Resident-Only Parking Streets Designated; Other Traffic Concerns Top Clark Council Meeting

Mayor Bonaccorso and Business Administrator John Laezza respond to concerns about traffic safety in Clark. Credits: Kristen Busch

CLARK, NJ – Speeding, resident-only permit parking, and other traffic concerns topped the discussions at last Monday's Clark Council Meeting.

Bonaccorso began his report by reminding residents that school is now in session and to be safe driving through the neighborhoods. 

“Please be careful on the streets around the school area," Bonaccorso said. "We are already getting calls about excessive speed.  We want to be sure everybody gets there safely.”

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In response to residential parking concerns in and around the area of the Clark Rehabilitation Center, an ordinance to restrict parking in the area has been introduced. 

“The government and the police department will work with you folks not to make this a hindrance on you what so ever,” Bonaccorso said.  

Bullman Court, Cutler Place, Garside Place and Schuyler Drive will be resident-only permit parking from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. seven days per week, the ordinance states.  Permits will be issued to "qualified home-owners."  Additionally, each homeowner will receive six visitor passes.  

One-day passes for large gatherings will be available to affected home-owners through the Clark Police Department. The ordinance also allows permits to be issued to certain homes on Raritan Road and Old Raritan Road.

The public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for October 17. 

Councilman Brian Toal brought up a concern in the area around Kumpf Middle School where Mildred Terrace meets Brentwood Road and Kennedy Drive. 

“People are driving up and then crossing [the lane] into the opposite lane,” Toal said.  “It’s a 25 mph zone from Madison Hill Road to the Kennedy and Brentwood intersection, not 40, 50, or 60.” He will ask for police assistance to observe the area, he said. 

During the meeting’s public comments session, resident and Democratic mayoral candidate Dario Valdivia questioned the status of a study and possible light in the area of Raritan Road by Sunset Drive and James Avenue. 

“I know there was supposed to be a traffic study done before the Commons went up which I was assured was done,” Valdivia said.  He added that residents claim Councilmen Patrick O’Connor has not yet responded to questions regarding this study

O’Connor said that the information Valdivia had was incorrect. 

“When I was asked about it, we had said that after Clark Commons went in, if the traffic was going to be an issue, the developer would look at it and pay to have a traffic light put up," O'Connor said. "However, where we are with that is that the traffic hasn’t been an issue.” 

O’Connor said that residents were never told there would definitely be a light, but that it would depend on traffic.

Valdivia also brought up a concern about traffic on Raritan Road near Madison Hill Road.  “I see there is a line that doesn’t turn into a double lane until after it passes the funeral home there,” Valdivia said.  “A lot of the time when traffic is coming down, it turns into a single lane.  It doesn’t allow anyone to make that left.”

He said there should be a double lane on Raritan Rd from Featherbed to Madison Hill to ease congestion and allow an opportunity for drivers who want to make the left onto Madison Hill. 

Business Administrator John Laezza explained that Raritan Rd is a county road. 

“The county makes a determination as to the lines and lanes of the road," Laezza said. "I’ll bring it to the attention of the county.”

Resident Delia Collins also brought up two traffic safety issues. The first was the intersection of Raritan Road and Walnut Avenue, which she said was very dark in the direction of Cranford. Bonaccorso said he would speak to Cranford officials to see if a light can be installed. 

Collins then expressed concern about the traffic backup going into and coming out of Shop Rite via Shoprite Drive. 

Laezza said he had discussed the issue with Union County representatives. 

“They want to put a 'Do Not Block the Box' there,” Laezza said.  “We are waiting for them to do that.”

The township also recognized the promotion of Clark Police Lieutenant Antonio Manata and several department new hires. The Clark 10U girls travel softball team was also recognized for their achievement on the field. 

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