Copyrights to the original creator of the image0 Brian Chen

Unhappy Resident Seeks State Intervention on Carteret Commuter Road Issues

Carteret Residents Disappointed in Mayor’s Responses at First Public Meeting on Waterfront Redevelopment Plan. They will Seek Help from State Representatives

(Feb. 28, 2024) Carteret residents opposed to a commuter road extension through private property in their quiet neighborhood said they were disappointed in Mayor Daniel Reiman’s responses to their concerns at last Thursday’s borough council meeting.

“The mayor did not listen to us. He did not address our concerns about safety or traffic or noise or exhaust pollution,” said resident Wayne Johnson, who lives at the Meridian Square apartments, whose property the borough wants to condemn to obtain space to build a road to the waterfront.

Another resident, Floria Butts said: “I am disappointed that the borough officials did not show any concern for how the increased traffic in the neighborhood will affect the children at the Columbus School and the middle school. “Parents have a right to be concerned about the safety of their children and the town should take their concerns seriously in my opinion.”

The regularly scheduled February 22 council meeting was the first occasion for the borough to publicly present the mayor’s plans for the waterfront which he says has been in the works for years. The residents are concerned that the redevelopment plan, including a ferry terminal, a hotel, a large commercial building and a movie studio – will bring heavy traffic through their quiet residential neighborhood. 


More than 20 concerned residents attended the meeting and left dissatisfied. “The meeting lacked any meaningful give and take,” said Johnson. “The mayor and his consultants wanted us to believe their plan is set in concrete and cannot and will not be altered no matter what people say. That was not the kind of meeting we wanted.”

Early in his presentation about the waterfront project, the mayor repeatedly said that the Carteret Avenue Road extension was approved by the owners of Meridian Square apartments years go. Johnson said the mayor’s statement is misleading.

“I checked with our complex’s management, and they told me in no uncertain terms that they do not want a public street built through their property and that they never did,” said Johnson. “If they wanted the road extension, why are they in court fighting the borough’s condemnation of their property?”

The road extension will be squeezed through three residential complexes: Meridian Square, the Lexington apartments and another smaller group of unnamed condominiums.

A Meridian Square representative said: “what the mayor presented to the public – including aerial photographs that date back the 1940’s – was an access easement between two private landowners, not intended for public use. That easement was extinguished upon the completion of Industrial Highway.”

Residents also shared concerns about the road extension’s significant reduction of private parking.  The mayor said that Meridian Square was offered additional angled parking on the northern edge of the road extension and refused it. 

The Meridian Square representative added:“No functional parking was refused at any point.  Under the town’s proposal, residents would be required to cross a public road to access their vehicles. Residents would have to back their vehicles onto a public road to exit. That is not an acceptable replacement to the private parking that exists today.” 

 On Thursday the mayor backed away from indicating that the road extension is needed for the ferry; saying instead that the Carteret Avenue extension is “independent of the ferry project.” 

“If the town does not need Carteret Avenue extension to reach the ferry, and there are two existing alternate routes to the waterfront; why does the town want to spend millions of dollars to build a road between two apartment buildings? asked Johnson. “It makes no sense.”

The mayor said the road extension would facilitate pedestrian access to the waterfront. 

“The Borough has not proposed a pedestrian focused plan.  Adding more traffic to an intersection does not increase pedestrian safety.  If pedestrian access is the concern, the existing intersections could absolutely be signalized.” said the Meridian Square representative, who attended the meeting.

 Johnson said the fight to save the neighborhood from traffic and safety issues that the road extension will bring, is not over.


“We are not opposed to the waterfront redevelopment. But we are opposed to the development destroying our, safe, peaceful neighborhood,” said Johnson.

“It is obvious the mayor is not listening to us, so we will bring our concerns to the Borough Council and to our state legislators who are funding the mayor’s redevelopment,” said Johnson.

“We want people from the state to come down to our neighborhood and see for themselves what exactly they are funding. We want them to tell us that jeopardizing our children and our quality of life is a good use of state taxpayer money,” added Johnson.

Featured image courtesy: Brian Chen

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