RARITAN, NJ - The Raritan Borough Council is continuing discussions on traffic and pedestrian safety after a series of Raritan residents addressed the council with concerns.
The council discussed placing speed humps on Weiss Terrace to reduce traffic safety concerns in the neighborhood, a conversation that had been carried from a previous meeting.
Weiss Terrace was recently re-paved through a grant from the Regional Center Partnership. Speed humps were included in the neighborhood’s construction budget, though placing them there is still up for debate. Weiss Terrace residents have expressed a desire for speed humps in their neighborhood.
“It’s not going to cost us more than we anticipated, it’s something that the residents of the area have asked for,” said council president Nicolas Carra. “So, to me, it seems like a no brainer to do.”
The council is responsible for resident safety and can make the decision about what goes on the roads, councilman Michael Patente, who brought up the traffic concerns, said.
It was agreed that a speed hump will be put on Weiss Terrace. As a next step, the borough engineer will need to settle on a location and coordinate with the contractor in charge of re-paving the streets.
In addition to the speed hump on Weiss Terrace, Patente discussed increasing signage, including “Children at Play” signs, in certain neighborhoods, specifically on Weiss, Woodmere Street and Meehan Avenue.
While a speed hump on Weiss Terrace is a positive step for the neighborhood, traffic and safety still remains an issue throughout the borough. The council will continue to discuss and plan for a borough-wide traffic study to pinpoint problem areas and make future plans.
Borough engineer Stanley Schrek has been looking into this process, and it is expected to be discussed at the next council meeting Oct. 27.
“Stanley had suggested that maybe a whole town study was appropriate, so he was going to look into seeing what would be involved in getting a whole town study,” Patente said.
Borough planner Angela Knowles said that doing a town-wide study will be beneficial to see how updates to specific areas will impact traffic throughout the borough.
“I think the example was they wanted speed humps on Weiss Terrace. doing that might discourage residents from traveling on that road, but then they might go to a different street and speed down a different street,” she said.
All council members agreed that a borough-wide traffic study will be beneficial.
Councilman Pablo Orozco, who moved off of Anderson Street just two days before driver Ronald Rebernik hit and killed one-year-old Matias Ortega who was walking with his mother and brother on the sidewalk, said that following the incident, the implementation of a four-way-stop helped the neighborhood's traffic flow.
“We voted to have some speed humps on Weiss and I’m all for that, but I want to see what else we can have done for the rest of the town as well,” Orozco said. “I know that every little neighborhood and every street has their own issues that need to be dealt with in their own ways, and that’s why it’s important to have this traffic study done sooner rather than later.”
The council said they hope the borough engineer and chief of police, who will lead the study, can be in attendance at the Oct. 27 council meeting, to solidify plans.