Back to School Driving Refresher

vdfam

All one needs to dispel any lingering illusion that Maplewood is a kind & neighborly community is to drive a kid to school one day.  Perhaps driving at F1 speed next to a school is not the best idea, or gridlocking an intersection, or blocking a traffic lane for an extended period of time, or blowing off a stop sign, or blowing through a crosswalk with kids resent, or a U-turn right by the 7th grade entrance with cars coming from three directions. (All this in just one morning)

Everyone has somewhere to be. You're not special.

Have a nice day!


yahooyahoo

First, this is not unique to Maplewood.

Second, part of the solution is that more parents need to let their kids walk to school. If you drive your own kid(s) to school, I recommend they walk.


vdfam

yahooyahoo said:

First, this is not unique to Maplewood.

Second, part of the solution is that more parents need to let their kids walk to school. If you drive your own kid(s) to school, I recommend they walk.

 The fact that this is not unique to Maplewood does not make it okay. This is excuse making.

Thank you for your recommendation. I'm sure it comes from an informed position because you know where Iive in relation to the schools and you know the situation of my family. Also, it's good to know you have the compassion to want my kids on the street and in those crosswalks.


mrincredible

A lot of the problems Vdfam describes are not exclusive to parents doing the dropoff scramble. Speeding, ignoring traffic signs or failure to yield to pedestrians are equal-opportunity offenses. 

Blocking traffic for drop offs is definitely more prevalent for school parents. I've also noticed people stopping to let their child out but sitting for a couple of minutes. What's going on in that car? Are you having "the talk"? Get out of the car and go to school!

U-turns in a school dropoff area should be a points offense. That's more than inconsiderate. It's dangerous.

If more kids walked to school I think you'd see a slight decrease in some of this mess. But not without tradeoffs. There is the safety factor for sure. There's also the sleep factor - if it takes my kid 20 more minutes to get to school walking, where does that 20 minutes come from?


joan_crystal

The description in the OP reminds me of every day in our area, including during the summer when school is less likely to be in session.  If anything, the presence of additional children walking on the sidewalks and crossing at the intersections should make drivers even more alert as to the need for being a safe and aware driver.


Tom_Reingold

If you think you are protecting your child by encasing them in a car, you are mistaken. Many kids are hit by parents driving their kids to school. They also get hurt riding in cars. More walking and less driving make things better, not the other way around. If the distance is too great to walk entirely, drive until you're a few blocks from school and let them walk from there. Don't drive near the school. I'd like to see a no pick ups or drop offs rule at schools. Allowing them is what endangers them.


mrincredible

Tom_Reingold said:

If you think you are protecting your child by encasing them in a car, you are mistaken. Many kids are hit by parents driving their kids to school. They also get hurt riding in cars. More walking and less driving make things better, not the other way around. If the distance is too great to walk entirely, drive until you're a few blocks from school and let them walk from there. Don't drive near the school. I'd like to see a no pick ups or drop offs rule at schools. Allowing them is what endangers them.

 To get to her elementary school my daughter would have to cross both Ridgewood Road and South Orange Ave. Exactly how would she be safer walking than being in my car?

If some moron comes flying down Ridgewood at 40 mph (a daily occurrence) and hits my car maybe she's okay, maybe injured. If she's walking in a crosswalk, most likely far worse.


Tom_Reingold

mrincredible said:

 To get to her elementary school my daughter would have to cross both Ridgewood Road and South Orange Ave. Exactly how would she be safer walking than being in my car?

If some moron comes flying down Ridgewood at 40 mph (a daily occurrence) and hits my car maybe she's okay, maybe injured. If she's walking in a crosswalk, most likely far worse.

 Certainly you have to drive her across those roads until they are safe. But you are remiss if you are not putting pressure on your police to enforce the speed limit to the point of no tolerance. Exceeding the speed limit on those roads is seriously dangerous. Ask to get those signs that read out one's current speed, and ask for automatic speed cameras that issue summonses. And if you receive a summons for speeding, pay it promptly. Ask your neighbors to drive at the speed limit or less. It's a serious hazard that people should not tolerate.


mrincredible

We drive past one of those radar speed displays every day on Ridgewood Rd. 


Tom_Reingold

I attend rallies and lobby my local government, demanding better enforcement, street design, and education. I suggest you do the same. Things are out of hand on streets and roads everywhere. Failure to do this is contributing to the problem. It is the number one killer of young people. 


ctrzaska

Those signs are laughable.  I was behind someone who hit a reading at 45 on Elmwood and appeared to pull away.  Parker is still a speedway, even with the mangled pedestrian signs in the middle of the road and the myriad blinking crossing signs... someone this AM had to be doing about 50. 

