The worst section of a street I have ever driven on is the south side of Atlantic Avenue between Boston and Morris avenues in Atlantic City. It is an outright disgrace to have a street like this and do nothing about it. It is filled with potholes and bumps that make driving there horrendous.
It didn’t just happen yesterday, and it keeps getting worse. When will it get fixed?
I realize the city has a problem financially, but it can certainly fill in potholes. One would think that members of City Council would check on their respective districts and let the director of Public Works know they have a pothole problem. But it seems it’s a matter of “Who cares?”
Four years ago, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority came up with an Atlantic City Regional Transportation Master Plan. There are several excellent suggestions in this plan, but to date little has been done with the recommendations. Talk continues about what needs to be done, and it might be time to go back and look at the study.
A copy of the study has been sitting on my desk for a while. Some suggestions actually have come to fruition. The improvements on Mississippi Avenue, the building of the parking garage, the improvement of traffic on Connecticut Avenue and the widening of the westbound lane of the Atlantic City Expressway are some examples. One cannot say nothing has been done from this study.
One major recommendation was converting Pacific and Atlantic avenues to one-way streets. However, the overall response was to leave Atlantic and Pacific avenues two-way streets.
Here is a recommendation that should be implemented. The Atlantic City street system is a grid network with more than 190 signal-light intersections. Ninety-five of those signals are located either on Atlantic or Pacific avenues or on the main corridors that lead into and out of the city.
It has been recommended that traffic-signal operation should be able to be modified quickly, safely and in real time to facilitate traffic flow during emergency conditions. That would include installing the necessary traffic-signal hardware, along with the fiber-optic cable and electronics necessary to facilitate actuation, communication, multiple signal timing plans and networking with other signals.
That makes sense. Why has it not been done?
We’ve heard about discussions about Atlantic City signage, but, unfortunately, nothing has been done about having new, clear-cut signs that will direct drivers to where they wish to go. While overhead signals provide indications of travel locations, the placement of ramps and proximity to destinations are not intuitive to many drivers.
There is a need to revise signing content and placement to provide a better way of finding destinations throughout the city.
Atlantic City has no centralized traffic management coordination program. The city currently has limited staffing focused on traffic issues. Even if all individual signal timing plans become optimized, there are no existing mechanisms coordinating the operations of the city’s signals or those in adjacent municipalities.
A plan for day and evening operations should be addressed with real-time changes in the city and surrounding regions. A regional traffic operations center should be developed.
The study also recommended a bikeway on the Boardwalk. The Atlantic City Boardwalk, while accessible for pedestrians, provides minimal transportation benefits for bicycles and other low-speed wheeled vehicles.
Bicycling is an activity vacationers enjoy at destination resorts. Additionally, scooters and Segways are increasingly being used in resort locations. The strategy would be to construct a multiuse path that would serve bicycles and small, slow-speed vehicles such as motorized vehicles and Segways.
For eastbound traffic, the path would follow a designated lane separated from the pedestrian traffic along the Boardwalk. Westbound traffic would use a new trail running parallel to the Boardwalk between the Boardwalk and the beach. The path would increase travel options for visitors and would reduce the demand on the roadway network for local trips.
But don’t expect this one to happen.
Pinky’s Corner appears every Thursday in The Press. The Pinky’s Corner radio show airs from 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on WOND-AM 1400. His TV show, “WMGM Presents Pinky,” airs at 7:30 p.m. Saturdays on WMGM-TV 40. Email Pinky at firstname.lastname@example.org.