said they didn’t call her “Action Jackson” for nothing.
Arlaria Jackson said she was there speaking on behalf of her Abbett Avenue neighbors during Tuesday’s meeting of the Morristown mayor and council and was there to get something done about the traffic issues that are plaguing her and her fellow residents of the second ward.
“We are angry,” Jackson said. “Cars are speeding up and down the roads and 287 is dumping those big trucks on to Abbett Avenue. Cars don’t respect you, they aren’t waiting. If you try to cross the street, you’d better bring your lunch because that is how long it will take you to get across.”
Jackson said, that noise and fumes from the trucks are keeping her up at night.
“I am a senior and I need sleep,” Jackson said.
Jackson said that she and her neighbors were pleading for something to be done and she was not going to go away until she heard some good news.
“If nothing is done you are going to see this face every time you open this door. I hope you are paying attention to me,” Jackson said. “Because if you aren’t paying attention to me now, we won’t pay attention to you when it is time to vote.”
James Kersey told officials the streets are not maintained, commercials vehicles are parked “boldly” in front of residential homes and that the sentiment he was feeling was they were the “expendable” section of town.
“This would not be tolerated in other wards of the towns where real estate is higher. When it is election time and you are giving chicken and beer and to residents to get them to vote. What about the second ward for the non-election time? I think it is a sin and a shame and it is insulting,” Kersey said.
Helen Arnold said that she was there for a third time to get the streets washed by something “other than rain water.”
“I think we’re entitled to it. I don’t think we should have to come here and ask you guys to clean our streets,” Arnold said.
Resident Herb Cochrane said that traffic gets backed up so badly in the morning that his wife can’t get out of the driveway and is often late to work—one block away.
“They look at you like they want to fight you,” Cochrane said of the other drivers. Cochrane said it was too cold now, but he wanted the mayor and council to see what he was talking about first hand from his porch.
Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty said that was a good idea.
“There is nothing like seeing it first hand,” Dougherty said.
Dougherty took Cochrane’s contact information and said the first day that was over 40 degrees he would be down there at 7 a.m. to see it all for himself.
“I’ll bring the coffee,” Dougherty said.
Councilwoman Raline Smith-Reid, who represents the Second Ward, said that it was clear their current traffic measures weren’t working. Smith-Reid initially floated the idea of making Abbett a one-way street, but later said the residents had a better suggestion.
“Their idea was to close off the ramp or
the arrow that goes directly across 287 on to Abbett Avenue,” Smith-Reid said.
“When you get off that ramp. You go right or left and eliminate the straight
through as an option.”
Smith-Reid said she would continue the discussion with her residents and in the interim, Dougherty reminded residents to reach out to their representative and the administration either by phone or through the town website to report issues.
“We will deal with it,” Dougherty said. “Call your representative. And they will contract the administration. If there is an issue with a commercial vehicle we will handle it.
Dougherty asked town Engineer Jeff Hartke to repost street sweeping schedules, so Second Ward residents know when to move their cars, as the feedback they received said that was working.
“Lets keep that up,” Dougherty said. “If it is working and we know we have something that works then lets do that.”