Montclair Avenue has long been a favorite haunt on Halloween in Montclair, attracting trick or treaters in the thousands according to some homeowners on the avenue. Now there is a move to have Montclair Avenue, which runs from Beverly to Label Street, closed to traffic on Halloween night. The petition reads as follows:
Halloween on Montclair Ave has become a community tradition! We, the residents of Montclair Ave, are excited to host this special event! Last year, there were over 3000 Trick-or-Treaters, plus parents and younger kids.
We want the night to be safe and fun for everyone! Neighboring communities close their “Halloween Streets” to traffic–and we feel that Montclair should do the same.
We have explored ways to address this with the Township for the past three years, asking them to close the street to traffic. The Traffic Bureau responded to our most recent request by stating that street closures after dark require police presence and they don’t have the budget.
We respectfully request that the Township revisit this issue and take responsibility for assuring pedestrian safety before a tragedy occurs.
More than 250 people have signed the petition, which was 58 comments on it, with residents citing the volume of children on the street and the safety issues.
Nicki Radzely of Montclair writes…”Please close traffic on Halloween to support safety on our street! I’ve had a few too many close calls with children visiting our home and my own family visiting our neighbors on Halloween night!”
Stephen Bidwa says “Cars have no place on Montclair Ave during an evening of excited kids and challenged parents. Please make it safer for everyone by closing the street. If we had police help for the night football game experiment, it seems equal to have it for a local tradition that draws kids from three nearby towns every year.”
Sarah Blaine asks in comments why Montclair can’t take a page from Glen Ridge and close Montclair Avenue to street traffic the way Forest Avenue in Glen Ridge, another popular street for treaters, is closed to traffic on Halloween night.
Part of Montclair Avenue is in Montclair’s 4th Ward. Dr. Renee Baskerille, 4th Ward Councilor writes:
Yes….I have been trying to assist the residents in having this street closed to traffic for Halloween since about July. I sent the request to the Deputy Manager, Mr. Brian Scantlebury and he has been working with our police department to come up with a solution that will be in the best interest of safety for all. As of last week the suggestion was that they should proceed as they would for a block party. I think that they residents are seeking community policing resources to help to pay for police to be present.
I am not familiar with community policing resources to pay for police for block parties, but I am certainly in favor of doing whatever it will take to ensure that the huge crowd that has historically been on Montclair Ave. is safe and has a SPOOKTACULAR event.