The Oceanport Residents group on Facebook lit up with discussion after Councilman Joseph Irace posted last Thursday that , and not all of the commenters are hitting the "like" button.
The open public group that invites "anyone who is, was, or will be a resident of Oceanport" to join has proven an interesting and valuable tool for the borough to provide residents with information -- -- and in this case, its served to check the pulse of the community on an action their local government is taking.
Known locally as Shrewsbury and Branchport Avenues, the borough council reports the county route has been the site of 28 accidents over the past five years, but some residents are skeptical of speed having anything to do with those accidents. The most recent accident occurred on Oct. 15, when a man with a medical condition lost control of his vehicle and drove through a fence.
"Speed doesn't cause accidents. People not in control of their vehicle do," said one opponent of the resolution, pointing out that the council presented no evidence that any of the 28 accidents on the road were caused by speed.
A resident who stated they have lived off Branchport and Shrewsbury for years without a problem felt that people have a right to make reasonable time on a highway, and that 35 mph was not an unreasonable speed for a wide road with no cars parked on it.
"If you want to drive 25 mph, why not just walk?" the resident quipped.
Proponents of the resolution, including Irace, who said the council has had discussions on three different occasions regarding the speed reduction, argued it was in the best interest of the borough's children.
"Council is unanimously concerned that there is a safety issue with kids walking to school," said Irace. "These roads are a lot more traveled now than they were years ago. We have to be prudent."
One resident offered a compromise to reduce the speed during the hours that is open, which met the approval of several other residents. In the same comment, that resident also expressed they did not believe a 10 mph reduction would make much of a difference on the severity of any given accident.
Residents on either side of the debate can let the county freeholders know what they think about the issue by using the Freeholder Contact Form on Monmouth County's website, and are also invited to answer our poll below.