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Township Offers Quick Fix to Stouts Lane Sidewalk Problem

Several feet of brush removed from side of Stouts Lane to provide a safer walk for students traveling from South Brunswick High School to the shopping center on Route 1.

Students from South Brunswick High School presented a petition last week to the Township Council in hopes of persuading the township to complete a stretch of sidewalk on Stouts Lane, running from SBHS to the shopping center on Route 1. 

The work to complete the sidewalk has been held up mainly by funding issues, with the work to finish the walkway expected to cost in the area of $500,000.

However, in the short term, the township has taken steps to try and make the walk safer for students who travel to the shopping center for work and various other purposes.

"I met with (Public Works Director) Ray Olsen to see if we could cut back some of the brush and trees (along Stouts Lane) to give (students) more room," said Township Manager Bernard Hvozdovic at Tuesday's meeting.

Hvozdovic said several feet of brush was removed in hopes of providing more free area for students to walk safely until work on the project can begin, should funding be found.

, 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. 

"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."

Moritz added that a survey indicated an average of 10 students per day make the walk from SBHS to the mall.

Councilman John O'Sullivan raised the issue a few years ago and also offered the quick fix solution of removing brush to provide a safer walk down Stouts Lane.

As the township seeks grants to help bridge the funding gap, Hvozdovic asks any resident who sees an area of Stouts Lane that needs to be cut back further to contact the township at 732-329-4000.

Elaine December 08, 2011 at 09:38 PM
I hope they take care of the flooding on the side of the road as well. If not, the kids will still be in the road. I think we need to have something terrible happen first. That's usually the only way things get done. They need a poster child first.
David Smith December 09, 2011 at 02:10 AM
Until the sidewalk can be put down why don't they just put a packed stone walk in place.
Frank December 09, 2011 at 03:03 AM
What!!! An average of 10 students a day make the walk and they expect to spend about $500,000.00 for this sidewalk?! This is wise government spending? Seems to me it just makes the mall easier to become a hangout.
Dan December 09, 2011 at 12:11 PM
The track teams also run along Stouts Lane in season. And how much is a child's life worth?
Dave December 09, 2011 at 01:09 PM
Doesn't sound like a significant government expense if these facts are correct. Great point Dan! - I believe track is a 3 season sport. 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. "Had we gotten to the point where the developer moved forward with their project they were going to complete the sidewalk," said Public Affairs Coordinator Ron Schmalz. "But it never got to that point and now we're looking for funding. We're only talking about approximately two-tenths of a mile of sidewalk."

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