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Ridge Traffic Draws Input from Former Ridge PTO President

Last year's Ridge High School president weighs in on Ridge busing issue.


Dear Editor,
 
I would like to weigh in on the Ridge High School (Ridge) busing issue. I fear that the best solution to the nightmarish morning traffic around Ridge — paving the access route from the Municipal Complex (MC) to Ridge for one-way bus traffic — will continue to be ignored by an inefficient Bernards Township Committee (TC).
 
The frustrating busing and traffic issue surrounding Ridge and Homestead Village is well known. In March, Homestead Village residents asked the TC to consider linking the MC to Ridge. Paving the existing gravel road between the MC and Ridge for bus drop-off makes sense on many levels — environmental, cost, and public safety. In addition, no other residential roads would need to be modified. Homestead Village residents were confident that the TC was on their side, as the Mayor had sent a letter on their behalf asking the BOE to repeal the bus re-routing through their neighborhood. Their proposal for use of the MC was reasonable; the TC’s response? An embarrassing, stony silence.

The silence continues to this day — the TC has drawn a clear line in the sand: the MC is off limits, no matter how well-served the entire community would be by this solution. Yet as the Whites wrote last week, the proposed linkage was approved in 2005 —  that approval exists and the current TC should not be allowed to disregard it. TC member Carolyn Gaziano, up for re-election on November 6th, has even argued that the traffic situation can be resolved by corrections made only to the Ridge campus itself — an unrealistic and naïve view.
 
As a non-resident of Homestead Village, I would like to lend my full support to those residents who have written clear and articulate letters to the editor. Not only do I agree with their arguments, I am shocked by the TC’s poor regard for their concerns; these residents have been treated like children by their democratically elected government.
 
On November 6th, we will be voting on two TC positions and three BOE positions. I beg voters to make informed decisions. For TC we have two complacent Republican incumbents I find haven’t made progress for the township against two Democratic challengers who are not involved enough in Township affairs to fully understand and/or deal with the issues.

For the BOE, four candidates are vying for three seats. The challenger, Louis D'Autorio, has not been present at a BOE meeting since June and only attended a few prior to that; his absence raises the question as to his ability to knowledgeably contribute on pertinent issues, including the busing problem. In addition, his published admonition that a BOE member needs to represent the residents is false; BOE members are elected to work for the best interests of the schools. This is a very important and crucial distinction.
 
Thank you,

Sarah Bonnefoi, former Ridge PTO President

30 E Craig Street, Basking Ridge

SZ October 15, 2012 at 11:57 AM
If this issue is to be resolved, then both the BOE and Township Committee need to come together as a team to resolve. Both teams should ensure that they have individuals on the task force that work together towards a solution, or a task force leader who can effectively focus on solutions. Unfortunately, this letter will put the TC on the defensive and do nothing to help the situation. I also don't think it is appropriate to "bash" individuals in a letter like this, because it comes across as personal political position and not a focus on the issue itself. I am also confused by the statement "BOE members are elected to work for the best interests of the schools." I thought the BOE members are elected by the residents to ensure the schools are well run.
Andi Williams October 16, 2012 at 01:13 AM
And, as we residents of Homestead Village voiced this past week at the TC meeting, it's now up to the TC to come up with a solution. It's obviously not access through the backwater of Homestead Village, or the heavily populated and trafficked access of South Finley, or the access from South Maple up the wooded hill (too expensive)... so where does that leave us? Duh. It's time the TC gave us a real reason for not using the Municipal Complex - seriously, it really is about time they did. It has always been shelved, off the table, non-negotiable. Well, guys, STOP! It reminds me of the 'Because I said so...' response of many an exasperated and out of control parent. We've all been there but we know it doesn't work. Give us a good reason and we will listen because, without it, you lose all respect.
Laura October 16, 2012 at 01:43 AM
See Patch article dated March 30, reporting on Mayor's letter to BOE of TC position on municipal complex use. Reasonable minds might differ, but a detailed explanation was given.

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