The past few weeks of over 85 degree weather has seen massive traffic jams trying to access the garden State Parkway (GSP) and the beaches in Ocean City. Backups on Route 9 have been almost to Church Avenue and past Tuckahoe Road on Roosevelt Boulevard and Stagecoach Road. To make matters worse, there have been a record number of motor vehicle accidents at, or near the entrance to the GSP.
Since the situation was not on the agenda for the July 26, 2021 Township Committee meeting, and not willing to let the situation fester any longer, as concerned citizens, Lenora Boninfante Kodytek and Shawna Mulford, running for Township Committee as United 4 Upper, has taken the following action: We have contacted the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization (SJTPO) to do a study of the intersection and its approaches to propose action to improve safety and traffic flow, especially on summer weekends. Cape May County Commissioner Leonard Desiderio, the Chairman of SJTPO has indicated that the matter will be brought up at a future meeting. We have also contacted our state legislators to encourage SJTPO to consider this matter in a timely manner.
Since this section of road is under multiple and overlapping jurisdictions, we are calling on the Township Committee to call for a meeting with representatives of the County, State Department of Transportation (DOT), Turnpike Authority (TPA), State Police, SJTPO and any other relevant entities, to start the ball rolling in correcting the current situation.
We recommend that the Township Committee call for the appropriate body to take the following actions:
1. Immediate - have the State Police assign an officer to control traffic at the intersection of Roosevelt Blvd. and the GSP Fridays through Sundays, 9 AM thru 3 PM now thru September.
2. Immediate – request the County reprogram the three traffic lights on Roosevelt Blvd. to improve traffic flow.
3. Short term – Study to install a traffic signal at the right turn lane of westbound Roosevelt Blvd. and the GSP northbound entrance. This has been done on Stone Harbor Blvd.in Middle Township and has been very successful.
4. Intermediate term – Conduct a traffic study and recommend improvements for the intersection and approaches. Expedite design and construction contracts. These could be coupled with the already approved improvements to Roosevelt Blvd. and Shore Road (Rt. 9).
5. Long Term – Widen Roosevelt Blvd. to four lanes from the GSP into Ocean City and widen the 34th Street Bridge to four lanes. The State should designate this section of roadway a state road, much like MacArthur Blvd. in Sommers Point and North Wildwood Blvd. in Middle Township. This will allow state funds and possibly even be able to tap into the proposed federal infrastructure funds.
Although the topic was not on the agenda of the July 26 meeting, Township Engineer Paul Dietrich did address some items related to the traffic situation and some Upper Township residents voiced their concerns forcing Township Committee to discuss the issue, however, detailed steps of action were not presented by Township Committee.
These proposals should be of the highest priority for the Township Committee. We cannot afford to wait for there to be fatalities before the Township Committee takes action.
For more information on the campaign, follow us at unitd4upper.com, on Facebook at United 4 Upper, Instagram @united4upper.
Paid for by the Cape May County Regular Democratic Organization PO Box 1551 Wildwood, NJ 08260.