That is the message being sent by the stretch of Broad Avenue in Englewood in front of Cong. Ahavath Torah.
Last week, 80 solar-powered colored LED lights were embedded in the street and curb in front of the synagogue.
This is the latest effort in an ongoing safety campaign at the synagogue, following the death of Dr. Paul Kudowitz in a hit-and-run accident while walking home from Ahavath Torah on a Friday night last year.
“It’s part of a comprehensive safety plan,” said Englewood Police Chief Arthur O’Keefe, who oversaw the installation of the new safety measures. “We’re working to improve street lighting and cut down shrubbery that’s blocking signs, while educating people to wear reflective clothing when they walk, and to walk on the side of the road facing traffic.”
The lights themselves were donated by their manufacturer, Luna Road, after Englewood was unable to fund the project itself.
“We don’t say no to saving people’s lives,” said Luna founder Tomas Sheleg, explaining the donation of $30,000 worth of lights. The Israel-born inventor and former Bergen-county resident has previously donated solar-powered lighting to a Haitian refugee camp.
Sheleg’s lights use solar-charged batteries to run high-efficiency colored lights.
In front of Ahavath Torah, blue lights line the curb, and red lights mark the crosswalk.
Now, “both pedestrians and drivers have a bigger awareness of the fact that this is the point where accidents may happen. The driver can see the crosswalk from half a mile away. Because of the flashing lights, the pedestrian notices that he’s entering the crosswalk.”
“It draws attention to the shul as an area where drivers should be more careful,” said Shmuel Goldin, the congregation’s rabbi. “It’s wonderful that it brings together the synagogue and the town and their cooperation with us. We’ve been having regular meetings with the police chief and other officials concerning safety around the shul. The police have been very supportive and helpful, as have the other city officials.”