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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Another Near Miss At Mayor Skibitsky's "Safest Location"

At approximately 3:15 pm today residents in the area of Mayor Skibitsky's self proclaimed "safest location" for a mid-block pedestrian crosswalk/light were startled by the screeching of tires on Central Ave. 

The pedestrian crosswalk located mid-block at the cul-de-sac'd intersection of Central Ave. & Cambridge Rd. was being used by schoolchildren with the help of a crossing guard when a vehicle came to a screeching halt leaving skid marks on the roadway.  The school children reached safety before the vehicle came to a stop on the crosswalk.  This incident is only two weeks removed from the motor vehicle accident that occurred at this crosswalk sending an injured motorist to the hospital.

One resident that witnessed the near miss stated her displeasure for the location of the crosswalk/light due to safety reasons.  The crossing guard on duty told the resident that "the Town isn't going to change anything" and that the resident should "volunteer for the nurses."

TFoTM asks:  What did the crossing guard mean when she said to "volunteer for the nurses?"  Is she suggesting that the resident should seek solace in caring for the potential victim's of an accident that might injure a pedestrian traversing this unsafe crosswalk? 

Mayor Skibitsky, when will you provide the experts report that indicates the current location YOU claim is the "safest location" is actually safer than where the experts had proposed the new pedestrian light be the intersection of Central Ave. & Clover St.?

TFoTM understands why you have not been able to locate such a report; no such report exists.

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  1. Dear Mayor and council,
    Consider yourselves incredibly blessed that none of your homes are in the vicinity of this very dangerous crosswalk. What was once a neighborhood marred only by traffic volume during certain times of the day, is now a neighborhood filled with anxiety in anticipation of the inevitable traffic/pedestrian accident, tragedy or fatality. You yourself mayor must be concerned about the impending dangers of this crosswalk. Why else would you have installed flashing solar lights 24/7 up and down Central Ave. and on Clover St. all in the immediate vicinity of this obviously dangerous crosswalk?

    This light has successfully terrorized our neighborhood. Today when I heard the screeching of tires in front of my house but no crash following I was certain a child had been hit by that car. I ran outside as fast as I could and by the grace of God no one had been injured. Another near miss. How many will it take?

  2. I just realized something while walking to school today... My local school district, Scotch Plains Fanwood, and my walk to school has what you call a "mid-block pedestrian crosswalk." I have been using it no less than six times a day this year, not to mention four times a day for the previous many years - and not once have I either seen an accident nor witnessed a near-accident.

    This is on Midway Ave, it runs through your community as North Ave. Something I would call a major street. Come check it out some day, Midway & Willow. Perhaps the problem is not the type of crosswalk, but the poor drivers in Westfield. And yes, the crosswalk runs straight into a driveway, just like yours in Westfield. Maybe it's just you guys, not the crosswalk, after all. Just sayin'

  3. Thankyou ror your opinion. Let us consider the facts of the matter. The crosswalk on Central Ave is controlled by a pedestrian activated light that stops traffic for pedestrians. The traffic has reached approximately 1900 vehicles per hour. The roadway is used by many motorists that don't live in Westfield but pass through town on their way to and from work, etc. You would think that by now Westfield motorists would be aware of this dangerous location for a crosswalk and light but the fact of the matter is a motorist that lives on Central Ave was the cause of a motor vehicle accident at the location two weeks ago. The light has been in operation since February. The fact that a local resident was involved in this accident highlights the the fact that it can no longer be considered the "safest location" as our Mayor has stated with no expert documentation to back those words up. Unless Midway is a comparable location to the Central Ave crosswalk in terms of volume of traffic, the unfamiliar location of a crosswalk that was previously located at the corner intersection, and controlled by a light not seen anywhere else in town at a mid-block location, you can't compare the two . Once again, thanks for your opinion.

  4. You're correct, the crosswalk in Fanwood at Midway & Willow is not IDENTICAL to that on Central in Westfield. Most glaringly, it's in Fanwood, not Westfield.

    The fact that drivers in Westfield, locals as you noted, don't have the capacity to drive at the speed limit and follow at a safe distance is something I have noticed on my trips into your town.

    The point being that your constant claims on this blog about the location of the crosswalk in and of itself making it unsafe and distinct because of said location are hereby proven bogus. If Fanwood has one, I am sure other surrounding towns do. I don't know the traffic count, but that stretch of Midway is the busiest street in our small town. 'Course Fanwood is a sleepy little rural community compared to your Westfieldians, so comparisons are moot. I now understand that. Perhaps periodic traffic accidents are the downside to living in such a big city as Westfield is.

  5. Following closely was a factor that the Westfield police included in the accident report that was posted on this site. The coded numbers on the perimeter of the report indicate that a contributing circumstance to the accident was such. The locations are not identical as you have acknowlegded, in fact they differ in many ways and that is why I stated you can't compare the two. Also, my constant repeating of the facts are not complaints. Actually, the fact of the matter is the expert engineering reports that TFoTM has obtained, indicate that the light was approved for the intersection of Central and Clover. With Council influence, it was moved. With regards to other towns having mid-block crossings, maybe you misunderstood what was stated. I stated that there are no other mid block pedestrian/traffic lights in town (Westfield).
    Periodic traffic accidents do happen all the time, but when they happen at a location that has been anointed by the Mayor as the "safest location," within such a short time frame after the light being activated and used by school children, one would have reason to question the Mayor's non-expert testimony. Once again, thankyou for your opinion and comments. Westfield is a great town to live in as is Fanwood. Perhaps you have taken an interest in this topic because you are affiliated with it in one way or another. Just sayin'