In a recent Tenafly Borough Council meeting, city planners and the council converged on ambitious plans to alleviate traffic congestion and improve pedestrian safety throughout the city.
The crux of the gathering lay in discussions led by John Jarr of Brightview Engineering, detailing proposed infrastructure projects and the potential for critical traffic flow improvements in Tenafly Borough.
Jarr unveiled a phased plan to refine traffic light timing and establish more efficient traffic flow, especially during peak hours. As the proposed project’s engineer, he emphasized, “Fast is not what I ever aim for. I spend a great deal of my life doing traffic calming and road diets and things that make it so that traffic better facilitates itself through a town.”
The first phase’s primary focus will be to streamline traffic and infrastructure at Dean and East Clinton. Fulfilling this phase could open opportunities to secure federal grants to fund the following two phases, dubbed the “home run” of the project. Jarr added, “This is the first step of many to come. I really encourage everybody to think of the end result here…I think our residents are really going to benefit from some of these improvements.”
In response to council inquiries about pedestrian safety, particularly along county roads and around Dean and Clinton, Jarr highlighted the inclusion of additional corner bump-outs, high-visibility international crosswalks, and signal improvements. Despite the high costs associated with pedestrian overpasses — a point council member Lauren Dayton raised — the council remained dedicated to promoting walkability in Tenafly Borough.
As the council discussed new traffic lights, one council member commented, “a light at Dean and Clinton, phenomenal. I’ve wanted that my whole life. That’s a home run right there.” The sentiment underscored a clear priority to enhance pedestrian safety and improve vehicular circulation in the city.
Adding to the discussion on the necessity of ample lighting at intersections, Jarr confirmed the borough’s control over lighting additions if they maintain the intersections. He assured that the planned lighting meets NJDOT’s minimum standards set around 15 years ago while being mindful of avoiding excessive light pollution for nearby residential areas.
Addressing the issue of potential traffic congestion due to the addition of new lights, Jarr clarified that he would coordinate the new light with the one behind it to prevent backup and improve the current situation. He pledged that the improvements would alleviate a significant amount of congestion, even if not 100 percent effective immediately.