Westfield Town Council Hears of Traffic Safety Concerns in McKinley School Neighborhood

Tom Dries, a resident of the McKinley School neighborhood, tells the council that the parking lines on the street do nothing to improve safety in front of the school. Credits: Jackie Lieberman

WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield's public safety traffic and parking committee recommended to the town council Tuesday that the parallel parking lines on the street in front of McKinley Elementary School not be removed. Tom Dries, a resident who lives in the McKinley Elementary School neighborhood, has argued to the council that the lines do nothing to improve safety.

Dries could not remember the lines painted on the street in his neighborhood before August, when the town council maintains that they were re-painted more than 10 years after they were first placed there.

“These lines were repainted by DPW last August along with several other crosswalks, parking lines and other roadway safety markings throughout town prior to the start of the school year,” Councilman Keith Loughlin, the committee’s chair, told the council during its conference session earlier that evening.

Sign Up for E-News

In 2005, he explained, the public safety committee and the citizens traffic advisory committee held community outreach meetings to address safety concerns at a number of traffic locations in town, including McKinley School.

The issue in front of the school, he said, reading from a 2005 article in The Westfield Leader, was that roads were literally blocked by double-parked cars during school dropoff and pickup.

“The street markings are designed with safety in mind and provide safe line-of-sight views at driveways and crosswalks, especially during dropoff and pickup. So tonight, our public safety committee concurred with the recommendations of our traffic safety professionals to keep all the safety markings on Osborne, including the parking lines,” Loughlin said. “As I’ve stated before, the town’s safety professionals monitor all the school areas regularly and we will continue this practice. In addition, we are open to removing any roadway markings if the town’s traffic safety professionals determine they are no longer effective or needed.”

Dries told the council during their regular meeting later that evening that the parking lines did nothing to stop parents from double parking during pick up and dropoff.

“The police aren’t there. They’re not giving out tickets. People are double-parked, parked illegally and nothing’s being done,” Dries told the council. “If it’s a safety issue, why isn’t it being taken care of?”

He added, “You have to teach the teachers, the schools , the board of ed. In turn, they have to turn around and teach the parents and grandparents and whoever’s picking up the children. You just can’t thow up parking spots and signs and walk away. You’ve got to monitor it. You’ve got to go through with it.”

Mayor Andy Skibitsky thanked Dries for voicing his concerns.

“The lines will remain for now, but we will continue to monitor the situation,” Skibitsky said.  

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Update: Driver Escapes Icy River After Car Goes Off GSP Near Clark/Cranford Border

March 21, 2018

This story was updated at 11:40 a.m. Thursday.

CLARK, NJ — A car went off the road and into the river on the northbound Garden State Parkway between the Clark and Cranford exits during Wednesday night’s snow storm.

According to Clark’s chief of police, Pedro Matos, the car’s driver managed to escape the water — divers went into the river and determined the car ...

Synopsis of Westfield Board of Education Meeting on March 19

March 22, 2018

Following the board announcements, I noted the increased police presence at each of our ten schools, thanking the town and police department for their efforts.  I also noted that we’ve been working on updating our crisis communication plan in light of today’s climate of instant communication.

Board president Gretchan Ohlig thanked the mayor and police chief for working with ...

Upcoming Events


Fri, March 23, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve


Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM


March for Our Lives - Westfield

Government Law & Justice

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Burent Middle School , Union

Union County Wide - March for Our Lives

Government Law & Justice

Westfield Police Blotter: More Than $2K Worth of Items Reported Stolen from Business, & More

March 21, 2018

March 11, 2018 6:42 p.m.

Marion Bethea, age 56, of Roselle, was arrested on the strength of an outstanding warrant for her arrest from Columbia Municipal Court in the amount of $500 pursuant to a motor vehicle stop. Subject was processed and released on recognizance.


March 16, 2018 11:16 a.m.

Blas Barquin, age 34, of Cranford, NJ, was arrested on the strength of an outstanding ...

All Are Invited to Learn More about Youth & Family Counseling Service

March 21, 2018

Youth & Family Counseling Service (YFCS) has been helping area residents coping with mental illness, substance abuse and behavioral health issues since 1918. As a celebration of 100 years of service, all are invited to a gathering on Sunday, April 8, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Community Room of The Pointe at Garwood.

Started 100 years ago as the Mission of Help by St. Paul’s ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

Can I Change My Partner?

March 21, 2018

Couples oftentimes look to change the “other.” “If only” the other would make these changes, or do as I say, our relationship would be great. We tend to focus on the other. We tend to focus on changing the other. We tend to focus on the other’s negative behavior. Couples like to report what their spouse/partner is doing and how they are ...

16 Homes Sold Last Week in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside & Cranford

Sixteen homes sold last week, March 11 to March 18, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside and Cranford:*


TOWN        ADDRESS                  STYLE           RMS    ...

Charitable Spirit Alive and Well in Westfield Public Schools

Students, staff and parents in Westfield Public Schools continue the district’s long tradition of helping others both in and outside of the community, with a number of students recently recognized for their efforts.

Fifteen Westfield High School juniors and sophomores were honored by the Community Food Bank of New Jersey for collecting more than 5,000 pounds of food items for families in ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


The Day After

Some years ago, the United Nations held the International Summit on Sustainable Development, here in Johannesburg. The Summit was a great success. One wonders, though, whether all the wonderful decisions and resolutions that were adopted were ever implemented. In other words, were they themselves sustainable?

Good ideas and worthwhile projects are suggested regularly. The question is, do they ...

Financially Savvy Charitable Giving: Donor-Advised Funds

Americans are known to be philanthropic, with an estimated 83% donating to charitable causes. Making the donation convenient and tax-effective is a win-win for both charities and those with a generous heart. Donor-advised funds (DAFs) are a simplistic funding structure available to those with both small and large charitable giving pots.  

Mechanics of Donor Funds

DAFs can be set up ...


Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
Read more

Suspended Hillsborough HS Athletic Director Charged with Theft

March 19, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ — Suspended Hillsborough High School Athletic Director Michael Fanizzi has been arrested and charged with the theft of $10,704 in athletic event receipts over a four-year period from 2013-2017, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Fanizzi, 53, a resident of Conover Way in Hillsborough who had been athletics director for 14 years, had been ...