Toms River officials, as the summer winds down, are considering a request from residents of one barrier island neighborhood who are seeking to have their streets to turned into “one way” roads. Meanwhile, some other residents have been historically opposed to the change and there could be a few logistical issues.
Martha Boden, an island resident, said she requested the move a year ago and had support from residents on Joseph and Kathryn streets in the north beach portion.
“The police department put a vehicle counter on the street, and Mr. Chankalian sent me a polite letter denying my request,” said Boden at a recent council meeting, referencing township engineer Robert J. Chankalian.
Boden’s opposition to two-way traffic on the streets stems from their width, or lack thereof. Boden contends that with cars parked on both sides of the streets all summer, two cars can barely make it down at the same time and there could be an issue with emergency vehicles.
“You have cars parked on either side of the street – some heading west and some heading east – so how is an emergency vehicle supposed to get down to save my life?” she asked council members.
Officials, however, said some residents – the last time the request was considered – opposed switching the streets to “one way” traffic, and there was some hesitance to change only the middle blocks since the bay block would be most inconvenienced by the move.
“We are having our police department look into all aspects of those streets,” said Councilwoman Maria Maruca. “One of the things we have talked about is a registered letter going to every resident to see what their wishes are. The police department is looking for solutions but they want to poll the residents and see.”
Bay block residents represented most of the opposition.
“Those are dead-end street going to the bay, so those residents were vocal about it last time,” said Chankalian. “They’ll be able to go in, but they won’t be able to go out without going around the block.”
Maruca said a group of officials are determining the safest traffic pattern for the neighborhood and will make a recommendation.