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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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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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