Posted by: kendra | May 6, 2010

Walking Wednesday: Right on Red in Downtown Morristown.

I know it’s Thursday, but I was off coffee for 2 days, so I’m just catching up.

The NJ Bike/Ped News Digest this week included a link to a story about a woman who was hit while walking with her leader dog in a crosswalk near the courthouse on Ann Street. The driver was found innocent of the charge of failing to yield, which is sorta crazy to me, since the woman did end up knocked to the ground. She is still out of work.

I really feel like the town could help avoid this type of situation (um, hitting pedestrians in crosswalks), by getting rid of right on red on all the lights downtown.

Some of them are already like that, like around the green, but near the courthouse which has a ton of pedestrians and kids trying to get to the high school, drivers just pull into the crosswalks at Western and Washington or Washington and Court Street and don’t bother looking to the right for pedestrians.

If you have walked here, you know you have to try to make eye contact with drivers, and still are forced out into the lane of traffic when they block the crosswalk. I know the argument is that it helps move traffic, but traffic in downtown Morristown already moves pretty slow (for the most part), and cars get stuck at every light anyhow. I feel like to make the downtown area easier for residents and visitors to walk around can only help downtown businesses, plus make walking less scary for people who want to places in Morristown, not just drive past them.

Here’s a link to the law regarding Right-of-raw crossing intersection for blind person or guide dog instructor. I am sure the driver does feel awful, but feeling awful doesn’t make you innocent of failing to yield?



  1. I emailed my councilwoman, Alison Deeb, this morning and asked her if the town has considered getting rid of right on red or how we can make that happen. If I hear back from her, I’ll let you know!

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