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Residents Challenge Landmark Developer's Sight Distance Calculations at Crosswalk

During Monday's Planning Board hearing on the Daly Field development, a number of residents questioned the safety of a crosswalk proposed at the intersection of Plaza Road and Ramsey Terrace.

The engineer will attempt to corroborate the Landmark-provided sight distance from an obstructed curve on Plaza Road after residents challenged the legitimacy of the developer’s numbers at .

Landmark’s traffic engineer, Eric Keller, testified Monday 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’s required, but asserted that it would meet code if a patch of underbrush that obstructs the sight line is removed.

“There are some large trees there, but if you move up a foot or move back a foot you can find a path through those trees,” he said. “The problem is that there is young growth, and just underbrush that has occurred in the right of way, in the middle of this curve, that’s blocking your ability to see through that area.”

Following the testimony by Keller, who assured the board that the borough itself could resolve the vegetation issue, board liaison Ed Trawinski requested that a letter be sent to the and borough council asking them to initiate the necessary undergrowth removal.

Regardless of the proposed vegetation cleanup, multiple residents expressed concerns about the safety of crossing Plaza at Ramsey Terrace and challenged Keller’s calculations. Ramapo Terrace resident Ron Coll, who provided photographic evidence to support his claims, said that by his own count the unobstructed sight distance at the proposed Ramsey crosswalk was no more than 150 feet – less than half the required 305 feet dictated by Plaza Road’s speed limit.

Pressed by Coll whether the borough had independently verified Keller’s figures, planning board engineer Jeff Morris indicated that it had not, but asserted that he would personally corroborate the numbers before next month’s hearing. 

The proposed crosswalk at the intersection of Plaza Road and Ramsey Terrace – a location that will serve as one of the two proposed entrances to the Landmark development – has been the most hotly debated topic at the past two hearings.

Last month, .

“You cannot tell me that it’s safe to cross Plaza Road at Ramsey,” planning board member Todd Malkin said last month. “You have a bad curve and people speeding there. The solution would be a light.”

Keller explained to board members and residents last month that traffic at the intersection did not meet the requirements to warrant a traffic signal, but agreed, at the request of planning board members, to calculate the sight distance and consider other safety-enhancing alternatives.

He presented his site distance calculations and recommended some additional safety measures Monday, including giving the crosswalk a prominent ladder-style design, installing fluorescent yellow-green pedestrian crossing signs in advance of the crosswalk from either direction, installing small arrow signs on the crosswalk’s center line strip in either direction and narrowing the width of the road’s pavement at the crosswalk by about five feet on either side to reduce pedestrian crossing times by more than 20 percent.

Keller also reiterated his recommendation to place the crosswalk on the road’s south side.

“The critical point is standing on the southeast corner of Ramsey and Plaza Road and being able to look back and see approaching vehicles, and also for approaching vehicles to see a pedestrian standing there,” he said, adding that they had measured 305 feet of sight distance from the curb line. “There is sufficient time for a vehicle, if they see a person standing at that corner step off, for them to stop before they hit the pedestrian.”

Placing the crosswalk on the north side of the intersection, Keller said, would offer less sight distance because of the curve in the road and the obstructing vegetation.

At the request of Trawinski and planning board chairman Peter Kortright, Keller also agreed to investigate two other potential safety-enhancing options – speed tables on Plaza Road between Berdan Avenue and Fair Lawn Avenue, and higher-intensity street lighting to better illuminate the Ramsey Terrace crosswalk at night.

“Safety is the number one issue,” Kortright told Keller. “How you get there? You need to get there. Whether it’s speed tables, lighting, warning systems, ADA ramps. A number of things need to be looked at to ensure the safety of residents crossing Plaza. We don’t need additional liabilities.”

Landmark's next hearing before the planning board is scheduled for Monday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m.

