South Plainfield -- Calling it time for residents and commuters to have a workable, realistic plan for easing congestion on South Plainfield’s streets, the team of Chrissy Buteas for mayor and Joe Lambert and Joseph Sorrentino for council released a multi-point traffic plan that would make it easier for families and commuters to travel in the borough and make its streets safer for children and pedestrians.
The team called the plan a workable, cost-effective, and cost-efficient proposal that could enhance public safety and ensure a more orderly and efficient flow of traffic. They said the plan stands in stark contrast with the current borough administration’s proposed yet unfunded bridge over Hollywood Avenue that would cost property taxpayers tens millions of dollars and take years to be built -- if it ever is.
“Residents and commuters need a realistic plan that will make their everyday lives easier and end the time lost stuck in traffic now, not a pipedream years away,” said mayoral candidate Chrissy Buteas. “This is a recognition that our entire community can benefit from doable projects across the borough. And, we can do this without asking property taxpayers to spend another penny on a ‘Road to Nowhere’ that would cost them tens of millions of their dollars to build.”
The Buteas/Lambert/Sorrentino plan includes:
Strict enforcement of the truck ban on Hamilton Boulevard.
Installation of traffic signals at the intersections of Montrose Avenue and Hamilton Boulevard, St. Nicholas Avenue and South Clinton Avenue, and Oak Tree Avenue and Front Street to allow residents easier access to and from their neighborhoods and ensure a smoother flow of traffic overall.
Resynchronizing current traffic lights to maximize traffic flow.
Dedicated turning lanes at Durham Road and Helen Street, and Maple Avenue and Park Avenue to allow traffic to flow around new commercial developments.
Widening the turning radius and recalibrating the traffic signal at Maple Avenue and Front Street to allow more traffic to exit Front Street and alleviating back-ups.
Widening the intersection of Sampton Avenue and Plainfield Avenue to allow a greater ability of traffic to move through on a green light.
Installation of traffic-calming speed humps on certain residential streets used as pass-throughs, such as South 9th Street, in consultation with local residents to slow traffic and enhance pedestrian safety and the overall quality of life.
“As we walk across the borough talking with residents, the number one issue we hear about is traffic,” said Joe Lambert, candidate for borough council. “Traffic and congestion doesn’t just impact one section of the borough, its impacts are felt on every street and in every corner. These residents are tired of hearing of plans that are years away. They want relief now.”
“Commuters and pedestrians want solutions that can be put in place today, not another piece of paper meant to placate them that never gets done,” said borough council candidate Joseph Sorrentino. “We shouldn’t need to spend millions of dollars on engineering contracts and construction deals when we can make some common sense changes in the current fabric. It’s about bringing back the principles of cost-efficiency and cost-effectiveness.”
The trio committed themselves to working with state and local legislators to see their plan through. They noted a recent meeting with Rep. Frank Pallone, where they discussed the ability for the borough to have greater integration with cooperation from officials.
Buteas, Lambert and Sorrentino specifically noted the importance of enforcing the ban on truck traffic on Hamilton Boulevard given the number of children who cross the street on their way to and from school.
They also criticized the planning decisions that allowed for the construction of both the McDonalds and 7-11 without regard for adequately mitigating the traffic issues such development would create, as customers seek to leave and reenter the roadway.
“Taking definitive steps to ease congestion across the entire borough is critical to preserving and improving South Plainfield’s quality of life,” said Buteas. “Together, we can make that happen without saddling residents with years of debt or, worse, unfulfilled promises.”