Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles responds to your ‘Ask The Mayor’ questions: Multiple Traffic-related issues

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].

Question:

Hi.

I’d like to discuss the intersection at Squankum road and East Kennedy Blvd.

Every day I drive home from work and I take Squankum road to East County Line Road at which point I make a left onto East County Line.

I find that it’s a big problem that the lights on east Kennedy blvd and east county line road aren’t in sync.

When the east Kennedy light is green the east county line light is red. In addition there’s a right on red privilege on east Kennedy blvd which creates a terrible back up onto Squankum and cars looking to continue straight so they can make a left onto east county line can’t get past the light on east Kennedy blvd.

Almost every day I witness near accidents as cars driving straight block the intersection of east Kennedy blvd and Squankum road not allowing cars coming from east county line road onto squankum road make a left onto east Kennedy blvd when they have the green light. In addition cars making a right on red from east Kennedy blvd aggressively turn on to squankum and many force their way into the left lane cutting off angry drivers trying to drive straight in the right lane.

I believe that if the east Kennedy blvd light and the east county line road light were more in sync it would help but the main factor that would help would be not allowing cars to make a right on red from east Kennedy blvd onto squankum road.

Please look into this. It is a very hazardous intersection.

Thank you so much for allowing us to have a voice.

Response from Mayor Coles:

Thank you for taking the time to get in touch. Quite a few letters I receive have to do with improving timing & synchronization of traffic lights. Unfortunately making these adjustments is out of our hands & must be done by the county or state. I have asked our engineers to set up a meeting with the county, sort of a “Synchronization Summit” where can can discuss many of the areas that have been raised to me and see what we can do to get them to prioritize these changes where possible.

Thanks

Ray

Question:

Hi Mayor,
Thank you for providing the residents of Lakewood with an opportunity to communicate with you.

I believe this concern may have previously been discussed here on TLS, but I’d like to make a suggestion which I have not seen.

When traveling eastbound on Cedarbridge Ave, there is no turning lane by clover street. Through each green light cycle, one or two cars are able to turn left. This causes a tremendous backup during morning and afternoon rush hour.

I understand Cedarbridge is a county road. I also understand that a turning lane is a big project.

My proposal is an advanced green light (with a green arrow) for the eastbound traffic. This will provide a tremendous relief.

(this same set up is in effect at Cedarbridge x MLK going westbound)

Thank you.
Shmuel

Response from Mayor Coles:

Hi Shmuel

This has been suggested many times to me. We have requested the county look into this intersection. as well as many others in town. I have scheduled a meeting with the county engineer & our engineers to go over the list we submitted to them and see what we can do to get some movement. Thank you for reaching out.

Ray

Question:

Dear Mr Mayor,

Thank you for your service.

The traffic light at the corner of Pine St and Ave of the States has very recently gone from a blinking light to fully functional. This happened without any notice to anyone in the neighborhood and without any signage alerting driving to the new traffic pattern. I was making a left turn on to Pine St this afternoon when a woman came at me going full speed and missed my car by inches. My wife commented afterword that the woman had a bewildered look on her face. She obviously had no idea she had just run a red light at full speed putting my whole family’s lives in danger.

With all the work that goes into planning new lights and traffic patterns around town, don’t you think a simple billboard saying “new traffic pattern” is warranted? All the new lights around town get them for weeks ahead of the change. There are thousands of cars who travel here daily who have no idea about this change. This is truly dangerous.

Again, thank you for all your hard work on behalf of our town.

Sincerely,

Pine st resident

Response from Mayor Coles:

Good morning Yitz.

In hindsight I wish we had put the billboard up when we turned the switch. Normally with a new light, the billboards go up when the lights begin flashing to let folks know that they are going to be turned on soon and to get used to a light in an area that had none previously. In this case with the light flashing already for a couple of years, we did not make sure the billboard was there first. However, folks do have a responsibility to pay attention to the road. I am just glad that nothing serious happened to your family. I will make sure we do better job in the future.

Thanks

Ray

Question:

Hi,

I live near Spruce St and Vine. I’ve noticed that on Spruce although there are driveways and more than enough parking, cars are allowed to park on both sides of the street. Spruce is very narrow and has a slower speed limit(25mph) likely because of that. Often times there are cars parked on both sides of the street which restricts cars from passing in both directions.

Can I suggest restricting parking to only one side and raising the speed limit to 30mph? I think this would allow a better flow of traffic in the area.

Response from Mayor Coles:

Hi Isaac. Even with driveways parking on many of our streets is at a premium certain times of the day. I will forward this to Traffic & Safety for their input. Even if parking were restricted to one side, I doubt the speed limit would be raised.

