Dancing in the streets
He dances his time away and whistles to oncoming traffic. He waves them by as he clears the way for pedestrians.
No matter when he works, whether it be early, late, cold, or hot he is always managing the traffic with a smile and often a little jig.
Edward Norton, commonly known as the dancing traffic cop, has worked at the intersection for over 43 years and has controlled the traffic to the best of his ability.
In downtown South Orange the streets often get crowded with vehicles and people.
The chance for an accident or wrong move is always a possibility no matter where you go.
But for the busy crosshairs of Valley Street and South Orange Avenue there is a protector of the intersection.
He spends his time in a relaxed nature, dancing and whistling until he gets off at 8 p.m.
He assists school children during their walks to and from school by having the traffic either halt or flow.
When he started his job, Norton said, he learned quickly how to control and maneuver the traffic around him.
“There was no training out here,” Norton said. “You had to be your own trainer. I just learned how to do it by working out here.”
Norton said his self-training seems to have paid off well with the reactions he gets from those who talk to him.
He likes to help people and children stay safe while crossing the street and keeping the general public happy.
However, the intersection is not always an unending stream of unproblematic driving.
“Sometimes the drivers are a little too quick on the gas pedal,” Norton said. “You run the chance of almost getting hit out here.”
As the seasons change, he remains the rhythmic tune in the middle of the street.
Through the summer heat and winter snow, Norton practices his post to perfection and gets great feedback from the surrounding citizens.
“I go downtown every day to use the train for work,” sophomore Ashleigh Muenzenmeyer said. “Every time I see him he is very into his job and passionate about how he does it. His dance moves always make me smile as I walk by.”
As the traffic increases and children attend school, Norton is always there to help ensure it is all done safely.
Not only is he a caring man who looks out for the citizens of South Orange, but he loves doing it.
Justin Beebe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.