BY KATHY CHANG
OLD BRIDGE — Much needed safety upgrades to the intersection of Old Mill Road and Route 9 may be on the horizon.
Mayor Owen Henry said township officials requested the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) to look into improving the intersection.
“We had a fatality and two pedestrians have been struck in this crossing,” he said.
The Township Council voted in favor of authorizing a traffic signal agreement and acknowledgement form with DOT for the intersection during a council meeting on May 9.
Nicole Shapiro, director of Community Development and township engineer, said she looked at Google imagery from the past years of the intersection.
“You could tell that instead of [the intersection] going in a straight diagonal line, it sort of [goes] on an angle, pivots, and then goes straight across the northbound lanes,” she said.
Shapiro said this causes pedestrians to walk in the median area, providing them some refuge, which is a good idea; however, she said they are now pushed to walk away from the intersection.
“The people traveling on Old Mill Road turning onto Route 9 south, they don’t really see the pedestrians in that Route 9 southbound cross walk until they are right [on Route 9],” she said.
Shapiro said officials have made recommendations to DOT, including a dedicated left signal from Old Mill Road onto Route 9 south, pedestrian striping and adequate lighting.
“This is what we are looking for in their plan,” she said.
She said the council has previously committed to provide 25 percent of the construction cost, or approximately $52,500, for the upgrades in January.
“This is just acknowledging the traffic signal agreement with DOT,” she said, adding that the township will co-sign on the final project.