CALDWELL, NJ — A handful of Caldwell residents attended the mayor and council meeting Monday to discuss ongoing safety issues on Forest Avenue with the borough.
Over the past two years, according to the residents, there have been many serious car accidents, including three flipped cars, which they said were mostly due to reckless driving. Many residents feel this could be prevented if a four-way stop was implemented at the corner of Forest Avenue and Hatfield Street.
According to residents, cars have been know to speed on Hatfield Street—sometimes traveling more than 40 miles per hour, making it incredibly dangerous for not only other drivers, but pedestrians as well. With Lincoln School not far from this intersection, the situation has become even more urgent.
“It seems that there are more and more children living on Forest Avenue and more and more are walking to school and it’s a really dangerous situation,” one resident said. “Something needs to be done.”
Mayor Ann Dassing agreed that this is an issue that needs to be looked into and reported that a traffic study would be conducted shortly.
“We had a discussion with our traffic officer last week and he said we had a traffic study conducted many years ago where we had car counts taken,” she said. “So the first thing we need to do is get another study done on both streets to see the number of cars passing by. Then we need to get a traffic engineer to determine the rational of a four-way stop.”
However, not all council members agreed a four-way stop was necessary. Councilman Richard Hauser said that he believes a stop sign is what will help prevent accidents because the main issue on this street is speed.
“When people aren't following the law to begin with, what makes one think they will follow another law if it is enforced?” he said.
In the meantime, the council has asked the Police Chief James Bongiorno to strictly enforce the speed limit at this intersection until a traffic study is conducted.