BELMAR, NJ — Satisfied with the way multiway stops are slowing traffic at key intersections throughout Belmar, borough officials will take another look at what to do with the two roundabouts on 10th Avenue.
In May, multiway stops signs were placed at 21 intersections on the east side of town to better control traffic speed, particularly before the start of the summer season.
And while that work included placing four-way stop signs on 10th Avenue at B and D Streets, the traffic circles themselves remain, as borough residents are divided over their future.
At the Belmar Council meeting on September 18, Mayor Brian Magovern brought up the issue, pondering whether the circles should be removed entirely or improved with better signage and landscaping.
Because the four-way stops are slowing down traffic, Councilman Thomas Brennan said the circles are now redundant and should be removed because they create confusion as traffic cannot proceed straight through the intersections.
That sentiment was echoed by Tom Burke, who is among those 10th Avenue residents who want to see the roundabouts removed. “The circles are a pain in the neck to negotiate, particularly if you’re trying to make a left-hand turn,” he said.
In addition, large tire marks found around the 10th and D Street roundabout show the difficulty truck drivers have in making their way around the circle, Burke said.
Noting that opinions on the issue are split, Councilman Mark Walsifer said he wants to review police statistics on speeding along 10th Avenue, as well as whether the circles have caused any accidents, before he makes a decision.
Public Works Director Michael Campbell said to remove the circles and fill them with blacktop would not be a major process, taking about one to two days to complete. To replace them with pavers, as suggested by Walsifer, would require a little more time, he added.
The council also asked Business Administrator Colleen Connolly to explore the purchase of digital speed signs as another way to control speeding on borough streets.
And in other street-related matter, the governing body introduced an ordinance that would make Snyder Avenue one-way northbound — after a petition of nearly 100 residents in that area was submitted, with the majority requesting the change of direction.
For the past year, Claire Hayner of 18th Avenue has spearheaded the effort to have the switchover so that there will be two one-way cross streets going northbound and two going southbound between 17th Avenue and North Boulevard. A public hearing and final vote on the measure by the borough council is expected on Tuesday, October 2.
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