Students Get Their Way: 4-Way Stop To Be Put in at Forest and Chestnut Streets

The stop signs should go up after the Montclair Council passes the resolution on second reading on Feb. 5.


Montclair Cooperative School students won a four-way victory on Tuesday night. 

The student-lead effort to place a four-way stop at a hazardous intersection next to the school gained approval from the Montclair Council yesterday and is expected to be in place within a month. 

A new traffic study of the intersection at Chestnut and Forest streets found there to be slight change in the traffic flow since the study was last done in 2009, said Montclair Business Manager Marc Dashield. The new findings, he added, “meet the criteria” to warrant the installation of a four-way stop. 

“The biggest contributing factor is that [the intersection] is near a school,” said Dashield. 

The study’s findings came as welcome news to more than a dozen students and parents at the meeting, as well as 2nd Ward Councilor Robin Schlager, who discussed the issue at a 2nd Ward community meeting the previous night.  

“I would welcome a four-way stop there,” said Schlager. “... I saw firsthand; it is a dangerous situation.” 

Montclair Cooperative School and its athletic field is located around the intersection. The streets meet at the top of a steep hill on Chestnut Street, and there is also an overpass nearby which NJ Transit trains use. Ruthie’s Bar-B-Q & Pizza is located on another corner of the intersection.

The posting of a four-way stop at the intersection will bring a successful end to the student effort that began in the fall with a letter writing campaign by seventh- and eighth-graders. 

The resolution to add the stop signs to the area will be voted on at the next council meeting on Jan. 22. It will then go before the council for a second and final reading at the council conference on Feb. 5. Although it is unusual for the council to vote on agenda items during conference meetings, the council agreed to expedite the process. 

“The sooner the better,” said Deputy Mayor Robert Russo.

The resolution is required to take 20 days before it goes into effect. However, the council will accelerate the process and is expected to waive the waiting period so the stop signs can be installed soon after the resolution is passed on Feb. 5.  

scarletxknight January 11, 2013 at 03:23 AM
as someone who lives at that intersection, i would have much rather a "no parking" sign on the right side going towards park st. as that blocks vision of oncoming traffic if your coming out of forest street. no parking on a hill like that would make things easier year round for residents and sept-june for kids alike. I think its a good idea to have a four way stop for the sake of cars coming in/out or turning into/out of forest st.
montclair feed January 11, 2013 at 05:29 PM
Shame on the Council Person that refused this request because he / said that it was all about going to lunch at the Pizzeria. The post "Land of Entitlement" is also right on. I was raised to look both ways before crossing. LOL . Children are to respect their elders (authority). I saw and heard a kid say to his Mother " wait ten minutes" when she said "let's go",,, Now that you got me started... On my block, there's a parent that has singlehandedly encouraged kids to walk/run/skateboard/bicycle in the street with NO regard to traffic and not wearing helmets !!! and dare traffic.
mandy January 11, 2013 at 06:22 PM
I also learned stop at the corner, look both ways, if NO CAR IS COMING....cross. NEVER cross unless a driver has seen you, and signaled for you to go. Cross on the light. Never walk between parked cars....and that means YOU! Mothers who have babies in strollers. I've seen countless Moms crossing between parked cars pushing strollers....seemingly oblivious to the fact that they were pushing their children into traffic in front of them. Side note: saw a Mom with baby strapped to her chest cross by Forest/Chestnut today. She crossed a little farther down the hill towards the HS, out of the crosswalk by 5-10 feet....which also would have made it physically impossible for any car coming down Chestnut towards the HS to see her before it was too late. Thank God she wasn't hit. THEN we'd get a stop light there.
Audrey Lynn Wanich January 14, 2013 at 12:17 PM
This town was not designed for so many cars and buses to be driving through it. We need lights, stop signs, speed traps at so many intersections we'd never get to our destination. Sometimes the solution is not about adding but about subtracting.
A. Gideon January 15, 2013 at 10:22 PM
"If you cross at the cross walks your view is not obscured. " I meant that, as a driver, my view is obscured. That is why, as I wrote, I approach that intersection on Chestnut as if there were a stop sign there already. ...Andrew


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