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Pedestrian Safety

--  The Speed Limit is 25 mph --

Bookmark:  Pedestrians struck by autos
Survey: Are Pedestrians Safe Crossing The Boulevard?
Pdf format:  Teaching your child pedestrian safety.  Teaching your child bike safety.
www.njsafewalk.com

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Hit & Run Kills 4 Year Old
On September 3, 2004 about 11:30 a.m., an adult and a four year old boy, had just left Dunkin' Donuts and were holding hands and crossing with the light on the Boulevard heading east when a red Ford Expedition traveling east on Williams, turned left onto the Boulevard and struck the pedestrians. Witnesses said that the adult was clipped by the vehicle, but the child was hit by the left bumper before the vehicle sped off. It appeared that the child traveled about 15 feet.   HHFD fire department responded and transported the child to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Gloria Amendano, 35, of Hackensack was stopped shortly thereafter in Little Ferry on Route 46 heading east and was arrested.   The Bergen County Fatal Accident Investigation Unit was reviewing the incident.  Story & scene photos


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Pedestrian perils -- Crossing the street can be a health hazard
... was the title to the Record editorial, Friday, April 4, 2003.  Drivers just don't stop for pedestrians with a "cars first" mentality and may be one reason why pedestrian deaths in New Jersey increased 26 percent last year over 2001 to 182 fatalities.  Bergen County leads the state with 25 pedestrian deaths last year -- nearly double 2001.

The states new transportation commissioner Jack Lettiere has pledge to make pedestrian safety a priority.  State law requires drivers to yield to pedestrians in marked cross walks and at any intersection, even if it is not marked by a cross walk.

The Record editorial suggested these actions:
-- The state to set up  an education campaign using billboards, radio, etc.
-- All designated crossing areas signed: Yield to pedestrian -- it's the law"
-- Towns to work with state/counties to ran right turns on red for drivers where a lot of pedestrain cross such as school zones, downtown areas, etc.
-- Towns should repaint faded crosswalks and add "zebra crossings that have diagonal stripes".
-- Local officials should improve lighting and add road reflectors.
-- the state should help municipals find ways of slowing traffic frequented by pedestrians.   This could include speed bumps, raising crosswalks, etc.
--Local police should enforce the law and ticket drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians.

-- Pedestrians should take more precautions.  If walking on a road without a sidewalk, always walk facing traffic and always wear clothing visible to drivers.

Source Record Editorial, April 4, 2003, page L-10

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Huge Jump in New Jersey Pedestrian Deaths in 2002

According to statistics provided to the Tri-State Transportation Campaign by the NJ Department of Law and Public Safety, pedestrian fatalities in New Jersey increased 26 percent from 2001 to 2002. 182 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes during 2002, up from 134 during 2001.

"The 2002 numbers bring New Jersey’s pedestrian death toll to its highest level since 1996, when 183 pedestrians were killed," said Jon Orcutt, associate director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a policy group.

Among NJ counties, suburban Bergen and Middlesex had the most pedestrian deaths in 2002, with 25 and 23, respectively. These are large increases over respective 2001 totals of 13 and 9 in 2001. Essex and Union Counties each saw 17 pedestrians killed during 2002.

Along with pedestrian deaths, total traffic fatalities in New Jersey also increased, from 745 in 2001 to 786 in 2002, a 5.2 percent increase.

"Overall traffic deaths in New Jersey have been rising steadily since 1999, after declining through much the 1990s. The numbers bring pedestrians’ share of traffic deaths in the state to an alarming 23%, the highest rate since 1993," said Kate Slevin, spokesperson for the Tri-State Campaign. Burlington and Essex Counties each saw 65 total traffic deaths in 2002, the highest totals among all counties.

On the other hand, motorcycle and bicycle deaths were in the state were down significantly from 2001 to 2002.

Dept. of Law and Public Safety officials cautioned that the 2002 data are still preliminary. However, traffic fatality data revisions generally tend to increase annual fatality totals.

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign believes that traffic calming, pedestrian infrastructure improvements and traffic law enforcement are not keeping pace with dangerous driving and deteriorating pedestrian environments in the state.

