Road Plan Aims to Improve Pedestrian and Vehicle Safety in Lakewood


lakewoodWith Lakewood’s recent population growth, making your way through the downtown via Clifton Avenue or traveling along Route 9 certainly present challenges for vehicles and pedestrians alike. Improving traffic flow and pedestrian safety is the goal of a road action plan proposed by Township Engineer Todd Day.

Day says, “In cooperation with John Franklin, director of Lakewood Public Works, we studied each and every intersection to come up with a road action implementation plan. We feel this plan will immediately help traffic and pedestrian circulation.” Day will be giving a formal presentation at the Township meeting this Thursday evening.

One suggestion being proposed to move traffic north through downtown Clifton Avenue is to put in left hand turn lanes at First, Second, and Fourth streets. Day says, “Right now, people can only go around someone who wants to make a left turn if that vehicle is over far enough. If the vehicle is not over far enough, cars are backed up, creating a traffic jam for everyone.

“We are proposing left hand turn lanes which will accommodate two or three cars making a left. We would also modify the existing signals at these locations in the future to add dedicated left turn arrows.”

To reduce backups and accidents, and improve traffic flow, Third Street coming from the Municipal Building (going west), would be “right turn only” onto Clifton Avenue.

To increase pedestrian safety on Forest Avenue, the plan calls for left turn lanes at Second and Fourth streets, and specially striped “ladder” crosswalks at First, Second, Third, and Fourth streets. Ladder crosswalks have foot-wide stripes and a two-foot wide stripes, making them very visible and alerting drivers to pedestrians. The increased visibility of striped or ladder pedestrian crosswalks tends to “calm” traffic.

Intersection lighting would be improved from First to Seventh streets. At Fourth and Lexington, by the library, the Road Action Plan calls for a four-way stop as a safety measure because people are inching out to see around the cars. For the same reason, another four-way stop will be proposed at Park Avenue and Seventh Street.

Making left turns across Route 9 (Madison Avenue) is very dangerous. “Way-finding” signs are one way to improve safety because they direct people to intersections that have traffic signals. Since there are traffic signals at Main, Second, Fourth, Sixth, Ninth, streets, etc., the goal is to direct people to these intersections, rather than at Third or Fifth streets where there are no traffic signals.

The NJ DOT (the Department of Transportation) is also proposing narrowing the existing traffic lanes, which are fairly wide, and putting left hand turn lanes or car pockets for safety reasons at each intersection on both sides.

Day says, “These traffic and pedestrian safety proposals are quick, inexpensive, and can be easily removed if they don’t work.” What Day is proposing can be accomplished in about three months. “It’s mostly painting of stripes and signage,” he says.”If it doesn’t work, we can just pull a sign out and can go back to the way we are now. ”

According to Day, it will take about six months to determine if there is an improvement. By then schools will be back in session. “Our major goals are to make traffic flow better along Clifton Avenue, make it safer for pedestrians along Forest, and provide safer crossings along Route 9. These are the three main goals for right now. These proposals are inexpensive and everyone should realize some immediate benefits.”

{Fran Kirschner-APP/ Newscenter}


  1. Why in the world can’t they finally do the 1 way streets from 5th St through 9th St. Forest Ave to Lakewood ave, they would also gain an additional 250 parking spaces-I have an engineers study to support that. I have been begging for this for over 3 years.

  2. Usually traffic “improvements” make things worse. Now that County
    line Rd. is one lane each way, with turning lanes, there seems to be much more traffic back up. They should have either left well enough alone, or widened the road. Route nine should hsve been widened years and years ago, way before the Yeshiva community grew so big. I noticed that during bain hazemanim it is much easier to navigate Rte. 9, proving that all this traffic is from “unzere”.

  3. How about one way on 9th through 11th or 12th from Madison to Lexington. The parking from Bais Sholom is going to get worse, and currently two cars going in opposite directions on 10th or 11th can barely pass.

    Of course, you also have to know if the traffic engineers are smart enough to do their surveys when Yeshiva is in session, not bain hazmanim or bain hasedorim when the picture is entirely different.