Ridge Rd. and Fardale Ave. may be getting new "School Zone" signs in an effort to curb driver speeding, Township Engineer Mike Kelly said at last Thursday’s town council meeting. The township wants to apply for “Safe Routes To School” state grants to pay for the new signage.
Kelly said the Mahwah Police Department recommended the town apply for the grant, and a request for an endorsement of the application has been sent to the Mahwah School Board. The town council voted to endorse the application Thursday night.
“Essentially yes we are looking for steps that can be taken to improve roadway approaches to our schools,” Police Chief James Batelli said. “[Safe Routes to Schools] is one of the programs we are considering.”
The major issue on those two roadways – which house five of the district’s six schools – is speeding, Batelli said.
The grant, which is competitive, is meant to make areas where children walk to school safer. According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation website, the SRTS Program is a “federal, state and local effort to enable and encourage children…to walk and bicycle to school.”
Markedly missing from Mahwah’s grant application is a mention of Malcolm Rd., which is home to the Betsy Ross Elementary School. According to Batelli, that’s because the traffic problems on that road don’t have to do with speeding.
“Betsy Ross is located in the middle of a residential area and school traffic volume on roadways not designed to handled those volumes during designated school hours does create a specific set of issues,” he said. “Speed is not one of them.”