Monday, December 28, 2015

How Are Those 4-Way Stops Working Out?

In 2015, the City Council approved eleven new 4-way stops at intersections deemed to be dangerous.

The success of this legislation depends on driver attention and compliance, so having seen many a vehicle breeze through lights at Park & Seventh after they turn red, we're wondering how drivers are handling the decision-making at the 4-ways.

Residents asked for the signage in hopes of reducing speeding and accidents. The first ones were on Hillside Avenue where it crosses Evergreen Avenue and Prospect Avenue. After a tragic accident in October, concerned residents called for more 4-way stops.

At the Dec. 14 meeting, the City Council approved final passage of an ordinance designating nine more 4-way stops. The intersections are:
Belvidere Avenue and Ravine Road
Grant Avenue and Sherman Avenue
Watchung Avenue and Kensington Avenue
West Third Street and Monroe Avenue
West Fourth Street and Monroe Avenue
West Eighth Street and Field Avenue
West Eighth Street and Hobert Avenue
West Eighth Street and Spooner Avenue
West Ninth Street and Arlington Avenue

The last one is the site of the accident in which a driver failed to stop and struck a van, causing the death of a girl, 10, and injuries to several other children.

The rules call for drivers arriving at 4-way stops to yield to cars on the right. If you live near one of these intersections where signs are up, please share your impressions of driver compliance.



  1. Plainfield police are still not cracking down on reckless drivers of cars and dirt bikes on city streets and sidewalks. Richmond st and north ave to Beckmann is a drag strip. If the same was happening on sleepy hollow lane they would've be stopped from day one .

    1. When residents in any part of town take an active approach to policing their own neighborhood and choose to call the police (non-emergency number) to report suspicious activity, wrong-doing or recurring issues in their neighborhood, matters will be addressed and you will see a change, that’s been my experience for some time now.

      I've repeatedly made calls to Police, Inspections and DPW regarding the Berckman/Richmond/East 7th area and the appropriate authorities have always responded quickly and taken whatever necessary action; whether it's parked cars filled with people smoking pot, local repeat offenders racing cars down the street, illegal dumping or cars parked on lawns, etc. Action has been taken each and every time AND it’s not Sleepy Hollow, so let’s not make it a class issue.

      No matter what part of town you live in, if it’s your neighborhood, own it! Don’t wait for the police to take care of a problem that they don’t even know exists. The residents are the eyes and ears of the City authorities and it’s us, the residents, who help in keeping our streets clean and safe.

      You are entitled to quiet and peaceful enjoyment of where you live so don’t think you’re being a “snitch” by reporting nuisance behavior or potentially harmful activity. It’s obvious the person causing the problem has little to no regard or respect for you or other residents. The offender needs to be held accountable.

      Speak up! Don’t make it a class issue when it's not.

    2. You're funny I don't want hear all your chit chat about taking responsibility. Plainfield police just do your damn job and patrol that speedway on north ave. And stop trying to turn our patrol cars into a bunny ranch.

    3. Of course you don't want to hear my chit chat that means YOU would have to get involved.

      Take a different approach and things might actually work out in your favor.

    4. A different approach ? I'll just move to netherwood heights problem solved . Great police patrol no playing on cell phones up there. They only do that in the 1-4 wards even if you CALL and complain like I have .

    5. I'm sorry that's been the case. I suggest you reach out to Police Director Carl Riley for help.

    6. It never ceases to sadden me when I view comments such as, " if it happened on Sleepy Hollow lane it would be stopped". It is my observation that the police operate even handedly, without preference to racial or economic status. But more troubling are the oft repeated references to "those people", or, "those people up in the hill".
      The implication being that the white population is arrogant, has no real regard for the condition of the non-white population, and are recipients of special privilege. As to the privileges from government I have failed to encounter them. Privilege is dispensed, if it dispensed at all, to those who control the vote. This is America. One man, one vote, Who constitutes the majority? Not the 8% remaining white population. As to bigotry, I may have lived in a rarified atmosphere, but in our 60 years of residency I have not encountered any white people who are bigots. Are they out there? Perhaps. But damn few. Until understanding is reciprocal and the jibes stop, the harmony most of us seek is impaired.
      Bill Kruse

    7. Dear Bill, One man one vote beautiful idea in theory but in practice it's something else. People on probation can't vote and why and how they got probation or worse is because of a unfair system from top to bottom. But you wouldn't know that experience and also I never mentioned white or black and that were I defeat you guys position. I get y'all so upset with a reality that you're in denial of that the subject of race spews forth out your mouth and mind not mine. Privileges of government? I guess not you've been bequeathed the benefits of 310 years of free labor. Peace and justice on earth for all.

    8. @Anonymous 4:02 - you obviously have bigger issues to contend with than those not being resolved by the Plainfield Police Department.

