RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Village officials say they were blindsided by the state’s plan to change a popular road from two-way traffic to one-way for safety reasons.
Brookside Avenue from the Ho-Ho-Kus train station up to Upper Ridgewood is a long, extremely narrow, uphill road that can be difficult to maneuver if you are unfamiliar with the sharp turns as traffic is coming at you, reports CBS2’s Meg Baker.
It’s caused some issues in the past, so Ridgewood worked with the state in 2017 to implement some safeguards: Signs read “No Trucks” and “No Stopping On Tracks.”
Officials say the grade-level crossing causes most problems, with buses and trucks getting stuck on the crossing.
“Others were actually making U-turns on the railroad tracks, so we really did do some enforcement, added signage and some safety efforts,” said Ridgewood Deputy Mayor Susan Knudsen.
Ridgewood officials are against the change, saying this popular route connecting Ridgewood and Ho-Ho-Kus allows commuters quick access to the train station in the morning.
The one-way plan “impedes their ability to travel home,” said Knudsen. “It makes the far more circuitous route add lots more traffic onto our smaller side streets throughout the village.”
Local businesses also want Brookside to remain two-way for convenience and habit.
“Since 1947 this business has been supported by Upper Ridgewood and Ho-Ho-Kus,” said Chuck Russo of Wine Spirit World. “Eliminating that would affect our store and other stores in the business district.”
CBS2 reached out to the state Department of Transportation, several times asking for statistics on accidents, but have not gotten a response.
Local officials want to meet with the state to discuss other options such as height restriction bars that would stop large vehicles from approaching the train tracks.