Members of a newly formed Ridge High traffic task force with representatives from the Board of Education and Township Committee met last week as planned, and one decision made was that the public will be invited to the next meeting, Bernards Deputy Mayor Carolyn Gaziano said.
As discussed beforehand, Gaziano said Wednesday's meeting did not include discussion of specific proposals for addressing the longstanding traffic backups that occur on school mornings at the Ridge entrance at 268 S. Finley Ave., near the traffic light at the intesection of Lake Road.
Township and school officials both announced at their meetings last week that at the initial meeting they would set the parameters of a joint task force to try to address
That's what happened on Wednesday, Gaziano said after the first meeting. "I feel like we made really good progress," she said when contacted on Friday.
Gaziano and Township Committeeman John Carpenter were among those at the meeting, which also included two members of the Board of Education and Schools Superintendent Nick Markarian.
Gaziano the board and township representatives are looking to hold the next joint task force meeting in a public forum, subject to the entire school board's approval for that plan.
The Board of Education next must formalize its participation in a joint task force with the town at its Oct. 29 BOE meeting, Markarian said.
"Assuming that happens, the intent was to participate with the town to host a meeting to accept public input on this issue," Markarian said. Since the BOE has not had the opportunity to officially formalize its commitment to the joint task force, a Nov. 5 date under discussion remains highly tentative, he said.
McGowan last week said the task force is not intended to include members of the public. However, she said the task force would be looking at ways to solicit input from the community.
At last Monday's board meeting, resident Bill Connors asked that members of the impacted Homestead Village — where Ridge buses have been diverted since lst February — and also neighbors of the school entrance on South Finley Ave., be included on the talks force.