EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — When Pam Cielinski sits outside her home on Cates Road, she sees cars speed by constantly.
“If you sit for a while, you see them go fast,” she said, standing on her porch Thursday morning.
When she was told the Township Committee had voted to lower the speed limit by half, from 50 mph to 25, she was elated.
“It’s a positive impact, absolutely,” Cielinski said. “They go really fast.”
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The governing body unanimously approved an ordinance Wednesday night to lower the speed limit on a portion of Cates Road from Atlas Lane Road to West Jersey Avenue. It was first introduced Feb. 21, and no members of the public spoke in favor of or against the ordinance at the hearing Wednesday night.
“It’s very great because there’s a school over here and also kids over here,” said Meeta Trivedi, another resident of Cates Road. “The people are going too fast.”
Cates Road, which holds about a dozen homes on one side and a natural gas farm field for South Jersey Gas on the other, turns into Alder Avenue, where Dr. Joyanne D. Miller Elementary School and Alder Avenue Middle School sit.
“We are grateful for the decrease in the speed limit as it lends to the safety for our students, staff and parents,” Kimberly Gruccio, superintendent of the township’s school district, said in a statement. “We are fortunate that our school district and township are always looking out for the best interest of our school community and families.”
While the speed limit reduction is a good thing, both Cielinski and Trivedi said a traffic light is needed at Cates and West Jersey Avenue. While there haven’t been too many accidents on Cates, the intersection with West Jersey can be treacherous.
Township Administrator Peter Miller said the speed-limit issue was raised amid a project to create a cut-through connecting West Jersey and Reega avenues at Cates.
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When they noticed the 50 mph speed limit sign near Atlas Lane Road during the work and considered the number of people who will use the road when work is complete, an engineer surveyed the area and said he could justify changing the speed limit because of the homes located there, Miller said.
In addition to lowering the speed limit, a battery-operated flashing light will be added to the existing stop sign at Cates and West Jersey and another at Cates and Reega.
“The concern is that since people know they can go straight through now, we want to make sure they realize there’s a stop sign here before they cross Reega and West Jersey,” Miller said.