Sitting in traffic is never fun and unfortunately, Montclair State students and faculty have been doing a lot more of it. Due to annual enrollment increasing each year, the campus community has come across one unique problem: getting off campus.
At this time, there are three ways to enter Montclair State University: via Clove Road, Valley Road or Yogi Berra Drive. However, there are only two ways to exit campus: via Clove Road or Valley Road. This has caused an immense amount of frustration, as cars line both Clove Road and Valley Road when classes end.
Montclair State usually pushes problems of this magnitude to the side, but it seems like they have finally been able to acknowledge a problem that faces nearly all students and faculty members each day.
A recent traffic study completed in 2014 by Stonefield Engineering & Design, LLC, found that Montclair State demonstrated a need for an additional exit on campus. Soon after the completion of the traffic study, Montclair State proposed a plan to make the one-way Yogi Berra Drive entrance into a two-way road, thus creating another way for students and faculty to leave campus. This plan calls for a new traffic light to be implemented at the junction of Valley Road and Yogi Berra Drive along with various smaller changes.
Montclair State has made tons of structural improvements to buildings in a number of expansions, but this proposal would mark a long-awaited change in transportation at the university.
Montclair State is commonly critiqued for ignoring the necessary changes that need to be made, but it is nice to see that the university is finally stepping up and listening to the needs of the community it serves.
Since the growth of Montclair State shows no sign of slowing and more people will be on the roads surrounding campus, it is important to find ways to reduce the amount of traffic. The proposed plan allows traffic leaving campus to be funneled into three exits instead of just two. This will be key when people are leaving class in the afternoon and early evening, when traffic slows due to the sheer volume of cars on the roads.
Clove Road, Valley Road and Normal Avenue quickly fill with vehicles when students leave their classes at 2:30 p.m., and the trend continues well into the night. This poses a problem to individuals who need to get off campus in a hurry for a job or internship. Thus, having an extra exit will undoubtedly speed up the process of individuals leaving campus.
By lessening the amount of traffic present at any given time, everyone will be able to get around campus in a more efficient manner. It will be even more efficient for shuttle services, as shuttles will not have to wait as long to make turns or merge onto Clove Road. While this will not alleviate all of the problems commonly associated with shuttle services at Montclair State, it will help students get to class more quickly.
While much of the Montclair State community is on board with this change, the City of Clifton and Passaic County have an opposing view. Montclair State has wanted to make changes to Yogi Berra Drive for a long time, but the City of Clifton and Passaic County have prevented Montclair State from making any changes to Yogi Berra Drive since their first legal bout in 2005.
Currently, Montclair State is in the process of taking legal action to make Yogi Berra Drive a two way street. With some luck, Montclair State, as well as the City of Clifton and Passaic County, will come to an agreement that will benefit all parties in a positive way.