NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - You have probably noticed some new striped areas and signs on downtown New Providence streets. They were implemented to help traffic move smoothly through the downtown, especially during busy times of day. Some of the restricted areas allow for easier entry and exits from parking lots, while others indicate no parking zones.
The street markings and Do Not Block Driveway signs in front of driveways are meant to prevent back-ups on the main thoroughfares. If cars pull forward and stop in the marked areas, they not only block the entry and exits from businesses, but also prevent oncoming traffic from turning left into the driveway. That in turn causes the cars behind the turning vehicle to back up into intersections, blocking traffic from all directions. Similarly, if cars park in no parking zones, it prevents through traffic from moving and causes bottlenecks. It also blocks the line of sight for drivers who are trying to enter or exit from businesses, and makes it difficult for vehicles to safely turn at intersections because the parked cars force drivers to make wider turns.
It goes without saying that you should never pull into an intersection unless there is ample room for your car on the other side. Pulling into the intersection and hoping to clear it before the light changes blocks the intersection for traffic coming from the other direction and causes gridlock. You may have to wait for the next light until you can safely navigate the intersection.
Driver caution and courtesy are also extremely important when it comes to pedestrian crosswalks. Always yield to pedestrians. Do not pass cars that have stopped to let someone cross at a crosswalk. Do not text while driving. If you are a pedestrian, do not cross roads unless you are in a crosswalk. Use the orange flags when you cross so that you become more visible to oncoming traffic. Do not cross until you have made eye contact with the driver and know that they see you and are stopping to let you cross.
“We strongly encourage drivers to be aware and considerate, especially in our downtown. The road markings are there for a reason,” said Anthony Buccelli, New Providence Chief of Police. “If drivers follow the traffic regulations and restrictions, cars can move smoothly through the downtown, customers can easily frequent our downtown businesses, and pedestrians can cross our roads safely. Everyone wins.”