Berkeley installs chokers to stop speeders
Traffic calming devices almost ready in Berkeley
By Bonnie Delaney • TOMS RIVER BUREAU • June 25, 2009
BERKELEY — Efforts are under way to make Maryland Avenue, which township officials have labeled as one of the most dangerous roads in the 41.9-square-mile township, safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.
The installation of traffic calming devices known as chokers is 85 percent complete, and the Township Council authorized the township's administrator and engineer to seek bids for the construction of sidewalks on one side of the roadway, which is surrounded by single-family homes.
"This (speeders) has been an ongoing issue, and it is definitely a danger to our children in our town," Mayor Jason J. Varano said Tuesday.
Varano reported the installation of the chokers, a $150,000 project, is 85 percent complete with only the raised, brick-colored crosswalks left to be installed along three intersections on Maryland Avenue at McKinley, Coolidge and Eastern.
The township will seek bids for sidewalks along Maryland from Western Boulevard to Wheaton Avenue, a project estimated to cost an additional $80,000 and $100,000, he said.
"Some people think the chokers are working, and some think they are a nuisance," Councilman Carmen Amato said. "I think the sidewalks will be key to improving safety in the area."
Varano said that if the traffic calming device is successful, it could be installed along other roads, including Red Bank and Moorage avenues, which are near the township Little League complex.
Meanwhile, crosswalks, striping, sidewalks near Route 9 and other improvements might be considered for Harbor Inn Road, another area where residents have complained about speeding cars, he said.
Some residents of that neighborhood had asked for chokers, but a majority of those who attended a meeting last year were not in favor.