lorraine avenue accident

Bob Tuscanes, a Norwood Avenue resident sent the following letter to Baristanet, as well as First Ward Councilor Bill Hurlock and Councilor At Large Rich McMahon regarding yesterday’s accident involving a Mt. Hebron student:

Attached (see above) is a photo of a dreadful accident—the latest casualty in the increasing traffic problem on Lorraine Ave which occurred 100 feet from Norwood Ave. The photo was taken at approximately 2:30 PM today, 1/14/2015. The child lying on the ground is a student at Mt. Hebron and was crossing the street when struck by a car. He or she was taken to a hospital and was heard making loud painful cry’s before being put in the ambulance.

We have been saying for a while that our petition for restricted parking isn’t just about our convenience. We have two schools here with kids coming on going while cars try to navigate a busy through street between Grove and Valley. The last thing we need is all day parked cars and trucks limiting visibility and compromising safety.

Sadly, I suspect now the town will start to pay attention.



34 replies on “Following Accident, Lorraine/Norwood Ave Residents Push For Four Hour Parking Limit”

  1. Just my two cents, theres a cross walk maybe 30 years from where the accident seems to have taken place..in both directions. Either the kid was sent flying or he popped out between two cars. I’ll assume the latter. As much as this is a parking issue this is also a pedestrian safety issue.

  2. Well, whippersnapper, we all know that kids are unpredictable but I don’t think it makes sense to blame the child for being hit by a car. I assume there are crossing guards during appropriate times but if you haven’t seen the cars whizzing up and down Lorraine, you can’t believe how vulnerable those kids at both schools are. I don’t live in the neighborhood but I support the same kind of limitations on parking in this area as they have around other Montclair schools.

  3. Agree with you jellybean. I live in the neighborhood and Lorraine has always been dicey to cross when school lets out. Too many parked cars make visibility a challenge for both pedestrians and drivers. Plus the total impatience of drivers everywhere in Montclair.

  4. Yes, pedestrians need to follow the rules too, but the drivers have to learn to be more careful. Especially in a school zone.

  5. Lorraine is often used as an alternate route and “speed street” when the intersection at Grove and Bellevue has the typical quarter mile backup at rush hour.

  6. If changes are being made to parking on Lorraine, they should go all the way and allow parking on only one side of the street. Lorraine is not wide enough to accomodate parking on both sides and two way traffic. The fact it is so close to the a central business district exacerbates the problem.

  7. Totally agree with skibum that there should be parking on only one side of Lorraine. It’s a serious issue. I know the lack of parking in town is also a serious issue, but safety takes priority.

  8. I don’t see what parking has to do with the accident. I’d blame driver impatience and/or inattention. Lord knows, there’s no shortage of that around here. I feel bad for the young person and I hope he or she makes a full recovery.

  9. (Ah, I missed this story yesterday and I check the site several times a day. Unfortunately, the organization here is confusing, if it weren’t for the recent comments section, I’d miss many other stories.)

    Hope the kid is well.

    But this shouldn’t be news to anyone, entitled drivers (and illegal, “I’ll just be here for a minute” drivers) and running kids rarely mix.

    Not sure why the town doesn’t see this as a chance for revenue: TICKET THE HELL OUTTA FOLKS!!! Make it NO PARKING on either side of the street during certain times and strictly enforce it.

    Rather, we’ll wait till one of our children is killed. Then we’ll talk about all we “should’ve” done.

  10. This is not a parked car issue – the congestion at that time is due to standing cars that are there for after school pick up. Put speed cameras around schools or otherwise enforce 25 mph speed limit and yesterday’s accident would have been less likely.

  11. Hope this kid’s okay.

    It might help if there was someone in the road to slow cars down. A police officer seems overkill, but a crossing guard or even a volunteer parent (one could get out of their car as they wait for their kid) simply waving at approaching cars to keep to safe speeds would likely add to safety.

  12. Crossing any street is dangerous. Pedestrians having the “right of way” crossing the street is a noble idea but anytime something goes wrong it is the pedestrian that gets killed. There seems to be a false sense of security among kids and adults that the car HAS to stop. Legally yes but if the car doesn’t….Pedestrians have to be careful. Look both ways and make eye contact with the driver. Make sure the driver sees you and is going to stop. Legally do you have to…no, but there is such a thing as being “dead right”.
    BTW, having some traffic cops around wouldn’t hurt. Check out Greenwich Ave. in Greenwich Ct. A cop on almost every corner directing car and pedestrian traffic. Everyone drives slowly, pedestrians wait their turn, no accidents, no fatalities, and a big deterrent to crime.

