Safety issues remain a real concern in Summit

Safety issues remain a real concern

Mayor Nora Radest and Police Chief Steven Zagorski

This Letter to the Editor was written before a 10-year-old Summit boy was injured in a crosswalk on his way to school on February 3, 2023. Thankfully he was not critically injured but please let this serve as a reminder that we need to always look out for others, especially when navigating our city streets either in a vehicle, riding a bicycle or on foot.

Dear Neighbors:

More than 22,000 residents and the 17,000 plus people who commute here for work or transit use our city streets each day. As traffic congestion in our region continues to grow, safety issues surrounding speeding remain a real concern for the Summit Police Department.

While it is simple to identify the problem – too many of us drive too fast or cross the street without paying adequate attention to what is happening around us – it is more of a challenge to affect lasting behavioral change in our community.

The Summit Police Department and city Engineering Division have redesigned several essential roadways with a focus on traffic calming and getting drivers to slow down by narrowing lanes, installing all-way stops at key intersections and speed humps. Flashing beacons and more than 50 marked crosswalks in the downtown and hundreds of crosswalks throughout the city allow pedestrians many safer crossing options. City agencies continue to work together to improve streets and intersections in areas in and adjacent to the downtown and other high traffic areas.

We have also employed increased enforcement by the department’s traffic unit and have been stopping and citing motorists for speeding and other offenses. Our community education campaign is ongoing and targeted to times of the year when pedestrian traffic increases – at the beginning of the school year and during the arrival of warmer weather.

Starting this month, you will see more information on vehicle and pedestrian safety being shared from the Summit Police Department and City of Summit. It is our goal to further educate and remind everyone to exercise caution when driving or walking and look out for others. In partnership with the schools, we are sharing safe drop off and pick up practices for families.

We pledge to continue to reimagine how to best improve Summit’s existing streets, intersections, and sidewalks to benefit all who use them. It is imperative that all citizens make a similar pledge to make the safety of others a priority.

Thank you for your attention and support.

Mayor Nora Radest and Police Chief Steven Zagorski

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