Challenge to Developer's Crosswalk Sight Distance Remains Unresolved
Landmark's developer and the planning board's engineer have agreed to work in consultation to recalculate sight lines from a proposed pedestrian crosswalk on Ramsey Terrace at Plaza Road.
The planning board has yet to reach a conclusion on the challenge posed by residents to the Landmark-provided sight distance from around an obstructed curve on Plaza Road that precedes a proposed pedestrian crosswalk on Ramsey Terrace.
Landmark’s traffic engineer, Eric Keller, testified last month that the current sight distance for southbound Plaza Road drivers as they approach the proposed crosswalk at Ramsey Terrace is 25 feet shorter than what regulations require, but asserted that it would meet code if a patch of underbrush that obstructs the sight line is removed.
Following last month's meeting, at the behest of residents and planning board members, the borough's planning board engineer attempted to corroborate Landmark's calculations that the required sight distance of 305 feet -- dictated by Plaza Road’s speed limit -- could be met if underbrush was removed.
Planning board engineer Jeff Morris reported his findings to the board and public on Monday.
"To establish the 280 foot sight distance," Morris said, "the trees would have to be trimmed to a height of approximately six feet from the bottom and the underbrush would have to be trimmed back or down to 30 inches to establish that 280 foot sight distance.”
Planning Board chairman Peter Kortright, who was present for the engineer's measurement, said they found significant underbrush that obstructed vision in either direction, but that it was all contained within the public right-of-way and thus could be removed by borough workers.
"It was something that could be handled by just maintenance," Kortright said. "We’ll leave that to the borough itself in terms of the public works or recreation department to handle that...That's our recommendation."
Ramapo Terrace resident Ron Coll, who at last month's meeting provided photographic evidence to support his claims that the unobstructed sight distance at the proposed crosswalk was no more than 150 feet, asked that the borough confirm the Landmark sight distances after the vegetative maintenance is performed.
Kortright agreed that that the board would make it a firm condition for the developer that the sight distance at the crosswalk conform to the required distance measurements.
Taking it one step further, planning board liasion Ed Trawinski asked that the board send its engineer out to take a second look at the sight lines in consultation with the developer's engineer to eliminate the potential for conflicting accounts.
"So that the two engineers are talking the same language," Trawinski said.
Trawinski asked that in addition to having the engineer take a look at the sight lines in light of the application's underlying survey, that he also consider whether the sight lines would be improved or hindered if the width of the roadway were reduced 10 feet at the crossing, as had been previously proposed by the developer.
"What that reduction of 10 feet would do at that intersection -- aside from being a traffic calming measure," Trawinski said at Tuesday's council meeting, "is that it would bring cars further to the west at that intersection, so that you would have a better sight line around that curve by those houses."
The developer's attorney said he would have no objections to such a proposal.