Tinton Falls Intersection Again Under Discussion After Serious Collision

first_imgBut residents have put up resistance, suspecting the county’s motivation to widen Sycamore is to increase commercial traffic. Residents of the northern section of the borough have a website, savetintonfalls.com, where they charged that “our entire neighborhood is about to become a thru-way for Monmouth County.” “And my primary concern is safety,” he said. “A traffic light’s got to be there,” he said. “We’ve studied it and we’ve studied it and we’ve studied it,” he said. “And still nothing happens.” Turning said that in 2017, his last year as mayor, 14 people were injured in accidents at that intersection. “And we’ve been analyzing, monthly, the crash reports to determine whether or not there is a change in the pattern,” he said. “The problem is the county wants to put a five-lane intersection in there for their future traffic needs to push more traffic through all of the roads in Tinton Falls, including Hance and Hope and Sycamore,” said Sycamore Avenue resident Peter Kar vavites Aug.13. “We’ve asked for a light, we’ve asked for a turning lane and we’ve asked to reduce speed. The county has said ‘no,’ because all they want is a large highway cutting through a residential area.” “I think it’s too long been overlooked and not appropriately taken care of, catering to a small group of people who don’t want it done,” Baldwin said. “Shame on the county. It’s their road. They can fix it.” The county has studied and suggested improvements to that intersection and the nearby intersection of Sycamore Avenue and Hope Road, a municipal road. A 2018 traffic study and plan for the county showed the crash rate at Hance and Sycamore was more than twice the state average and that there were more than 20 injuries over a four-year period. The area is heavily travelled during the peak morning and afternoon drive times, the report found. The county has said widening the road is necessary for the traffic light to function properly, to avoid traffic backups extending through Hope Road and causing gridlock. A traffic light already exists at the intersection of Hope Road and Sycamore Avenue, a few car lengths away from the Hance and Sycamore intersection. FREEHOLD – Monmouth County Freeholders last week again heard concerns about a dangerous intersection of two county roads in Tinton Falls, with a former mayor and police chief of the borough saying something needs to be done after they said an elderly motorist was fatally injured there recently. By Philip Sean Curran Gerald Turning, a former borough of Tinton Falls police chief, went before the board Aug. 7 to raise the alarm about Hance and Sycamore avenues, a “T” intersection that “is no longer just dangerous, it is deadly,” he said. Gary Baldwin, Tinton Falls Council president, said Aug. 13 that police have yet to release their official report on the collision, so details about the victims’ ages and names and how the accident happened have not been disclosed. Yet he felt the July 19 crash should serve as a call to action for the intersection to be made safer. “They want something in writing and we’re not prepared to put anything in writing on that, because it’s not our road,” Baldwin said. “It’s their decision.” Baldwin said Tinton Falls is waiting on a final report from the county saying it had explored all possible alternatives to make the intersection safer and a final recommendation for improving the intersection. Baldwin said he favors a traffic light with added turning lanes.center_img Tinton Falls Mayor Vito Perillo could not be reached for comment. But so far, the county has not moved forward on the suggested improvements outlined in last year’s report. That’s because the county follows a policy of first getting the consent of the governing body of the municipality before moving ahead with intersection projects that affect a municipal road. County officials have worked with Tinton Falls to find alternatives for improving safety. They eliminated the shoulder on the eastbound lane of Sycamore as part of a study to see if crashes would be reduced for 12 months. County engineer Joseph M. Ettore said during last week’s meeting that Tinton Falls Police have provided the county with crash reports. Former Monmouth freeholder and Middletown mayor Frank Self, now a resident of Tinton Falls, also was at the freeholder meeting on the issue. Now the acting president of the Greenbriar Falls Condo Association on Hance Avenue, he sought answers from freeholders on what the county plans to do. The “ticking time bomb” at Hance and Sycamore “is still ticking,” he added. “People are dying. This can’t continue to happen.” He said further that only a small length of Sycamore would be five lanes wide; four of them would be for vehicular traffic, while the fifth would be to safely align the lanes. In another step, the county studied the 40 mph speed limit of Sycamore and found it was the correct limit, based on the speeds of most drivers using the county road. In addition, the county got permission from a property owner on Sycamore, where there is a bend in the road, to remove trees that were hindering motorists’ sight lines. In an inter view after the meeting, Turning said he’d like to see either Tinton Falls’ governing body back the county’s plans for the intersection or, if that fails, for the county to go ahead with the improvements without local officials’ support. Tinton Falls’ five-member council has not gone along, despite being only one vote shy, according to Turning. Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone said Aug. 13 that a traffic light at the intersection was a “definite”andcalledsafety a “top priority.” One of the proposals from the study called for widening Sycamore Avenue, which would mean acquiring small por tions of private property, and installing a traffic signal at the Hance and Sycamore intersection. Another sug- gestion called for extending Hope Road in a move that would require acquiring 3.1 acres of private property. “Maybe it’s time for the county of Monmouth to simply say we’re no longer going to continue with that procedure that we have, that we’re going to wait for a serious problem like this to be fixed for the elected officials of that community or any community to say, ‘yes, it’s OK,’ ” Turning said at last week’s freeholders meeting. Current Tinton Falls Police Chief John A. Scrivanic could not be reached for comment about the crash. “There’s been more accidents at that intersection than you can shake a stick at over the years,” he said. “But the greater good is simple. You can’t have people being injured in car accidents at an intersection that you know is a failure.”last_img

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