EDGEWATER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Residents in Edgewater say they worry for their lives every time they cross the road – even though they’re using a pedestrian crosswalk.
CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock witnessed several close calls Wednesday, as people dodged oncoming traffic at the intersection of Garden Place and busy River Road.
Commuters cross there to catch NJ TRANSIT and parents take their children to school.
“The cars don’t stop for you to cross,” said Edgewater resident Kashwap Bhimjiany.
“I’m extremely afraid every time I cross that intersection,” said resident Julia Sobolev. “There is a yield sign, but none of the motorists follow it.”
Neon green signs on either side of the warn drivers that people passing on foot come first, according to New Jersey law. That seemed to matter only to a select few.
“Somebody will stop, and then everybody — I’ve seen people go from behind the car that stopped, just to zoom up,” said Adrian Garcia.
“I’ve tried to reach out to city police and they at one point had police officers,” Sobolev told Murdock. “In the last few months, I haven’t seen them, and the problem hasn’t gotten any better.”
Hande Mullin told Murdock she’s made complaints about it, but feels like they’ve fallen on deaf ears.
“All we heard was walk to Russell Avenue to cross,” Mullin said.
There’s a light there, but also a problem: There’s no sidewalk on the river side of River Road.
Residents complain that means they have to walk on the highway and ask what should be done for disabled pedestrians.
Miller and her husband started a Change.org petition to get a traffic light installed.
Gregory Franz, the administrator for Edgewater, say the courtesy crosswalk was installed several years ago, prior to a sharp rise in population of traffic in the borough. Franz told Murdock plans are in the works to improve safety, including “Improved LED lighting, pedestrian safety signage.”
Regardless of future improvements, Franz said the town always urges to stay safe and cross at signals.
“You are playing chicken with your life, because you’re expecting those vehicles to stop,” Franz said.
Residents in Edgewater told Murdock they shouldn’t have to choose between taking the long way around or crossing the road.
In New Jersey, you only have the right of way once you are actually in the crosswalk. If you are waiting on the curb, police say cars do not have to yield.
Safety improvement to the Edgewater crosswalk should be completed by the end of summer.