New crosswalks, speed bumps suggested for Main Street revitalization

Sussex. The Sussex Borough Council prefers to start the project this year, but is warned by engineer not to wait until fall.

| 11 Jun 2021 | 04:40

The Sussex Borough Council focused on traffic and pedestrian safety as it looks to get a shovel into the ground as soon as possible.

Some of the changes made to the borough’s Main Street revitalization plan bring estimated costs to just below $700,000.

Borough engineer Harold Pellow said it could take a month to get the plans and specs ready, and that the council won’t see them until August. The council could begin soliciting bids in September, he said.

Officials want to start the project this year, but Pellow suggested waiting until 2022.

“You shouldn’t be starting this in the fall,” he said. “It should be a job that starts when you can just get it done. There’s a lot of work here. It’s going to tie it up, and it’s not going to be fun. It’s really a job for next year.”

Pellow suggested four new crosswalks, like what borough council members had referred to in Newton.

One crosswalk will be at Newton Avenue, another just before the fountain, another at Harrison Street, and one at the midpoint between Newton Avenue and Harrison Street.

The council agreed to eliminate the crosswalk proposed for the middle of Main Street and to look at speed bumps as a way of slowing traffic through the Main Street corridor.

Each crosswalk would eliminate four on-street parking spaces because the law requires 20-foot buffers between parking spaces and crosswalks.

Councilman Frank Dykstra was initially in favor the midpoint crosswalk, but not at the expense of four parking spaces.

Still looking for ways to slow traffic through the borough, the conversation turned to speed bumps that could be removed in the winter. Councilman Robert Holowach initially suggested four speed bumps, but Pellow said two would be best.

“You don’t want to make Main Street so that nobody wants to go there,” Council President Mario Poggi said. “That’s the opposite of what we’re trying to do.”

Poggi asked if there was a way to loop northbound traffic around the fountain near Unionville Avenue, but there isn’t enough space for that.

“It’s tight in there,” Pellow said. “We still haven’t decided what to do with delivery trucks that have to go through there.”

Councilman Jake Little said a pickup with a trailer has trouble getting through the space.

As the discussion wound down, Pellow summed up, “I think it will be a good project.”