ROXBURY, NJ – Drivers on Righter Road in Succasunna get plenty of warning as they approach the place where the West Morris Greenway trail crosses the pavement. The message of the signs is clear: Stop for walkers, runners and cyclists attempting to cross the road.
The signs are bright yellow. They’re illuminated with solar-powered flashing lights. The pavement is marked with a white crosswalk.
Still, – as veteran users of the trail know from experience – some drivers fly through the intersection anyway, even when walkers, runners and cyclists are right there.
Those long-time fans of the trail know better than to trust that drivers will hit the brakes. But newcomers – especially those running or biking at high speed – might not.
Responding to requests from the public, the township recently installed signs warning trail users to be careful. “Caution,” say the orange and black signs posted on trailside poles near the Righter Road Crossing. “Watch for Vehicles.”
The signs were suggested by Roxbury Councilman Jim Rilee, who brought it up at a town council meeting several weeks.
“We had at least one resident request, through Councilman Jim Rilee, to install some type of pedestrian warning sign on the trail adjacent to Horseshoe Lake Park when approaching Righter Road,” explained Roxbury Township Manager John Shepherd.
“On Righter, there are warning signs for the vehicles as they approach the crosswalk of the trail,” noted Shepherd. “For individuals walking, jogging or riding a bike on the trail, we are concerned that they might not realize they are approaching a public road and might fail to ensure that the road is clear prior to crossing.”
Roxbury Councilman Mark Crowley, who walks the trail regularly, said he’s never seen a car or truck carelessly blow through the trail intersection. However, he stressed that – as someone who uses the trail a lot – he doesn’t take his chances.
“I’m cognizant of it,” Crowley said. “When I walk in the morning, I don’t walk right up to the crosswalk until I see there are no cars coming. But if you have children or bikers going fast, they might not be paying attention. We wanted people, especially on bikes and running, to recognize they are crossing a busy street ... We want to be as safe as possible.”
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