Allentown officials plan to designate streets for target enforcement zones

ALLENTOWN – Municipal officials in Allentown are expected to pass a resolution that will designate certain streets in the community as target enforcement zones.

The issue of creating target enforcement zones was discussed during the Sept. 24 meeting of the Borough Council in Borough Hall.

In discussing possible traffic calming measures Allentown officials could take, council President Thomas Fritts, who is the liaison to the traffic committee, said, “We looked at what other towns are doing and we found a law from Aberdeen Township, where our borough attorney, Greg Cannon, serves on the Township Council. They have speed enforcement zones and we can do the same thing here.”

Aspects of vehicular traffic in Allentown – including speeders and traffic volume – have been a primary topic of discussion among borough officials, residents and members of the traffic committee for several years.

“We are working to come up with specifics” of how to address traffic calming measures, Fritts said.

He said municipal representatives are anticipating a meeting with Monmouth County representatives to further discuss the matter.

Fritts said that with the approval of the county, certain traffic calming measures may be taken on the county roads that pass through Allentown.

As an example, Councilman Robert Schmitt said Waker Avenue (county Route 526) is “a speedway” where action may be warranted.

In Aberdeen Township, the resolution which enacted the target enforcement zones stated that signs would be placed in the zones to alert motorists their speed would be monitored by police, and to let residents know their neighborhoods would be closely monitored.

Fritts indicated that a traffic violation in a target enforcement zone would require a mandatory court appearance by an individual who receives a summons.

He said the next step would be for Allentown officials to designate the streets which would become target enforcement zones and then for the council to pass a resolution. Fritts said he hopes the initiative can move forward within the next month.

During public comment, Wil Borkowski, who serves on the borough’s traffic committee, said, “We are laser focused on 18,000 initiatives,” which drew laughter from those in attendance. On a more serious note, Borkowski said, “I would like to thank Councilman Fritts. He got us narrowed down” to several traffic issues.

In other business, Borough Clerk Laurie Roth reported that following a 1% percent decrease in Allentown’s employee health care costs in 2019, the borough expects to receive a 5% decrease in its employee health care costs in 2020.

And, Councilman Michael Drennan reported that a project to improve the borough’s elevated water storage tank is temporarily on hold. Officials previously said they were hoping the project would be completed in September.

Drennan said work on the interior of the tank has been completed, but he said the exterior painting would have to wait until cellular communications companies move their equipment off the storage tank to another location.