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Harry June 18, 2012 at 06:55 AM
Stu,I may not care for Mrs.Moore personally but there are no lies in what she has said.And you know it,that is insulting to all involved, especially yourself. This kind of garbage is why many things do not get done.Bickering and backstabbing goes on for a while,then when nobody is watching Landmark will have the buildings up and they will be in Texas doing this to another community.
Walter Weglein June 18, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Stu, you may disagree about whether development should be built, but I'm sure you'll agree the safety of the children ON BOTH SIDES OF RAMSEY TERRACE, (the west side at this point being only something on a piece of paper) must be primary...The RA board must take as much responsibility for this as the borough.
Tommy P June 18, 2012 at 12:02 PM
Walter, the RA and developer are following the law. The fact the borough has inadequate ordinances is not their fault. Its previous councils. What is worse, now that these shortcomings are well known, the current bunch has yet to act while other sites along 208 are being planned.
Stuart Pace June 18, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Igor, I find the following statement to be false"The RA, which basically is made of up of former manager, Louise Orlando and attorney Michael Ferro with a few other handpicked folks who call themselves trustees made the deal with Ganz and company years ago. Landmark must have been promised that this was a done deal it seems and when they weren't getting what they wanted they sued the town forcing this awful development down our throats." Which fact is she stating? Walter, I agree the Ramsey Terrace is a bad place for a crosswalk. Said it in the thread early on.
Kathy Moore June 18, 2012 at 12:54 PM
The real truth here is the trustees signed a contract saying the MINIMUM number of units was something like 175. If they had any regard at all for their neighbors both in and outside of Radburn that was the time to do it. Spell it out in a contract. Bottom line is they ultimately are the ones responsible for this deal whether you are one of them or not.
Mei Won Sum June 18, 2012 at 01:03 PM
the former bunch of democrat whores did this deal in a back room. rumor has it that someone has some damning info related to it.
Igor Yeliseyev June 18, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Stu, What is in the root of your dispute? You do not agree with the statement that Louise Orlando is the former Manager? That Michael Ferro is the RA attorney? That the trustees are being nominated and elected through the handpicking process without democratic involvement of the ovwewhelming majority of Radburnites? That Landmark sued the town to get their way even though they are not rushing to close the deal letting Radburn pay property taxes? C'mon, man, what other facts do you need? A blind person who sees is better than a seeing person who is blind.
BellairBerdan June 18, 2012 at 02:54 PM
TP I'm surprised that a free market non regulatory kinda guy like you would blame this on not enough regulation. As you know these are minimum requirements in the ordinances. Landmark could make it better if they chose to do so. Are you saying private entities won't do it better because they aren't forced to by law?
Stuart Pace June 18, 2012 at 03:04 PM
For one, Kathy is also in the Radburn Association while Ferro is not. Kathy states he is a member. False. There is thoroughly legal vote for trustees, whether or not you like it is your issue. Come on Igor, Ganz made a backroom deal? Where are any of Kathys facts? She calls it her opinion, but states it all as fact. Cheers.
es June 18, 2012 at 03:48 PM
While one may be "in" the Radburn Association, there is a significant distinction that depends on the definition of the word "in." Homeowners "in" Radburn have no automatic right to become "members." The only members of the Radburn Association are those former board trustees selected by prior members. The legality of this is due entirely to an omission in State law which requires the governing board to be selected by "membership of the association" , but fails to define exactly who is a member. Instead, that distinction is left to the association bylaws, any amenedments to which "members" have the final say. Catch-22.
Stuart Pace June 18, 2012 at 03:58 PM
works for me.
Igor Yeliseyev June 18, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Let’s get the facts straight, Stu, shall we? I reread Kathy’s comments several times. She never mentioned Ferro being “RA member” – so, this is a false accusation, isn’t it? Also, Kathy never stated “backroom deal” as a fact and she is fully entitled to her opinions and observations. Or, do you think the RA members only are entitled to them?? Read her comments thoroughly and more accurately, Stu. Cheers back to ya!
Stuart Pace June 18, 2012 at 04:05 PM
"The RA, which basically is made of up of former manager, Louise Orlando and attorney Michael Ferro"- how am I misreading that Igor? "handpicked folks who call themselves trustees made the deal with Ganz " again, sounds like back room conspiracy theory to me.
Stuart Pace June 18, 2012 at 04:14 PM
and for the record, at this point, i could care less if anything ever gets built there.
Tommy P June 18, 2012 at 04:23 PM
We the residents of Radburn live in Fair Lawn too. We have been taxed for years and years on that land and others. Our parks are open and we pay our share for all of the town parks and pool(s). Why do you feel we should be held to a higher standard? Remember, we paid both sides of the court battles which actually made this project bigger. A strong case can be made the rest of the town (by actions of the council) were not particularly neighborly.
Mei Won Sum June 18, 2012 at 04:27 PM
fact still remains that 9 arrogant pompous individuals will have caused this mess when all is said and done.
Tommy P June 18, 2012 at 04:30 PM
