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.