Seven new crosswalks requested for Route 35’s southbound lanes in Lavallette may not be in place for the 2019 summer season, officials said.
While the delay may be bad news, the reasoning behind it will be a welcome sight for residents with disabilities. Borough officials said they were under the impression that establishing new crosswalks would be a simple job: add some paint and a few signs. But the state Department of Transportation said new crosswalks must comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act, meaning they must be wheelchair accessible.
“We just thought it was going to be signs and painting, but they have to have a contractor come in and make every curb handicap-accessible,” said Council President Anita Zalom. “It’s going to take time to do it and they might not be able to have it done for this summer.”
Two curb cuts will be required for each intersection and ramps will be built with non-slip surfacing.
Officials said they told the state that construction is not an option during the busy tourist season, but there is still a chance the project could be ready by the height of the summer.
“They’re going to try, but I told them if they can’t finish by July 4 we have to wait,” Zalom said.
The crosswalks are prioritized for Bryn Mawr, New York and New Brunswick avenues, with requests in for several more. New Brunswick Avenue has always been a focus of safety efforts because there is extra pedestrian traffic consisting of beachgoers making the trek back to West Point Island.