This is the second position paper from Rupa Kale and John FX Keane articulating their point of view regarding safety in the Borough. Their position is based on conversations with residents and studying the issue including best practices from neighboring towns.
Rupa and John recommend that the following actions be taken:
Create a clear and concise downtown parking plan: Given the growth in the Borough and the addition of new downtown businesses, the downtown area is experiencing increased traffic. We need an updated strategic plan that supports our business while ensuring driver, pedestrian, and cyclist safety while working with our Police Dept, the County, and taking into account studies that reveal best practices.
Ensure easy to access tools and education: Our parking plan should be readily available to residents and visitors in print, on posters and digitally.
Post color-coded parking maps: Signs that clearly mark available parking locations in the downtown business district would help drivers (employees and customers) find parking and reduce congestion in popular locations.
Designate employee parking zones: Employees of the downtown businesses would be offered designated parking in the municipal lot at Borough Hall and provided with a decal for their car. This would free up coveted spots close to the businesses.
Implement right-turn only zones: Restricting drivers to make right turns only in the heavily trafficked downtown area would improve pedestrian and vehicular safety. We recommend a zone that extends from the intersection of Gales Drive and South Street around the corner to the intersection of South Street and Academy with the assistance of our Police and Union County. We also recommend studying traffic patterns near the high school to see if another right-turn only zone is warranted.
Implement a left-turn signal at the intersection of South Street and Central Avenue: A left-left-turn signal would alleviate traffic congestion at the intersection and increase pedestrian safety along with the assistance of our Police and Union County.
Install flashing speed limit signs: Flashing signs would increase driver awareness of speed limits and would calm the traffic in key locations especially on South Street from Mountain Avenue to Central Avenue.
Create a stronger partnership with our Safe Routes to School volunteers: Safe Routes to School, a volunteer run group, has created a plan to ensure a safe, walkable path from every home in New Providence to the local school. With Rupa and John on the Council, they will give their full support and resources to our volunteers.
Designate additional cross-walks to accommodate increased pedestrian traffic: We can improve the walkability of New Providence by creating cross walks that support new pedestrian traffic patterns in conjunction with our Police Dept and Union County. For example, we recommend a cross-walk between Gales Drive and the intersection of South Street and Springfield.
To discuss these recommendations or for more information, visit kaleandkeane.com.