Source: Tri-State Transportation Campaign Press Release March 31, 2002


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Of speed bumps and their perils

Regarding the speed bumps on Elm Avenue in Ridgefield ... I too live on Elm Avenue.   There are a few people my family and I would like to thank, besides the small percentage of drivers who actually slow down for each speed bump:

-- The numerous box trucks sand construction trucks that travel up an down the hill each day and don't bother to slow down.  The banging of ladders on ladder racks adds such a lovely sound to the neighborhood.
-- The white tow truck from the local towing company.  We're taking bets as to how long it will take before it's towing mechanism falls off as it races over the speed bumps.
-- The trucks that accelerate for each speed bump while traveling up the hill.  The noise is so soothing for our sleeping child.  Our collection of pipe fittings, hooks, cans, etc. is growing with each trip the various trucks make on the street.
-- The individuals who insist on beeping their horns before they go over each of the bumps.   They have our special gratitude for letting us know that they're out there at all hours of the day and night.
-- The demolition truck that lost a few large pieces of scrap metal (that I'm sure we can sue for some purpose) and the dump truck that lost a wheelbarrow full of dirt and broken up concrete.  Rather than slalom skiing, we can go slalom driving while trying to avoid there lost items.
-- The vehicle that lost a jackhammer and two of the jackhammer bits.  I wonder whom would have been responsible if I'd actually run over these items with my car before I realized that they were in front of my house.  How fast was it driving so that it caused there items to spread out between three houses?

As if the speed of the cars, sometimes exceeding 54 mph, wasn't bad enough before speed bumps.

Michele Trapp, Ridgefield, Dec. 16, 2002
Source:  Your Views, The Record, December 22, 2002, Page 0-3

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Mayor & Council announce plans to limit heavy trucking on The Boulevard.  It was stated that The Boulevard is a County Road and that any restrictions would have to be approved by Bergen County.

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NJ State ad campaign seeks to improve pedestrian safety
During October 2001, the NJ Transportation Department will use 118 billboards ad 200 bus posters to spread safety messages.  Slogans include: "Make sure everyone gets to the other side.  Yield to pedestrians." and "Cross the street where you can see and be seen".

The department will examine 62 NJ intersections with a high rate of pedestrian accidents.   Nationally 13 percent of all fatal accidents involve pedestrians, but in NJ that number is 21 percent.  Congestion and the state's high population are cited as reasons.  Last year 144 pedestrians were killed, down from 153 in 1999.  NJ ranks fourth in the US in pedestrian fatalities.

The state is reviewing solutions such as: changing traffic-light timing, painting more visible crosswalks, installing better warning signs, and removing obstacles that black drivers' or pedestrians' views.
Source: Record -- Oct 10, 2001

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Speed check on Boulevard June 15, 2001 (Facing north)


Pedestrians struck by autos

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On September 11, 2004 a child on a bicycle was struck at the Boulevard and Franklin by a car driven by a local resident.  Police and the HHFD responded.  No injuries or complaints were reported.


Hit & Run Kills 4 Year Old
On September 3, 2004 about 11:30 a.m., an adult and a four year old boy, had just left Dunkin' Donuts and were holding hands and crossing with the light on the Boulevard heading east when a red Ford Expedition traveling east on Williams, turned left onto the Boulevard and struck the pedestrians. Witnesses said that the adult was clipped by the vehicle, but the child was hit by the left bumper before the vehicle sped off. It appeared that the child traveled about 15 feet.   HHFD fire department responded and transported the child to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Gloria Amendano, 35, of Hackensack was stopped shortly thereafter in Little Ferry on Route 46 heading east and was arrested.   The Bergen County Fatal Accident Investigation Unit was reviewing the incident.  Story & scene photos


On September 2, 2004 at about 8:45 p.m., a pedestrian was struck at the Boulevard and Williams.  The Lodi resident was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center. No complaints were filed.

On August 2, 2004 police were alerted to an injured bicyclist at The Boulevard and Route 46. Police, ambulance and paramedics responded and transported the victim the Hackensack.

On about 4:45 p.m. on January 16, 2004, two pedestrians were struck at Myers and The Boulevard. The Wood-Ridge ambulance and paramedics responded to the scene.

On January 14, 2004 woman reported her daughter was struck by a vehicle while crossing the 200 block of The Boulevard. The ambulance responded, but the woman refused medical attention.  No complaints were filed.

On March 25, 2003 at about 8 p.m. a pedestrian was struck at Williams & Boulevard. The victim was reported to suffer moderate injuries and taken to HUMC by HHFD Ambulance.    [On March 26 at about 3 p.m. the motorist signed a complaint against the pedestrian for improper crossing of a roadway.]

On November 6, 2002 at about 5 p.m. a bicyclist was struck at Ottawa and The Boulevard.

October 30, 2002 at about 6:00 p.m. at The Boulevard and Rt. 46, a Hackensack youth was struck  by an auto and was then taken to the Hackensack University Medical Center. The parents were notified. The driver (a Heights resident) was issued a summons.

