Government

In Westfield, Raritan Valley Rail Coalition Gives Updates on One-Seat Ride

2e2496b588b82592e39d_53a910d5fb15ae51da22_IMG_3544.JPG
State Sen. Kean, Freeholder Estrada, Real Estate Professional Mary Ellen O'Boyle, RVRC Peter Palmer, Freeholder Kowalski, Freeholder Bergen and Freeholder Mirabella at Monday's RVRC meeting. Credits: Kate Brochu
e5fdd35066401e042de4_3d1fec3540cdfd3e7c3f_IMG_3537.JPG
Raritan Valley Rail Coalition Chairman Peter Palmer is welcomed by Westfield Mayor Andy Skibitsky at Monday morning's RVRC meeting. Credits: Kate Brochu
2e2496b588b82592e39d_53a910d5fb15ae51da22_IMG_3544.JPG

WESTFIELD, NJ —  Raritan Valley Rail Coalition Chairman Peter Palmer spoke about the possibility of a one-seat ride on the train line during peak hours at the RVRC meeting held Monday morning at the Westfield Municipal Building.

“The news is not good,” Palmer said.

According to Palmer, in order to gain any progress on the one-seat ride initiative, Penn Station needs to be renovated. He's pushing for advocacy so that New Jersey commuters will be considered during renovation planning.

Sign Up for E-News

“The Raritan Valley Line clearly deserves the one-seat ride into Manhattan,” said Palmer, who added that until improvements are made to tunnels, Penn Station and Newark, a one-seat ride is likely not possible.

“The only way is to take away service from some other line and that doesn’t seem to be realistically feasible or politically feasible or whatever you want to say,” he said.

Palmer, along with six Raritan Valley Rail Coalition trustees and two staff persons, met with NJ Transit staff on Thursday, Sept. 28, to propose the possibility of an early evening one-seat ride. The proposal was turned down due to the shortage of track space in New York Penn Station, according to meeting notes from the Quarterly One Seat Ride Briefing between NJ Transit Staff and the RVRC trustees.

Local real estate professional Mary Ellen O’Boyle of Sotheby’s International Realty discussed the trend in Transit Oriented Development and how it may impact local downtown areas at Monday morning’s meeting.

“On the positive side, this really could be fabulous for all of our towns,” she said. “It can encourage businesses to come into the towns and open up shop because they know they’re going to have the foot traffic.”

O’Boyle went on to address the downside of the increase in population due to the new development in regard to transit.

“If you have even five thousand people and even half of those people get on the train, that’s another twenty-five hundred people trying to get on a train at rush hour,” said O’Boyle, who used this example at the NJ Transit meeting in September. According to O’Boyle, NJ Transit suggested that they would add additional train cars if they noticed that the volume could not be managed with the existing trains. O’Boyle said that this isn’t necessarily a solution as some train station platforms are not long enough to accommodate longer trains.

“It’s going to be a real challenge for them,” she said.

O’Boyle went on to address concerns about the high occupancy housing market as it relates to increasing the number of students in our schools. Mayor Robert Fazen of Bound Brook, along with Cranford Director of Downtown Business and Economic Development Kathleen Miller Prunty, said that their experience has found that very few children inhabit the high-occupancy apartments.

“The school population just has not skyrocketed, it simply hasn’t,” said Prunty, who noted that most occupants are empty-nesters. “Let’s also remember these developments pay enormous property taxes that go to support the community and the school system,” she added.

Attendees at Monday's meeting included former Westfield Mayor and Vice Chairman of the RVRC Tom Jardim, current Mayor Andy Skibitsky, mayoral candidate Shelley Brindle, several freeholders and New Jersey State Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

The next meeting of the RVRC has not been scheduled, as members of the coalition do not want to plan meetings without having new updates to share. Until then, Mindy Scarlett, a marketing strategist representing the RVRC, encouraged the public to visit the coalition’s social media platforms and to share their petition and topical news to help spread the word and strengthen advocacy for the Raritan Valley one-seat ride.

Palmer concluded the meeting by announcing the end of his two-year term as the chairman of the NJTPA. Union County Freeholder Angel Estrada will take over the role in January. 

TAPintoElizabeth.net is Elizabeth’s free daily news source. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TAPElizabeth and Twitter @TAPElizabeth. 

 

Download the TAPinto App!   Click here for Android.  Click here for iOS.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Elizabeth

Upcoming Events

Wed, February 21, 6:00 PM

Vauxhall Library, Vauxhall

Club Teen: Painting Class

Arts & Entertainment Education

Wed, February 21, 7:00 PM

Congregation Beth Israel, Scotch Plains

Course on Biblical Interpretation Taught by ...

Education Religions And Spirituality

Union County Freeholders Partner in Two Upcoming Hiring Events

February 17, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders have announced two hiring event opportunities coming up with Griswold Home Care of Union County and the United Airlines “Summer Assist” youth program.

The first event is with Griswold Home Care of Union County. They are a privately owned, non-medical home care company and are looking for Certified Home Health Aides ...

“Hidden in Plain Sight” - A Presentation Centered Around a Teen’s Bedroom 

ROSELLE, NJ - Elizabeth Parents, grandparents, caregivers, when it comes to your children and drugs, do you know where to look? Do you know what you are looking for? You may be surprised at what is "Hidden in Plain Sight."

The Roselle Everett Hatcher Prevention Coalition and Prevention Links invite all parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers and other adults from the city of ...

At Westfield High School, Student Says ‘It’s Almost Normal to Juul Here’

February 16, 2018

Editor’s note: This story about the rise in teen e-cigarette use, written by Westfield High School student Greta Frontero, originally ran in the Jan. 8 edition of WHS student newspaper Hi’s Eye.

WESTFIELD, NJ — A 12th-grade Westfield High School female said she doesn’t bring her Juul to school, but will use someone else’s if the opportunity ...

Indictment Handed Down in Millburn Carjacking

February 21, 2018

TRENTON, NJ – An indictment was handed down in the November carjacking in Millburn where a 13-year old girl was allegedly grabbed by the neck and the suspect threatened to kill her. 

The 11-count state grand jury indictment charges Ahmed Anthony, 30, of Newark with conspiracy, carjacking, robbery and making terroristic threats among other charges. The conspiracy in the first-degree ...

Democratic Party Would Be Making a Big Mistake by Not Recognizing Colleen Mahr's Talents

February 19, 2018

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a valuable friend to the Township of Cranford. Whether it’s offering advice and assistance during devastating flood cleanup, supporting the Mayor's Council on the Rahway River, or her insight and assistance in meeting our affordable housing obligations, Mayor Mahr is always there for Cranford.

Colleen’s fairness and integrity is ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

Mintz & Geftic Secures Class Certification for Drivers in Wage and Hour Case

February 16, 2018

Is your employer failing to pay you time and a half for working more than 40 hours/week?

Is your employer misclassifying you as an independent contractor rather than an employee to avoid paying overtime premium pay?

These are some of the allegations being made by the plaintiffs and their attorney Bryan Mintz, of Mintz & Geftic LLC, against Big City Automotive and its ...