Written by Nick Malfitano
An increase in traffic accidents at the intersection of Commonwealth Boulevard and Beacon Street led one resident to question Township Council members about what can be done to make the area safer.
Manchester resident Michelle Jacobs appeared before the governing body at Monday’s meeting to voice her concerns with the several accidents in the previous year at the Commonwealth and Beacon intersection near her home, which have resulted in the removal of a traffic guardrail in that area.
Jacobs further expressed frustration with the county officials whom she consulted on the issue.
“I was in contact with the county road and engineering departments, but they blamed (Superstorm) Sandy,” said Jacobs.
Due to the busy traffic pattern, Jacobs said her children can’t catch their morning bus ride to school outside her home and must instead walk a few blocks to down the street.
“The traffic out there is horrendous. My street is a bypass for everyone going onto Route 37. It needs to be made one-way or no-way,” she said.
Jacobs shared her opinion that much effort is being put in to attract new businesses to Manchester, but nothing to decrease the added traffic flow in the area near Route 571.
Township Attorney Steven Secare pointed out Route 571 is a county road, but also that the township engineer could conduct a survey and traffic study to assess the situation there and perhaps recommend to county officials to lower the speed limit.
“That’s the best we can do,” said Secare.
Council President Craig Wallis said Jacobs was correct in her assessment of the traffic pattern in that area.
“Everyone comes out of that corner,” said Wallis.
Jacobs was blunt in her view of the danger she feels the Commonwealth Boulevard and Beacon Street intersection possesses.
“People in Lakewood, Trenton, Camden and Asbury Park are afraid of drive-bys. I’m afraid of a car-by,” Jacobs said.