MAHWAH, N.J. –Kate Nunez has been trying to get traffic relief in her West Mahwah neighborhood for three years.
And she finally may have done it.
After advocating for stop signs to slow motorists cutting through her neighborhood when traffic backs up on northbound Route 17, she discovered an ordinance approved back in 2001 for a no-left-turn sign at the corner of Route 202 and Brook Street that was never installed.
“Most people when they are directed by their GPS or they know the area, that is the first street they turn down,” Nunez said of Brook Street.
She said the sign was recently installed, and she hopes it brings some relief.
Nunez said she bought her house 14 years ago, when there was much less traffic in the neighborhood. She blames technology for the drastic increase in motorists.
“All the GPS systems, Waze, Google Maps, they all have this programmed in. We are now getting like hundreds of cars an hour coming through our neighborhood,” she said.
It is heaviest in the summer, when motorists are “heading upstate for summer weekends,” she said. Drivers stuck in bottlenecks at the New York State Thruway and Route 287 often travel backroads through her neighborhood to Suffern, and onto the Thruway.
“You can’t walk on our street,” she said. “The most beautiful time of year when you want to be out walking, riding a bike, whatever, and you can’t do it,” she said.
Nunez said once the summer hits, she’ll know if the no-left-turn sign helps relieve the volume of motorists, or if she’ll have to advocate for more interventions, like similar signs for other streets.