Millburn Township Committee Hears Traffic Troubles

The Millburn Township Committee Credits: Karen E. Hughes

MILLBURN, NJ - The Millburn Township Committee met for their regular meeting on Tuesday evening. The agenda included two special resolutions and three ordinances up for second reading and consideration of adoption, but Complete Streets and traffic concerns dominated the evening.

Deputy Mayor Jodi Rosenberg reported on the upcoming NJ Transit disruptions and outlined alternatives for residents during the construction. Due to prohibitively high costs, the town will not be hiring a private bus service to run from Millburn to New York City, but Rosenberg highlighted that Boxcar, Inc. is offering bus service during the disruption from Millburn and Short Hills. Boxcar, Inc is not endorsed, contracted or affiliated with the Township of Millburn and the township is not liable for any issues patrons may encounter with the use of this service. The cost for a one-way fare is 13.99, and additional information can be found here

Traffic dominated the narrative starting off with a discussion on an ordinance regarding turning prohibitions at Marion Avenue and Old Short Hills Road. Ordinance 2483-17 stipulated that the left turn would not be allowed from 7:00 am to 9:00 and 2:00 to 4:00 pm on school days. During public comment, residents expressed concern that the ordinance didn't go far enough and that the committee should consider the larger problems common to the intersection. Mayor Cheryl Burstein withdrew the ordinance with a committee vote was pending further 

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Burstein outlined two additional ordinances that the committee will consider in the coming months. The Millburn Police Department has requested that the speed limit on Millburn Avenue from Short Hills Avenue to Wyoming Avenue and on the entire length of Essex Street be lowered to 25 mph. This ordinance is scheduled for consideration in July. Secondly, based on a complaint from a resident in the Glenwood section, the committee will look if an ordinance is warranted regarding raising chickens in the township.  

Burstein then called for new business and Committeewoman Dianne Eglow shared her commentary on Complete Streets. In a statement later shared on social media, Eglow outlined her position on an upcoming Phase 2A survey to include written responses on Phase 1 and suggests a feasibility study to evaluate eliminating flexible parking and go back to traditional curbs. Additionally, Eglow referenced an email shared with the committee from an unnamed Millburn EMT regarding traffic impeding emergency vehicles.

Public comments saw residents take up the issue of Complete Streets. Ed Mazer sought clarification on the difficulty Eglow expressed regarding emergency vehicles while another resident inquired if there was new traffic data available to compare to the pre-Complete Streets accident numbers.  Resident Judy Rosenthal questioned if the engineers met code with their designs and echoed many of Eglow's Complete Streets comments. Cary Heller asked if it was possible to involve the Millburn town planner and stated that "Phase 2 needs to be done. Not the way it was designed, but it needs to be done." 

The meeting adjourned and the next Township Committee meeting is scheduled for July 18, 2017.

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