Berkeley Heights Committee Considering Traffic Light at Springfield Avenue and Lone Pine Drive; Decision Expected at Next Meeting

ddce253e1a3743619e24_bh8-21.jpg
Members of the Berkeley Heights Township Council discuss the number of municipal cell phones distributed at its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 21. Credits: Deb Dawson
ddce253e1a3743619e24_bh8-21.jpg

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Whether or not a traffic light will be placed on Springfield Avenue at Lone Pine Drive will likely be decided at the Township Council’s next meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 11.

Traffic engineer Gary Dean explained the pros of such a light to the council during its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 21. He was presenting for the developer, the May family of the Berkeley Shopping Center, who would pay the entire cost of the light and of refurbishing Lone Pine Drive into a regular street. The cost is estimated to be $400,000. He said there would be no cost to the municipality.

Dean did a traffic study, which was later approved by the county to determine if a light is warranted.

“The May Brothers contacted me to inquire about the long range success of their shopping center, recognizing that the center has become a popular place for tenants. The charge I had was, ‘What can we do to improve traffic safety for our center and safety in the overall area. Ascertain whether a traffic signal at Springfield and Lone Pine would meet the needs,’” Dean said. Mayor Joseph Bruno said there was one pedestrian fatality there and Dean said there were 27 motor vehicle accidents.

“The time has come to modernize the shopping center, particularly with regard to left turns… A traffic signal can appropriately be justified” following all of the regulatory criteria. He said the light is not just for the CVS that is being built.

Dean said the signal would have a video camera to detect a vehicle approaching from Lone Pine Drive that would change the light on Springfield from green to red. If no cars are present on Lone Pine the light on Springfield would remain green. There will be count-downs at the pedestrian crossings and push buttons to change the light. Signals would also be coordinated electronically with lights at Snyder and Plainfield avenues “so there would not be a stop and go problem” down town.

Bruno noted there are now no crosswalks between Snyder and Plainfield.

Dean said he needed an approval resolution indicating the council’s formal approval of the light before any work could start.

Vendors from the south side of Springfield Ave. spoke in favor of the light, but no one was at the meeting to represent the businesses on the other side of the street.

Before reaching a decision, the council wanted to hear the opinion of the township planner and get some input from businesses on the north side of Springfield Ave. A letter will be sent to all businesses and homes within a 200-foot radius of the proposed light alerting them to the public hearing at the next meeting at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11. The planner was to submit his comments by the end of the week.

Also at the meeting, the council decided to reduce the number of municipal cell phones from 38 to 13 or 14 for a savings of about $13,000 per year. Currently 38 employees have municipal cell phones as compared to 11, 10, and 17 in New Providence, Long Hill and Springfield, respectively. Township Administrator Amey Upchurch is investigating
employee cell phone abuse and will submit a new policy for phones at the Sept. 11 meeting.

The mayor, council president, administrator, chief financial officer, town clerk, police chief, engineer, fire chief, OEM director, zoning officer, DPW supervisor, assistant DPW supervisor, waste water superintendent and the code official will have phones, some with data packages. All other phones will be eliminated. The monthly bill for the 38 phone is
$2,098.46.

The council unanimously approved a bond ordinance for capital improvements appropriating $1,608,873 and authorizing the issuance of $1,148,000 in bonds or notes. The Police Department, Department of Public Works, Fire Department and Road Department are all beneficiaries. The administrative area will get some new equipment
for records retention and there is money allotted to improve facilities, including a new dispatch system.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Honoring Sacrifice and Service on Memorial Day

May 25, 2018

On Monday, May 28, 2018, our Nation celebrates our most solemn event, Memorial Day.  In Berkeley Heights tradition, we will honor those who sacrificed themselves so that we may continue to live in the greatest country on earth.  I invite all residents to join us for the parade festivities and, most importantly, gather at our Veteran’s Park for a brief ceremony.

America has ...

Logic and Sensible Spending Take Priority

Logic.  It's what people use when endeavoring to complete things in the most sensible order.  Everyone knows that "logic" means sequencing events in a formulaic, predictable manner.  We learned this at a young age, as we observed Star Trek on TV and came to understand why Captain James T. Kirk relied on Spock as his first officer because his strategic plans were ...

