Opinion: Time to Make West Jersey Avenue in EHT Safer
It happened again. Another friend of our family was involved in a traffic accident on West Jersey Avenue in Egg Harbor Township.
This time, the crash happened at the intersection of West Jersey and Ridge - an intersection I maneuver through every day.
Almost every day, it seems like there is an accident at that intersection, or the West Jersey intersections of Fernwood, Tremont, or Ivins.
West Jersey is a straight-thru road in the area, meaning traffic doesn't stop. The intersecting streets must stop at stop signs, before crossing or pulling onto West Jersey.
I can tell you first hand, West Jersey is the most dangerous street I drive!
Deciding to cross West Jersey or pull onto West Jersey is like trying to drive thru a demolition derby. Traffic on West Jersey is flowing at 45 miles per hour (or more) and you must time you move just right to avoid traffic and/or stay in front of approaching traffic.
When you are sitting at the stop sign on places like Ridge Avenue, you also start to feel the pressure of traffic building up behind you, waiting for you to do something.
The other problem is that if you're sitting at the stop sign, chances are there's someone on the other side of the intersection at the other stop sign, and two-way stop rules and etiquette aren't always followed. Sometimes, it's every man or woman for himself or herself!
Over the years, I know traffic studies have been conducted to access the necessity of a traffic light - or something. The problem with these studies, I assume, is that over a 24-hour period, it's not an overwhelming amount of traffic. No, it's the several rush hours each day where problems happen. Just try to sneak through the area between 4:30 and 5:30 PM.
So, my plea is: let's do SOMETHING!
Sure they've tried. Now, most of the stop signs have a blinking light - but, that doesn't help stopped traffic enter the raceway - er, roadway.
At the earlier mentioned intersection of West Jersey and Ridge, guardrails were put up, presumably to prevent people entering West Jersey from Ridge from making their own traffic lanes for right turns. All the guardrails really do, though, is to keep the cars involved in an accident from flying into the grass and trees.
Instead, let's do SOMETHING THAT WORKS!
I'm not a traffic expert,and don't pretend to be one, but here are a few ideas:
1. Slow down traffic on West Jersey! Reduce the speed limit to 25 mph. We can all leave the house two minutes earlier.
2. Get some traffic lights up. It's time.
3. A little more radical - make West Jersey ONE WAY! While your at it, redo Reega Avenue so it goes straight through, and make it ONE WAY the other way!
I do admit that I don't know whose responsibility this is - city, country, state? However if a local politician would jump on the issue and try to DO SOMETHING, I would be mightily impressed!
Oh, P.S.- further down West Jersey -- whoever's brilliant idea it was to make a cut-through of Cates Road through the bike path should be shot at dawn. That little intersection is crazy and out of control!