The following is from the fall issue of the Maplewood Leaflet

The Township of Maplewood is gearing up for a third round of grant funding to revitalize the Maplewood portion of Irvington Avenue. A county road in the north east corner of our community, Irvington Avenue, home to a thriving commercial district, has long been on the Township’s radar for streetscape improvements. “Just as the development at the southeast entry of Maplewood on Springfield Avenue is revitalizing that area and creating a ‘sense of place,’ so too does Irvington Avenue’s commercial district deserve an infusion of energy” said Mayor Vic DeLuca. “This is a long-term project that we are committed to.”

In 2013 the Township’s successful application for a $90K Local Demonstration Project award from Together North Jersey produced a work plan for Irvington Avenue streetscape improvements and other initiatives. A multi-disciplinary team including engineers, architects, marketing analysts and community organizers published in 2014 a forward-looking blueprint of priorities for recommended actions whose goal is to make the Irvington Avenue corridor a more vibrant, safer, pedestrian friendly commercial district.

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Building on the momentum of this foundational work, the Township urged Essex County to apply for NJ Department of Transportation funds to implement some of these initiatives through the Transportation Alternative Program (TAP). The County was awarded $850K, enough to make some streetscape improvements along the Irvington Avenue Corridor.

Two of the improvements benefitting Maplewood will be the installation of crosswalks providing pedestrian access between the Senior Citizen housing at 564 Irvington Avenue and the Walgreens opposite, and between the Diamond Gym and the Extra Supermarket, further southeast down the street.

This year, again at the behest of Maplewood, Essex County is applying for TAP funds to renovate and make streetscape improvements at the intersection of Parker and Irvington Avenues. Among the primary goals are to make this intersection safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, and to calm vehicular traffic. We are hopeful that Phase II of this project will be funded.