Handicap parking ordinance standards questioned

BY STACI WILSON

Handicap parking spaces  added to New Milford’s Broad Avenue during last year’s sesquicentennial celebration were officially adopted by  ordinance Thursday night.

The Borough Council ordinance specifies space for two handicap accessible spaces (one car and one van) on the Main St. side of Broad Ave.; one space on the Church St. side of Broad Ave.; one slot at the New Milford Park; and a space at the borough building.

Originally, council planned to have the van parking space closest on Broad situated in the space closest to Main St. but switched it to the second space in after some discussion.

Audience member Cindy Allen said she frequently uses the spaces when driving a handicapped friend and told council she felt loading and unloading a vehicle onto the one-way street was dangerous.

Allen also claimed the spaces did not meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and did not conform to the act’s requirements in other ways as well.

“This is an accident waiting to happen,” Allen said. “You can’t just be putting in handicap spaces without doing an engineering study.”

The borough also received a letter regarding the stop signs placed on Susquehanna St. that created a four-way stop at the intersection.

Since council has opted not to fund a traffic study, borough insurer Integrated Risk Management informed council via a letter that the borough will be ordered by the court to remove the signs.

A New Milford Twp. resident challenged the placement of the stop signs on the street.

Peck Hill Rd. residents said the street was actually 12-feet wide, not the 14-feet reported at the September meeting.

They also said the most recent heavy rain washed out driveways along the roads and attributed the problem to culverts that were plugged with leaves brought down during a hail storm. The residents claimed the culverts weren’t physically checked by the borough’s street department after the storm.

The residents also reported a recent spike in the number of ATV riders coming onto their property and through their lawns without permission.

Skateboarders using Midtown Park’s paved court will receive a warning from council to clean up after themselves or risk losing the right to use the park.

Council member Barb James said the condition of the skateboard equipment brought into the park by the riders is getting “worse and worse.”

James said she saw a large turning arrow road sign was being used as a ramp. “Someone stole the sign from somewhere,” James said.

Council member Ken Carey warned that shutting off the boarders’ access to Midtown Park would just send them somewhere else in town.

After some discussion, council agreed they didn’t mind the skateboarders’ use of the park but said the youths needed to take better care of the area and needed to remove dilapidated couches and garbage left in the area.

It was also noted by council that the New Milford Municipal Authority’s meeting date and time had been changed. Municipal Authority meetings will now be held on the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. in the borough building.

Council also approved the Parade of Lights, hosted by the New Milford Fire Company. This year’s parade will be held Oct. 23.

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