change an intersection washington van emburgh

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Dear Mr. Tedesco,

I realize you may be aware of this...but it is time for this situation to be addressed.

It is no longer acceptable, the status quo must change, in regards to Washington Avenue and Van Emburgh Avenue intersection (Washington Township). The site is simply it a danger, a quality of life issue and a tragedy in the making.

The Washington and Van Emburgh intersection is a constant danger due to three simple factors-confusion of drivers, the hill coming down Washington and speed of automobiles. The confusion lies in the fact many drivers do not realize one direction is a caution and the other direction is a full stop. If one is traveling on Washington Avenue - those drivers simply have a blinking yellow. Meanwhile the drivers on Van Emburgh have a blinking red-which is a full stop. Accidents have occured simply because drivers do not know who has the right of way. Secondly, often drivers on Van Emburgh try to beat the traffic coming down the hill on Washington Avenue which has created some serious collisions. Lastly, cars and trucks whizz by doing in excess of 50 mph not caring that it is a residential neighborhood. The Washington Township police thankfully, patrol the intersection and try to slow drivers down. A couple years ago I spoke directly with Police Chief of Washington Township and he even acknowledged that the intersection was an issue, they have patrolled the intersection and .   

This intersection is also a quality of life issue especially for the residents because of noise, road rage and safety . The noise of motorists blaring on their horns can be heard day and night. Some continue to blare on their horns for hundreds of feet past the intersection. During rush hour it is common place for drivers to give the “one finger salute” to each other. I have even witnessed drivers throw objects at each - a nice case of daily road rage. Many of us who live near the intersection have young children or are senior citizens. We don’t get to enjoy our front yards nor do we feel safe enough to enjoy them. “Maybe drive like your kids live here”.

Washington and Van Emburgh is a tragedy in the making due to the seriousness of accidents-rollovers, bicycles, and the GSP. In the 6 and a half years my family has called Washington Township home, we have witnessed dozens and dozens of accidents. Numerous accidents have resulted in rollovers where drivers/passengers had been sent to the hospital. Bicyclists have been thrown and suffered serious injuries. In February, an accident resulted in one car actually crashing 50 feet onto my neighbors lawn. Imagine if the car went in another direction and crashed into a house. Or if it was day time and someone was out in their yard.

In May, another accident resulted in the fire department and EMT’s extracting the driver from the car. The front end of said car was completely mangled. With the Garden State Parkway only 500 feet away many drivers race to get home by making the left at exit 168. Believe me I understand I commute every day-but it is still residential.

All of these concerns, I have addressed with the Washington Township Board directly. They shared with me that “Washington and Van Emburgh account for 25% of the accidents in the township”. “Both roads are county roads-so they claim there isn’t anything they can do without Bergen County cooperation”. Well the status quo is no longer acceptable.

I invite you to come and personally witness the Washington and Van Emburgh. Speak to the Mayor or Town Board of Washington. It is time for a problem to be solved. The intersection needs a stop light, speed humps, or change in traffic pattern. Please address this before a real tragedy occurs.

Sincerely, Washington Township Residents


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