There are two road improvements in the works for County Road 503, a stretch of road that includes Kinderkamack Road and Hackensack Avenue in River Edge. The construction of the traffic light at Kinderkamack Road and Howland Avenue has already begun. Plans for new traffic lights and left turn lanes are underway for Hackensack Avenue.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, these road improvements will benefit the environment for a few reasons. First, they will reduce congestion, which reduces air pollution, because moving vehicles burn less gas per mile than vehicles stuck in a traffic jam do. Second, they will allow more development in River Edge, which is better than having sprawl on the fringe of our metropolitan region.
Finally, they will ease the trip from Paramus to the New Bridge Landing Station, which will encourage more Paramus residents to take mass transit to work.
The existing plans for an infrastructure upgrade are good. When the economy improves and the county can afford it, I would like to see even more improvements. Eventually, Kinderkamack Road should be two lanes each way from Main Street to Howland Avenue. Widening the road this much without knocking down buildings is possible, because the garden apartments are set back far from the current road.
If this section of Kinderkamack Road could accommodate more cars, then more Paramus residents might park at the New Bridge Landing Station and ride the train to the city. Widening this stretch of County Road 503 would also make high density development possible. I would like to see the section of River Edge south of Holland Avenue and east of Bogart Road rezoned for mixed use buildings up to 12 stories tall. Density is an environmentally friendly alternative to sprawl.
Between Howland and Midland Avenue, River Edge can follow one of two models. We can make this part of Kinderkamack Road two lanes each way, like Cedar Lane in Teaneck or we can copy the new road design in Oradell's business district or Main Street.
The first plan would accommodate denser commercial development. The second plan would promote pedestrian traffic. Either option has its environmental benefits. Once the economy improves, we should upgrade this vital corridor.