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Task Force to Examine Ridge Traffic, Meeting to be Public

Next meeting date yet to be set.

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.

n November 15, 2012 at 12:20 AM
It's November 14, 2012, this has been a on going problem since Febuary 2012, I'm betting this doesn't get resolved before sometime in 2014.
JVC November 15, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Ridiculous.
dad November 15, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Increase the number of kids riding buses and there will be fewer kids being dropped off at the school entrance. It should be relatively easy to collect the necessary information to calculate the cost of several options and the viability of this idea. They could either decrease the current minimum distance from the school or drastically decrease the bus fee for kids who are within the minimum distance or both. This is more than just a traffic issue per se. It is a safety issue, in my opinion, a severe and unnecessary safety issue. I've observed kids being dropped off at the health department, on the side of Lake Road and on Finley. On days when traffic is very bad, drivers become extremely aggressive after dropping off their kids resulting in traffic battles in the drop off lanes. Assuming that there is a good place for the buses to drop off the kids that does not exacerbate the traffic issues, we need more buses and fewer cars.
John Z November 15, 2012 at 04:21 PM
This is typical of the political process today at all levels of government. Let's study it to death and if it drags on long enough people will forget about it or I may never have to vote on it. There are solutions that most if not all will be satisfied with but between the school board and council they act like the house and senate at the federal level. Stop spending my tax dollars on useless studies. JZ

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