When my wife and I first moved to Fanwood nearly six years ago, we were struck how aptly named our street, Shady Lane seemed. It was a quiet, tranquil, friendly neighborhood with a nice mixture of young families and older adults. And though it still is a friendly neigborhood and relatively quiet , there is one feature nobody warned us about. Namely, that as the sun sets our street turns into a speedway.
Shady Lane makes for a perfect route from Martine to South avenue for those who don't want to deal with traffic lights and downtown congestion. The major problem is that motorists feel the need use this route as some sort of dragstrip. It's doubtful that more than twenty percent of drivers observe the 25mph limit on Shady Lane. I hazard a guess that people drive closer to 40mph and at times, 60.
I often enjoy sitting outside at night both in the early evening and many times after midnight when I have difficulty sleeping.It is then that I witness this phenomenon , a car rounds the corner off of Martine and promptly presses the pedal to the medal. Other times, cars speed down towards Martine and makes a turn, scarcely without stopping. My only thought is that these speed demons feel that pedestrian traffic is nil after 10 pm, thus the green light.
However, over the last year and a half, I have noticed a disturbing trend, namely that on weekday afternoons when school kids are walking home and during the day on weekends, cars are speeding up and down the street when children are out playing and people are out walking or jogging. Being the father of a four year old has perhaps made me even more aware of this issue; I fear for the safety of not just my own child, but of all the children on my block.
It would be easy to blame young drivers who for whatever reason feel the "need for speed", bu I've noticed plenty off adult drivers as well. I have spoken in the past with town officials who share my concern and are genuinely interested in doing something about it. The idea of speed humps had been discussed but citizens were against them (mainly for cosmetic reasons). Police cars have been stationed on the block from time to time to monitor the situation and machines that digitally tell you your speed have also been placed on the street every so often. Despite the townships best efforts, the problem persists.
I will never know the reason people feel the need to speed through the streets, not sure to whom or why they are showing off. Whatever the reason, my worries persist that it will be a matter of time before something truly serious, even tragic happens as a result. So I offer this one solution that town officials stress is the easiest way to avoid this.....SLOW DOWN!!