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Route 46 Pedestrian Fencing Slated for Cleaning and Repair

Fence was installed by the state in 2009 but since has fallen into disrepair.

A fence erected by the New Jersey Department of Transportation four years ago to save pedestrian lives has become more of an eyesore than a lifesaver, but thanks to a program of the Morris County Sheriff's office, its condition may improve soon.

The fence was installed in 2009 on the island between the east- and westbound lanes of Route 46, beginning approximately at Arlington Plaza and extending to Dunkin' Donuts, after several pedestrian-involved motor vehicle accidents, including one incident in which a person died.

As years passed, the quality of the fencing deteriorated, and some pedestrians reportedly climbed through holes that developed in the fencing in an effort to avoid walking to the crosswalk. During the Feb. 5 Town Council meeting, some residents pointed out that in addition to these holes, the fence is marred by the appearance of litter and debris. And because some walkers opt to take a short cut through the fence, they continue to put themselves and motorists in potential danger.

“Keeping Parsippany clean and educating the public on pedestrian safety is the easy part," Mayor James Barberio said in a news release. "It’s not so easy to get the call when a pedestrian has been struck by a motorist and is severely or fatally injured.”

According to his office's statement, Barberio contacted Morris County Sheriff Edward Rochford to request that the "unsightly island" be cleaned up by Sheriff's Labor Assistance Program workers. The mayor said Sheriff Rochford agreed to schedule SLAP workers to clean the area in the near future.

Barberio also said he also plans to ask NJDOT to repair the fence and implement a plan to better manage debris that collects in the area.