      You don't have to mention black or white in your comments for anyone to understand that is the intent of your remarks.

      Unfair system, perhaps? The systems is unfair to so many people for so many different reasons. If you play the victim, you will be the victim.

      It seems that no matter what anyone says, you choose to wallow in self-pity, hate and anger.

      The absurdity of it all is that a basic blog post about 4-way stops has, inevitably around these parts, turned into classic race and class banter.

  2. As much as I am pleased that the streets noted got new stop signs, I'll be the first to say there should be signs in english and spanish explaining, yield to the right, as MOST people don't know the rules of the road.
    BUT.. if you ever want and interesting 30mins..sit on West 8th and watch the already speeding drivers GUN the engine of their cars and watch them attempt to make the light at Park and West 8th. Honestly, as much as a pain in the butt as it would be for me personally, I wish there were speed bumps and stop signs on the stretch between Central Avenue at West 8th all the way to Park Avenue at West 8th. Most people would simply no longer travel that stretch of the street. People speed all along West 8th as there is only 1 stop light along the stretch of it, compared to the numerous stop lights on West 7th.
    I realize my degree in Rocket Science helped me come to this conclusion, so I thought I'd share it with the city. Kensignton has speed bumps for the exact same reason, I don't understand why West 8th isn't riddled with them. There are also missing street lights from some of the intersections since Hurricane Sandy -- West 8th and Madison for example. This pitch black intersection has many school kids crossing at all hours of the evening on a section of street that has speeders racing to make the light on Park.
    ( I know, I know.. I could have spent 10-15minutes observing this, but instead I went whole hog and got my degree in Rocket Science to bring you all this information )

    1. We also need speed bumps on Pemberton Avenue! No stop signs as you come out of Cedarbrook Park to Plainfield Ave (or in reverse) its like a highway...they have to be doing at least 40-50+ mph. All day long. Sometimes you can't even get out of or into your driveway because someone is always on your rear end.

  3. I don't live near one of those four way intersections that have been completed, but my sister does - Evergreen & Hillside. I was worried that since I don't frequent the area daily it would be more difficult to get accustomed to. But it hasn't.

    My sister lives three house away from the stop sign. She loves it as it has dramatically reduced speeding in front of her home.

    It seems that that will be the effect for those nearest the intersections. Except there are adverse effects for those closest too - noise. Squeaking breaks, hard skidding and loud accelerations.

    These four-ways stops seem to be the wave of the future. They are all over Elizabeth and Newark now. A great tool to slow people down, but it wastes fuel and time for all of us in this mad rush called life.

  4. Hi Bernice,
    The Watchung and Kensington signs seem to be working well and I noticed four way stops on Prospect and Hillside and Prospect and Kensington. I suggested these four ways to Sharon years ago. They seem to be working when I have been walking or driving in the areas.

    1. Not sure wht Bob's talking about - I just biked down Watchung Ave today (12/28 about 2 PM) and there are no new 4 way stop signs at Watchung and Kensington.

    2. Am I blind? Or are they invisible to mere mortals but yesterday eve and this eve I saw no signs on Watchung.

    3. Those signs are on Prospect, but Watchung does need signs also. Thanks.

  5. All with the exception of Kensington and Watchung are workable and should accomplish what is desired. The Kensington/Watchung intersection, I feel should be better served with a flashing light with r3ed stop on Kensingtron to reinforce the stop sign, and yellow caution on Watchung a through street with not stop signs anywhere. Kensington traffic is under control by the bumps gong north, and the stop on Putman going south. It is no longer a speedway

  6. Hi Bernice. As I mentioned in a previous post I am pleased with them on Hillside and they seem to have slowed traffic down from when I moved onto the street one year ago. Speeding throughout the City is a huge problem and any steps taken to eradicate this issue are positive ones. Have a great New Year and a prosperous 2016.

  7. No signs at w8th and Hobert yet.

  8. Enforcement of speed laws would save
    lives. Issuing tickets will also save lives and generate much needed revenue for the city. With all the new apartments proposed, The excessive speeding must be addressed NOW!!!

    I'm certain once those (2) young men reached the Scotch Plains border, speed would not have been an issue. BTW. what were they doing here at that hour anyway?

  9. I live on Prospect and have witnessed several drivers blowing the stop sign. I attribute it to the stop signs being "new". I just hope that no one gets hurt.

  10. I saw someone roll right through the stop sign on Prospect at the corner of Hillside. Hopefully, Jim Spear is right and 4-ways stops are the wave of the future. Plainfield would benefit from having more. Kensington is a race track with no stops from Watchung to Park and the lower speed bumps are almost no deterrent to speeders. The corner of Prospect and Kensington has been the scene of several bad wrecks over the years. There are also only one stop on Watchung from 7th to Leland. The City could use several more stops.

    Tom Kaercher