Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles responds to your ‘Ask The Mayor’ questions: Frustrated

The following is an ‘Ask The Mayor’ question submitted to TLS, and the Mayor’s response. Email your questions for the Mayor to [email protected].


Dear Mr Mayor,

Within the past year, there have been numerous occasions on this forum where writers as myself have expressed their extreme frustration over the terrible road condition that exists at the tracks. The only answer we have been receiving thus far is that they’re working on it, and it will be mentioned to the company at the next meeting.

To date, nothing has been down and we have no clear answers. As residents of this town we demand that something be done more quickly. We invite you to travel this road, and do so a few times in the course of s few minutes, and you too will demand a quicker response from whomever is in charge.

In addition, it seems the new company has the bright idea to cross through town during the morning rush the past two weeks. I think you’ve heard enough about the the morning commute in this town. Needless to say this is unacceptable.

Thank you in advance

Response from Mayor Coles:

Good morning,

I share your frustration at the lack of progress with Conrail in the past. We tried for months to get a representative to sit down with us.

The good news is that as of last summer, Conrail sold the rights to the tracks which cross Lakewood to the Chesapeake & Delaware Railroad.

We met with their superintendent last week and had some very good discussions.

They seem very wiling to consider improving the existing crossings and working with us to add new crossings.

We also discussed the schedule. They are very limited in their ability to change schedules, because they get deliveries of train cars from Conrail in Red Bank and have to get them delivered right away.

We brought up the challenges that daytime deliveries pose, especially on Friday. They committed to ask Conrail to change the Thursday delivery day to Friday, which would allow them to deliver those cars on Saturday.

For their part, they requested assistance in making sure nobody touches or climbs on the cars when they are on delivery spurs. There have been numerous incidents of air brake valves being opened, which can cause serious issues with the operation of the trains.

We look forward to a very productive relationship with the new operators.

Thanks for writing



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  1. Mr Mayor

    I would greatly appreciate if you would be so kind as to post what is being done to help the traffic situation in town. What are the latest plans being worked on?
    Widening the 9 is not going to happen, so what real options do we have?
    The least I would suggest is to show you care and put out a statement one every 2 month what progress is in the works
    Thank You

    • Although politicians have been reticent to approach this idea because, and I quote “the land along the tracks belongs to the rail company and we cannot do anything without their permission”, I believe that with the appropriate legal team you can argue eminent domain to create an easement along the tracks.
      You would need to give them the ability to close said road under a number of scenarios such as track maintenance, but the rest of the time it would be quite beneficial.

      • That seems to be the answer for everything. Throw around as much money as you can until you get your own way, and everyone else can get lost. Heck you would pay a lawyer $500 just to get out of a $100 traffic ticket. Absolutely shameful.

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