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4-Way Stop at Chestnut, Forest Streets Could Be Up By Early February

The first reading of the ordinance nearly brings to an end a student-led effort by Montclair Cooperative School students that began in the fall.

 

Students rallied to make the streets around their school safer, and the Montclair Council listened. 

The first reading of an ordinance to place an all-way stop at the intersection of Chestnut and Forest streets was unanimously approved by the township council on Tuesday. The second and final reading will be at an upcoming council conference.

The proposal for the four-way stop was endorsed, said 2nd Ward Councilor Robin Schlager, "by the Montclair Cooperative School ... as well as our township engineer, who deem this a necessity on that corner."

Montclair Cooperative School, at 65 Chestnut St., is located at the intersection where the stop signs will be placed. In addition, the school's athletic field is located nearby on Chestnut Street at the bottom of a steep hill where there is a narrow train overpass.  

At the start and end of the school day, the intersection is teeming with students and cars. Ruthie’s Bar-B-Q & Pizza is also located at the intersection – a favorite after school hangout for students. 

Eighth- and seventh-grade students at Montclair Cooperative School got behind the idea of placing a four-way stop at the intersection in the fall. At the time, they organized a letter writing campaign to local officials urging them to act.

Throughout the end of the year, students and parents also spoke at public meetings about the issue. 

Concerns over the intersection were heightened after Jan. 2 when a pedestrian was hit by a car crossing the intersection. The pedestrian was sent to a local area hospital with minor foot injuries. 

Two signs will be placed to stop traffic driving through the intersection on Chestnut Street. There are currently stop signs at the intersection on Forest Street. 

The council is expected to approve the ordinance on second reading during the next council conference. It is also anticipated the council will "fast track" the ordinance, said Township Manager Marc Dashield, and vote to waive the 20-day waiting period for ordinances to regularly go into effect. 

The signs will be put up shortly thereafter.

"We are expediting this process," said Deputy Mayor Robert Russo.

montclair feed January 23, 2013 at 02:58 PM
""We are expediting this process," said Deputy Mayor Robert Russo." Yes !!! please do. There shouldn't be any compromise .
Joseph David January 23, 2013 at 04:21 PM
This situation here is a testament to how ridiculous our society has become. "We are expediting this Process" ??? Really?!? If you were expediting this process, you would have called whomever it is who has the stop signs and posts, and given them a work order to hammer these signs into the ground right after children came to you and said they were concerned. This is appalling...that the town just talks about it, and then talks about it, and then sends the proposal to a "town engineer", and then "fast tracks it". Are you kidding me? Enough with the red tape...and councils...and mayors! It's kids we're talking about. Put the damn signs in the ground and move on to something else. Why does our society dictate that we must drag out every issue?
Joseph David January 23, 2013 at 04:23 PM
It's why NOTHING ever gets done in our society. Because we just drag everything out. Apparently it takes 5 months to hammer a couple of signs into the ground. Fascinating.
Townie January 23, 2013 at 07:45 PM
If a pedestrian had not been hit by a vehicle in the intersection, just as this proposal was being raised (and initially denied) this story might have ended differently. As it was it happened pretty quickly. The Council meeting where this was first raised and where all the students showed up was on Dec 11. Rome wasn't built in a day, the parts that were didn't meet code.

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