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County Recommends Keeping Traffic Lights on Branch Avenue

The Little Silver Council will have its say on whether or not the lights should remain at a future meeting.

By Christopher Sheldon

The traffic lights installed on Branch Avenue were originally designed to be temporary because of the closure of Seven Bridges Road last year, but now the county is recommending that the lights remain for safety reasons.

Accidents, in terms of frequency and severity, have declined since the lights were installed," County Engineer Joe Ettore said during a special meeting of the Little Silver Council on Monday night.

Traffic lights were installed on Branch Avenue at Rumson Road and White Road when the county replaced the bridge near Point Road School on Seven Bridges Road. The bridge was reopened in April and a request was made by the governing body to keep the light there for a test period.

Ettore presented data that showed the number of serious accidents that resulted in injuries have declined at the intersection since the installation of the lights. 

Most residents who attended the meeting were against keeping the lights.

"I've lived on this street 28 years and it's no safer, if anything, it's worse," resident Hazel Kelly said.

Another resident, Pete Ellers, asked if the county considered adding stop signs to the intersections instead of lights.

Ettore said stop signs only work at intersections that have lower volume.

"The volumes should be equal for a 4-way stop to work," Ettore said.

Other residents called for lowering the speed limit on the road, but there were some who said the traffic lights have helped control traffic and are safer.

The Little Silver Traffic Committee also recommended to keep the lights.

The next step is for the Little Silver Council to make its recommendation to the county and for the county to make a final decision.

"I would like to believe that the county will give great weight to the opinion of the council," Little Silver Mayor Robert Neff said.

Neff said the council will make its recommendation at a future council meeting. 
Karen Elizabeth December 10, 2013 at 04:25 PM
Keep the lights! Without the lights, you cannot get out from Rumson and White Roads, respectively. Branch Avenue traffic is extremely heavy and traffic lights are a necessity.

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