Residents of North and South Brunswick may finally have their traffic concerns alleviated along Finnegans Lane.
Two conceptual plans were identified by Michael Hritz, director of North Brunswick’s Department of Community Development, during a council meeting on Sept. 12 to address speeding, pedestrian safety and pedestrian access to bus stops from Route 1 to Route 27.
The suggestion is to make Finnegans Lane one lane in each direction, instead of the existing two lanes in each direction, and have the center lane designated as a turning lane for the length of the corridor. A new traffic signal would be placed at Tulip Drive.
One version would keep the dedicated 4-foot bicycle lanes and 4-foot sidewalks. The other option would eliminate the bike lanes and instead widen the travel lanes and make the sidewalks 11 feet wide to accommodate both pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
“We gotta slow the speedway down in order to make it safer for residents there,” Councilman Carlo Socio said.
Council members said they could not determine which proposal is best until information on the existing stacking of vehicles along Finnegans Lane is addressed.
“I want residents to be safe but when you get to Route 27 it is a horror show,” Councilman Ralph Andrews said. “The traffic situation is bad when you get back to Route 1. We’ve been advocating for this lane extension for how long? … But if you’re going to build something, it should be built with a projection into the future. What are we going to get out of it? We should be safe. Where are we going from here?”
In addition, Hritz said that if the turning lane is created, the three lanes should start before the intersection of Route 1 and Finnegans Lane near Congregation B’Nai Tikvah.
He also said there could be a possibility of connecting those bike lanes to the MainStreetNB transit village project on the northbound side of Route 1, and possibly even to Adams Lane.
“I think it would help out to put sidewalks in to connect the neighborhoods with the apartments, connect to the shopping centers on Route 27 and hopefully to the MainStreet project,” Councilman Carlo Socio said.
Hritz said a third option with a potential roundabout by Tulip Drive on the North Brunswick side and Kory Drive on the South Brunswick side was included but not considered.
“They can’t properly secure the sufficient amount of right-of-way because of residential driveways that would be in the footprint of the roundabout,” Hritz said.
The Middlesex County Engineering Department held a public information session in June 2016 to solicit ideas from residents and officials. Middlesex County had commissioned the Alaimo Group to study the county highway for a conceptual plan.
The county, along with the townships of North Brunswick and South Brunswick, would share the cost of the project, according to officials. The project of the cost is unknown at this time.
Route 27 and Route 1 were not considered in this study because both are under the jurisdiction of the state Department of Transportation.
Contact Jennifer Amato at firstname.lastname@example.org.