Officials: Stop sign will help keep children safe at bus stop

Staff Writer

METUCHEN — The installation of a new stop sign is aimed at making a school bus stop safer for borough children.

The Borough Council approved an ordinance April 7 to place a stop sign at Edith Avenue where it meets with Conner Avenue.

“The stop-intersection ordinance we just passed is something that’s really going to relieve a lot of the parents and families in that neighborhood, because I know there was always a concern about the children,” Councilwoman Dorothy Rasmussen said. “ … And there were cars coming from maybe three different directions, and none of the cars really knew where they should stop.”

Edith and Conner avenues come together to form a fork, then merge into the short span of Conner Avenue that leads to Bridge Avenue. No traffic-control signs exist at that three-way intersection, and safety is especially a concern because of the school bus stop located there, according to Rasmussen.

“[Residents] were always concerned because it’s kind of where three streets come together,” she said.

Rasmussen spearheaded efforts to have four-way stop signs installed at the intersections of Maple Avenue and Center Street, and West Chestnut Avenue and Center Street. The council voted to approve the new stops at its Feb. 17 meeting.

She pointed out that the intersections are close to Campbell Elementary School and Center Street Park.

“Both streets are very wide, and we’ve had complaints from residents that people drive very fast there,” Rasmussen said.

She added that the Police Department recommended the stop at Maple Avenue and Center Street because of a high volume of accidents there.

“One of our [patrol] cars got T-boned there a couple of years ago,” Sgt. David Liantonio said.

The Department of Public Works (DPW) had to wait for the ground to thaw before they could install the four-way stops, according to Mayor Thomas Vahalla. Rasmussen said those, along with the one slated for Edith Avenue, should be installed in the near future.