On October 29, 2002 at about 3:00 p.m,. a cyclist was struck at Franklin and The Boulevard. The ambulance and para-medics responded. The victim was taken to Hackensack Univeristy Medical Center.

About 7:30 a.m. on September 13, 2002 a pedestrian was struck at Boulevard and Raymond. The victim was taken to Hackensack Medical Center.  The driver (a Heights resident) was issued two summonses.  Court House Auto Body towed the car.  Five photos were taken for evidence.

On May 17, about 9:40 a.m., a pedestrian was struck at the Boulevard and Franklin. The pedestrian was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center.

April 2001 -- During recent court proceedings a citizen's complaint trial involved a complaint for careless driving against Nikolas Tsigounis of Garfield who was charged with striking a pedestrian crossing the Boulevard.  Several civilian witnesses testified to somewhat conflicting testimony.  It appeared the victim was not crossing at the crosswalk but another vehicle had stopped to let him pass. Defendant's vehicle evidently proceeded in a short lane north of Williams Avenue where the lanes change from one, two and three at certain areas.  The defendant claimed he couldn't see the man crossing in front of the other vehicle. However another witness testified that he was several vehicles behind and he saw the man.  The defendant wad found guilty of careless driving and was fined $130.   The court indicated that the whole roadway north of William's was often confusing.

4.jpg (14445 bytes) About 8:15 a.m.on December 13, a 12 year old was struck by an auto at the Boulevard & Madison. The HHFD rescued the trapped child from under the car, and transported him to Hackensack Medical Center. [More photos]



About 11:30 a.m. on November 26, a pedestrian was struck while attempting to cross the Boulevard at Stanley. The vehicle fled the scene.

About 8:30 a.m. on November 2 a pedestrian was struck at Williams and the Boulevard.   The victim was taken to Hackensack Medical Center. A summons was issued to the driver for failing to yield to a pedestrian,

About 4:15 p.m. on October 24, a motorist has struck a Heights bicyclist at the corner of Baldwin & The Boulevard. No injuries or complaints were reported.

About 5:40 p.m. on October 8, two cars and a bicyclist were involved in an accident.   The bicyclist was taken to Hackensack Medical Center.

About 6 p.m. on September 15, a pedestrian was struck at The Boulevard and Williams Avenue. The driver was given a summons for failure to yield the right of way to a pedestrian.

About 4:35 on July 20, a pedestrian was struck at The Boulevard and Cleveland.  Ambulance responded and took the Cleveland Ave. resident to HMC. The driver was issued a summons.

About 7 a.m. on May 17 a two car accident at The Boulevard and Charlton resulted in 3 injuries.

About noon on May 14 (Mother's Day) there was another accident at The Boulevard and Williams/Stanley in which another pedistrain was struck.

About 5:35 p.m. on April 19 it was reported that a bicyclist was struck on The Boulevard. The Harrison Aveunue girl and her mother (who then fell), were both taken to Hackensack Medical Center.

About 10:00 a.m. on April 9 it was reported that a Wisconsin resident was struck at Williams and The Boulevard and taken to Hackensack Medical Center.


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April 5, 2000 (above) Another pedestrian was struck at The Boulevard & LaSalle about 8:30 a.m. and was transported to Hackensack University Medical Center.

About 9:35 p.m. on January 22 it was reported that a 58 year old pedestrian was struck at Williams and The Boulevard.

And during 1999, it was reported that several pedestrians were struck by moving vehicles along the Boulevard . For example: In a March 1999 incident, a pedestrian was crossing properly at the "crosswalk " at the Boulevard and LaSalle Ave. traffic signal, when she was struck from behind.  The driver was issued a summons, went to court and was found guilty of careless driving.

In a September 1999 incident, a pedestrian was walking on the Williams Ave. sidewalk (at the Boulevard) and she was struck by a vehicle exiting a parking lot.  A police report has been filed.

There have been several accidents also reported in 1999. For example a four car accident happened late September in the 200 block of the Boulevard and there were injuries.

In addition ...



As reported in The Shopper News - Wednesday, September 29, 1999, Local News Section, page L-12, a pedestrian was killed while in the "crosswalk" at Boulevard and Stanley.   Here is their story:

Bus Strikes And Kills Boro Woman
By Jamie Julia Winters, Editor 

HASBROUCK HEIGHTS -- An 82-year -old resident was struck and killed after a school bus hit the woman as she crossed the Boulevard last week. 

Helen  Golish, a 35-year resident of the town, was apparently shopping on the Boulevard on Sept. 21 at 12:19 p.m. when she was hit by a school bus as she crossed the street at Stanley Avenue. 