I will draw on my experience to deliver a great future for Berkeley Heights

I am impressed with the day-to-day leadership of our Mayor and Town Council and I hope to help them continue to do great work. As I have been doing my research since deciding to run for a seat on our Town Council, I have learned a few things about all the work that has been happening in recent years.  For example, while plans for the Stratton House development were recently announced, our ...

How the Holi Color Festival Came to Summit; Event Planner Shares Her Story

May 21, 2018

Back in India, Holi was a holiday observed by almost all states. The holiday would be declared at all educational institutes and offices. It's a two day spring festival also known as the festival of colors. The festival signifies the victory of good over bad, the arrival of spring with the fragrance of flowers in the air and aura of warmth and happiness.

Holi festival is the time ...

Rain Didn't Dampen Our Vision for Art in the Park

The rain did not dampen our vision for Art in the Park!! Columbia Middle School was transformed into an art paradise, filled with an array of artists whose talents are nothing short of magical! The Peppertown Park Art in the Park Committee would like to thank all of the artists who came to our very first Art in the Park event. We are in awe of your creativity and immeasurable talents! You all ...

Union County College President Received Prestigious Award from Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society

May 26, 2018

CRANFORD – Union County College’s President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin was one of 35 college presidents from throughout the nation to receive a Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction during PTK Catalyst 2018, the Society’s annual convention, in Kansas City, Missouri, held from April 19-21.

The award honors college presidents who have demonstrated ...

A Better Summer with the Y: Join by May 31 and Have Your Joiner Fee Waiver!

From now through the end of May, new members joining the Berkeley Heights YMCA will have their joiners fee waived, because at the Y we believe that everyone deserves to reach their health and wellness goals. With a savings of up to $95, you can focus on the perks of being a Berkeley Heights YMCA member:

Unlimited attendance to more than 100 group fitness classes a week
• State of ...

The New Providence 2018 Memorial Day Parade Begins at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 28

The Borough of New Providence and American Legion Post #433 invite all to attend this year’s Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 28, 2018.   The parade will begin at 10:00 a.m., rain or shine, at Springfield and Central avenues. Post 433 and the New Providence Community Activities Department have co-sponsored the town’s Memorial Day Parade for more than 65 years. The parade, ...

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

May 19, 2018

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

Cycling Champ Laura Van Gilder Returns to Somerville Memorial Day to Defend Race Title

May 26, 2018

 

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Laura Van Gilder, 54-year-old cycling champion from Cresco, Pa., will return to defend her title at the 75th annual Tour of Somerville on Memorial Day, attempting an unprecedented fifth win in the 25-mile women's race, just one of several races that begin at 10:30 a.m..

The Kugler-Anderson Tour of Somerville, often referred to as the Kentucky Derby of ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, May 26, 9:00 AM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Aunt Carrie's Attic Sale

Giving Back Other

Sat, May 26, 11:00 AM

Home For Good Dog Recue, Berkeley Heights,

Dog Adoption

Other

Sat, May 26, 2:00 PM

New Providence

Memoir Writing Workshops @ NPML

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, May 31, 11:30 AM

Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit

Fortnightly Club Scholarship Luncheon

Food & Drink Giving Back

Thu, May 31, 1:30 PM

Coppola Ristorante, New Providence

Lunch and Learn: Dental Implants and the ...

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_69a5db118db45d8f5de0_cabaret

Thu, May 31, 7:00 PM

Gov. Livingston Cafeteria, Berkeley Heights

Gov. Livingston Hilltop Players Host Annual Relay ...

The Evaluation of the College Search

It’s is a bizarre time of year as a college counselor as I find myself at both the beginning and end of this process.  Sophomores and juniors are excitedly and idealistically starting to consider what will be important to them in a school.  At the same time, while only separated by a year or two, my seniors have all committed within the past month to a school and have spent the ...

How to Design Your Ideal Retirement

Would you like to design your ideal retirement? Where do you begin? First of all, what does retirement mean to you? If you’re in a relationship, does retirement mean the same to you as it does to your partner? Do you know if your “ideal retirement” is affordable or just a pipe dream?

In past generations, retirement planning didn’t involve very much. You stopped work ...

Don’t Make These Three Mistakes About Social Security

Social Security has been around for decades and it’s not about to disappear. Why? Social Security is not an entitlement ("gift") that can be taken away - it’s a forced savings scheme that Americans pay into in their working years in order to secure a pension for life. Ideally, Social Security should not be your sole source of income in retirement but even comfortable ...