Parsippany Parent February 20, 2013 at 12:45 PM
Disrepair? Ever since it was installed it has looked terrible, not only has it been crooked and not level, but it also looks like a cheap temporary construction fence. If you are not going to do it right, why do it at all?
Wilnj February 20, 2013 at 12:50 PM
That's exactly what it is there for. There is no fence at the crosswalks, which is where you're supposed to cross.
Jeff February 20, 2013 at 01:36 PM
Fully agree with previous post. As soon as it was installed it looked ugly and I knew it would only get worse. My suggestion is just to take it down. People will continue to do stupid things regardless if the fence is up or down.
Jackie T. February 20, 2013 at 01:36 PM
Mayor Barberio why is it all of a sudden now in an election year you're trying to clean up this fence, what have you been doing for the last 3+ years? Nothing
lorraine steinheimer February 20, 2013 at 01:42 PM
i sure hope the soultion that Denville decided on does not become a reality in Parsippany.The monstrosity bridge they built to get across rt 46 cost millions and it's rarely used,and such an eyesore.
lorraine steinheimer February 20, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Yes it should never have been erected to begin with.
Scott Dean February 20, 2013 at 01:53 PM
If the fence is taken down can we ship it to Rita drive? Just consider it as a recycling (going green) decision.
k hurley February 20, 2013 at 02:27 PM
A "monstrosity bridge" is just one of the expensive and ugly proposals attached to the Waterview/WholeFoods project. Maybe Parsippany can get a quantity discount if they build a couple of them????? And let me ask, "If a chain link fence can't be maintained, how will huge steel bridges?"
K Monsour February 20, 2013 at 04:44 PM
This mayor is strictly laughable and he is the making for a klutzy figure in a cartoon show, basically an emperor with no clothes on. His picture above says it all. This eyesore of a prison fence was brought up so long ago by my neighbors and NOW he is just getting to it. This mayor's woefully inadequate standard operating procedure has become nothing more than: "Don't do anything until my re-election is on the line, then I will finally wake up from hibernation, pump out a bunch of press releases with township letterhead for press to see and hopefully make up for some type of inactivity and convince the township-at-large that I am actually doing something".
Kevin M February 20, 2013 at 05:09 PM
Residents see right through your knee-jerk nonsense Mayor, where were you three years ago on this? Do you need eyeglasses? Do you need a stronger prescription? We have been looking at a Rahway prison-like fence without barbed wire atop since 2009. And since you took to the driver seat of this township, you have cared NONE, UNTIL NOW (conveniently election time). You’d get more respect from townspeople if you just admitted to dropping the ball on this issue too. Mr. Mayor, if you really want to do something, have whomever you need construct a more aesthetic fence to enhance this business district, or is that too much of a proactive, pro-business approach for you to handle? (That is if the fence absolutely has to stay there, because it is NOT serving its purpose - period). Mr. Mayor if you are unable to determine what looks nice, consult with someone who has that ability. I am sure the state will work with you on a solution which will benefit the township and the state simultaneously. Oops, there I go again--doing the mayor's job to bring about positive, proactive solutions for residents, businesses along Route 46, the township's beautification needs, and the state in its ongoing mission to enhance the aesthetics of this fine state. So while the Mayor is doing that(his job finally), Parsippany residents need to find someone who can and will lead during ALL YEARS of their administration, not just the months and days leading up to a primary and election.
Kathy Morgan February 20, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Mr. Mayor (for now) stop forcing Parsippany settle for less, this awful structure needs to be reconstructed at the very least. I don’t care how many county prisoners you have picking up the trash (an issue in itself), it will not address the detection center-like characteristic of this fence.
Beth Bluj February 20, 2013 at 05:56 PM
It would be nice to see all this energy regarding fences at tomorrow night's BOE work session to address the deplorable conditions of our school facilities - one item in particular, the fencing at both our high schools. You think this Route 46 fence is an eyesore - take a walk up to PHHS or PHS and look what is going on there. Tomorrow night, BOE Building, 7 pm. Come out and demand more from our school board as well.
gina s. February 20, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Did the DOT (the state) put up the fence? I may be incorrect, but this is a state road is it not...isn't it their responsbility to maintain (just like they plow the road..not Parsippany DPW)? Anyone know?
Sabot February 20, 2013 at 06:27 PM
I know it'd be an extra expense for the State (it's 46 so they pay for it), but why not a more decorative wrough iron 4 or 6 foot fence with the sharp spindles? They look good and you could impale yourself trying to jump them, unlike chain link which you can not only jump but break through.
JFK February 20, 2013 at 07:33 PM
I watched the fence go up in 2009 and knew then it would be not maintained by DOT....we are lucky to have them cut the grass along the highway and intersections!! That's how the holes got in the fence by the large DOT mower getting snagged on the chain link. Mr. Mayor, if we let our houses in Parsippany turn into a mess / eyesore in ..... can we use inmate labor to fix it up ?
Kevin M February 20, 2013 at 08:48 PM
The state DOT put up the fence during the Corzine administration, under the Luther mayoral period (another useless mayor, much like his successor) with the sign-off by the then-township council. If you ask the members who sat on the 2009 township council why they supported this fence, you get a lot of "hum eh duh, hum eh duh, hum eh duh." and historical nonsensical recounts as to why it was a grand idea. The fence installation was severely flawed, sections of it are off-level and the contraption was/is an eyesore. All along, no township official did the right thing to hold the DOT's feet to the fire to get it right the first time and maintain it. Regardless who keeps it up now-- it still is an ugly substandard chain link fence that brings down the business community and our residents' spirit, especially those of whom own homes in this section of town and see the monstrosity DAILY. The only area resident (from Lake Hiawatha) not bothered by the fence was the mayor UNTIL NOW because it's election time. So now the mayor is out of hibernation to appear to residents as if he has been on the job. During his time in office, the mayor must have been making a lot of right-hand turns off North Beverwyck onto Route 46 and no lefts to avoid looking at or doing anything about the fence.