The bus, empty except for driver Edgar Barbee, 65, was heading north on the Boulevard to go "back to the shop" said Lt. William Castiglione of the Hasbrouck Heights Police Department. 

John Leeky Inc. of Hackensack, owners of the bus and Barbee's employer for the past five years could not be reached for comment. 

"There is no stop sign or signal," said Castiglione.  "She was in the crosswalk...and he just didn't see her." 

Barbee was apparently not speeding or driving recklessly and was cited only for failing to yield to a pedestrian said Castiglione. 

According to New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles officials, Barbee who resides in Garfield has had prior license suspensions and been cited for numerous violations. 

Golish was transported to Hackensack Medical University Center where she later died from injuries sustained from the accident. 

The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office Fatal Accident Squad responded to the scene.   The incident has been classified as an accident, although is still under investigation by the Hasbrouck Heights detective department.


As reported in The Record - Thursday, September 23, 1999, Local News Section, page L-6, a pedestrian was killed while in the "crosswalk" at Boulevard and Stanley.  Here is their story:

Bus Driver In Fatal Accident Cited Before

By Laura Barnhardt

HASBROUCK HEIGHTS -- The driver of a school bus that struck and killed an 82-year-old woman as she crossed a street in the rain on Tuesday has received nearly a dozen traffic tickets since 1978, state records show.

A New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles spokesman said Edgar Barbee, 65, of Garfield also had his driver's license suspended three times since 1993 for failing to pay insurance fees and a speeding ticket. Each time, he paid the fines within several weeks, records show.

Barbee has been cited for numerous traffic violations, including failure to yield and careless driving, said the spokesman, Dana Sullivan.

The Leckie Bus Co. vehicle that Barbee was driving had no passengers when it struck Helen "Annie" Golish around noon Tuesday as she crossed the Boulevard near Stanley Avenue a block from her apartment on Church Street, police said.

Barbee apparently did not see the elderly woman until he was very close to her, police Lt. William Castiglione said, adding that he didn't appear to be speeding.

"He hit the brakes right away, but it was too late," Castiglione said. "He just didn't see her."

Barbee could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Bob Leckie, who runs Leckie Bus Co. in Hackensack, said Barbee has been a driver for the company for five years. Leckie declined to comment on the incident or on Barbee's driving record.

"She was coming from the store. I'm told she was in clear sight," said Golish's son, Wayne. "This bus just comes along and boom!

"I'm angry and shocked," said Golish, who lived with his mother. "She was in a crosswalk with her hat and umbrella. She was pretty visible, I'm told. I just don't understand why this happened. Maybe it was just one of those freak accidents."

The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office Fatal Accident Squad responded to the scene. Barbee was issued a summons for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Born in Pennsylvania, Golish lived in Hasbrouck Heights for 36 years. She was a homemaker and a parishioner of St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Church in Passaic. She has two surviving sisters, Mary Meyers of Virginia and Olga Allesi of Clifton. Her husband, Simpson is deceased.

In addition to her son, she had a grandson, Bruce Golish, who lives in West Palm Beach, FL.

Funeral arrangements were made by J.C. Fila Lexington Memorial Home in Clifton. A graveside service was scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at Cedar Lawn Cemetery in Paterson.

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Safety improvements

Informed sources has stated the street lighting at Stanley Avenue was improved early in 2000, and this could help the pedestrians who cross at night.



Clear signage


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Several high visible Day-Glo Green pedestrian signs were installed on The Boulevard (by the High School and Stanley Ave.) early August 2000.



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Crosswalks are clearly marked on The Boulevard.  Yield to pedestrian signs are along the Boulevard. Yet, pedestrian safety has become a major concern.


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Status as of March 2000
These  "Yield to Pedestrian Signs" that were installed along the Boulevard last Autumn have survived  the trials of winter.  (Photo above at the High School).

Previous attempts made in 1999
The community is endeavoring to address this situation and is trying other ideas.   Here is one option that was tried.

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Status as of May 25, 1999

The Mayor's Spring Newsletter announced the "Yield to Pedestrian Signs" were installed at key Boulevard intersections.  Well, they fell down every time a bus passed and were removed.  A few weeks latter, new and improved replacements were installed and they lasted about a few days before they were removed.  The  photo (above) is of the last sign, down by the Mayor's law office.


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Status as of Mid October 1999
Two new  "Yield to Pedestrian Signs" were installed along the Boulevard at Stanley (photo above) and The Circle. 

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Status as of Mid October 1999
A cone-type  "Yield to Pedestrian Sign" is being tried in front of Corpus Christi (photo above)

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