City Council will vote next week on an ordinance that will set in motion the creation of a new public street through what today is Lot B as part of the 208-unit Main & Monroe development.
In an effort to improve traffic safety as well as security around the train station, the Police Department has startd installing lane barriers along Milton Avenue, beneath the train trestle.
Illegal parking under the railroad has been an issue for some time. “This is something we have put a lot of thought into, and we have tried enforcement with negligible results,” Police Chief John Rodger said. “When we issue summons or chase cars out they come back pretty quickly and we just don’t have the ability to be there every moment.”
A layout was tested two weeks ago and the east side of the street was installed on Monday, with the other side pending weather and manpower, the chief said.
It’s always been illegal to park under the bridge and with the alert system in place post-9/11 the area was specifically designated a problem, Rodger said. Police also get a lot of complaints that motorists trying to turn left from Broad Street onto Milton Avenue can’t see and have to pull out into the intersection.
“We are hopeful that this solution will deter parking in that area, and eliminate the mid-block pedestrian crossings to get to vehicles previously parked under the bridge, while at the same time providing line of sight for vehicles trying to enter the intersection,” he said.
Once both sides of the street are completed, Rodger said there will be zero tolerance for vehicles parked in the bus stop or taxi stand on West Milton Avenue.
Red light cameras could be up and in use sometime next month at two Rahway intersections: Routes 1&9 and East Milton Avenue, and St. Georges and Maple avenues. There would be a 30-day “warning phase” after installation, to get the public accustomed to them before tickets are issued, according to Police Chief John Rodger. He expects them to be installed at some point next month.
Most of you seem to think Irving Street could do without a couple of the stop signs, according to the latest poll:
Work is expected to begin next month to reconfigure the intersection of Central Avenue and Hamilton, Irving and West Main streets.
The project will add a traffic signal to the intersection to coordinate traffic coming from five different directions and address the no-left turn from West Main to Irving streets, according to City Administrator and Redevelopment Director Peter Pelissier.
Work also will include creating a triangular traffic island between Hamilton and Central and widening Irving opposite the Union County Arts Center.
City Council on Wednesday night approved a $224,000 contract with Piscataway-based Fai-Gon Electric for signalization.
I heard this report on NPR the other day detailing how the police department in Naperville, Ill., a suburb about 30 minutes west of Chicago, loans out a radar gun to citizens in one neighborhood, allowing them to track the speed of cars on their streets. They don’t necessarily issue tickets but they do collect information that cops then compile and even send out warnings.
Naperville is substantially bigger than Rahway (Pop. 130,000 v. 27,000), but speeding seems to be an issue in neigborhoods everywhere, particularly in downtowns that aim to attract shoppers/pedestrians. The NPR report reminded me of Rahway’s downtown; Arts District Park would be a perfect spot to set up shop with a radar gun. Making Irving and Main streets two-way likely would slow down traffic some. I remember being at a presentation by Project for Public Spaces several years ago. A fascinating group, they said there are little (read: cheap) things that can be done to slow down traffic, such as making the street appear more narrow to the driver (i.e., painting a shoulder on a wide street). But please, none of those awful “bump-outs,” all they do is eat up parking spaces.
Pedestrian-friendly streets are like parking when it comes to downtowns. Some (Summit, Hoboken) constantly grapple with providing adequate parking because there’s so much traffic. Others that are still rebuilding wish they had that problem, as they try to draw more people and traffic downtown.