ALENTOWN – Mayor Thomas Frits has been appointed to a commission examining traffic issues in Allentown that are linked to the Upper Freehold Regional School District campus on High Street.
Frits announced his appointment during a meeting of Mayor Allentown and City Council on Feb. 22.
Traffic problems led to a proposal by Monmouth County officials to build a traffic light signal at the corner of South Maine and Hai streets.
Some residents of the two streets expressed concern about the county’s plans after learning of the proposal.
South Main Street and High Street are county roads, and the intersection is under county jurisdiction.
Authorities Alentovna said that at a certain time of day at the intersection are significant backups of traffic.
The backup is due in part to the fact that the UFRSD campus, which houses Allentown High School and Newell Elementary School, is on High Street, near the intersection, and trucks that pass through the area every day on the way to and from warehouses. in communities bordering Allentown.
Officials acknowledged that at other times of the day there is no traffic control at the intersection and that a traffic light signal could force motorists to wait for the green light if it is not currently at the intersection without an alarm.
“The school district recognizes (the road situation) their problem,” Fritz said. “They will conduct traffic research in their schools.”
The mayor said school district administrators may be able to make immediate adjustments to address the situation on the High Street campus.
Regarding residents who expressed concern about the possible construction of traffic lights on South Main and High Streets, Fritz said: “We have heard residents. We understand their concerns. If we end up without traffic lights and solve the problem of school traffic, I would consider it a home run. “
The only official action taken by Alentovna officials was a December 7 vote by 5-1 council members in support of the county’s plan to build a traffic light at an intersection.
County officials said the intersection met multiple criteria (technically called warrants) that set a traffic light signal. Pedestrian signage at intersections will facilitate the safety of children walking to and from the high school and elementary school campuses.
Now there is a stop sign on High Street. Motorists on High Street who wish to turn left or right onto South Main Street should wait for a break in traffic to complete the turn. Motorists waiting to turn can back up vehicles on High Street.
Motorists on South Main Street who wish to turn left onto High Street must wait for a break in oncoming traffic to complete a turn, which could result in back-up traffic behind a vehicle waiting to turn.
During a recent meeting of the city council to discuss the proposed traffic light, the head of the schools of the Upper Freehold Regional School District Mark Guterl said: “The school district is a partner of the city. We recognize that we are part of the problem ”and want to work with the district to address these issues.
Last week, Guterle did not respond to emails from the Examiner, who sought additional information about the committee the school district formed to study traffic issues and possible solutions on the High Street campus.