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Next Ridge Traffic Task Force Meeting Expected to Invite Public

Date awaiting approval of Board of Education.

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.

n October 15, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Two seats on the TC are up for re-election on Tuesday, November 6th. I suggest that, if residents are that upset with the school problem and the route behind town hall isn't open by Monday, November 5th, to go and vote for someone new to take those seats. Don't let this task force stall til after the elections. They've had since the last school season, plus the summer to set up this task force to "study" the situation and find a "solution". How about a temporary solution now and do the study during this temporary solution. If this driveway through the rear of town hall doesn't work out, then the experiment can be ended. It boggles my mind that the residents of Finley Ave, residents of Homestead Village and the traveling public have allowed the TC to stall and prevent something as simple as one way traffic in to the parking lot for students to park or to drop off. If you allow them (TC) to stall past the election, then you all have lost, because there will be no incentive to work this problem out.
Laura October 15, 2012 at 05:49 PM
I don't want the TC to spend a nickel of taxpayer dollars so spoiled children can drive or be driven to school by their spoiled parents. Remember this whole problem supposedly came about because drivers weren't following speed or drop off guidelines, creating dangerous conditions. Rather than get this under control with DISCIPLINE, the school officials and BOE foisted it onto a neighborhood and is now trying to get the town to fund the "solution" by building expensive new roads. We pay enough tax dollars for the school budget already, (which now we also can no longer vote on), solve the school problems out of that.
n October 15, 2012 at 08:02 PM
I concur w/you not having the TC spend money, but they burn money on other things you don't hear about. I never said pave the existing road, leave the gravel on the ground. It would encourage the drivers to slow down or hit a pot hole. The road is there, they only need to open the gate on the school side. Remember, it is the neighborhoods that are suffering. How would you like 25 buses driving down your quiet street or not being able to pull out of your driveway.
Johanna Martin October 15, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Wow Laura. I hope when I grow up I don't become an old grouch like you!
Laura October 15, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Right. In my day, we walked five miles in the snow to get to school, and if you cut across a farmer's field, he'd set the dogs on you. ;-) Now parents are cutting each other off in the drop off because they're afraid to let their teenagers walk 20 feet from the main entrance, and the Administration doesn't have the fortitude to stop them. How about trying a little supervision before paving over paradise to put up a parking lot. See, not THAT old.

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