ALLENTOWN – Borough Administrator Laurie Roth has reported that Allentown’s public works employees have installed signs warning motorists they will have to appear in municipal court if they are ticketed for speeding in designated areas of the community.
The installation of the signs comes several years after Allentown officials initially began discussing the idea of establishing speed enforcement zones in the small historic borough at the border of Monmouth and Mercer counties.
Roth said municipal officials want to lower the speed of vehicles that travel through Allentown. She said the installation of the signs was a significant development in the initiative officials have been working on for several years.
In a post on social media, Allentown Mayor Thomas Fritts wrote, “It has been a long time coming, but our speed enforcement zones have started. Our first two signs (were) installed on North Main Street and on South Main Street. Additional signs will be installed on Church Street and on Waker Avenue.
“Speed enforcement signs are permanent and are renewed annually through resolution. Anyone caught violating our speed limits will be required to appear in court, which will mandate additional fines above the speeding violation.
“We are working hand-in-hand with the Allentown Police Department and will proactively be tracking metrics that we will share with the community. Please tell your family members, neighbors and visiting guests.
“Our priority is to take care of our families, children walking to and from school, and visiting guests to our community. Additional measures will be announced,” Fritts wrote.
In other borough news, Roth reported Allentown has been designated a Village Center by the New Jersey Division of Planning Advocacy through 2032. She said “the process of renewal was a multi-year process due to complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to a letter to Allentown from the State Planning Commission, “the commission has used the concept of centers as the organizing planning principle for achieving a more effective and efficient pattern of development in New Jersey” and “the State Plan identifies five types of centers: Urban Centers, Regional Centers, Town Centers, Village Centers and Hamlets, and sets forth policies regarding the identification, delineation, development and redevelopment of those centers.”
During the lengthy process, representatives of Allentown contacted the Office of Planning Advocacy (OPA) to request renewal of the borough’s plan endorsement and its designated center, and the petition and supporting documents were reviewed by the relevant state agencies represented on the commission.
According to the letter, “the commission finds that the borough has made significant progress in the commitment to comprehensive planning and sustainable land use, which will be further advanced through receiving plan endorsement” and that “the borough and the staff and executive director of OPA, in consultation with relevant state agencies, have collaborated and refined the Village Center boundary and planning areas.”
In conclusion, the commission affirmed the executive director’s determination “that the petition for plan endorsement is consistent with the State Plan and approves the petition for plan endorsement submitted by the borough” and that Allentown’s efforts “reflect a commitment on the part of the borough to implement its plan; reflects a commitment on the part of the relevant state agencies to provide agreed upon benefits; and reflects a commitment on the part of the borough and relevant state agencies to work together to effectively implement the goals, strategies, and policies of the State Plan.”