South Orange Endorses Traffic Light for Scotland-Raymond Intersection
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 • 12:00am
SOUTH ORANGE, NJ (updated) – The Board of Trustees put its stamp of approval on a traffic signal at Scotland Road and Raymond Avenue Monday night as part of a comprehensive traffic and pedestrian safety plan.
In a 5-1 vote, trustees adopted a resolution to implement that plan, which will be forwarded to Essex County. The county will make the final decision about the light since Scotland Road is a county roadway. Trustee Michael Goldberg voted against the resolution. He wrote later in an email that he opposed the plan because "it simply delays the installation of a traffic light further."
The decision resolves a debate over how best to curb speeding and allow pedestrians to cross the busy road safely that has occupied residents and village officials off and on for years. While some Scotland Road residents support a traffic light, others fear it would cause traffic backups and lower property values for those living close to the intersection.
“I would like to see someone give us a guarantee that what's put on paper here is going to be implemented," said John Sammaro, a Scotland Road resident. “We've waited a hell of a long time to get where we are today."
Village President Alex Torpey replied, "We do endorse the installation of this light." Torpey and Trustee Janine Bauer put together the plan, which also includes improvements to crosswalks on Scotland Road, additional signage, stepped-up enforcement of the speed limit and exploring the possibility of designating that stretch of road as a “safe-driving corridor” with increased fines.
In voicing her support for the resolution, Trustee Deborah Davis Ford said, “It appears that (the plan) may address the issues of the residents who have been asking for some sort of relief of the traffic and potential injuries that may result from not doing something."
Frank Del Gaudio, the county liaison for South Orange, said that an ordinance would have to be proposed before the county Board of Freeholders. “It’s quite a process to put a signal in,” he told the board.
Torpey said in a Feb. 26 email that he believes the plan will expedite installation of a light while making "a number of short-term improvements to help improve the safety situation."
Read the traffic and pedestrian safety plan at http://southorange.no-ip.org/WebLink8/DocView.aspx?id=120403&dbid=0
In other action, the board:
Approved salary ranges for members of the Office and Professional Employees International Union, Local 32. View the salary list at: http://southorange.no-ip.org/WebLink8/DocView.aspx?id=119932&dbid=0
Renewed the contract with the Giordano Co. for single-stream recycling collection and disposal for $9,444 a month.
Approved contracts with Heyer Gruel and Associates as village planner.
Voted 4-3 to award a contract to Post Polak Goodsell MacNeill & Strachler, P.A., as village counsel. Trustees Goldberg and Janine Bauer voted no and Trustee Nancy Gould abstained, which counted as a “no” vote. Torpey broke the tie with a “yes” vote.
Voted 5-1 to approve a contract for asbestos abatement at Village Hall to Hatch, Mott, McDonald. Goldberg voted against the contract. “There hasn’t been an accounting of the budget (for Village Hall renovations) in quite some time,” he said, suggesting the resolution awarding the contract be tabled until that report.
- Approved a service agreement with YouthNet for 2013 for $15,000.
This corrects an earlier version of the story that misstated the vote on the approval of the traffic plan.