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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Enough Is Enough: Accident #7....Skibitsky States Accidents Happen All The Time


Accidents do happen all the time, but not at the alarming rate they are occurring on Central Ave. within the 113 feet stretch of roadway between the cul-de-sac'd Cambridge Rd. and Clover St.  Westfield Councilman Frank Arena has stated that there wasn't enough compelling evidence in the engineering report released by Union County recommending moving the Central Ave. pedestrian crossing to the intersection of Central Ave. and Clover Street.  If seven accidents in 11 months, since the mid-block pedestrian crossing was constructed at Central & Cambridge isn't enough, what is.....a pedestrian or motorist fatality?
     Wednesday evening at approximately 6:15 pm. another accident occurred on Central Ave.within the 113 feet between the HAWK crosswalk at cul-de-sac'd Cambridge Rd., and Clover St.
     The intersection of Central & Clover was identified as a "hot-spot" by Westfield's own consulting traffic safety engineer Gordon Meth in a July 26, 2005 report to town officials.  The report was issued after consultation with the town council's Citizens Traffic Safety Advisory Committee, the Westfield Police Department, and residents living in the vicinity of this "hot-spot" intersection.
     The accident Wednesday evening involved two vehicles, one of which was attempting to avoid colliding with a vehicle that allegedly tried to make a left turn from Central Ave. onto Clover St.  It is unknown if confusion on the part of the driver making a left turn contributed to the accident. 
     Motorists have confused resident Adina Enculescu's driveway as a street ever since Mayor Skibitsky and town council members allowed her driveway to be turned into an unsuspecting intersection.  By installing a pedestrian activated traffic light at the base of her driveway, instead of at the intersection of Central & Clover where the Town's own traffic safety expert had originally recommended it be located, motorists are playing a game of stop and go once they realize the light is at a driveway and the left turn intersection is 113 feet further north.
     TFoTM has obtained every accident report listed on Mayor Skibitsky's accident data sheet he presented at a December 2011 town council meeting listing the accidents that have occurred in the area of Central Ave. from Cambridge Rd. to Clover St. 
     TFoTM referenced only those accidents that occurred on Central Ave., within the 113 feet between Cambridge Rd and Clover St., to come up with the following statistics.
Year        Number of Accidents
2002                  2
2003                  1 
2004                  1
2005                  2
2006                  2
2007                  3
2008                  0
2009                  0
2010                  5
2011                  6
Note:  Construction of the cul-de-sac at Cambridge Rd. as well as the installation of the HAWK light along with all the blinking lights, signs, painted lines, and excessive roadway markings, started in the spring of 2010.  
     TFoTM asks Councilman Arena, if the spike in accidents since "Times Square" on Central Ave. was constructed isn't compelling evidence to move the light, what is...........a fatality.  
     TFoTM is sure the Cambridge Rd resident who witnessed a vehicle in their back yard is convinced there is a problem at this location ever since it was identified by Westfield's traffic safety expert as a problem "hot-spot."
     At Tuesday night's town council meeting Mayor Skibitsky was asked, "What have you done to address the traffic safety issue at Central & Clover ever since the town council, the Citizens Traffic Safety Advisory Committee, police, and your own traffic safety expert identified it as a "hot-spot?"   Mayor Skibitsky's answer................ahhhhhhhh  (We are still waiting for the answer.) 
     The Mayor has done nothing except to create a confusing traffic configuration, that has repeatedly confused motorists causing more accidents as evidenced by the increase in accidents along this short stretch of roadway since the mid-block crossing was constructed.  Left turns off of Central onto Clover have become treacherous for motorists travelling northbound on Central Ave. 
     There is a reason why the inventor of the HAWK pedestrian activated light (Dr. Richard Nasi)recommends intersection crossings over mid-block crossings; a three year study of over 60 crossings in Tucson, Arizona, were the light was invented and first utilized, has proven that intersection crossings are SAFER.  But Mayor Skibitsky will tell you Dr. Nasi got it all wrong. 
     Mayor Skibitsky, let us know when the next career day at Merck has members of the Freeholder Board attending; maybe we can engage in a little political patronizing over lunch. 
     A politicians opinion has no place in the decisions made concerning public safety.  Politics should never jeopardize public safety and only expert opinions and recommendations should be followed.

17 comments:

  1. Yeah Mayor it really is the safest location in town! Mr. Arena how are you making out with the data you are compiling? Mr. LoGrippo you are just pathetic. What a bunch of political hacks!

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  2. It's a good thing the car didn't end up in their swimming pool. I wonder if the owners of that house still think the light is in the right place? Maybe they'll come to the next council meeting.

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  3. Skibitsky will blame the driver because she was late for a pool party and took a detour through the fence.

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  4. Who here thinks Skibitsky should quit his job and become a traffic safety engineer? Raise your hand if you are in favor of putting the safety of our children in his hands. Wait a minute, we did and he screwed up.

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  5. Mayor,

    “Most of us can read the writing on the wall; we just assume it's addressed to someone else.”

