Spotswood residents’ disapproval helps cease installment of stop sign at intersection

SPOTSWOOD–The Borough Council canceled a previously adopted ordinance to install a stop sign at the Evelyn Terrace and Rieder Road intersection.

An ordinance was presented to the council for first reading on Aug. 17 and was presented to the council for second reading and adoption on Sept. 9.

The council, on Sept. 9, voted unanimously to adopt the ordinance and the ordinance was scheduled to take effect on Oct. 12.

After the adoption on Sept. 9, the Spotswood Police Department received numerous requests from residents in the area of Evelyn Terrace and Rieder Road expressing a desire not to have a stop sign installed at the intersection, according to the council.

“The MUTCD standards are the recommendations, [which is] the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. It requires certain criteria, like one of them is like 2,000 units. So one of the residents, I guess he’s retired law enforcement, said that, ‘You don’t have that much traffic. We don’t think it’s going to make a difference [and] we don’t want it,’ “Chief of Police Michael Zarro said. “So I guess they were late in watching the council meetings during the public portion and speaking up.”

Zarro said he went to the intersection and spoke to several residents who live in the area.

“This one gentleman had a talk group for the Evelyn Terrace and Rieder Road residents and he was appointed some kind of spokesman for that area,” Zarro said. “I said, ‘If you get a majority vote that do not want the stop sign there, then I’ll write to the mayor and council to pull the ordinance’ and that’s exactly what happened. The majority didn’t want the stop sign.

“I am kind of surprised. After 28 years of law enforcement I never experienced something like this, but in the interest of pleasing the majority of the residents that ordinance was pulled,” Zarro said.

On Sept. 18, Zarro forwarded a letter to the mayor and the council requesting that based upon the residents’ concerns, the council should consider rescinding the ordinance, according to the council.

Located in a residential area, Zarro said that both Evelyn Terrace and Rieder Road are dead end roads; however both streets are near Rieder Road Park.

As a result, the council approved a resolution to cancel the previously approved ordinance to place a stop sign at the Evelyn Terracne and Rieder Road intersection.

“I did what the taxpayers requested. They live in town, they pay their taxes, they requested it, and I went with what was majority rules. So I went with the majority rule and based on their majority rule I wrote it up. I left it up to the council to respect their wishes or not respect their wishes, so I guess they decided to pull it,” Zarro said.

For future reference, Zarro said if a resident wants to speak about something they disagree with that is happening in town, he or she should attend the virtual council meetings and speak during the public portion.

For more information about upcoming council meetings, visit www.spotswoodboro.com.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.