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Officials Unsure When School Crossing Stop Light Will Be Fixed

The traffic light at the corner of Macarthur Boulevard and Ridge Road was damaged during Hurricane Sandy

One of the many victims of Hurricane Sandy was a traffic light at the corner of Macarthur Blvd. and Ridge Rd., and according to township officials, the temporary four-way stop system set up at the busy intersection may be here for a while.

Police believe an electrical surge during the storm took out the light. Officials say there are many lights out throughout Bergen County for the same reason.

“We have placed an order for a new [light from an electrical vendor], but because of the number of orders they are receiving they do not have an expected delivery date for us,” Police Chief Jim Batelli said this week. “We are pressing the vendor to deliver the traffic controller as soon as possible, but unfortunately every other jurisdiction that has a similar situation [probably is too].”

The affected intersection is one of Mahwah’s busiest – traffic from Macarthur Blvd. corporate offices meets with cars traveling to the four township schools on Ridge Road, the library and the corner shopping complex.

Mahwah Police officers are stationed at the intersection during peak commute times to direct traffic.

The township has also set up a makeshift four-way stop at the intersection using stop signs and orange cones. This weekend, the stop replaced blinking lights that were on after power was restored to the area, police said.

“We were concerned that with the amber blinking phase, some motorists not familiar with the area may go through without due caution and cause an accident,” Batelli said. “The new traffic pattern may result in longer delays but in the long run is safer.”

As of Monday, there had been one accident at the intersection, but Batelli said it was caused by “driver inattention.”

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LeeMarie November 14, 2012 at 12:32 PM
For those living in the town homes and condos, they have also removed the ability to turn left onto RIDGE RD FROM MACARTHUR. As you wait 20 minutes literally to get to the light, you find that you are unable to make the left. Now you must make a u-turn, and sit in the traffic again, if an angered motorist will let you in the line of cars, or you need to loop all the way down to Darlington. Drivers are also cutting through the shopping plaza, at a high speed because they are frustrated. This has created numerous dangerous situations for the traffic pattern. Someone is going to get hurt. It is going to be bad. This seems so risky to have to sit and wait for a company to complete fabrication of a light. Nationally, there is no other company to support this? It's amazing how primitive we really are in the year 2012. Far to much hurry up and wait when it comes to safety and well being. Thank you Mahwah Police for trying to keep us safe while wait for a new light. Drivers, take a deep breath and be patient we are all in the same boat.
T-Bird 148 November 14, 2012 at 02:57 PM
when there are no officer's present you are still allowed to make turns. Just use extra caution!
Stacy Fishkin November 14, 2012 at 03:21 PM
I have taken to avoiding this intersection completely by going around 202 to get to the schools from the Fardale section. It's just too dangerous and really too busy for a four way stop to work well. I hope this is a top priority fix for our town.
JP November 14, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Why don't they setup temporary light trailers there? I've seen this done on Rt 17 in Sloatsburg when they were fixing Rt 17 earlier this year. What's the delay? Just do it. This just emphasizes the importance of companies multi-sourcing critical parts for any system. If your sole vendor goes down, so do you. Just ask any IT person of the importance of this because situations WILL happen.. This country needs to seriously invest in disaster prevention instead of just disaster recovery. The time has come when single vendor utilities like electricity and gas and oil, just don't cut it (just ask the people on Long Island). We need major (and I mean major!) infrastructure development and improvement across this whole country. Some places are dealing with one hundred year old facilities and that's just ridiculous. Gasoline distributors need to have backup systems for their large tanks as well as local stations. Does it make any sense that a gas station doesn't run generators to keep their pumps going when the fuel supply for the generators is sitting right under their feet and readily available?
Jon Devine November 14, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Over the past two weeks during all hours of the day, I have never seen a police officer directing traffic at this intersection... They should be handing out tickets to the people who don't even bother to stop...
Mahwah Resident November 14, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Jess your information is a little off. All of the lights were put out by the storm, but the light pictured laying over is from and accident there on the 6th. The two cars smashed into the pole. I saw it.
Mahwah Resident November 14, 2012 at 07:11 PM
9th rather
Mike Kupchik November 15, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Anybody observe all the red-light runners on MacArthur at the North Central Avenue intersection right before the Island Road light? This is a daily event, but hope all in town should eventually be back to normal soon too. So many suffered from Sandy here, yet most endured it without even a whimper: may God bless them all!
Fennec November 15, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Obviously the current situation with cones diverting all traffic into one lane isn't working. When only one direction is allowed to proceed at a time, multiple lanes could be used to allow more traffic to flow. It probably wouldn't improve much, but two lanes would be better than one. Additionally, even when the polic are there to direct traffic, it's clearly a joke to them, as they are obviously not fully invested in the job they're doing. Definitely needs improvement.
Nick November 15, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Traffic would flow if most drivers knew how to handle a 4-way stop. It's not rocket science. Unfortunately, you have some that are terrified to move, and others that ignore the stop completely.
Mahwah Rules! November 15, 2012 at 03:24 PM
So true, JP!!! Regarding the lights, one of the biggest problems is that it's flashing yellow for MacArthur and red for Ridge, and people don't understand that one means yield to oncoming traffic, while the other means stop-then-go if safe. Also, I think multiple open lanes would lead to another accident. Sorry, but there are a lot of really bad drivers out there.
T-Bird 148 November 16, 2012 at 04:57 PM
the police have been there from 7a-9a and 2p-6p Monday through Friday since school resumed

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