“When you’ve got high volume, you’ve got trouble,” says Paramus Deputy Police Chief James Sheehan in referring to the congested and dangerous driving conditions to which many North Jersey motorists are routinely subjected.
Sheehan’s view is certainly backed up by statistics kept by the Department of Transportation concerning car and other motor vehicle accidents. The agency notes that accidents on four state highways alone – Routes 4, 17, 23 and 46 – account for one of every eight crashes that have occurred in Bergen and Passaic counties from 2007 to 2009.
The eight miles of specific roadway cited below are noted as being especially problematic:
- The Routes 4 and 17 interchange in the center of the Paramus shopping district, which on average has had more than one accident per day over the past three years
- The “Spaghetti Bowl” at Routes 23, 46 and 80 in Wayne, where there have been nearly 1,000 crashes over the same period
- Two one-mile stretches on Route 4, one crossing beneath Hackensack Avenue in Hackensack, the other in Teaneck – 800-plus accidents
- A short stretch of Route 46 in Little Falls – 400 crashes
Although area residents point to recent road improvements, traffic experts say that structural changes focused on flow and safety don’t always result in a decreased number of accidents. It’s just as much – if not more – about the high number of drivers in North Jersey. Again, and as Sheehan notes, it’s the volume.
Some motorists are resigned to the status quo. “I guess body shops and emergency rooms will remain busy,” says Alan Friess of Fair Lawn.
Related Resource: www.northjersey.com “Major highways account for 1 in 8 North Jersey Crashes” October 17, 2010