Ari Drive Chain Brings Residents To Township Council

Township resident Laura Williams thanked the Township Council for the chain on Ari Drive.

The chaining off of Ari Drive at Julie Court was once again a hot topic during a Township Council meeting.

Most of the residents of streets affected by the chains who showed up at the May 30 council meeting praised the decision, but there were some who opposed it.

The council on Feb. 14 voted to install the chain in an attempt to slow speeding cars in the area. At the time the move was approved, in the form of an amended township ordinance, there were no objectors.

But that’s not been the case over the last couple of months, when residents have attended council meetings to re-litigate the issue.

Ari Drive resident Diane Mackay has been a constant critic of the decision. The latest meeting was no different.

Mackay charged that the road blockage was the result of a “political favor.”

She also said that the move has increased traffic on Route 27, and has put the lives of some area residents “at risk” because, she said, emergency vehicles responding to calls will have to stop to unlock the chain.

“There are so many wrongs to this blockage, it’s hard to find one right,” she said. “Hopefully the council will see the unfairness of the blockage.”

Another Ari Drive resident suggested that speed bumps be installed. They wouldn’t block access or slow emergency vehicles, but she said, they would slow traffic on the road.

But most of the people speaking at the meeting were in favor of the chain.

Julie Court resident Viral Patel said that the chain was necessary because expanded police presence did not work in slowing down speeders.

“To be vigilant was not enough, as the speeding resumed once the speed traps were taken away,” he said.

“I understand that this may not have been an easy situation, but it was the only long-term solution to remedy this matter,” he said. “Council made an excellent decision to preserve the safety of the residents and children.”

Julie Court resident Laura Williams said that when she first moved into her home, her newborn baby was often awakened by the loud engines of speeding cars.

Blocking the road “is a safety issue for all the children who take the bus at the bus stop,” said Julie Court resident Govind Seshadri.

Vandna Patel of Julie Court said that she had lived in the area for 10 years, and “this spring was the first time I was able to let my kids ride their bikes.”

Marcia Small of Julie Court said that the only reason residents asked for the chain was “our safety.”

“The chain provides not only safety for us, but for everyone in the community,” she said.

Mayor Phil Kramer said there was “no good decision” to be made when it came to the chain.

“Anyone who has a better solution, I’m absolutely willing to hear it,” he said.

Kramer also offered to be a mediator between the two sides “to see if we can find another solution around this.”

Township Councilwoman Kimberly Francois (D-At Large) said there was no plan to revisit the issue.

“If that conversation has been out there lingering, I think we need to squash that tonight and recognize that we made a decision,” she said. “We try to make win-win decisions that are a win for everybody, but sometimes that’s not agreeable to everybody.”

“At the end of the day, were talking about public safety and the safety of our children,” Francois said.

“This is a difficult decision,” said Councilman Ted Chase (D- Ward 1). “We always want to make decisions that will satisfy everybody, sometimes we can’t and we have to go with what we consider will be the greatest good for the greatest number.”


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