  13. Frank
    I have no idea whether parking was an issue in this accident. However the article is about residents seeking changes to parking on Lorraine as a result. Lorraine may be one sided parking near the church, but it is two sided as you go towards Valley and is a complete mess and difficult to navigate since there is often not enough room for cars to pass with parking on both sides of the street. If the residents are concerned about visibility and congestion (which I think they should be), they should go further than the 4 hour parking limitation – those cars who move will likely be replaced is short order anyway.

  14. skibum,

    There are 56 parking spaces in that section of Lorraine Ave. This comprises 17% of the on-street parking in the Upper Montclair Village TOD district. If you eliminate parking on the East side, that eliminates 23 of the 56.

    Knowing that street well, I am would be worried about even more speeding cars. Right now, the narrow travel lanes help reduce car speeds by almost half the limit. Typically, drivers tend to use street cuts to allow oncoming cars to pass (similar to 4-way stop mentality of who gets to the tightest areas first), but it is wide enough for 2 cars to pass.

    And then there is the question where those 23 cars are going to now park.

  15. at drop off and pickup time the speed limit there should be 10 or 15 mph given that you have two schools across from one another. It’s a tight parking area but you really need to be crawling if traveling through there during school opening/closing times. Maybe they should do what they do around Watchung school and either close a street at these times or make it one way? While the traffic stinks there, people can also use Bellevue which runs parallel or go down Oakwood or Cooper or another east-west street to avoid where the schools are during those times.

    And while I can understand Lorraine residents who live clos to Valley being annoyed at the parking situation, they live very close to a downtown area and those businesses need people to survive so this is one of the inevitable prices you pay to live there.

  16. I don’t see how they could close the street at opening/closing time with so many students “walkers” regardless of the weather. Watchung is smaller and has two other streets for pickup/drop-off. Mt. Hebron really has but one, and it’s probably even busier than Lorraine and already has the bus traffic.

    One way should be possible, but I’m not clear how this would help.

    At least eliminating parking would make it tougher for a kid darting out into traffic to be doing so from between cars. On the other hand, would eliminating parking also eliminate cars sitting there stopped – not parked – awaiting a student?


  17. Agree jillybean & prof. Lots of moving parts here (no pun intended). Problem A would be ticketing drivers which doesn’t seem to occur often.. A big issue in our community seems to both revert to troublesome parking (two sides vs 1 side) and speeding. I think we also need to look to amend the policy that outlines the ability to make a street only one side as a recall a former article stating a street has to be a certain width to constitute that.

  18. Or, we could just give bubble suits to all the adolescents. Or put the schools in the middle of a corn field. Or ban parents from entering schools zones. All would help this situation.

  19. Reading all of these comments and having, yet again, someone hit by a car in this town, one thing keeps coming up in my mind. Montclair has a police force of 110 people or so. Why it is we never see them? Why is it that only if they are doing some special enforcement do we notice them working on cars hitting people, or drunk driving and etc.??? Their physical presence is lacking a great deal. With a force of that many where in the hell are those folks??? I have heard some comment on having far too many upper ranked folks and not enough people to get out, be seen in the public and secure the town. This has always been baffling to me.

  20. claremont,

    That’s unfair. The MPD has 3 shifts to enforce what we want them to enforce. Ticketing parents standing in no parking zones is not even on the bottom of their priority list.

    I’m have no doubts that between the MPS, the parents and the PTA, a solution will be found that doesn’t require the MPD to reallocate limited resources to address their issues.

  21. Frank, your points are well taken and true. I was not specifically referring to ticketing parents and this situation. I was talking to a larger problem in Montclair and that is our police just aren’t attentive to the community. I feel that they are holding on but their “presence” in the town is not high. Would this have stopped this situation? Probably not but a change in mental attitude and in enforcement could only help the town. I would say that if you look at any of the schools around town you will find people dropping off their kids, picking them up but…. they don’t use common sense, many times when they are doing this.

