The Township Council on Tuesday evening said they would explore the possibility of adding a sidewalk on Ridge Road that would run from Indian Fields Elementary School and the Princeton Orchard apartments up to the WaWa at the intersection of Georges Road.
Resident E. Martin Davidoff, a certified public accountant who both lives and operates a business on Ridge Road, said the project would provide numerous benefits for residents in the area.
"For me personally it would be great, because I could walk to work without worrying about getting hit by a car or cutting across lawns," Davidoff said.
He added that more parents living west of Georges Road would be able to walk their kids to school, thus reducing traffic on the road. Davidoff also noted that sidewalks would allow more families who live in the 120 unit Princeton Orchards to walk to the businesses located at the five corners intersection.
"Sidewalks should be put in by the developers and years ago we didn't require that they do that, but we do today," said Mayor Frank Gambatese. "That being said, sidewalks have become a very costly effort."
Township Council members said the plan has its merits because of the added commerce it could bring to the downtown section of Dayton, however the cost of funding the project is a major hurdle.
"We have seen over the last couple of years a lot of sidewalks put in," said Councilman Charles Carley. "So this makes sense within the context of that. Plus the more people we get into downtown Dayton (businesses) the better off we all are."
A request to improve safety for pedestrians by adding sidewalks has also been made for Stouts Lane near South Brunswick High School.
former SBHS Student Council President Ian Moritz and Recording Secretary Dan Gorzynski presented a petition with 900 parent signatures and over 1,000 student signatures urging the township to complete the sidewalk. Moritz added that a survey indicated an average of 10 students per day make the walk from SBHS to the mall for work and other purposes.
"The road has blind curves that large buses travel on and there's no shoulder," Moritz said in November. "The walk to the mall from the high school is exceedingly dangerous."
The work to complete that sidewalk was held up by funding issues, with the price tag to finish the walkway expected to cost in the area of $500,000.
The funding for the sidewalk extension was initially to come from Pennsylvania-based developer PineVille Brunswick Development Association, who sought to build a Shop Rite market at Stouts and Route 522. However, a lawsuit filed by Stop & Shop has left that funding in limbo, as the case awaits a court date.
While a resolution to Stouts Lane situation is still being sought, Gambatese said the township would begin exploring grant opportunities from various state and county entities that could fund the Ridge Road project.
"This is another area we will seriously consider," he said.
What are other areas in South Brunswick where you would like to see sidewalks added? Tell us in the comments.
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