Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bump-outs - Busted!

As readers know, I decided not to get a new car after the 1991 Escort expired, so I don't get around as easily as before. But on Sunday I decided to take a field trip to South Avenue and hopped the train to Netherwood to see the bump-out situation for myself.

A person can walk quite a way from the Netherwood station before coming to a cluster of bump-outs. But because there are no cross-streets, the entire stretch from Leland to Terrill will have to be closed at times. Officials have promised to work with merchants to minimize the impact on the South Avenue business district, which is part of the Special Improvement District as well as the Urban Enterprise Zone.

Cafe Vivace, a popular gathering place, is one of the businesses that will be affected.

The reconstruction plans were drawn up a while ago, but discussions over whether the state should pay for the repairs delayed implementation. Although it is part of Route 28, neither the state nor Union County want to claim responsibility for its maintenance. This project will likely be an initiation for Eric Jackson, the new director of Public Works & Urban Development, into Plainfield's sometimes tangled web of bureaucracy. As of Sunday, Donna Albanese of the Plainwood Square Merchants Association did not recall meeting the new director. But you can bet he will be invited to the next meeting with business owners on the project.

Not only do drivers have to be alert on the road while changes take place, pedestrians too have to watch out for their safety.

Customers of Sweet Lew's Bakery and other spots will have to have extra patience while the work is being done.

I'm sure everyone will be glad when the drama is over and the project director calls "Cut!"


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