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.