NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Councilwoman Nadine Geoffroy touted the residents’ efforts in making their neighborhood streets safer at the Monday, Nov. 5 council meeting. She especially complemented residents on Mountain Avenue and South Street for coming forward with traffic safety concerns and suggestions for improvements. Therefore, she suggested forming a new committee called the Citizens’ Traffic Safety Committee, starting next year.
Geoffroy had recently attended a South Street neighborhood meeting called together by a South Street resident Mary Housel. Geoffroy said she was inspired by “the passion” that residents expressed on the traffic safety issue. The proposed new committee would allow borough residents to seek solutions for traffic issues in a more formal manner, she said. After hearing residents on Mountainside Avenue and South Street, there seems to be “a desire” to form such a committee, she explained. The group of residents has already come up with many good suggestions, she added.
Councilman Robert Robinson also said that he likes the idea of involving citizens in traffic safety issues that concern the entire community.
Councilman Michael Gennaro suggested talks with the police as they may have some insight on traffic issues. Mayor Al Morgan asked Housel about the neighborhood group’s interaction with the borough police. He noted that the Public Safety Committee was going to be involved in the meeting between South Street residents and the police. Housel explained that the group’s plan is to meet with Captain Gazaway on Tuesday Nov. 6. Morgan said that he will attend that meeting as well.
Housel noted that New Providence needs to be made more walker and driver friendly. She pointed out that there has been an increase in both commuter and resident traffic. Morgan noted that the exact same thing was just recently said at the Public Safety Committee meeting. Our population grew in the 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s, but the roads were made in the 40’s, he said. “Hopefully we can find ways to calm the traffic down”, he added.
Housel provided the council with a preview of topics that residents plan to discuss with the police. She noted that the purpose of their neighborhood committee is to make South Street and its adjacent side streets safer for both pedestrians and motorists. The residents’ main concern is speeding vehicles up and down South Street as well as the difficulty in crossing South Street. She also said that Southgate Street and Woodland Street need to be made safer for drivers to turn onto South Street.
Housel also supported the idea of a residents based committee as suggested by Geoffroy. Additionally she thanked the council for the installation of a continuous sidewalk along Floral Avenue, but she noted that there should be a crosswalk at the Spring Street and Floral Avenue intersection. Borough Administrator Doug Marvin said that the crosswalk is already in the works.
Mountainside Avenue resident Kurt Thraen also expressed his gratitude to the council for passing the ordinance lowering the speed limit on a section of Mountain Avenue.