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Westfield Town Council Adopts Complete Streets Policy at Meeting

Erin Scialabba

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 • 11:22pm

WESTFIELD, NJ - The Town Council passed a resolution to support the Complete Streets Policy, which was adopted by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) to build roads with all types of users in mind. According to the state’s website, with the Complete Streets policy, “Roads are built to safely accommodate a variety of transportation modes and users of all ages and abilities.”

Before the vote, Westfield Resident Lisa Braddock appealed to the council to pass the resolution.

“It could be as simple as installing a sidewalk on a frequently traveled road,” Braddock said.

Braddock, who recently attended a Complete Streets summit at Rutgers University, pledged to volunteer her services as an engineer for the initiative. She also cited program benefits beyond public safety.

“Towns that have Complete Streets enjoy other benefits such as increased private investment, higher property values and increased traffic to local businesses,” Braddock said.

“The good news is, we’ve been doing this for quite a while, but it’s nice to put it in writing,” said Town Administrator Jim Gildea, who explained that the Complete Streets Policy has been in the town’s master plan for several years, but has never been formally recorded. Passing the resolution will allow Westfield to earn points for its Sustainable Jersey Certification.

The council also passed a resolution supporting the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over 2013 Year End Holiday Crackdown, which is funded by grant money and will be in effect Dec. 6 through Jan. 2.

The council also passed a resolution approving an application fee for written examination of the position of fire fighter. One councilman said the resolution was intended to “offset costs” of candidates’ assessments and evaluations.  

At a council conference meeting held earlier that evening, resident Paul Deroo told the council that one of his elderly neighbor was hit by two cars the evening before the last Town Council meeting. (To read about that accident, click here.)

“Several of the neighbors have requested to see if we can get lighting or a crosswalk … just to let the traffic know that there are a lot of people crossing the street there,” said Deroo. “A lot of the people that live in the complex do park on Laurel … and they go back and forth all day long, including into the evening.”

Mayor Andy Skibitsky said he would give those recommendations to the public safety committee.

At the council meeting, it was announced that The Downtown Westfield Corporation (DWC) will help ring in the holiday season once again with its annual holiday ceremonies. A menorah lighting will take place Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. in front of the Westfield Train Station near the intersection of North Avenue and Elm Street. The Christmas tree lighting ceremony will take place Dec. 1 from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. in the same location.

Councilwoman Jo Ann Neylan was absent from the meeting.

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