Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Monday, August 10, 2015

Total traffic srew-up downtown today

Beware: Road work on West 2nd Street
is affecting Madison Avenue and downtown traffic patterns.

Plainfielders and those passing through the downtown on the way to other destinations will have to navigate a screw-up today.

Milling and paving work has begun on Second Street between Central Avenue and Park Avenue. If this is part of the city's road improvements plan, it could use more and better coordination.

It if is part of PSEG's "make good" for the damage they have done to the streets  and sidewalks with the power substation upgrade, someone should be looking over their shoulder.

Coming back from an errand in North Plainfield, I decided to use Madison Avenue to get from Front Street to Seventh. Suddenly, between Front and Second, there was a logjam.

A police officer at Second Street had stopped traffic for the milling machine to proceed on Second Street. Turning off Madison into the county parking lot to shortcut to Second and Park turned out to be fruitless, as a patrol car blocked the driveway exit onto Second Street.

So, it was turn around, go back to Madison Avenue and wait. Finally cars were let through a few at a time.

To double-check I went back around on Central Avenue. By this time, the traffic shunted from Second and Central was piled up at West Front Street, and the traffic planning to turn onto Madison southbound was backed up on West Front from Madison to Central. Gmarly.

?he only way to the southern side of the railroad tracks was to go over to Watchung Avenue, the next north/south roadway that is open.

Meanwhile, further down Second Street, between Union County College and Roosevelt Avenue, the road is blocked -- for sidewalk and curb construction at the moment.

After the mauling the street and its substructure took from PSEG during the digs and construction as part of the substation feeder system, it seems to this amateur's eye that just milling and paving is letting the utility company off too lightly.

On the bright side, perhaps these unexpected (and unannounced) closures herald the beginning of the end of the large scale downtown PSEG project.

I admire the use of the Nixle alert service which surrounding towns take advantage of in posting traffic disruption notices on a daily basis. Plainfield also has Nixle, but seems not to have discovered its usefulness.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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