This is no surprise to PD or the TC, and folks have been screaming about it for years and years.  


ctrzaska

And yes, my kid is WAY WAY safer being driven to school than walking.  It’s not even close. 


mrincredible

ctrzaska said:

And yes, my kid is WAY WAY safer being driven to school than walking.  It’s not even close. 

 I think I agree with Tom that if everyone walked it would be safer. But that's a lot like nuclear disarmament... who wants to go first?


joan_crystal

I walk everywhere.  While I have encountered many of the problems mentioned here and condone none of them, I have learned that patience, caution, and clearly signaling intent to cross makes walking a lot safer than walking down the middle of the street instead of on the sidewalk, dashing out in the middle of the street without looking first, and walking with head phones over the ears and eyes on the cell phone.  Safety requires BOTH motorists and pedestrians to use common sense. 


yahooyahoo

Tom_Reingold said:

mrincredible said:

 To get to her elementary school my daughter would have to cross both Ridgewood Road and South Orange Ave. Exactly how would she be safer walking than being in my car?

If some moron comes flying down Ridgewood at 40 mph (a daily occurrence) and hits my car maybe she's okay, maybe injured. If she's walking in a crosswalk, most likely far worse.

 Certainly you have to drive her across those roads until they are safe. But you are remiss if you are not putting pressure on your police to enforce the speed limit to the point of no tolerance. Exceeding the speed limit on those roads is seriously dangerous. Ask to get those signs that read out one's current speed, and ask for automatic speed cameras that issue summonses. And if you receive a summons for speeding, pay it promptly. Ask your neighbors to drive at the speed limit or less. It's a serious hazard that people should not tolerate.

Cameras that catch traffic infractions that result in tickets are no longer allowed in NJ.


yahooyahoo

https://www.courierpostonline.com/story/news/local/new-jersey/2014/12/16/motorists-await-end-red-light-camera-experiment/20493157/

LINDEN, N.J. (AP) — The end of New Jersey's red light camera program couldn't come soon enough for Alex Valdez. In fact, it didn't.

"This is B.S.," Valdez muttered Tuesday as he sat in his truck at a gas station on Routes 1 & 9, staring at a printout of a $140 ticket for running a red light on the heavily congested artery south of Newark Liberty Airport.

By midnight, cameras that have recorded hundreds of thousands of red light violations in two dozen towns were scheduled to go dark as the much-scrutinized pilot program comes to an end after five years filled with controversy.


Tom_Reingold

Well, if you don’t envision an improvement, you won’t have one. Some possibilities: are 1. Lobby to bring speed cameras back, 2. Install traffic calming devices such as bump outs, 3. Install cameras that send prizes to randomly chosen people who comply with the law. #3 has been done in the UK. 

But if you’re content with bad driving, you have it. I’ve been lobbying and rallying for improvements where I live. I’m starting to feel like part of the solution.



vdfam

The problem is not lack of policing, failure to storm city hall, driving your kids to school … or any other blame the victim excuse. The problem is a community - yes, like many others, but we're talking about us - that demonstrates very little GAF for their neighbors on the roads.


Tom_Reingold

@vdfam, it is all of those, combined, including the lack of GAF (which I had to look up). Education is also needed. If you don't think these things are lacking, you are lacking GAF. Look at the places where this has been a problem and has been solved. And look at the places where it has not been solved. I have marked the things that make a difference. New Jersey chooses not to make a difference. That is my observation.


Formerlyjerseyjack

ctrzaska said:

.... Parker is still a speedway, even with the mangled pedestrian signs in the middle of the road....


 One of those signs was knocked off the center lines on Saturday. It is about one foot into the south bound lane of Parker.

As of 2:30 today, it is still one foot into the lane. I am surprised that someone who thinks these are a good idea, hasn't moved it back onto the center marking.


mrincredible

Formerlyjerseyjack said:

 One of those signs was knocked off the center lines on Saturday. It is about one foot into the south bound lane of Parker.

As of 2:30 today, it is still one foot into the lane. I am surprised that someone who thinks these are a good idea, hasn't moved it back onto the center marking.

 They're a good idea in a world where people GAF. 

I think a lot of people around here do. But I'll admit one of the things I chide myself for the most is those moments when I realize I just drove past someone waiting at a crosswalk.  I try really hard to stop when I see someone trying to cross but I would rank myself at about 70-80%. Higher when in a high pedestrian area but still not good enough.

So maybe that all ties in to what Tom Reingold was saying. Even if every driver stops for 95% of pedestrians, given the number of cars on the road a lot drivers will be failing to yield on a given day. And that's just one kind of violation. So yeah fewer cars on the road equals fewer jerky occurrences. 




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