CSAC Meeting Minutes 20191219

ATTENDEES:

CSAC Members/Liaisons: Sheila Brogan, Sgt. John Chuck, Charles S. Di Marco, Joyce Docktor, Robert Fuhrman, Christopher J. Rutishauser, PE, Councilman Jeffrey Voigt

Others: Jennifer Cameron, Robin Fisher, Cathy Lin, Rachel McCallister, Jane Remis

OLD BUSINESS: 

1)  Franklin Avenue Corridor-- Mr. Rutishauser said there was no progress in the last month on the design documents. Councilman Voigt will follow-up on the status of municipal agreements needing concurrence by Bergen County prior to final funding and budgeting. 

2)  Crosswalk at Van Emburgh Avenue/ Hampshire Road-- Markings not installed yet.

3)  Pedestrian/Bike SRTS Grants--NV5 contract signed. Notice To Proceed issued. Contract Documents underway ( per Mr. Rutishauser -mostly sidewalk items). Councilman Voigt said he would request copy of SRTS Grant and NV5's Phase 1 Scope of Work from the Village Manager.

4)  CBDAC-- Mr. Rutishauser noted work on removal of tree well brick rings is underway. Locations with elevated tree roots constituting a potential tripping hazard are to be evaluated for additional measures by the Village arborist.

5)  North Walnut Street--  Councilman Voigt reported positive resident  comments on perceived impacts of the speed sign.  Sgt. Chuck will complete an AFTER study subsequent to the completion of on-going utility work in the area. The intent is to have similar weather/ traffic patterns/ school activity, etc. for a valid comparison to conditions found during collection of BEFORE data.

6)  Union Street-- Refurbishment of Markings not completed to date.

7)  SSATF--Ms. Remis reported no response from GWMS to date.

8)  Starbucks Driveway-- Mr. Rutishauser reported Starbucks has not committed to implementing the Village's recommendations for the driveway entry/exit. He indicated the potential for issuing a notice of non-conformance with the approved site plan. 

9)  Traffic Control Measures in The Lawns-- Mr. Rutishauser and Sgt. Chuck reported completing their evaluation of crash history and geometric factors in  the locations of concern and other areas cited by a resident and have concluded no further actions are warranted at this time.

10) West Glen Avenue Sidewalks--Construction in 2020. According to Mr. Rutishauser, first priority in Spring 2020 will be curbs, driveway aprons and ADA-compliant ramps along streets scheduled for re-paving.

11) Bike Safety / Educational Effort/ Sidewalk Riding-- Ms. Brogan has discussed the matter with Dr. Fishbein to re-emphasize  the current bike safety curriculum in the schools. Ms. Sacks (via e-mail) related thoughts on her personal experience with a bike safety program in Maywood, NJ. Her e-mail on the subject was provided to CSAC members and liaisons (copy following in [italics]).

[With respect to the minutes of the November 21, 2019 meeting, the issue of a 6-year old being hurt by an older bicyclist made me recall the safety program we had when I was a kid.  Here is what happened to make things safer in Maywood, NJ.

The Maywood Police Department required that all bicycles be registered and licensed.  They affixed a hard-to-remove small license plate to each bicycle and recorded the information about the owner, operator(s) and serial/registration number.  However, this mandatory registration also required that each kid had to come to the Police Department, learn the written and road requirements for bicycles (which the Maywood Police taught us) and then pass a written or oral test plus a ROAD test to see if the operator knew what they were doing on the road.  Kids who did not comply had their bicycles confiscated by the police. Every school kid learned about this and knew the requirements for having a bicycle in Maywood.  The parents were all on board with this.  Some folks said it was because so many bicycles were being stolen and some said it was because there were too many bicycle accidents.  At that age, I did not question the reason but knew I had to go get my bicycle licensed and had to learn the rules of the road for New Jersey vehicles (my old truck bike included).  So I did.   

The Police taught us everything we needed to know for the license and registration as well as road safety.  I suddenly understood why motor vehicle operators were signaling with their left hands out the window and what it meant.  This predated every motor vehicle having electronic turn signals  Bicyclists learned that we could not ride our bicycles on the sidewalks and had to ride in the road.  We could only walk our bicycles on the sidewalk.  We had to obey all the NJ Motor Vehicle laws and we had to learn to give hand signals for turning and stopping.  We had to have lights and rear reflectors if we planned to ride after dark and the Police Department checked the lights.and the rear reflectors.  They did all the bicycle safety checks but also made sure that we kids knew all the requirements for safe operation of our bicycles.

When we passed the written/verbal test and then passed the road test, the Police Department affixed a special license plate to our bicycles and we were on our way.  The Police knew who we were if we violated the laws and they'd call us in for more education.

The bicycle theft rate in Maywood dropped (thieves had a really hard time removing the little license plate and registration numbers) and the kids using bicycles were safer.

All this was before helmets and other safety devices, but it worked well for everyone in Maywood.  I have no idea if mandatory bicycle registration and licensing would even be legal today, but in those days, it made Maywood a safer community.  The Maywood Police Department did not make this voluntary, by the way.  It was absolutely required for anyone operating a bicycle in Maywood.

With respect to the minutes of the November 21, 2019 meeting, the issue of a 6-year old being hurt by an older bicyclist made me recall the safety program we had when I was a kid.  Here is what happened to make things safer in Maywood, NJ.