Vic February 20, 2013 at 08:52 PM
Greg - there was even advertising hung from this fence supported with plastic zip ties. It took the mayor and his illustrious examples of slackers in zoning ten months to finally notice/take down the sign along one of the busiest thoroughfare in the township in late 2012. So, maybe the sleeping Mayor can answer Gina S's question as to whose responsibility it is to maintain it. Don’t count on it Gina, he is just realizing now there is an ugly fence on Route 46. The fence needs to be either taken down or a more attractive, aesthetic barrier replace it!
Chris February 20, 2013 at 08:56 PM
How about they install some sidewalks along 46. I see people walking to and from the bus stops every day and they are always walking on 46 so they don't have to trudge through the mud. Parsippany is a very anti-pedestrian town.
lorraine steinheimer February 20, 2013 at 09:06 PM
yes i agree sidewalks would help with the safety of rt 46 walkers,also it would be more pleasing to the eye.
abby February 20, 2013 at 09:22 PM
talk about an ugly sight, Lake Hiawatha still looks like a war zone from IRENE! Agree that it should have been addressed 3 years ago, however, the priority of cleaning and fixing the fence before cleaning up Lake Hiawatha is simply selfish! That nice little town I grew up in is disgusting, I dread when I have to visit that area!
Jim Bradley February 20, 2013 at 09:29 PM
Jim Bradley I believe the complaining has overtaken the logic behind the installation of the fence to begin with. There exists short distances, traveling in a car, to perform a U -Turn if you must get to the other side of the highway to your destination. The purpose of the fence is to prevent pedestrians from crossing a four lane Highway which may result in the death or serious injury not only to the pedestrian, but also to the driver of a car who is attempting to avoid the pedestrian. I can see no logical reason for someone parking on the shoulder of the highway, to cross to a business on the opposite side, except for laziness, which is not logical when vehicles are traveling at 50 miles per hour. Remember that Highways are for vehicles, not for Pedestrians. A fence or other barrier is the only device that should be utilized in this area as there is no reason for a Pedestrian to be crossing the Highway in any situation except in an emergency. The Pedestrian bridge installed in Denville was placed for a completely different reason. With a large recreational area on the Westbound side, and a fast food restaurant, along with a residential area on the Eastbound side, the volume of Pedestrians crossing to both destinations is high. In this case a bridge was necessary to help prevent Vehicle/Pedestrian conflicts. Since it is "ugly" only for the five minutes that you pass it, keep your eyes on the road in front of you like a safe driver should.
Sabot February 20, 2013 at 10:16 PM
Jim, you sound informed and reasonable, which leads me to suspect you're not from around here or on this board very often.
Bob Crawford February 20, 2013 at 10:25 PM
The Route 46 Pedestrian Fencing symbolizes the Barberio mayoral tenure. An obstruction full of holes surrounded by litter in need of repair. Parsippany deserves and requires better. Doubt anyone will be on the fence when the November election comes along.
Sick of the Bull February 20, 2013 at 10:45 PM
First of all, the Mayor has nothing to do with the ridiculous fence. Rt 46 is a state highway and therefore is maintained by the state. Secondly if you are stupid enough to cross a highway without ample time to safely cross, you deserve the consequence. Most of you folks bashing the Mayor are idiots. Is he perfect? No. Has every Mayor had a few gaffs? Yes. I have lived here for almost 50 years and as far back as I can remember there has always been some kind of issue for people to complain about. If it were up to me I'd bring back Frank Priore... the best mayor this town has ever has...unfortunetly his mistakes forbid his ever coming back.
Robyn M. February 21, 2013 at 01:41 AM
Yes! In many areas there are no logical ways to get where you want to go. I was contemplating the walk to the high school, as I was driving down Vail Road. The sidewalks should run both sides of the road, the full length. But, they don't. There should be sidewalks all the way from the junction of 46 and N. Beverwyck through town. But, there aren't. There are asphalt sidewalks in many neighborhoods that are trip hazards and are broken. There are concrete sidewalks that are being patched with asphalt. Walking in our town requires intense strategy to ensure you don't get killed.
Robyn M. February 21, 2013 at 01:44 AM
The Mayor is (unfortunately) the spokesperson for our Town and should be able to create an appealing atmosphere for those of us who live here, whether it's via town resources or by working on the town's behalf at the state or county level. Most importantly: No one deserves to die crossing the street!
Mike February 21, 2013 at 02:59 AM
Didn't Frank P. get all the cops that have been retiring or soon to be retiring the lucrative contracts that are costing us dearly?????
VietNam Vet February 21, 2013 at 06:05 AM
I have to agree!
VietNam Vet February 21, 2013 at 06:12 AM
Ohh Beth, give it a rest for awhile, nobody is worring about the schools today. There are more things to worry about in this town. If you want things cleaned up so bad, why don't you and the rest of the mommies get together and pool your money and pay for it yourselves, just like I was told by this townyears back when I had my business.
Jim Bradley February 22, 2013 at 11:46 PM
Just a question. How many Pedestrian Accidents have occurred since the installation of the fence? Also, by having the area cleaned up by the SLAP Program, will that not save the township some tax dollars? Which should not be spent by the town on a state highway in a state that is currently having Budget problems?

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