Thanks

Ray

Question:

Dear Mr. Mayor,

You responded to a recent question about installing a light at Finchley & Route 9. You stated that it cannot be done because lights are already going up at Evergreen and at Oak. You said that DOT initially did not want to add a light at Oak because it would be too close to the light at Evergreen.

Considering that lights in close proximity to each other are not optimal, how about placing one light at Oak Street and the second at Finchley? This will keep the lights more spread out.

Both Finchley and Ford Ave (Presidential Estates) which is directly across from Finchley are in dire need of lights to turn left. They both cause backup and are not safe.

Also, considering that a third light is off the table, how about creating a jug handle past Oak street going north and/or a jug handle past the proposed light at Finchley going south. This way drivers needing to turn left out of Evergreen and left out of Chateau Drive will have the option to go in the other direction and take the jug handle. They will end up at a light which will allow them to make a safe left turn.

Obviously, there needs to be room for a jug handle which very well may not be the case. But if it can be done, it would offer a resolution to all three intersections.

Zev

Response from Mayor Coles:

Hi Zev

We are confident that a light is needed at Finchley & 9. The DOT disagrees, and they have the final say. However, they did give us permission to install the infrastructure & design the light for that intersection which I am confident will eventually be installed. They initially only had a light at Evergreen. It took bunch of discussion, but they finally agreed to install another at Oak. I am sure these 2 lights will help with the condition at Finchley. We will continue to push for the light at Finchley.

Ray

Question:

Hi! Thank you for taking the time to help alleviate the issues in our town. On Williams street, at certain times it’s all backed up because cars can’t make a left turn onto James Street. We had this issue on Williams and Prospect and thanks to the township a light was put up and there’s no issue there anymore. Is it possible to get a light on Williams and James, so we won’t have to dangerously make a left onto James and help alleviate the traffic on Williams? Thank You!

Joyce

Response from Mayor Coles:

The light at that intersection is coming. We have been pushing the County to move up the timetable to get in installed.

Ray

Question:

Dear Mayor,

I would like to use this forum to take a moment and say thank you for the work done around the Vine and Oak intersection, including the installation of a traffic light. Last summer, a 4 minute drive from my house to drop off my son at daycamp took approximately 15-20 minutes due to the back-up on Oak Street from the stop sign. This morning was the first day of the 2018 camp season and with the newly installed traffic light up and running, it took me 5 minutes to drop off my son and continue on to work.

Thank you for your attention to the issues with these intersections and your efforts to help fix them.

A grateful resident

Response from Mayor Coles:

Hi Judy

I am glad that the light is making life easier for residents of the area. I hope your son enjoys camp. Have a great summer.

Ray

Question:

Dear Mayor,

Thank you so much for everything that you do for our town and for answering our concerns. There are a few intersections around town that are very problematic/dangerous that I have left messages with the Township more than once but haven’t seen anything done to alleviate the issue. The main one that affects me on a regular basis is the intersection of County Line and Ridge Avenue. When you need to make a left turn off County Line onto Ridge Avenue there is no way to do so in a safe manner. Cars coming towards you in the right lane going straight are blocked by the cars in the left lane attempting to make the left turn onto Ridge Avenue in the other direction. Even waiting for the light to turn yellow doesn’t help because the cars opposite you are doing the same thing! It is imperative to add a turning signal at this intersection for basic safety reasons. I hope to hear a positive response!

Response from Mayor Coles:

Hi Sara,

You will not get an argument from me. I live in Raintree & have to deal with that intersection on daily basis. The problem we have is that both roads belong to the county. We have been asking them to upgrade that intersection for years. The good news is that they have committed to improve it, but we have been unable to get a firm commitment on when. I have a meeting with the county engineer next month & this is one of the intersections we will be discussing. We will do what we can to get them to move as quickly as possible.

Thanks

Ray

Question:

Dear Mayor Coles,

First of all thank you very much for answering questions in this forum.
Can you please forward the following concerns to the appropriate departments?

There are many areas in Lakewood where a single car waiting to make a turn can hold up 50 cars and make a traffic jam. I believe, in most cases, turning lanes can solve this problem.

On Cross St turning left onto Prospect.
On New Hampshire having a longer turning lane for cars turning right onto Ridge.
On New Hampshire southbound between Ridge and Ocean Ave, having a passing lane would help tremendously.

P.S. Thank you very much for the turning Lanes by Washington and Pine.

Kind Regards,
A Grandpa

Response from Mayor Coles:

Hello Grandpa

These are all County roads that we have requesting these upgrades to for years. I will try to get commitments for when these improvements will be addressed.

Thanks

Ray

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1 COMMENT

  1. Squankum and Kennedy!! I’ve wanted to write about that one for a long long time. There should be NO turn allowed on red from Kennedy to squankum. That would help free up a lot of dead space when cars block the intersection when they turn on red! Thanks k you

Comments are closed.