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Cul-de-sac to be Considered for Maple Avenue

Resident said any resolution is a good one if it helps stop thru traffic.

The 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 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. 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.

See drawings of all three options here.

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.

BobD1950 April 24, 2012 at 12:55 PM
+ LOWES traffic..? .. thank goodness that did not happen.
Jack Kroll April 24, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Why can the street be made a one way street with traffic restricted from flowing in the way that the cut-through will be beneficial? This would stop people from using it as a cut through for the cost of a few one-way signs.
Peter Greendyk April 24, 2012 at 01:48 PM
I like Jack's idea...It seems to me most of the flow is from 46 West through to 80 East. One ways also would not impede emergency vehicles, since the First Aid Squad gets a fair share of calls in that area.
Keith Olsen April 24, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Dear Neighbors, Please come to the Township Committee meeting to express your support for a PERMANENT cul-de-sac on Maple Ave! A temporary barrier is a good short-term solution to keep our kids safe, but we need to be sure it doesn't sit for years as an eyesore at the end of our street.
Keith Olsen April 24, 2012 at 06:23 PM
While many of vehicles are coming from Route 46 through Maple to access 80, there are still a significant number of vehicles (including delivery vehicles traveling at high speeds) coming in the other direction out of the office complex at 34 Maple to access Route 46. The traffic studies presented at the last meeting clearly showed this. One way signs wouldn't address this part of our traffic problem.

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