RED BANK: WALGREENS NEIGHBORS SEEK HELP

rb walgreens 072315 1Area residents say they’re concerned about the impact of a new Walgreens on local road safety. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Motorists using a shortcut along the Red Bank-Little Silver border may have to find another workaround to congestion soon.

But not quite as soon as area residents had hoped. The Red Bank council tapped the brakes on itself Wednesday night, when two neighbors of a Walgreens store now under construction said a planned order for new stop signs didn’t go far enough.

ls garfield grant 072315Neighbors want three stop signs at intersection of Garfield and Grant places, not just one at the east end of Garfield. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

The council voted to ban trucks over four tons from the length of Garfield Place, a measure neighbors requested not only to halt large-vehicle cut-throughs but to thwart Walgreens supply trucks from making themselves at home in the area.

But just as the governing body appeared ready to vote on installing a stop sign at the eastern end of Garfield Place, which Ts into Grant Place, two neighbors rose to say it had been their understanding that the borough would also install stops on Grant at that location.

Motorists “race through” the residential area between Broad Street and Pinckney Road to avoid congestion at Pinckney and Broad, said Art Ziemanis of Grant Place, whose concerns were echoed by Monica Boscarino of Garfield Place.

“It’s a logical request,” said Mayor Pasquale Menna, who suggested the council table the measure so it could be rewritten to include the additional signage before the vote. But first, he said, the borough needs to get written approval from Engineer Christine Ballard, and then the issue has to be run past police Chief Darren McConnell and the state Department of Transportation.

Ziemanis, though, said residents were under the impression three signs had always been contemplated. “The chief told us last year it wouldn’t be a problem,” he said.

McConnell was not present, and no explanation was offered for the apparent gap in communication.

A Walgreens spokesman told redbankgreen that the company plans to open the store, which will have a drive-thru, in the fall.