man lay his head on a pillow at night knowing the number of people that have been hit and killed by cars in Fort Lee? Then you wonder why I call him names? He is a joke sir. The way the nation feels about Newton is the way I feel about this. Not one more innocent person should have to die or be injured in Fort Lee. It sure as hell isn't happening elsewhere.
BJ April 10, 2013 at 03:19 PM
One last thing Mr. Elmers: If you conform to the speed limits in town, especially on Anderson, Abbott and Center you become so much cognizant of everything around you. Not only that but if you fear getting ticketed - it increases your alertness ten fold. That's all that has to be done sir for this to be corrected. I sit in the park in the warmer months and watch these little kids run out into the street all the time. At least once a day it happens. On Sunday the mother or perhaps the nanny was busy talking and the kid went right out into the street. About two years old. THANK GOD the driver saw him - blew his horn - scared the hell out of the kid and the person came running. I've talked to the parents and nanny's. Many don't speak English. What's worse are the police cars that come racing IN and out of the station. They have to fence that park - there's no alternative. It's a catastrophe waiting to happen. Ask anyone who sits there on a regular basis - we see and talk to them all the time. Nothing is going to stop any of sir other than getting the drivers full and complete attention at all times. Simply put you cannot put this number of residents in a town of this size and not know and predict this would be the end result. Travel to any resort town where the population swells to these figures and look how traffic laws are enforced and precisely why. Because kids are running out there too. You can't stop it sir. You have to educate the drivers.
Art Elmers April 10, 2013 at 05:05 PM
BJ, So the question I think we both agree on is; How do we best educate the driver? I agree that enforcement needs to be increased. I would not mind if Fort Lee had a reputation for zero tolerance when it comes to traffic laws. There should be a mailing to every residence in Fort Lee spelling out this increased enforcement and the goals of reducing our horrendous rate of tragic pedestrian deaths and injuries. That way, no Fort Lee resident can claim they weren't warned. You stated; "Not one more innocent person should have to die or be injured in Fort Lee. It sure as hell isn't happening elsewhere." Upon reading this, I thought about why this is so. Beside the argument that our Police do not enforce the traffic laws adequately, what else could be the cause? An excuse I have heard before is our proximity to the George Washington Bridge. If that is the case Fort Lee needs to pursue our State Representatives and the Port Authority of NJ and NY to secure resources or personnel to protect our residents. I have seen safety corridors set up in high accident areas around the State where there is an increased State Police presence and doubled fines. Maybe we need to have all of Fort Lee declared a safety corridor so that we can have the same access as others to these resources. At the very least, I think there needs to be a community committee on traffic safety that meets on a regular basis with the police chief to suggest and review ways to reduce and eliminate this problem.
BJ April 11, 2013 at 12:47 PM
The fact of the matter is, the town is significantly over populated. Period. No other Borough in the entire State of NJ shares any of this. The damage is done and about to get a lot worse once those towers are complete. 900 rental units? Suffice to say, at least an additional 1500 cars. This is precisely what I mean about no regard for human lives and why I'm so angry. How do you conceivably do something like this? You've an epidemic on your hands and you consciously ADD and endanger even more residents? Only politicians who care and think only about themselves behave like this. The town is 2.5 square miles - even less when you factor in the highways. It comes to a standstill when the bridge backs up. Try getting emergency vehicles anywhere. You think Sokolich cares? He had no contingency plans for the hurricane - can you imagine what they'll do if the bridge were to go out? You can guarantee he expects the POA to handle it. What if the plane hadn't landed IN the Hudson River? What if it had hit the bridge or one of the many hi rises along the cliffs? Where are the emergency routes? They couldn't even get the elderly out of Horizon House during the hurricane. And look what they did to the ones on North Avenue. It was the residents and local businesses who came to their rescue. How truly pathetic. That's the most important aspect of all of this. Your starting point. The damage is done. Now what?
BJ April 11, 2013 at 12:48 PM
There is no way you could possibly ticket and educate every single pedestrian in this town. Nor is it thier fault. The town created this hazard. The only thing you can do is slow down the traffic and force the drivers to be constantly alert. No different than driving through Camden fearing for your life instead. Keep in mind it's TWO LOUSY MILES. Not 20, 200 or 2000. If they can't drive within the speed limit for such a short distance then they need to move out. And precisely why the PD won't do anything about it. Votes and fear people will do just that - leave. Think of all that lost revenue and why they're brining in even more residents.
BJ April 11, 2013 at 12:56 PM
I was in Palisades Park on Tuesday. Police are swarming the town. They on the other hand are NOT giving out jaywalking tickets or setting up decoys. Their enforcing traffic laws. Two two weeks ago I watched a woman get pulled over for failing to stop at a stop sign. On Tuesday there was a trap down by Route 46.

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