(Bloomfield, New Jersey) — According to the Bloomfield Police Department a crash occurred September 27, in the afternoon at Glenwood Avenue and Maolis outside Watsessing Elementary school. Reports from the community are that two children were struck by a car.
The City of Bloomfield on March 11, 2011 adopted a Complete Streets policy. The number one component in Complete Streets policy is infrastructure, meaning funding spent on the road to change physical characteristics of the road to make it safe for all people whether they are walking, driving or riding a bicycle. Currently it appears that the only part of Complete Streets policy that is being implemented in the City of Bloomfield and Essex County is police enforcement.
You can only have good enforcement if you have good infrastructure. Glenwood Avenue is built for speed, just like Bloomfield Avenue, Watsessing Avenue and Grove Street. Glenwood Avenue needs a physical change to make it safer.
As of September 27, 2017 New Jersey has had 443 people killed in 419 car crashes. Crash fatalities in New Jersey have risen every year in the last three years.
“Enforcement isn’t good enough. Personal choice and someone watching should not be the only tool for a safe walk home from school. According to Vision Zero, a program that has reduced crashes worldwide, the most effective tool in making streets safer is infrastructure changes. We want Bloomfield to focus more on infrastructure,” said Lark Lo, director of VELO Bloomfield.
This crash didn’t happen just because people are not following the rules of the road, this crash occurred because Glenwood Avenue is built for speed and has no infrastructure measures to slow it down.
The children who walk home from school in Bloomfield deserve more than just being lucky to make it home safely.
The focus for safe streets must be street design, technology and the policy of shared responsibility. We have the technology and the knowledge to mitigate human error and to create Complete Streets infrastructure and a safe walk home for all the pedestrians in all of Bloomfield.