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All-way stop approved at Freehold Borough location

By Matthew Sockol
Staff Writer

FREEHOLD – The Borough Council has voted to designate the intersection of East George and Stokes streets as an all-way stop.

Council President Jaye Sims and council members Sharon Shutzer, George Schnurr, Kevin Kane and Ron Griffiths voted to take the action during a meeting on April 4. Councilman Michael DiBenedetto was absent.

The ordinance the council adopted was prompted by a police investigation of  traffic patterns at the intersection, which in turn was prompted by speeding complaints from residents on Stokes Street and from motorists.

Prior to the change, the intersection had a stop sign for motorists on East George Street at that street’s intersection with Stokes Street.

According to Schnurr, a motorist hit a parked car and flipped his vehicle at the intersection. He said that result would have been improbable if the motorist had been traveling at the posted speed limit of 25 mph.

“A traffic study concluded that vehicles were traveling in excess of the posted speed limit and that a stop sign (on Stokes Street) at that intersection (with East George Street) would increase pedestrian safety and motor vehicle safety,” Schnurr said.

Following the council’s action, vehicles on Stokes Street and on East George Street will be required to stop.

“This action by the governing body is similar to the action taken at the intersection of Jackson and Center streets, where the council last year designated that intersection as a four-way stop for the same reasons as we did here,” Schnurr said. “Freehold Borough is a great pedestrian-accessible community where you can get to almost everything by foot. We just want to keep it safe for everyone.”

In other action on April 4, council members passed a resolution authorizing the payment of benefits to Freehold First Aid and Emergency Squad volunteers who met an established point criteria in 2015. Volunteers who have earned the necessary amount of points in a calendar year receive a contribution of $1,150.

The payments are sent to Lincoln National Life Insurance Company and Lincoln Financial Group in the names of the volunteers. The funding is made possible by a Length of Service Award Program that was approved by Freehold Borough and Freehold Township voters in 2004 to reward the volunteers for their services.

And, the council granted a sidewalk café license to the following businesses: A Little Bit of Cuba Dos, Aaruzu Modern Indian Bistro, Market Yard Grille (American Hotel), Café 360 and Olive Restaurant, all on Main Street.

Finally, Mayor Nolan Higgins announced that Gere Park, Throckmorton Street, will be rededicated on May 7 to Cpl. James A. Gere, who was the first Freehold resident to die in World War I.

The rededication follows the restoration of Gere Park, which began in 2012 when then-Councilman John Newman suggested the park be restored to better honor Gere’s memory. Refurbishments and enhancements included the removal of trash and weeds, the planting of new flowers, and a long-term maintenance plan, according to borough officials.

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