Cul-de-sac to be Considered for Maple Avenue
Resident said any resolution is a good one if it helps stop thru traffic.
The Montville Township Committee will be discussing options to curb traffic on Maple Avenue in Pine Brook during Tuesday night's meeting, the most expensive of which could cost the township $150,000.
Township Engineer Anthony Barile Jr. presented three options to the township committee in a memo dated April 19. In it, he described coordinating with residents Herb Eggers and Tony Speciale, two residents of the Maple Avenue neighborhood.
Eggers, who has opposed the construction of a cul-de-sac on the street in the past, said he did not wish to comment Monday and Speciale did not return a call for comment.
Residents appear to be split on what resolution to the traffic issue they would like the township to pursue. At the March 13 meeting, Barile Jr. presented findings of the traffic study to the township committee that showed that more often than not, drivers are speeding in the neighborhood of Maple Avenue, Margaret Drive and John Street. The main concern is that drivers appear to be traveling at an excessive speed to cut through the area between Route 46 and Route 80.
Barile's first option for consideration Tuesday includes creating a cul-de-sac at the intersection of Maple Avenue and the driveway for the industrial complex at 10 Maple Avenue, noted as "Location #1." The cost estimate for construction of a cul-de-sac at that location is $85,000.
"The Location #1 plan was discussed with Mr. Herb Eggers who was not pleased with the design," Barile wrote in the letter.
The second option, which Barile said was favored by both Eggers and Speciale, includes the construction of a cul-de-sac at the intersection of Maple Avenue and the industrial complex at 34 Maple Avenue and would include some "related improvements," such as landscaping and curb replacement, costing an estimated total of $150,000.
The third option involves using temporary barricades to block off Maple Avenue so that the township and engineer can spend more time examining the effects of blocking off the road before building a cul-de-sac. The barricades would be made of a heavy plastic and filled with water and could be reused once they are no longer needed on Maple Avenue, Barile noted. The cost of the barricades and signage would total about $5,000.
Committee members seemed surprised by the results of the traffic study on March 13 and asked Barile to gather more information about the costs before a decision was made.
Maple Avenue resident Sylvia Walits said Monday she would be happy with any of the options the township committee decides, as long as something is done about the traffic. Walits, 64, has lived on the street for 28 years and said she has seen the traffic issues get progressively worse. At the same time, more neighbors have moved in with children, she said, causing her to fear for their safety. Walits said she has been raising her concerns to the township for years.
"I always feel like we're the little section that's always been forgotten," she said.
Walits speculated motorists have shared the concept of cutting through the neighborhood with their friends and now it is a known route.
"We're the little section that people find out by error, then one tells one, then the other one..." she said. "You look out your window and we have a traffic jam."
"Our biggest issue is it's getting to the point where it's dangerous to walk."
Walits said she has heard that some committee members believe the traffic study may have been flawed, but that she and her neighbors can attest to the severity of the traffic problem in the area. She is hoping the township committee acts on the issue Tuesday.
"We're open to anything, but we also feel that (the committee members) need to understand that numbers don't lie," she said.
The Montville Township Committee will be meeting Tuesday at 8 p.m. in open sesssion at the Montville Township Municipal Building.