Essex County To Modernize Montclair’s Watchung Plaza Intersection with Traffic Signals

Montclair, NJ – Plans are being designed to modernize the intersection of Watchung Avenue and Park Street/Watchung Plaza in Montclair, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced. The improvements will enhance pedestrian safety and improve the flow of motor vehicle traffic through the commercial district.

Changes coming to Watchung Plaza intersection. Photo: Councilor Peter Yacobellis

“Updating our infrastructure and making sure our roads are safe for our pedestrians and motorists has been one of our ongoing priorities. Because of the unique configuration of the Watchung Plaza intersection and vibrancy of the Watchung commercial district, we wanted to make sure that we were providing the most up-to-date conditions to maximize safety,” DiVincenzo said. “The improvements we are planning will address concerns shared with us by residents and Montclair officials.”

The plan calls for the introduction of traffic signals and enhanced roadway striping to regulate the flow of motor vehicles traveling through the area and provide safe crossing for pedestrians. In addition, motor vehicle traffic exiting the Watchung Avenue Extension Lot will only be able to make a right turn onto Watchung Avenue.

“I want to thank the County Executive and his team for their time and attention to this crucial intersection at Watchung Plaza. I appreciate the patience of our constituents to allow the country to take the necessary steps to get the job done in a manner that meets every concern,” Commissioner Brendan Gill said.

Essex County has awarded a professional services contract with Klein Traffic Consulting from West Orange to design the intersection improvements. Once the engineering plans are complete, the project will be put out for a public bid.

Councilor Peter Yacobellis, who along with Councilor Robin Schlager, have been leading these efforts from the Township side, said: “Joe D. gets stuff done. I’m so thankful to him, Commissioner Gill, the entire Commissioner team, County Administrator Jackson and staff for prioritizing and funding work at this crucial intersection where we’ve seen too many accidents involving motorists, pedestrians and cyclists take place. This is yet one more step towards making our streets safer. I look forward to reviewing the plans with our constituents in the area.”

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  1. “Unique configuration at Watchung Plaza intersection” is an understatement. At times, it makes driving around Columbus Circle seem like a breeze! I suspect the three car five member family has much to do with that.

  2. Hi spookyt, this is Brendan Gill. I’m a Montclair resident, and I serve as an elected representative on the Essex County Board of Commissioners, the legislative branch of our county government. After hearing the concerns of my constituents, I worked with county and local officials to get this project done. When Councilor Yacobellis says “Commissioner team,” he refers to my eight colleagues on the Commissioner Board. If I can ever be of any assistance, please contact me at

  3. Do these intersection improvements include both sides of the tracks?

    It is not safely possible to bicycle south along Park St due to the configuration on the far side of the tracks. The current absence of traffic calming measures, the lack of attention to safety for pedestrians and cyclists, it’s is a disgrace.