Allentown Council cancels traffic light support on South Main and High Streets

ALLENTOWN – Members of the Allentown Borough Council have rescinded their previous documented support for the installation of a traffic light at the intersection of South Main and High streets.

On December 7, council members voted 5 to 1 to pass a resolution supporting a Monmouth County plan to build a traffic light at the intersection.

Six months later, that supporting resolution was rescinded.

At a June 14 meeting, council members voted 5-0 to overturn the December 7 resolution that supported the installation of a pop-up traffic light at South Main Street (Monmouth County Route 524) and High Street (Monmouth County Road 539).

The June 14 council resolution states that since the previous vote on December 7, “the borough has requested additional traffic studies on the intersection…to (provide) a more thorough review of the options available to Monmouth County” and that since December, “Monmouth County began working directly with the Upper Freehold Regional School District to identify measures available to the school district that might preclude the need for a traffic light at this location.”

Borough Council President John A. Elder III, Councilor Dan Payson, Councilor Michael Drennan, Councilor Martha Johnson and Councilor Nikki Darling voted “yes” to the June 14 resolution. Councilwoman Erica DeKranes was absent from the meeting.

On December 7, Elder, Drennan, Payson, Johnson and DeKranes voted “yes” on the resolution to support the traffic light. Councilman Robert Strovinsky voted “no” and expressed several concerns about a traffic light. Strovinsky’s term ended on December 31.

Since December, residents of South Main and High Streets have been concerned about the impact a traffic light at the intersection would have on their daily lives.

After all five members of council voted unanimously to rescind the Dec. 7 resolution, resident Regina Finn thanked city officials “for listening to the community. From day one, this (situation) has been a school district problem, not a city problem.

Mayor Thomas Fritts said, “The school district has avoided this problem for years. They have to fix the problem. »

Finn said the comments that were posted on Facebook caused the parents to raise the school traffic issue with the superintendent of schools and the school board.

Wil Borkowski, who is one of two representatives from Allentown on the school board, said the root cause of the problem is seniors going to Allentown High School in the morning.

The high school is on the High Street and shares a campus with Newell Elementary School.

Resident John Fabiano called the council’s decision to rescind the December resolution a “wise move”. He said the Monmouth County area, which includes Allentown and Upper Freehold Township, needs “a common sense road system”.

Fritts said he appreciates council members listening to residents and county officials who have addressed the situation. The mayor said residents have raised significant issues with the county’s traffic signal plan. Fritts thanked council members for passing the June 14 resolution.

In recent weeks, the mayor said a school district-backed traffic committee was looking at traffic issues on his High Street campus and seeking a solution to the problems.

Allentown officials said that at certain times of the day, significant traffic delays occur at the intersection of South Main and High streets. The situation is partly attributed to the fact that the campus containing the secondary school and the primary school is not far from the intersection.

Authorities have acknowledged that at other times of the day there is no backing up of traffic at the intersection and that a traffic light could force motorists to wait for a green signal, which does not This is not currently the case with an intersection controlled by a stop. Sign on High Street.

Borough Engineer Carmela Roberts said delays at the intersection at certain times of the day can be up to 300 seconds (five minutes) and the intersection is operating at service level F, which Roberts says is the worst level of service on a scale of A. to F

A traffic light could reduce the wait at the busiest times of the day from 300 seconds to around 35 seconds, she said.

Fritts called the current situation at the intersection “a real danger.”

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