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Township Mayor Will Not Agree to 56-Foot Wide Intersection

The mayor said that is too wide for Washington Avenue and Pascack Road and one of the reasons she won't sign an agreement with the county

The Washington Township mayor and council continued discussions Monday about an agreement with the county to make improvements at the intersection of Pascack Road and Washington Avenue that councilmen approved but Mayor Janet Sobkowicz .

Sobkowicz said she wants a cost estimate before signing any agreement and also said she will not agree to make the intersection 56 feet wide, which is part of the improvement plan.

"I think it will change the entire character of this community," she said, adding that a wider intersection might encourage more motorists to use Garden State Parkway exit 168.

Councilman Joseph D'Urso said action needs to be taken to improve the intersection, which causes major backups during the morning and evening rush hours.

"Here's an opportunity to improve that disaster of a corner right now," he said. "At this point, you've stopped it."

But Sobkowicz said she is continuing to talk with county representatives about the plan.

To help figure out a total price, Councilman Richard Hrbek said he would break the agreement down into a spreadsheet to show who is responsible for each item and provide a cost estimate. That way, he said, officials will have a better idea of what the final cost might be.

Township Attorney Kenneth Poller explained that if the mayor signs the agreement, the township will be contractually obligated to pay for the items listed, no matter what the cost.

Sobkowicz said she didn't consider the plan to be a shared services agreement because the township was responsible for many of the items.

"They're going to ask you to pick up as much as they possibly can," Poller said. "Part of this is the art of negotiation. The county wants this project, we want the project. They might give a little bit."

He suggested officials might want to set a maximum amount the township would have to spend if there isn't a hard cost estimate.

Sobkowicz said she would set up a meeting so officials could discuss the issue at length and would inform the council.

The next township council meeting is scheduled for Oct. 17.

Chris Cortazzo October 06, 2011 at 04:53 PM
At the very least there needs to be a turn signal on pascack as there is on washington, it is impossible to make a left hand turn at this intersection as it is currently constituted. The mayor is being ridiculous for thinking that a 56 ft intersection will encourage more people to use exit 168, the people that use it have no other alternative, hence the traffic problem. This part of Bergen County is very poorly served in terms of highway access, if you want to get to work, most people need to take the parkway, yet due to intransigent policies by some communities it is virtually impossible to get to a main artery without sitting in avoidable traffic. Bergen County is too densely populated place to dream about the years gone by when it was largely rural. Snarling traffic on quaint streets doesn't increase property value...
Gary Conkling October 07, 2011 at 11:10 AM
Wake up!! Washington Ave needs to be widened It is a major road going east /west, We live minutes from NYC. Do you think traffic is going to get better? Lost time, money and pollution waiting in traffic. It's not Mayberry any more.
Linda Murpy October 07, 2011 at 12:41 PM
Thank you Mayor for being consistent with this intersection. Yes, improvements need to be made, but this is too much. Fire Safety - the only department in town will never get out during rush hour - this intersection needs to having modules done to insure safety is our first concern. Yes, upgrades are necessary, but futher planning into all the communities in this area need to be addressed to. This is alot of county money and township taxpapers money to take an intersection from an F to a D. A better solution needs to be shown to the public to increase through put into this area. Sound decisions are best, not unacceptable plans!
Carey Grant October 11, 2011 at 05:14 PM
All of a sudden she grows a pair? How about getting tough with Verizon and telling them we don't want a tower they need to figure out another way to get their signal around. Use a distributed array. We don't give a crap that it costs more. Verizon execs will have to make only 2 million this year. BOO FREAKIN HOO. C'mon Madam Mayor. Leave a legacy before we vote you out.
Edward J Rodriguez February 26, 2012 at 05:44 PM
I live on Leigh terrace and went on Clinton ave to count the number of vehicles avoiding the corner of Pascack Road and Washington Ave. Within 15 minutes on a tuesday 22 cars. So, I challege the traffic experts to see why those are avoiding that corner. By, typically speeding between 35-45 mph on a 25 mph zone. Thats not counting after or before 5pm. Theres obviously a misscalcuation of 14 making turns onto Pascack rd and right onto Washington Ave or a head in the sand theory. Lets pretect our families and friends. The corner has many turning lanes and there all within our unsafe neighborhood. Opening a CVS on would make an over burden corner impossible to deal with. Please look at the whole picture. My kids can't go to my yard for fear of traffic coming from all directions.

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