Maplewood Township — with help from Essex County — will embark on some major projects that will increase traffic and pedestrian safety at key roads and intersections, Mayor Vic DeLuca announced at Tuesday’s Township Committee meeting. It is part of an overall effort to reduce traffic violations and improve safety for drivers and pedestrians in the town.
“For the past few months, we have been negotiating with Essex County to improve pedestrian safety and slow down traffic on county roads,” said DeLuca in a follow up email to the Village Green. “We worked with the County to get six crosswalks installed on Wyoming Avenue. We also made requests regarding Valley Street. On March 17th we successfully negotiated a number of steps to be taken on Valley Street.”
This spring the County will cut and patch Valley Street at the intersection of Tuscan Road; in addition, New Jersey American Water Company will pave the portion of Valley they had cut open to install pipes, said DeLuca.
Also this year, Essex County is expected to receive a transportation grant to improve more than 30 intersections. County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, who attended the meeting with Maplewood officials, instructed the County Engineer to prioritize the intersection of Valley Street and Pierson Road and to install a traffic light there.
Here is a list of work to be done in 2018:
1. A traffic light will be installed at Valley Street and Pierson Road. This light will slow down traffic and help pedestrians safely cross the street.
2. The County will mill and pave the entire length of Valley Street from Millburn Avenue to South Orange Avenue.
3. As part of the paving work, the Township and County will reconfigure the curb line at Tuscan Street to help improve pedestrian crossing there. The turning radius will be changed to help with the flow of traffic.
4. The Township and County will also reconfigure the curb line at Baker and Valley streets. This will shorten the crosswalk distance and make it safer for pedestrians. The turning radius will be changed to help with cars turning south onto Valley.
In addition to the improvements with the County, the Township has submitted an application for Prospect Street to the NJ Department of Transportation under its Local Bicycle/Pedestrian Planning Assistance Program. “Our request is for a free transportation planning consultant to work with the Township to develop a traffic calming and pedestrian safety plan for the entire length of Prospect Street,” said DeLuca. “We should get a response to our request within the next two months.”