Rush to Judgment

Oct 09, 2019

To the Editor:

I’ve lived on Shore Avenue and 10th Street in Ship Bottom for over 12 years. The recent hubbub raised by a 10th Street neighbor over traffic and the mayor’s response have left me scratching my head and asking whaaat?

The town rushed to spend taxpayer money to paint the street, which now resembles a county road, though the paint job is so amateurish that Ocean County would disavow it. Maybe they intended drivers to slow down to read the blurry white lines.

Some traffic count data was cited as evidence of the need for this expenditure. Evidence of what? What was the historical traffic count? Six new homes have been built on 10th Street in the past few years. That accounts for some of the traffic. But what about 11th and 12th streets? What about the Seventh, Eighth and Ninth streets, serving as shortcuts for outbound traffic? Where is the proof that 10th Street was more in need of immediate action on traffic control than the others?

From personal observation, much of the traffic that exits on the inbound Causeway onto Shore Avenue (sometimes on two wheels) blows past the 10th Street kiddie playground and the stop sign to make their left turn onto 11th and 12th streets, not 10th Street. If you check police records, the borough collects a lot of revenue from motorists who run the 10th Street stop sign and make left turns onto 11th or 12th Street, more than 10th Street, where they are then ticketed by police who lie in wait on westbound 10th Street. The stop signs on 10th, 11th and 12th streets are treated as mere suggestions all year long.

What is the exception to this pattern? Motorists who make the two-plus-hour trek to the Island and arrive after 6 p.m. during season, or arrive any time after September, who stop to use the rest room in the park, find it closed, and then have to make a mad dash up 10th Street to Wawa to use the facilities. At least the ones who don’t choose to relieve themselves in the bushes behind the hut.

Kids may or may not be safer now along “Route 10” with the new lines, but others may be at more risk.

The traffic issue is multifaceted and needs to be equitably evaluated for all of the shortcut feeder streets to and from the Causeway, not just the one that squeaked the loudest.

Tom McArdle

Ship Bottom



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