Government

Pedestrian Safety and Unfinished Construction, Poses Concern Among Montclair Residents

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MONTCLAIR, NJ - At Tuesday night's town council meeting in Montclair, residents attended to address multiple areas of concern regarding traffic safety in the town. Following last week’s deadly motor vehicle accident involving a pedestrian on Grove Street, residents are growing increasingly concerned.

First resident to speak was Pat Kenschaft who believes one of the main problems on Grove Street is a lack of street lights making it nearly impossible to see pedestrians crossing the street.  

“Following the terrible tragedy last week I really believe it was due to lack of appropriate lighting,” she said.

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She als suggested a sign could be installed, indicating a dangerous intersection is approaching and more parking enforcement near intersections and crosswalks. Currently, too many people are parking illegally, making it difficult to see pedestrians and oncoming traffic.

While Kenschaft does not suggest lowering the speed limit near Grove Street, she does ask the council to increase police presence in this area to help enforce the speed limit and to be sure people are not parking too close to stop signs and crosswalks.

Another resident who came before the council was Michael Stahl who was concerned about the many unfinished construction projects in town. Currently, Valley Road between Bloomfield Avenue and Church Street is still under construction even after the project was completed over two years ago.

“Most of us will agree that Valley Road in this area is a mess,” said Stahl “There are potholes and patches every where making the road very uneven.”

Also, with Orange Road closed, traffic is rerouted to this area, exacerbating this problem. Stahl asked the council why there is a need to close Orange Road completely when a simpler solution would be to have traffic directed by the police.

Another unfinished project in the town according to Stahl is the fountain on the traffic circle on Church Street.

“This fountain was once a beautiful centerpiece of the town, but now it is in great disrepair,” he said. “I thought this fountain was supposed to be enhanced by the developers of Valley and Bloom.”

Stahl said the council needs to require developers to finish projects before beginning others.

While members did not address their reasoning for closing Orange Road, they did agreed with many of the statements made by Stahl. They said they would continue to be in touch with the developers to be sure these projects get completed.

However, before the meeting was open to the public, the mayor and council presented three proclamations to members of the community. The first proclamation declared June as Scleroderma Awareness Month and was to a young girl in Montclair who suffers from this condition. Scleroderma is a chronic connective tissue disease generally classified as one of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases and currently has no diagnosis.

Council members also honored resident Nadine Sherwood, a well known resident of Montclair, who recently passed away along with the Premiere Dance Theater of Montclair who celebrated their 25th anniversary.

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