Jacoby Street has been in the news again. Last week, .
Sometimes known as the Lightening Brook neighborhood and including part of Boyden Avenue as well as Harding Street, Hughes Street, Menzel Avenue and 44th Street, the area has had recurring problems with crime, traffic and speeding, and litter.
In September of 2010, in a Jacoby Street apartment put the street into the national spotlight. That year, the neighborhood also saw , leading the Township to .
Despite the increased efforts, some residents remain frustrated. Around a dozen of them spoke about their concerns at the July Maplewood Township Committee (TC) meeting. One resident said that the area did not experience the same “quality of life” that other parts of Maplewood did.
Mayor Vic De Luca assured residents that the town was continuing to address the area’s problems. This week, TC member and head of the public safety committee Marlon Brownlee expanded on the measures officials are taking.
Representatives from the Fire, Police, Health, Public Works and Building Departments held a joint meeting to discuss the area, said Brownlee. “There will be a coordinated effort to address the concerns of the residents in the area,” he said. “Among other things, this will include doing better landscaping in the overgrown grass/tree area along 44th Street, getting property owners in the area to keep up their properties, and doing an evaluation of street lighting and making adjustments as needed.”
He said that residents have voiced concerns about traffic calming measures. “We proposed the idea of adding speed bumps to slow the traffic on 44th street,” said Brownlee. “The township engineer is now moving forward to place them there. The community will be consulted prior to bumps actually being installed.”
Brownlee has communicated with residents about setting up a neighborhood watch group. “The police are available to help with the setup process and to meet with the people involved," he said.
Capt. John Perna confirmed that Lt. John Tutunjian, who heads the department’s Crime Prevention Unit, is working with residents to form a watch group and that residents can contact Lt. Tutunjian at 973-762-3400, x7620.