LAKE COMO, NJ — Except for the need to place more traffic signs at specific locations, Lake Como’s new summer traffic control plan to ease congestion on certain borough streets appears to be working, according to borough officials.
During its August 1 workshop meeting, borough council members reported they have received no complaints about the plan since its last change on July 18 to return the two-block section of 19th Avenue from Bradley Terrace to B Street to two-way traffic — with the additional posting of “Local Traffic Only” signs near the intersection of 19th Avenue and B Street.
“The only feedback I’ve been getting is positive. Some people said they’d even like to see Redmond Street remain one way throughout the year, said Councilman Kevin Higgins, referring to the narrow, 0.17-mile street now being one-way eastbound with parking on both sides.
Mayor Brian Wilton said the borough has also received emails from residents thanking them for making 17th Avenue one-way westbound from B Street to Main Street to relieve traffic congestion and gridlock on that busy thoroughfare during the summer. While parking is permitted on both sides of the roadway, there is a three-way stop at 17th and White Street to slow down traffic at that intersection.
The other seasonal traffic pattern change prohibits parking on the south side of 18th Avenue from Main Street to New Bedford Road, beginning every Friday at 6 p.m. through Sunday until 6 p.m.
In order to ensure motorists abide by the new rules, which remain in effect until September 15, additional no parking signs will be put up along 18th Avenue, and one-way signs will be placed at the intersection of 17th Avenue and Newman Street and at the corner of 17th and Main Street.
Also, additional one-way signs will be placed across from the parking lot of a small commercial building at the corner of Main and Redmond Street where exiting cars continue to head westbound on Redmond. Belmar Police Detective Capt. Thomas Cox said letters will be hand-delivered to the business owners, alerting them to the situation.
Lake Como's governing body on June 28 unanimously approved a revised traffic flow plan that is designed to reduce congestion and increase safety primarily in two areas — 18th and 17th Avenues and 19th Avenue and Bradley Terrace — which provide east-west access to Belmar’s beach. Each summer, these narrow two-way streets become packed with parked cars on both sides, causing gridlock and unsafe conditions when vehicles cannot pass easily in either direction.
While the new rules will take effect annually from May 15 to September 15, the borough council and police plan to review the plan before next spring and make any revisions. They will specifically take another look to 19th Avenue, where at the request of Police Chief Andrew Huisman it suspended its change that made the road one-way eastbound until it became one-way westbound at the border of Belmar.
As a result of Lake Como’s change, it created an intersection at 19th Avenue and B Street with opposing “Do Not Enter” signs from both towns, triggering debate from Belmar and Lake Como residents on both sides of the border over safety and convenience issues.
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