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politics

TV Producer Presses For Limits on Closter Road Traffic

Marc Votto on the side of Closter Dock Road in Closter.
Marc Votto on the side of Closter Dock Road in Closter. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Signs note speed restrictions and limits for trucks in residential areas.
Signs note speed restrictions and limits for trucks in residential areas. Photo Credit: Courtesy Marc Votto

CLOSTER, NJ -- A local resident is pressing officials to reduce the speed limit and curb tractor-trailer traffic on busy Closter Dock Road.

"I'm from New York, and when we bought our house on a double-yellow-line road, we didn't realize this was such an issue in Closter and Alpine," said Closter resident Marc Votto, 42, an NBC-TV producer.

The married father of three has launched a social media campaign and distributed fliers with help from friends and neighbors.

"It's a main thoroughfare for tractor trailers and commercial traffic going to industrial areas of Northern Valley and Rockland County," he said. "There are other roads that can help shoulder the burden."

Lanes on East Palisade Avenue are wider, have more sidewalks and are restricted to 25 mph in response to increased traffic there, Votto said, but nothing has changed on Closter Dock Road.

"Vehicles over 10 tons are not allowed here. But we have 18-wheelers with construction on the back, or have 10, 11, 12 cars on them," he said. "The law is not enforced."

Last month, officials in Haworth reduced the speed limit on a local road from 40 to 30 mph.

"We have received several favorable comments from the residents on Schraalenburgh Road. It appears the drivers are respecting the lower speed limit through the residential section," Haworth Mayor John Smart told Daily Voice.

In Closter, however, "the town has a file dating back to 1979 that is two inches thick with complains about the road," Votto said. "Children are playing in our front lawns and driveways next to an 80,000 lb vehicle traveling at 35 mph."

Votto said he won't back down.

"Just a reduction in the volume of commercial traffic would be great, and a reduction in speed - 30 mph for cars and 25 mph for buses and trucks," he said. "Otherwise, it's a tragedy waiting to happen."

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