EDGEWATER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The fight to keep people safe trying to cross a dangerous road in one New Jersey town is on again.
CBS2 brought this story to light last year and now, following another car accident, residents are demanding answers, Cindy Hsu reported Thursday.
At the busy intersection of River Road and Garden Place the crosswalk is now closed and orange cones are up after an accident three weeks ago, when police say the driver of a black SUV slammed into two poles with safety signs that were installed to make the dangerous intersection safer.
More than a year ago CBS2 started talking to angry residents fighting to get a traffic light at the location, because cars kept flying through the crosswalk as pedestrians tried to get across. The closest traffic light is about one-third of a mile down the road, which is tough for the elderly and disabled to get to. Four months ago, instead of a traffic light, they got safety signs and flashing yellow lights. That’s until the SUV took those down.
“As you can see, it didn’t work. It’s not working. How long is it going to take for them to fix this now?” resident Patricia O’Hara told Hsu.
Just a few months ago, Carol Muscari got hit by a car trying to cross the road and spent weeks in intensive care.
“I had 11 broken ribs, a broken ankle, a broken clavicle,” Muscari said.
She’s still recovering and said what’s really needed is a traffic light, where cars would have to actually stop.
“So many people have gotten hit here — kids, older people — and they won’t do anything. I don’t understand it, really,” Muscari said.
Hsu went to Borough Hall to talk to Borough Administrator Gregory Franz. He wasn’t at his office but spoke to her by phone.
When asked how many people have to be hit before the town installs traffic lights, Franz said, “It has nothing to do with pedestrians being hit.”
He said it has to do with other factors such as sight distance, the curve in the road, and speed, adding that after a traffic study the crossing didn’t merit a traffic light.
Hsu then asked, “What do you say to residents who say it’s just putting their lives in danger?”
“Walk the third of a mile to the signalized intersection,” Franz said.
Muscari and other residents said that’s not good enough and plan to keep fighting.
Franz said he’s hoping the safety signs will be back up by the end of the year.