Projects slated to ease Main St. traffic woes

Staff Writer

Projects slated to ease Main St. traffic woes


Staff Writer

METUCHEN — Traffic-calming efforts for the south end of Main Street should be under way soon, according to Mayor Ed O’Brien.

A transportation aid bill that was held up in Congress for roughly two months has now gone through, and will mean $250,000 for the borough, officials said. Also, $62,000 in federal funds will also be forthcoming from a Community Development Block Grant. An additional $100,000 is expected from the county.

The borough is eager to take measures to calm traffic flowing off routes 1 and 287 onto South Main Street.

Among the measures detailed by O’Brien will be a new landscaped island with a "Welcome to Metuchen" sign. The island will help slow traffic, as well as inform drivers that they are entering a residential area.

The corner of each residential street will also be receiving lighted bollards—ornamental stanchions or pillars commonly employed to restrict or slow traffic.

A lighted crosswalk, like the ones recently installed further up Main Street and on Middlesex Avenue will be put in at High Street and Lincoln Avenue.

There will also be a speed table, or raised portion of the roadway to encourage motorists to slow down, at the intersections with High and Lincoln, O’Brien said.

Bump-outs, which extend the sidewalk and curb further into the roadway at corners and are designed to aid in pedestrian crossings, are also expected to be installed, O’Brien said.

At the intersection of Main Street and Amboy Avenue, green arrows for left turns off of Main will be added to the traffic lights. Currently, there are only left turn arrows for drivers turning off of Amboy and onto Main.

The community development block grant money is awarded annually to eligible urban counties, and is designated for low and moderate income areas and for improvements for citizens with disabilities.

Curb cuts for handicap access to sidewalks are expected to be installed along South Main using the money, O’Brien said.

The area qualifies because of the senior citizen housing complex there.

At the Borough Council meeting March 1, submission of next year’s community development block grant application, expected to net $69,000, was authorized. That grant will be applied to traffic calming measures, including crosswalks for Central Avenue.

O’Brien said he hopes work can begin on the south Main Street projects by late spring or early summer.