Lakewood, NJ – Shabbos Chanukah is one of the times each year when Lakewood experiences somewhat of a mass exodus, as people travel to spend time with their parents, in-laws and relatives. Many considerShabbos Chanukah to be the quietest Shabbos of the year in Lakewood, more than even Pesach or Shabbos Nachamu.
Because it’s a short Friday, most people leave at the same time in the morning. This creates a traffic nightmare on Squankum Road leading to I-195. Often times, it can take up to 4-5 light changes for motorists to cross the intersection of Old Tavern Road and Lakewood Farmingdale Road (at the end of Squankum Road) just south of the exit to I-195.
Police Chief Rob Lawson of the Lakewood Police Department has orchestrated with the Howell Police Department for an officer to be stationed at that intersection to help keep the flow of traffic moving on this very short Friday. The officer will be directing traffic from approximately 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. as people leave Lakewood to spend Shabbos Chanukah in New York and elsewhere today.
Lakewood Mayor R’ Menashe Miller, who is in the Middle East on active duty as a chaplain with the U.S. Air Force, was in contact from Qatar with Chief Lawson this week to discuss these arrangements ahead of Erev Shabbos Chanukah.
“It should be mentioned that it is of utmost importance for travelers to leave ample time to arrive at their destinations,” the mayor told the Yated from overseas. “Even when the weather is clear, it behooves all frum travelers to schedule their day prudently.”
Travelers might want to consider taking alternate routes to the Garden State Parkway by entering at other entrance points near Lakewood. One alternative is to take County Line Road east to the end. Make a left, continuing until Burnt Tavern Road, and follow signs to the Garden State Parkway North. Also, especially for those living on the south side of town, one can enter the Parkway at the Cedar Bridge Avenue/Airport Road entrance ramp.
Chief Lawson has also directed the burglary detail of the Police Department to be on high alert this coming Shabbos.
As always, Chief Lawson and the Lakewood Volunteer Fire Department urge all residents to use extreme caution when lighting their menorahs, to light in a safe area of the house, and to ensure that menorahs are placed out of the reach of children.
Story credit: Copyright 2011 Yated Ne’eman USA, Republished with permission.