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Drivers and pedestrians alike tend to think that maintaining a grid is good for traffic flow as it provides multiple ways to get around to go from one place to another, and is especially helpful for getting around crashes, construction or a school zone.

Curiously, Lakewood's Township Committee is blissfully unaware of any traffic congestion in the Township as they appear to not see the benefit in maintaining a grid roadway system.

The upcoming Committee meeting agenda, which is on schedule for Thursday, includes vacating the public right of way of Grand Avenue between Vine Avenue and Vermont Avenue.

According to Township records, Congregation Birchas Chaim and Mesivta Nezar Hatorah, as the only owners fronting on this portion of Grand Avenue, have requested the road vacation.

Vine Avenue is currently a paved, corridor roadway in this area. Vermont Avenue is currently unpaved north of Essex Street.

However, as previously reported here on FAA News, Township officials are proposing to pave the dirt road portion of Vermont Avenue from Essex Street to Oak Street, and they have already submitted an application to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for a Freshwater wetlands Letter of Interpretation (LOI) for the extension of this roadway.

Once this portion of Vermont Avenue is paved, Grand Avenue could provide an additional connection between Vine Avenue and Vermont Avenue.

However, apparently the Township Committee doesn't see any reason to maintain this grid.

Ordinance 2023-013, which is on schedule to be introduced on first reading, will "vacate, release and extinguish the rights and interests in this roadway as a public right of way."

Are you scratching your head and wondering what basis exactly does the Committee have for this vacation?

Simple! Per their Ordinance, they have "determined" that this roadway is "unnecessary for public use," and that the road "lends itself to a higher and better use than for public road purposes and that it is in the best interest of the general public and the Township" to vacate the road.

The meeting will take place virtually and can be watched here at 5:30pm.

Members of the public who wish to comment on this proposed ordinance may do so via email up until 11:30 am on Thursday at or during the meeting via Please include your name and address, and specify the Ordinance number for the record.

Members of the public may also listen in on the phone and comment live during the meeting by calling (408) 418-9388, Meeting ID# is 2634-502-0366. All participants will be muted upon entry but may participate by using the *3 key on the phone to raise your hand (this will alert the Township that you wish to speak during the meeting).

This vote will only be a first reading. A public hearing and final reading will take place on March 16.

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Basically, our 5 elected committeemen are working to give away free-of-charge public property that can be used to alleviate the congestion - which is expected to only get worse in the future - which residents suffer with. This is ridiculously unfair to the voters who elected them.

It makes zero sense. Grand Avenue is a through-street and not a dead-end. It’s a terrible idea, which will only make us taxpayers angrier with the way the business of our critical infrastructure is being handled by these guys.

Why do they keep vacating our infrastructure plan like there’s no tomorrow?? Why don’t they believe in “smart planning”? Why don’t they even pretend to care??

Anonymous said...

To be accurate, it’s actually only 4 committeemen that are to blame, as D’Elia has been out of commission for some time now.

Anonymous said...

This whole affair stinks to high heaven. Why would the committeemen vote to give away taxpayer owned property? For what reason?

Simply because an adjacent property owner wants it for free is not enough, especially when the current paper street can most definitely serve a useful public purpose by relieving our overwhelmed traffic infrastructure problems. And just because there seems to be no traffic problem today, it is still critical that we PLAN for the future and keep the property for when it will be needed which, by way things are going, is not too many years away. That's what the committeemen get paid for. The more through streets we can get the better our collective quality of lives will be.

Our officials should do their jobs and protect the residents from unfair land grabs!