  22. Yes, claremont, Montclair has never been know as a big traffic enforcement town and traffic enforcement continues to be reduced in order to meet other priorities. Seems like this may be the case for the County Sheriff, too. I don’t think I have ever seen them make a traffic stop anywhere but on North Mountain by Bellevue.

    I haven’t noticed any change in the MPD’s “presence” over the years… except for the increase in the number of their high speed runs in the direction of Montclair Heights.

  23. I rarely drive around Montclair because it’s so easy to walk. Last night we drove from Upper Montclair to the downtown parking deck. On the way there, on Valley and Lorraine, the car in front of us made a left into oncoming traffic without waiting for traffic to clear. At Bellevue, the car in front of us missed a car by about an inch because the oncoming car was making a left as the light was changing from yellow to red and he decided he had to make that light so he cut off the car going straight which had the right of way.

    On South Park and Church someone in an SUV blocked the street for several minutes trying to get the attention of a woman who was sitting in a parked car because he wanted the spot. Traffic backed up behind onto Bloomfield Avenue creating a hazard at the Bloomfield and South Park intersection. The parking deck was a block away.

    On the way back, on Valley at Watchung, when the light turned green a bus made a “Jersey left” in front of us, followed by THREE cars so we almost missed the light even though we were going straight and had the right of way. At Starbucks, there was a truck blocking the alley so a car just pulled out and made the left blind, instead of inching out. We slammed on the break and barely missed hitting him. At Bellevue, another Jersey left. At Lorraine, a guy in a Jeep pulled up next to us at the red light, I thought he was parking but no, he just wanted to pass on the right all the other cars on Valley waiting for the light to change. We blocked him but he got in behind us.

    This was just one trip downtown and we nearly missed about 4 accidents due to drivers not obeying basic rules. If you’re turning left, you don’t have the right of way. If you’re going straight and there are 5 cars waiting for the light to change, you don’t use the parking lane to cut them off. If you can’t see around a truck you should ease out and not pull out full force and hope no one will be on Valley at that same time. Drivers have become careless and wreckless. And that’s why more pedestrians are being hit.

  24. jg’s anecdotal tale of motor vehicle woe aside, when exactly was this enlightened period of American Driving, when drivers were focused solely on the road? A cursory look at US pedestrian fatalities over the last 30 years shows nothing close to this—in fact, as with crime stats, it’s exactly the opposite.

    Could this be simply another example of the bnet community overreacting to individual circumstances and over aggrandizing their emotional reaction by making stuff up?

  25. Montclair’s accidents are up a straightline 10% in over last 3 years. I’m guessing fatalities would be down because of car design improvements. It is certainly not anything we have done about the driver.

  26. I agree w. you, jerseygurl. The fact is that there are many more vehicles on the road today as compared to say, just 30 years ago. That in combination with the unsafe practice of drivers using hand held devices along with a frantic “I needed to get there yesterday” attitude, has made local roads particularly undafe. What really ticks me off is when a driver fails to fully stop at a stop sign and “rolls” through while making a right turn thereby cutting you off.

    I doubt very much that your comment above is an example an over reaction to individual circumstance and an over aggrandizing an emotional reaction by making stuff up. Not untypically, it seems more like a case of cunningham’s compulsive need to cynically contradict every comment made by posters here in Bnet.

  27. jcunningham,

    Logically, if vehicles are knocking off deer in record numbers, whey wouldn’t the same be true for pedestrians.

  28. “Check out Greenwich Ave. in Greenwich Ct. A cop on almost every corner directing car and pedestrian traffic……”

    That’s because it is Greenwich Ct. , not Montclair NJ.

  29. If logic had anything to do with it, I wouldn’t feel like it would be less likely to hit a pedestrian if I drove on the sidewalk. Why with Brookdale Park and other running tracks in Montclair, Glen Ridge and Bloomfield people jog on Grove Street and Ridgewood Avenue (including pushing a baby buggy sometimes 2 abreast!). It seems like competing for the Darwin Award, add in the people just walking in the street like there were no sidewalks around town. As far as crossing a street, you also have to be pretty dumb if you’re older than 10 to put yourself up against a car when some patience and not looking at your “smart” phone would get you across the street safely … even in the middle of the block. I will add some people do need to learn how to drive as well, but it would be easier to pinpoint them if the pedestrians would at least use sidewalks and not have an I cross anywhere attitude. I put making a turn as important as anything on the drivers side of things in paying attention and not running over someone.

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