A no-passing zone proposed for a large section of Route 9 in Galloway Township has been delayed until Absecon submits a resolution supporting the project to the state Department of Transportation.
The zone would include a section of Route 9 in Absecon, DOT spokesman Tim Greeley said.
Terence J. Dolan, city administrator for Absecon, said Tuesday that City Council is working on the resolution.
Once Absecon submits its resolution, the DOT will draft an order to regulate the stretch of highway as a no-passing zone, and a regional maintenance crew will re-stripe the roadway, Greeley said.
Late last year, DOT traffic engineers conducted a field investigation along Route 9 after receiving concerns from Galloway Township officials and citizens regarding the roadway, and the agency recommended adding the no-passing zone for safety reasons.
Dolan said he presented the plans for the no-passing zone to Absecon City Council’s Public Works Committee last month.
“The Public Works Committee wanted to take a look at it before they move it to the full City Council for action. We have a committee meeting again on April 1. I’m hoping they will move it forward from there to the April 4 council meeting,” he said.
Dolan said the resolution came to the city during the middle of winter and it was discussed and then put on the backburner.
“The committee didn’t have specific concerns at all; they just wanted to take a look at the roadway and see what they’re talking about. The committee wanted to get a hands-on feel before they do something like this,” Dolan said.
During a Galloway Township Council meeting Jan. 22, members passed a resolution supporting the no-passing zone on Route 9 in the vicinity of Kessler Avenue, which is closest to Absecon, Old New York Road and Nacote Creek Bridge.
Galloway Township Mayor Don Purdy called the roadway dangerous. The speed limit in the areas is 50 mph, so it does not seem necessary for passing on the roadway, he said.
“If you drive down there, there’s a lot of blind spots on that road. Down in Smithville, we have a lot of senior communities there and a lot of people pulling out onto the roadway,” Purdy said. “Some residents brought it up, and we looked into and agreed with them, and I believe the Police Department contacted the DOT about the road,” he said.
There were always suggestions and ideas on ways to improve traffic safety in the area, but there were no emergent concerns regarding the roadway in question, Galloway Police Chief Pat Moran said.
“I am sure that the no-passing zone will help prevent any head-on collisions. There have been crashes in the past that probably could have been avoided had this been in place before,” Moran said.
In the vicinity of the proposed no-passing zone from 2010 to 2012, there were 68 accidents — five with injuries — but none of the accidents with injuries was related to passing, Moran said.
No fatal accidents have occurred in the area since 2010, although the Police Department does receive complaints regularly about speeding in the area, he said.
Moran said the no-passing zone will slow traffic down as the area has gotten more congested over the past several years.
“Right now, it’s a potentially dangerous situation because there are people who are pulling out of side streets and there are other people in the roadway who are in the middle of passing,” he said.
Moran said enforcement occurs regularly in the area by police.
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