BellairBerdan, I am not anarchist. There is a need from some basic regulations. Ultimately, Landmark didn't say no, they are trying to get us to pay for it. The light would likely make their property more desirable, if they find the town is going to leave it as is, don't be surprised to see them offer more.
Walter Weglein June 18, 2012 at 04:41 PM
well, well, Stu...have we had a change of heart from the FL Speaks days? You were among the most militant in wanting Daly/Landmark developed...could you verify your new position and explain it?
Igor Yeliseyev June 18, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Stu, we have some facts on the ground built without consensus within community. And that may very well lead everyone to believe in certain “backdoor” developments. Try to prove me otherwise.
Stuart Pace June 18, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Walter, I just don't care anymore.
Stuart Pace June 18, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Igor, I could care less about it anymore. Just hate when people name names of friends without merit. Good luck to all involved.
Phil Kestenbaum June 19, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Stuart, people who are affected by this increased traffic and have concerns about life and limb of the residents currently there, as well as any future residents should care. There is nothing wrong with caring about dangerous points of this project. You can be both in favor of this new developement as well as concerned about some points especially as this will impact the town, some feel negatively. If you live in Fair Lawn and have to travel in this area, this project will affect you. I continue to want to know, why this RA changed the original plan of single homes, without any vote from the residents. Why this fear of a democratic process, a vote for those in the area who would be adversely affected by this change?
Igor Yeliseyev June 19, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Phil, it's just the same fear of RA residents and their reactions and opinions that was clearly demonstrated when the whole development idea was forced upon Radburnites.
Kathy Moore June 19, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Some folks around here have a very short memory, both Ms. Orland and Mr. Ferro at different times referred to this develpment as their legacy. Their words not mine, and certainly no MY LEGACY.
Walter Weglein June 19, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Phil: I suggest you ask your neighbor, Marshall Chandler, president of the Radburn Citizens Association and a member of the Radburn Board of Trustees, to fill you in on the history of the Landmark/Radburn negotiations that led to a contract with Radburn to build the development starting about 6 years ago...the contract has been renewed, I believe several times since...the plan for single family homes was changed quite a while before that, I think....
es June 19, 2012 at 03:52 PM
My opinion, that was never the plan given the similarity to the 1986 attempt, the master plan still reflecting high density development despite the rezoning and the new-and-improved Guidelines with an entire new chapter on redevelopment that predated the contract. No tinfoil hat required.
Kathy Moore June 19, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Daly was R-1-1 which I think is four units per acre and Hayward was zoned industrial and become R-1-1 somehow it turned into 17 units per acre way beyond any single Radburn neighborhood. Please correct me if I am not accurate as I'm not reading this just pulling it from memory. True that no master plan was in place to prevent such poor planning.
Mei Won Sum June 19, 2012 at 05:26 PM
and to add insult to injury theyre building on a field. what a bunch of idiots. i guess the RA really doesn't give a s**t about kids or sports.
Deleted because of harassment June 19, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Haywood was zoned as either B-1 or B-2, but was grandfathered as a non-conforming use, since neither of those were industrial - the majority of the tract was used as offices, within conformity of the zoning. The majority of the land was zoned R-1,(as are almost every park in Fair Lawn, in the piss-poor master plan), so it's not the absence of a master plan, but the abscence of zoning to protect parkland, as if it's still 1940 and we have plenty of open space. The comment about the 1986 attempt reminds me of why Orlando was laying out her guns for a web article that mentioned it and referenced the NY Times articles about it. She wanted it to sink into oblivion while the dirty dead was being done for real. Well, all these years later, we still have no revised master plan, no accounting for parks and more and more zoning challenges seeking to turn what little plan there is on it's ass and fill every inch with converted brownfields deemed safe to live on on paper, and we all know how much paper safety is worth, as those people living on the DuPont site in Pompton Lakes, or who bought into the scenicly named Love Canal near Niagara...Now here's a plan to build a brownfield with nearly a century of industrial use, next to a site being remediated, with a known plume of carcinogens, next to the train tracks, where the only remaining park land will be, ironic enough, for little children presumably living over the brownfield. Mud pie, kiddies?
Phil Kestenbaum June 20, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Well said D. The potential contamination issue has been buried for some time, 'oh it's fine, it's been checked out, approved, etc.' It should be noted that there will be an increase in pedestrian traffic on Plaza road as well. This will also increase likelihood of accidents. People turning onto Plaza by car, have to wait longer when there are more pedestrians walking, using the same streeets. Due to increased cars and accessability, people waiting a very long time to access a road tend to get annoyed and take risks. Lot of children walk in this area to school.

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