Chatham Township Committee Ends Year with Discussion on Complete Streets

The Chatham Township Committee held its last meeting of 2012 Thursday night. Credits: Alexandra Lubischer
Chatham Township Committee member Kathy Abbott discusses the Complete Streets Program. Credits: Alexandra Lubischer

CHATHAM TWP, NJ - The Township Committee met for its final meeting of the 2012 calendar year on Monday night, and the focus was on the Complete Streets program.

Committee member Kathy Abbott gave a presentation for the committee and public on behalf of the Planning Board in regards to the “Complete Streets Program.”

“Complete Streets does not control us, we can control it,” commented Abbott, adding that the program is about “accommodating all users [of the road] and of all ages.”

The Complete Streets initiative is to provide safe routs of connecting people to their destinations whether on foot, bike or in a car. Various road markings and symbols could be used as well as larger improvements such as islands in the roadway. These potential improvements are intended to not only provide safety but also improve the ascetics of an area. Additionally, Abbott pointed out that by providing a safer and more inviting place to walk, the program could potentially boost retail “traffic” to local stores in the township.

This program would be in conjunction to the “Safe Routs to School” program that the Township also participates in.

Two Township residents spoke at the meeting. Marilyn Murry and Olivia Chambers both had opinions on the project; one woman was in favor and one woman was not.

Abbott said she wanted to make sure that the public was aware that the program does not only implement adding sidewalks to towns. She made it clear that sidewalks are not the only solution or intention for the program in Chatham Township.

The Complete Streets Program can vary in structure, however Abbott mentioned that the Sustainable Jersey Program did have a solid structure for Chatham to follow at the present time.

The Committee also spent a great deal of time discussing various improvements at the Tanglewood Recycling Depot.

A variety of state permits are required for the needed plant improvements, although none have officially been obtained. Different types of generators were also discussed for the plant as Hurricane Sandy confirmed the need for a permanent generator at that location and others in the Township. The Township intends to begin the renovations in the spring.

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