Poll Results: Speeders Worse on Washington than Watchung
Poll results show speeding on Watchung Avenue not a worry.
Chatham residents are more concerned about the speeds and motor vehicle safety along Washington Avenue than Watchung Avenue, according to results from a recent poll.
If the ordinance passes on second reading, the limit will be in effect before and after school and during recess and lunch hours Monday through Friday during the school year.
Assistant Superintendent Michael LaSusa from the School District of the Chathams said the district was in involved in discussions lowering the speed along Watchung, "but of course anything that municipal officials believe will make our children safer is something that deserves consideration," he said.
Of 66 responses to the poll, 44 said the speed limit did not need to be lowered. Chatham Patch reader Julia commented it was "ridiculous" to lower the limit along Watchung and suggested the council pay more attention to Washington Avenue during school hours.
Lisa Cappabianca, a reader and blogger for Chatham Patch, agreed Washington Avenue was a more severe problem. "People park EVERYWHERE and cross the street between cars. Very dangerous. If you are trying to improve the safety around the school, do it in front of the school where most of the kids are arriving/leaving. This is not a new problem," she wrote.
Less than two-thirds of those who responded to the poll, 19 out of 66, said the speed limit on Watchung Avenue should be lowered. Commenter Joe Lang wrote, "There is a lot of speeding on Watchung. Anyone who tries to pull out of their driveway onto Watchung Avenue knows how true this is. I would be pleased to have a cop car stationed in my driveway from time to time to catch the inconsiderate unmentionables who fly down Watchung."
Sir commented, "Leave the speed limit as is, but the fact there has been one ticket since August is an [indictment] of the police department. The average speed on that road is north of 40 miles-per-hour. If the police did their job on this road, we wouldn't be having this [discussion]."
Watchung Avenue, also known as County Road 646, stretches through from Summit at River Road to Chatham Township and Madison, where it becomes Shunpike Road, and then goes into Harding.
Chatham Borough Police started focusing on the area around Washington Avenue School at the request of the Public Safety Committee after the speeding and pedestrian issues along Kings Road were resolved.
According to the Chatham Borough Police, one speeding summons was issued since Aug. 1, 2011 in the current school zone on Watchung Avenue. The motorist in question was driving at 38 miles per hour in a 25-miles-per-hour zone.
Two other speeding summonses were issued in the same time period for motorists travelling at 50 miles per hour and 45 miles per hour in the road's 35-miles-per-hour zone.
In the same time period, no speeding tickets were issued along Washington Avenue near the school.
A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for the Feb. 28 borough council meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the Chatham Borough Municipal Building.
See the poll results below, and tell us what you think in the comments