    Ivern Ball

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  6. I'm a Frances Terr resident and heard and saw the accident yesterday. I made the 911 call. This is getting absolutely ridiculous with all these accidents. I used to walk to Central Ave and cross the street to walk down Cambridge with my 2 yr old daughter but I won't anymore in fear of someone having an accident and coming up on the sidewalk...just like yesterday.
    A regular traffic light needs to be put at the corner. I've been to a couple of the meetings and it's just useless. The mayor doesn't want to hear anything and thinks that where the Hawk light is, is the right spot and doesn't want to hear otherwise.
    It's just insane.
    Kristine

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    Replies
    1. you and your neighbors must all go to the next meeting and relay your story and fears.

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    2. I agree anonymous. I am going to try to make the next meeting.
      But the couple times I went I feel like I'm talking to a wall and it's falling on deaf ears.
      But I agree that more voices might help.
      Kristine

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  7. The entire central ave traffic situation is a joke. I drive central, south and North avenues five or six times a day. The intersection of central and south and central and north are a feakin joke. Who designed the entire mess I hope they didn't get paid alot. Oh yeah!!! This is Westfield everyone gets paid to much..

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  8. TFOTM-

    Can you please clarify... Out of the 5 accidents in 2010, how many of those were from before any of the equipment was installed? What were the dates of installation? The 6 in 2011 were clearly after the equipment was installed. How many accidents in 2012 so far? I think it would be helpful to know how many accidents have occurred, in total, since the equipment has been installed. "7 accidents in 11 months" is clearly a lot. If you could provide those details, I'd like to figure out how many accidents we've had per year before and after the installation. And, we can get a better sense that "we've been having accidents an average of every __ days." I think the mayor and others in town could find such data useful.

    Additionally, if possible, do you have a concise record as to the dates/accident report numbers, other relevant details, etc. for those post-installation accidents that could be posted to your website for interested readers?

    Thanks, as always, for your excellent reporting and your dedication to our community.
    NR9

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    1. I do have copies of each accident report with the report numbers, dates, and times. The reports contain significant information I'm sure was not analyzed but ignored by the Mayor in his attempt to convince everyone that these accidents are common every year and all around town. That is not the case and the facts will speak for themselves. I am in the process of breaking down the reports into categories to be able to illustrate "compelling" facts to the Westfield Town Council and Union County Freeholders. When I am finished I will post more information here.

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  9. TFOTM-

    If the mayor won't allow Gordon Meth and/or Pennoni to speak/answer taxpayer/voter questions at a town council meeting, could TFOTM invite them and/or other traffic experts for a TFOTM call-in show? Or, could TFOTM interview them and then post the interview on TFOTM? Would TFOTM consider having one or more of those experts as guests on TFOTM?

    -NR9

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    1. TFoTM will do an internet radio show on this topic in the near future, possibly Monday or Tuesday of next week. The hours of programming must be before 7 pm or after 11 pm. There is very little chance that Gordon Meth will ever give an interview. He has trouble even responding to Councilman Haas' questions. I don't believe he will ever bite the hand that is feeding him (awarding him thousands of $$ in no bid consulting fees)The Westfield Town Council/Mayor Skibitsky controls Mr. Meth. TFoTM has not reached out to Pennoni just yet but will in the near future. The Pennoni report speaks for itself.

      What is interesting is that Mayor Skibitsky and others on the Westfield Town Council have stated all along that they relied on the experts but yet sing a different tune when the reports (Pennoni included) recommend the corner for the light. Freeholder Chairman Mirabella was quoted in the leader as giving his opinion that the light is in a safe location. Kind of sounds like Skibitsky. Since when are opinions from politicians considered expert engineering observations? As Chairman Mirabella stated at the freeholder board meeting a week ago to another speaker on another topic, "You are entitled to your own opinion but you are not entitled to your own facts." The facts have shown and will continue to show that Central and Clover was and still is a "hot-spot" and Mayor Skibitsky did nothing to fix it but waste county money to push his political agenda project down the throats of taxpayers. All the while, his fellow council member Frank Arena campaigned during the last election stating we have to get more for our money, more "bang for our buck" when it comes to the amount of property taxes that Westfield sends to the county. Sounds like Arena is speaking out of both sides of his mouth as Skibitsky often does.

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    2. Thanks for both of your replies today. I look forward to seeing your report on the particular accidents. It will be useful. Too bad about Meth. Hopefully Pennoni will be of assistance. -NR9.

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  10. How come Mirabella is so quick to agree with Skibitsky that the light and crosswalk are in a safe location. Does Mirabella owe Skibitsky a favor or something? Just asking...

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  11. Mayor Skibitsky thought he would leave his mark in Westfield for all eternity. He was going to be the only mayor in the last 30 years to get a light erected on Central Ave near Clover St. If there is a fatal accident at that location will he still want his name associated with the light? Just wondering.

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  12. He is a reckless and insulting jerk.
    David Haas for Mayor

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