Mayor David Stahl said Monday that he is preparing a report to the Township Council about safety conditions along Dunhams Corner Road.
, that took the lives of two pedestrians and sent three others to the hospital, Mayor Stahl reached out to the East Brunswick Police Department and the Department of Planning and Zoning to look at ways to make the area safer. He said Monday that he expects to have some recommendations to make on Oct. 15.
“Greg Potkulski, the head of the Department of Planning and Zoning, cut short a vacation he was on to come and work with me on steps we can take on the DCR, and my plan is to bring those recommendations to council,” said mayor Stahl, Monday.
, 49, of East Brunswick, lost control of her vehicle, crashed into a utility pole, and hit five pedestrians who were on their way home from services at Young Israel of East Brunswick. Sari F. Horowitz, and her husband, Ari, both 51, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Their son, Amiad, 27, and two others—a 52-year old man and his 50-year-old wife whose names have not been released—were taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital to be treated for serious injuries. All three are listed in stable condition, according to the prosecutor’s office.
In a statement made on EBTV3 several days later, mayor Stahl announced that he was having township officials look into safety issues on the road. The road is 45 mph, with a 25 mph advisory approximately 50 yards west of the temple to Hardenburg Lane.
It’s not the first time the township has investigated safety along the stretch or roadway. Following an accident in March 2011 in which three pedestrians walking home from the temple were hit and injured by a car, the township took action.
Following the accident, Mayor Stahl said the township did a speed study to determine if the posted limit is appropriate (according to the state Department of Transportation, it was); new and improved lighting was installed on Dunhams Corner Road at Tall Oaks and Colonia; a zero tolerance policy was instituted for drivers violating motor vehicle rules; police presence was increased; crosswalks were painted; residents were asked to wear reflective vests when walking during twilight; the township worked with Young Israel to design, purchase and install crosswalks; and a public safety grant was obtained to educate drivers and pedestrians on road safety.
Mayor Stahl would not say which new improvements and recommendations the new study would include, but readers of the East Brunswick Patch have said there are many issues with the area, including the mixture of pedestrians with drivers who speed and distracted aggressive drivers. In addition, in a poll posted on the East Brunswick Patch asking readers what should be done on the road, 41 percent of voters said the speed limit needs to be lowered.
“The whole incident is very unfortunate,” posted Anthony Cerciello. “I am 32 and grew up on this street so I know it very well. What I can say is this: drivers routinely blow the stop sign coming from Fern, onto Dunhams, just a hundred feet from the incident. Some don’t even pretend to slow down but people go through it at 10mph all the time. Two, Mayor Stahl was quoted as saying that the speed limit is 25 mph; it is actually 40 which means you still do see a lot of 55mph. Three, put away your damn phones. When I drive I find myself now looking into other cars to see if drivers around me are texting. You think it would just be kids but I see it among middle aged people all of the time. These people are negligent and could care less about the safety of others.”
Other readers said that Dunhams Corner Road is far from the only spot in the township with traffic safety issues.
“Driver's in this town and coming through this town need to slow down, period,” posted Karen Timper on one story. “Everyday there are key places in EB where aggressive drivers need to have some common sense. Point "A" riding the right turn ONLY lane at the corner of Ryders & Milltown Rd. where the TD bank is, only to cut everyone off going straight. Point "B", knowing (key word) that they will have to merge at the Dunhams Corner Rd & Ryders Lane light, but they use this lane to speed up and cut off the drivers that they in fact have to merge with, not the other way around. I think it's an attitude entitlement situation with their very large egos. They should all be entitled to receive a big fat ticket. It's a gold mine at these two intersections for the police.