River Edge Seeks Slower Traffic on Main Thoroughfare
Council, PD Chief Cariddi differ on slowing Kinderkamack Road traffic
To help a struggling business district, River Edge has begun looking at options on how to slow traffic along Kinderkamack Road but may face setbacks including narrow roadways. The governing body proposed placing pedestrian stanchions, similar to what Oradell does, at 11 crosswalks and drop the speed limit to 25 miles per hour.
The crosswalk pedestrian stanctions would be located where Kinderkamack Road meets with: Midland Avenue, Lincoln Avenue, Continental Avenue, Madison Avenue, Voorhis Avenue, Howland Avenue, Reservoir Avenue, Main Street and Grand Avenue. Additional stanchions would be placed at the intersections of Midland Avenue and Bogert Road and Midland Avenue and Myrtle Avenue.
"One problem is the width of the roadway," Police Chief Thomas Cariddi said. "I know a lot of people in River Edge are familiar with the stanchions in Oradell and other towns, but my concern is that Kinderkamack Road is narrower in town."
The average road width along Kinderkamack Road in River Edge is 34.5 feet wide while the same road in Oradell ranges from 44 feet to 54 feet wide.
According to Cariddi, the borough had placed stanchions along Kinderkamack Road and Madison Avenue five years ago and at that time the stanchions were hit on a regular basis as drivers attempted to get past them.
"We added a marked patrol car to the area so the vehicular traffic could see a police prescense to add more caution and the signs were still getting hit," Cariddi said.
Cariddi also cited concerns about reducing the speed limit form 35mph to 25mph as it may lead to a safety issue when pedestrians attempt to cross Kinderkamack Road and not have the same natural breaks in traffic that they do now.
"We have approximately 20,000 vehicles that travel Kinderkamack Road every day and generally most vehicles are not speeding," Cariddi said. "One thing the County engineers cautioned in 2008 regarding lowering the speed limit is an increase in vehicle stacking and that pedestrians would not be able to cross safely during any natural traffic breaks."
The prior study by the Bergen County engineering office determined that the average speed limit on Kinderkamack Road in River Edge was 33mph, which is under the posted limit. The highest prevailing speed limit was measured at 38mph.
Kinderkamack Road which extends into Oradell and Hackensack is set at 25mph.
The council will set up a meeting with Bergen County in the future to discuss any potential widening of Kinderkamack Road along with performing an updated study on the average traffic speeds.