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Mayor to Announce DCR Safety Recommendations

Mayor David Stahl has had township officials studying Dunhams Corner Road since a fatal accident earlier this month.

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.

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Boo73 September 26, 2012 at 02:02 PM
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. What about the rest of town? I live on Austin which is a cut thru from Milltown to Ryders Lane and people think these roads are their personal racetrack. Three times in the past two weeks my wife pulled out of the driveway only to have a car pinned to her back bumper as she drove down Stratford Lane, at times, the cars were way over to the left as if they were going to pass. There are many children on these streets, and many children walking to bus stops etc. Every day when my son leaves I tell him to be aware, everytime my wife or daughter pull out of the driveway during rush hour I have to hope nothing happens. Dunhams Corner Road is not the only road in East Brunswick with a problem.
Elizabeth September 26, 2012 at 02:16 PM
I am on Riva Ave and we have no signs stating bus stops ahead and cars always beep at the buses and/or go try to go around them. I think an evaluation needs to be done on all roads in East Brunswick!
John Romano September 27, 2012 at 02:26 AM
....Boo73.......I'm so happy that I was not the first person to bring this up. I too reside in the same neighborhood. EVERY weekday, between the hours of 6am and 9am, and 3pm to 6pm... I witness a huge increase in traffic on Elizabeth Ave / Stratford Road. Normal traffic on these streets, in off-peak hours, is approximately 1 or 2 cars every 10 minutes. But during the morning and evening rush hours, the count jumps to approximately 10-12 cars every 2 minutes. It may not sound like "a lot", but that's a car every 10 to 12 seconds, and these cars are not doing the 25 mph speed limit, (I have clocked cars on Stratford Road doing 60mph). Additionally, this traffic is not originating in this neighborhood. This increased traffic comes off Rte 18, and is for the most part, everyone avoiding the huge traffic delay at the intersection of Milltown Rd and Ryders Lane...and as you said...using the neighborhood as a cut-through. There are no sidewalks on Stratford Road. There is, however, a park / playground...and yet there are no cross-walks, stop-signs, or pedestrian (handicapped) ramps at Stratford & Elizabeth. People (children) walk in the road on Stratford to access the Acme shopping center...and then make the return trip to the park. I often walk on Stratford or Elizabeth....and cars, trucks, and even school-bus's whiz by me at twice the speed limit. (to be continued)
Boo73 September 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM
Good morning, Just wanted to share this mornings events. Today I decided to drop my child off at school. I pulled out of my driveway and as I made the turn on to Wedgewood I saw a dark green car come flying onto Wedgewood (from Milltown) and was mostly on my side of the road. I stopped MID TURN because I could not believe this and I did not want to run into him. Did this person pull back to the right side of the road?? No, and as I write this I cannot believe he did not take off my front fender because at best he was inches away from doing so when he made the turn on to Austin. I'm sure he was making his point. And I agree 100% with John Romano above. Stratford has cars parked on both sides of the street, only one car can pass at a time, and NO SIDEWALKS. With these cars flying down the road and children (and adults) walking to catch the bus, walking to excercise, etc, this is a disaster waiting to happen.
John Romano September 27, 2012 at 02:21 PM
.....sounds like just another day in the neighborhood. .....additionally, let me state...for "the record" that the traffic through this neighborhood WILL get worse once a certain big-box store gets built on Rte-18 and the traffic there increases. This is because the north-bound Milltown Rd exit from Rte 18 is the last un-regulated (no traffic signal) point that drivers can use to get off Rte 18 and head towards Ryders Lane, thus enabling them access to Rte 1 or the Turnpike (via the Corona Rd 'back-door' route thru Lawrence Brook to Naricon Place) without enduring the traffic-delays of Rte 18. This neighborhood SCREAMS for the installation of several speed-tables (modified speed bumps)...but the town will whine about it hindering snow removal. It SCREAMS for the placement of a dozen or more STOP signs. It SCREAMS for some of the streets to be made "One Way". It's unfortunate that they feel the sporadic placement of a patrol car on Stratford Rd. will cure the problem. The fact that a patrol car runs radar at all is an admission that they know there is a problem, and yet they won't take appropriate actions to address it. You asked, "What about the rest of the town?" Given the comments about, "steps we can take on the DCR,...", once this stumping opportunity has passed, do you really think that other 'not so visible' traffic related issues will get any serious attention?

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