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Fair Lawn's 'Most Dangerous' Roads for Pedestrians [Interactive Map]

Fair Lawn Avenue has been home to more than a quarter of all pedestrian strikes since 2010, according to police department traffic data.

For years, pedestrian safety has been one of the most hotly discussed issues in the borough. Ask any Fair Lawn resident what he thinks is the most dangerous intersection in town, and you'll likely get any number of impassioned responses.

River Road at Morlot Avenue. Saddle River Road at Fair Lawn Avenue. Fair Lawn Avenue at Abbott Road.

Pedestrians complain that drivers don't yield to them at crosswalks. Drivers complain that pedestrians cross against the signal without looking. Everyone, it seems, would like to see more police enforcement of traffic issues.

As a result, the department has held traffic stings, hosted pedestrian safety talks and Chief Erik Rose even resurrected the department's traffic safety unit at the outset of this year, assigning two patrol officers an exclusive traffic post while the force's manpower permits. Last summer, the borough employed crossing guards after school let out for the year in an effort to rectify the pedestrian safety problem. 

In spite of the town's best efforts, however, the problem seems to be getting worse. Twelve pedestrians — one of whom later died — were struck by motorists during the first three months of this year, putting Fair Lawn on pace to double its pedestrian strikes from the year before.

Since 2010, 85 pedestrians have been injured or killed by car strikes in the borough, according to police department traffic data. Broken down, that comes out to about one pedestrian strike every two weeks on average.

Fair Lawn Avenue, the site of more than one quarter of all pedestrian strikes since 2010, is hands down the "most dangerous" road for pedestrians. All but four of the 22 pedestrian strikes on Fair Lawn Avenue since 2010 have occurred between Plaza Road and River Road, making it the worst stretch to cross in the borough.

More than half of the 13 intersections in town where more than one pedestrian has been hit since 2010 are located along Fair Lawn Avenue. Fair Lawn at Chandler Drive and Fair Lawn at George Street lead the way with three strikes each in the past three-plus years. The only other location in town where more than two pedestrians have been hit since 2010 is the ShopRite parking lot.

To better visualize where the pedestrian strikes are occurring in Fair Lawn, see the embedded interactive map. Use the (+) and (-) buttons to zoom in and out. Each location where a pedestrian strike has taken place since 2010 is marked by a green (1 strike since 2010), yellow (2 strikes since 2010) or red flag (3 strikes since 2010). Clicking on each data point reveals the address/intersection where the strike occurred.

