Some parents, students and residents in the blocks surrounding Montclair High School are fuming about the enforcement of new parking rules that resulted in tickets and mass confusion around the high school yesterday and this morning.
“The residents were given zero notification,” said one Chestnut Ave. resident. “None of us saw the signs go up.”
Local business owner Scott Kennedy, who got a ticket yesterday for stopping at the traditional Park Street pickup spot across from the High School Annex at 2:30 p.m., said it’s the opposite of what community policing is supposed to be.
“We want our local police to be our guys, to know our habits, to know that at 2:30 school gets out and cars are going to be picking people up,” he said. He said that parents showing up at the high school last night for a meeting about incoming 10th graders were irate about the situation.
“There was a slew of angry parents who were caught,” he said. “They were just furious. It makes no sense to lay in wait for parents to show up at 2:30 and write tickets as fast as you can.”
Montclair High School sent out a notice to parents yesterday at 4:12 p.m. to — more than an hour after the ticketing spree — to explain the changes.
Newly adopted ordinances from the Montclair Township Council changing parking, stopping, and turning on the streets surrounding MHS have been attached for your information and use. Signs have been posted to reflect the changes. A brief description of the ordinances is listed below in addition to the attachments. These changes have been made to ease the congestion around the high school in the morning and for the safety of our students and staff.
No person shall park a vehicle on the South side of Chestnut Street between 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Monday thru Friday between Midland Ave and Park Street.
No person shall stop or stand a vehicle at any time on the North side of Chestnut Street between Midland Avenue and Park Street.
No person, except the operator of a school or transit bus, shall make a turn of the kind designated below between 7:45 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. at any of the following locations:
Traveling North on Park Street at the intersection of Chestnut Street – all turns prohibited
Traveling South on Park Street at the intersection of Chestnut Street – all turns prohibited
Traveling East on Chestnut Street at the intersection of Park Street – all turns prohibited
Traveling West on Chestnut Street at the intersection of Park Street – all turns prohibited
Traveling North on Midland Avenue at the intersection of Chestnut Street – right turn prohibited
Traveling South on Midland Avenue at the intersection of Chestnut Street – left turn prohibited
Even Nick Lewis, council liaison to the Traffic and Parking Advisory Committee, said the notifications seemed to arrive late. “I don’t remember getting a notice until this week.” He added, “I didn’t think they would be giving tickets initially.”
The purpose of the new rules is to clear the streets immediately surrounding Montclair High School during the high-peak drop-off and pick-up periods and “keep traffic moving,” he said.
“Chestnut and Park is kind of a disaster. But it’s really only a disaster area for half an hour,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes. Every time you fiddle with traffic and parking, people find new ways to do things. Some are better and some are worse.”