WEST ORANGE, NJ — The township of West Orange and the Downtown West Orange Alliance have announced the start of a Main Street Improvement Plan roadway and traffic pattern improvement project as part of the Complete Streets Initiative.
The Complete Streets Initiative is a pedestrian safety plan developed by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, designing roadways with the safety of pedestrians, vehicles and bicycles in mind and in harmony. West Orange is one of eight municipalities receiving up to $10,000 in technical assistance for Complete Streets projects, awarded by the NJTPA.
Road milling, repaving and restriping of Main Street from Park Drive North to the Orange border will change the road’s present, four-lane orientation with two lanes in each direction to two lanes with one lane each way. This will allow for additional parking, slowing of traffic and added safe access for pedestrians and cyclists.
The upcoming road work is formally known as a road diet, where restriping a stretch of road removes at least one lane and turns that pavement over for other purposes. In this case, this translates to additional, structured parking spaces and improved pedestrian/cycling safety and access, as the speed limit along the road will be enforced at 25 miles per hour.
“We are looking forward to the better management of our downtown Main Street,” DWOA Executive Director Megan Brill said. “We hope residents and visitors to Main Street are better able to park their cars and enjoy the many businesses located in our downtown corridor with enhanced transportation safety.”
“Our organization has been working with the county engineering department to secure this roadway management plan,” West Orange Pedestrian Safety Advisory Board Chairperson Jerry Guarino said. “Our hope is that residents and visitors along Main Street are able to slow down, stay safe and better enjoy our community.”
“This is exciting news and will be a major improvement for pedestrian safety and parking along this stretch of Main Street,” said Tom Ross, superintendent of Thomas Edison National Historical Park. “The Main Street Improvement Plan will undoubtedly improve the safety and experience of the 50,000 annual visitors to the Edison Laboratory Museum, who have had to cross four lanes of traffic on Main Street to visit the site.”