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Harold Vogel April 09, 2013 at 03:43 PM
I drove up Fair Lawn Av. yesterday, between Saddle River Rd and River Rd i saw 8 pedestrians crossing out of the cross walk and only 2 in the crosswalks. Three were outside the walks by only ten feet. Saw no drivers violating the law!
Cornell Christianson April 09, 2013 at 05:04 PM
With pedestrian in crosswalks at Abbott Rd and Fair Lawn Ave, few cars stop. I often assist seniors and children to get across, they live in fear at that crossing. As I stand in the crosswalk with cars going by me, I call out "that's $200" because that's the fee they should be charged with.
Ezra P. April 09, 2013 at 06:39 PM
My pet peeve is Fair Lawn Avenue and Arnold, by the library. The fact that it is only two strikes is probably a story. Trying to cross the street with two kids around 6pm is a nightmare. Rarely will a driver stop unless you are fully in the middle of the road. Given the location relative to the police station and the number of police cars transiting the area - you would expect that there should be heavy enforcement of the crosswalk laws.... I suspect that if every day for a week someone is pulled over for violating this law, and other drivers saw it happening - it would not take long for drivers to become very cognizant.
Janice LaBarbera April 09, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Cornell you are absolutely right. They not only don't stop , there are illegal U Turns being made in front of Modern Bagel they could give tickets out all day.
Joan April 10, 2013 at 12:02 AM
Just after the River Road pedestrian fatality on 3/16, the Fair Lawn Community News (dated 3/21) had a front page photo of Officer Tim Franco giving a pedestrian safety seminar for the public on 3/14 at the borough hall, which I attended, along with Mayor Cosgrove and some council members. Not a word in the newspaper was reported about the contents of that meeting--just a front page photo. What a missed opportunity by the FL Community News to summarize the valuable points and issues raised by Officer Franco about pedestrian safety around town, especially considering that the paper arrived just after the tragedy on River Rd.
Phil Kestenbaum April 10, 2013 at 05:11 PM
They don't stop there because they know a train can come at any second at any time of the day and keep them waiting for 10 minues or more. This is the problem of Fair Lawn Ave. If they could move the Radburn station a bit further down say by the Daly Field development then they could stop there and only keep traffic holding for 1 minute, instead eveyone has to wait for passengers to get off, get on. No one in Fair Lawn local government ever addressed this issue, I have written to past 4 mayors many times, not even 1 reply. I know this because at other crosswalks in FL they stop more often, I would say 50% on average but on FL Ave, maybe 5 % stop, I walk on this crosswalk of Abbot daily, 7 days a week.
Phil Kestenbaum April 10, 2013 at 05:11 PM
They don't stop there because they know a train can come at any second at any time of the day and keep them waiting for 10 minues or more. This is the problem of Fair Lawn Ave. If they could move the Radburn station a bit further down say by the Daly Field development then they could stop there and only keep traffic holding for 1 minute, instead eveyone has to wait for passengers to get off, get on. No one in Fair Lawn local government ever addressed this issue, I have written to past 4 mayors many times, not even 1 reply. I know this because at other crosswalks in FL they stop more often, I would say 50% on average but on FL Ave, maybe 5 % stop, I walk on this crosswalk of Abbot daily, 7 days a week.
Capt Krunch April 11, 2013 at 02:04 AM
NJTransit is unlikely to move the station, but it would be a great fix to the Landmark problem. Have the State use eminent domain to buy the land and build a parking garage and expanded 208 exits along with a modern station. The developers get paid, Radburn Assoc gets paid, its right next to the community center, we all get better transportation. Seems like a win for everyone.
Pete P April 11, 2013 at 02:37 PM
I blame many street crossing accidents on the new law which gives people and especially children a false sense of security that motorist will stop if you step off the curb. Yes, that's the law, but as kids and then adults who grew up in cities know, you need to cross all streets defensively at all the times. No law should substitute for good common sense and crossing only when cars are not coming down the street. Expecting cars to stop for pedestrians who step off the curb is being nieve and risking one's life unnecessarily.
Ezra P. April 11, 2013 at 03:07 PM
Please still drive like crazy once they are past the station... Just stand by the library and watch traffic heading away from the station - and you will see they are equally bad at yielding to pedestrians as people heading the opposite way...
BellairBerdan April 11, 2013 at 11:21 PM
Have to agree with you. I see people step out into the crosswalk without even looking up from their phones.I have even seen a woman carrying her child cross River Road diagonally at Hopper. A driver should always stop for someone in a crosswalk, but the person crossing should be judging whether or not a driver will be able to stop in time.
Debra Maker June 04, 2013 at 03:46 AM
How about they remove all of those ridiculous sings blocking roadways, and people actually watch where they are walking. It is a waste of money. Years ago they did not have any of these signs and less pedestrians got injured. Come on let's wake up people. Now that we have these ridiculous signs people just walk out in the crosswalk even if they see a car coming at full speed. Sorry take the signs down, it is causing more injury in the last 3 weeks.
Debra Maker June 04, 2013 at 03:56 AM
Pete Your the only one that knows what he is talking about on this blog, now people want 'move the train station. People have been crossing streets for 100's of years. teach people to look both ways and cross, no signs needed, it is common sense. You Don't see these signs in Wyckoff, Mahwah or any other town. They are ridiculous.
Debra Maker June 04, 2013 at 04:00 AM
12 People in this town have been struck by cars. Signs are not working and block roadways. Look in other towns, they do not have those signs and have no problems like Fair lawn. Let's get real and stop making excuses. People just think they could walk in the middle of the street at any time with those signs. Remove the signs I say you will get rid of the problems. Easy fix. Stop wasting money.
jim July 09, 2013 at 01:57 PM
what ever happened to look both ways before you cross the street? get rid of the signs, and people just have to look both ways before they cross and dont walk into the street unless there is no cars within 50 ft or a car comes to a COMPLETE stop and waves you to go. cop cars should also be present on all our high risk roads during high traffic hours. there doesnt even have to be a cop in the car, just the sight of a cop car makes people slow down and drive carefully.
jim July 09, 2013 at 01:57 PM
ps- this new patch format is awful
regidog July 10, 2013 at 09:15 AM
I do agree pedestrians in Fair Lawn need to look both ways before crossing. This is common sense. I disagree the signs are not helping. But the real solution is that the police need to continue to ticket drivers who do not yield to pedestrians. Once the wallet suffers only than will drivers obey. It works in Mass.

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