New initiative to decrease residential area speeders
Mayor, P.D. announce programs to keep speeding at a minimum
BY TOM CAIAZZA
EDISON - Standing on the steps of the Dr. William Toth Memorial Health Center Wednesday morning, Mayor Jun Choi announced a municipal initiative to put the brakes on speeders in residential areas.
The program, titled "Slow It Down in Our Town," is a comprehensive move to limit the amount of high speed traffic that passes through residential areas, curbing accidents and possible injury to people on the street.
"This is a new initiative to take a serious crack at slowing down traffic in our communities," Choi said. "This is a serious issue for parents, children, seniors and all residents. It's a quality-of-life issue, a safety issue and an effort to make neighborhoods more livable … ."
The program is a three-pronged approach that includes educating the public about the dangers of speeding in residential areas, several different types of engineering and public works projects that could slow down traffic, and stronger enforcement in targeted areas by the Edison Police Department.
The township's program works in conjunction with the Edison Police Department's Keep Kids Alive, Drive 25, a national program providing educational resources and stepped-up enforcement in target areas. The police department received a check for $1,500 from Target retail stores to put toward the first round of the Drive 25 campaign, and they are seeking further modes of financing to bring the program to other areas in town.
Idlewild Road is the first area being considered for both programs, and Drive 25 lawn signs line the street in support of the program.
Choi said that in an increasingly busy and hectic world, getting people to slow down is no easy task.
"There is a lot of work to be done …," Choi said. "It's challenging to make sure residents and commuters understand that this is a serious quality-of-life issue."
Chief of Police George Mieczkowski thanked Target for its contribution and said that the Edison Police are hoping the public will become involved in the program through the educational handouts and support via lawn signs, etc.
Director of Public Works Jeff Roderman said that his department is considering many possible traffic-calming solutions to keep the traffic speed down in these areas, including increased signage, traffic islands, speed humps and speed tables.
Speed tables are essentially small inclines in the road that plateau and decline, Roderman said. They are meant to alert drivers to proceed more slowly.
Roderman said that there is no single approach that would work in every case.
"When we say traffic calming, we don't mean just speed humps," Roderman said. "We are trying to get away from the one-size-fits-all."
Roderman said that no one department can solve the problem on its own, hence the need for the multiple department initiative.
The most important part of the program, he said, is to change the habits of drivers who speed.
"A key component is the mind-set," Roderman said, "the educational program."