The Maywood Police Department required that all bicycles be registered and licensed.  They affixed a hard-to-remove small license plate to each bicycle and recorded the information about the owner, operator(s) and serial/registration number.  However, this mandatory registration also required that each kid had to come to the Police Department, learn the written and road requirements for bicycles (which the Maywood Police taught us) and then pass a written or oral test plus a ROAD test to see if the operator knew what they were doing on the road.  Kids who did not comply had their bicycles confiscated by the police. Every school kid learned about this and knew the requirements for having a bicycle in Maywood.  The parents were all on board with this.  Some folks said it was because so many bicycles were being stolen and some said it was because there were too many bicycle accidents.  At that age, I did not question the reason but knew I had to go get my bicycle licensed and had to learn the rules of the road for New Jersey vehicles (my old truck bike included).  So I did.   

The Police taught us everything we needed to know for the license and registration as well as road safey.  I suddenly understood why motor vehicle operators were signaling with their left hands out the window and what it meant.  This predated every motor vehicle having electronic turn signals  Bicyclists learned that we could not ride our bicycles on the sidewalks and had to ride in the road.  We could only walk our bicycles on the sidewalk.  We had to obey all the NJ Motor Vehicle laws and we had to learn to give hand signals for turning and stopping.  We had to have lights and rear reflectors if we planned to ride after dark and the Police Department checked the lights.and the rear reflectors.  They did all the bicycle safety checks but also made sure that we kids knew all the requirements for safe operation of our bicycles.

When we passed the written/verbal test and then passed the road test, the Police Department affixed a special license plate to our bicycles and we were on our way.  The Police knew who we were if we violated the laws and they'd call us in for more education.

The bicycle theft rate in Maywood dropped (thieves had a really hard time removing the little license plate and registration numbers) and the kids using bicycles were safer.

All this was before helmets and other safety devices, but it worked well for everyone in Maywood.  I have no idea if mandatory bicycle registration and licensing would even be legal today, but in those days, it made Maywood a safer community.  The Maywood Police Department did not make this voluntary, by the way.  It was absolutely required for anyone operating a bicycle in Maywood.

We on the CSAC have focused a lot of needed attention on motor vehicle operators being more considerate and careful of bicyclists, but perhaps we can also focus some attention on making bicyclists (especially young ones) safer through education.  And, who knows, maybe we can also help cut down on bicycle thefts.

Barbara ]

12) Long-Term Programs/Policy Discussions. (On-Going)--- No Items Presented

NEW BUSINESS:

1)  CSAC Appointments-- All current CSAC Member terms end on December 31, 2019. All current Members requesting re-appointment should notify the Village Manager. Residents interested in being considered for appointment to CSAC by the Village Council should complete and submit the  Volunteer Form found on the Village website. 

2) The CSAC meeting schedule for 2020 is the Third Thursday of the month at 7:30 PM in the Garden Room at Village Hall. The 2020 meeting dates are: January 16th, February 20th, March 19th, April 16th, May 21st, June 18th, July 16th, August 20th, September 17th, October 15th, November 19th and December 17th.

3)  Ms. Fisher spoke about the safety concerns both she and the other residents at the meeting have regarding the intersection of North Monroe Street and West Glen Avenue. Ms. Fisher cited a number of issues and suggested several potential measures to address their concerns:  1) a BUS STOP sign has been knocked down (Sgt. Chuck will report the damaged sign to NJ Transit for repair); 2) Some westbound West Glen Avenue vehicles turning right to northbound North Monroe Street are failing to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk. A NO TURN ON RED (NTOR) sign was suggested. It was pointed out that failing to yield to a pedestrian in the crosswalk is a traffic violation and an enforcement matter which Sgt. Chuck noted. Mr. Rutishauser said the warrants for installing NTOR sign would need to be satisfied to authorize the installation. He will examine the location to determine if the warrants are satisfied; 3) Due to the skew angle of the intersecting streets, pedestrians may be able to view the signals facing each street and potentially receive conflicting indications. Installation of WALK/DON'T WALK signals was suggested. Mr. Rutishauser noted many practical issues related to modifying the existing signal equipment including possibly requiring a complete modernization of this Village-owned signal as a future, major capital budget item; 4) Existing sight distance restrictions due to landscaping and/or vegetation on the northeast and southeast corners. Mr. Rutishauser will examine the location to determine if the sight triangles conform to the Village Code and if remedial action by the adjacent property owners is required; 5) Street lamp illumination was cited as needing improvement. Mr. Rutishauser will review the lighting levels as needed with PSE&G; 6) Leaf piles in Fall and snow piles in Winter on sidewalk areas can make walking difficult and unsafe for pedestrians. It was suggested to design operational procedures for leaf collection and snow removal to give a high priority to clearing major streets/ pedestrian and school walking routes and corner crosswalks; 7) Some drivers are "running" the red signal. Sgt. Chuck noted a history of 'Right-Angle" crashes-- an indication of traffic violations. According to Sgt. Chuck, the Police have targeted this location and the enforcement effort will continue; 8) The need for adequate sidewalks was noted. The on-going sidewalk program was discussed, including the 2019 installation between Oak Street and Hillcrest Road, the scheduled 2020 construction work between Hillcrest Road and Heights Road, and the concept study planned in early 2020 between Heights Road and North Monroe Street ( a section with a number of geometric and topographic features needing further engineering evaluation.

Councilman Voigt will take the lead in responding to the residents and establishing any schedules for actions to be taken.

Mr. Di Marco acknowledged the attendance of Sgt. Chuck as the Police Department liaison to CSAC. He commented on the importance of the Police attendance as a direct conduit to hear and respond to resident issues and to offer background on specific concerns. The Police participation was noted as a very effective tool to enhance the value of CSAC to the Village and its citizens.

NEXT MEETING: Thursday, January 16, 2020 at 7:30 PM in the Garden Room at Village Hall.

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