The unanimously voted Tuesday night to pass an ordinance that will make Maple Avenue a dead-end street. Temporary barriers will be put into place, approximately 200 feet from the intersection with New Maple Avenue, as of July 2.
Many residents of Maple Avenue and the surrounding area came to the meeting to speak for and against the ordinance. This ordinance was recommended by Township Engineer Anthony Barlie Jr., who . The study pointed out a substantial amount of traffic was passing through the Maple Avenue neighborhood to reach the entrance of Interstate 80 East.
Residents who spoke during the public discussion portion of the meeting expressed mixed feelings toward the ordinance.
“I think we should close it, there is non-stop traffic,” Barbara Burke said in favor of the ordinance.
“Closing Maple Ave. is misguided,” said Bill Groome, expressing his concern that the ordinance would isolate the homes and decrease property value.
Art Weber was in favor of the ordinance because of safety concerns. ”There is excessive traffic, and there are more kids in the area now, than when my kids were growing up.”
Before a vote was taken, there was a discussion about the realtor at 10 Maple Ave., who has expressed concerns over losing driveway access due to the barricades. Committee Member Scott Gallopo explained this will not be a problem because “the location of the temporary barricades are enough north so they can back out of their driveway and exit.”
Committee Member Deborah Nielson empathized with residents who have been involved in this heated issue.
“We do respect your comments, and do respect everyone’s opinion, but this is the solution that is, I hope, going forward,” Nielson said.
The passed ordinance not only makes Maple Avenue a dead-end street, 200 feet from its intersection with New Maple Avenue, but it requires proper signage to be placed on Maple Avenue, John Street and Margaret Drive where they intersect with Bloomfield Avenue, and also on New Maple Avenue to advise motorists that Maple Avenue is closed to through traffic.