New lights to slow traffic in Harvey Cedars
HARVEY CEDARS — Three new flashing lights along Long Beach Boulevard will slow down traffic and create more breaks in its flow for beach- or bay-bound pedestrians to cross its four lanes, officials hope.
Rather than implement the long-discussed plan to restyle the borough’s main thoroughfare, a county road, to a three-lane configuration, representatives of the Office of the Ocean County Engineer said they want to avoid changing the traffic pattern just yet.
“When you cut down and widen and then widen and cut down, you have blockages in the traffic,” County Administrator Alan W. Avery Jr. explained during a meeting with borough officials and taxpayers Tuesday.
North and south of the borough, the boulevard has two lanes in each direction with grassy medians in some areas. In some areas in Surf City, to the south, it only has one lane in each direction.
Borough Commissioner Judith Gerkens noted that the boulevard has inconsistencies on the southern end of Long Beach Island.
“You go from four lanes in (Long Beach) Township into one lane each way in Beach Haven,” she said.
The flashing yellow lights will be installed at Bergen Avenue and 75th and 86th streets. County Engineer Frank Scarantino explained that they will be equidistantly spaced between the borough’s existing traffic lights at Salem and Camden avenues and 80th Street.
“We’ve laid them out and designed them so that they could be converted” to full traffic lights,” he said. “I think that it’ll be a radical safety improvement for you.”
Scarantino and Avery added that a new law requires motorists to stop, rather than just yield, for pedestrians in crosswalks. The law went into effect April 1, and violators receive a $200 fine and two points on their license.
The county officials told the Board of Commissioners and representatives from the Harvey Cedars Taxpayer Association that the flashing lights, which they hope will be working by Memorial Day weekend, will not preclude further changes to the borough’s two-mile stretch of Long Beach Boulevard.
Harvey Cedars Taxpayer Association trustees Phil Kunz and Susan Lewis said that the flashing lights won’t address the boulevard’s narrow shoulders, which are only 24 inches wide in some areas, Lewis said. Reconfiguring the road to feature two travel lanes and a central turning lane would, she said.
“Slowing traffic down definitely helps, but it doesn’t change what people do in a car on that road,” Kunz said. “It will do nothing for the person that jogs, rides their bike, walks to get ice cream or pushes a stroller on the boulevard.”
By JESSICA INFANTE • STAFF WRITER • May 8, 2010 Article taken from the following website: http://www.app.com/article/20100508/NEWS/5080312/1070/NEWS02/New-lights-to-slow-traffic-in-Harvey-Cedars