The Bernards Board of Education on Monday gave final approval to a task force, which already met last month, to address the issue of how to solve Ridge High School's longstanding traffic problems, with the goal of producing at least a status report by January.
No date has been set yet for the next task force meeting, Schools Superintendent Nick Markarian said.
School Board President Susan McGowan said that the task force had been planning to meet on Nov. 7, at a meeting open to the public and public comment. That meeting was canceled due to the hurricane.
That meeting will be rescheduled and will be open to the public but as of Wednesday morning, the new date had not been set, she said.
The members of the task force, including two school board members and two Township Committee members, along with Markarian and Township Engineer Tom Timko, had met in October. At that time, the meeting, not held in public, the members of the task force reportedly agreed to discuss all options for handling chronic morning traffic jams at the high school entrance on South Finley Avenue at the Lake Road intersection.
The task force is an advisory committee, and the full vote of the Board of Education and Township Committee would be required for any final steps taken to address traffic control.
The board already had already hired a traffic expert to come up with a suggested solution, but each of the proposed options had generated opposition. So has a temporary solution, in place since last February, of diverting school buses through Homestead Village to drop off students behind Cedar Hill Elementary School so they can walk to the rear entrance of the high school building.
The board was scheduled to give final approval to the task for at the scheduled meeting for Oct. 29, and to possibly meet in early November. However, the school board meeting was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy, and schools remained closed during in early November.
The resolution approved by the school board says that, "All possible solutions will be evaluated with equal consideration to develop pros and cons for each."
The resolution also said that, "Public input will be received and considered by the joint task force."
Residents had asked that members of the public be included on the task force itself.