NEW LIGHTS CAUSING HEAVY PROBLEMS

Rt35 fixNorthbound Maple Avenue traffic backed up during work at the West Street/White Street intersection last May. The completion of the job hasn’t alleviated the problem.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Those shiny new traffic lights on the north end of Maple Avenue seem to be having and unintended effect: rather than ease the flow of traffic, the lights are actually impeding it, according to resident Carl Colmorgen, or anybody who gets stuck in the daily a.m. logjam on nearby Monmouth Street.

Colmorgen brought up the issue at Monday night’s bimonthly Red Bank council meeting, saying that a study, or enforcement, or something needs to be done to get the issue fixed.

The problem, Colmorgen says, is that the timing of the Maple Avenue lights are counter-intuitive to the timing of the lights in the immediate area. When the Maple light at the north end is red, the one at Water/White Street goes green. Those cars turn onto Maple while cars coming from the south on Male, as well as others from Monmouth Street, start filing onto Maple.

Then, when cars try to get across Maple on Monmouth, or onto Maple from Monmouth when that light is green, they can’t, he said.

“Nobody can go,” Colmorgen said. “Some kind of study needs to be done, maybe synchronizing them, so we don’t have that problem.”

Councilman Art Murphy said he’s noticed the problem, too, at about 8a each day during the week when he takes his kids to school.

“Circulation has improved in the area except for that one spot,” he said.

That one spot was a pricey one that still has a few kinks to get worked out. The state Department of Transportation spent $1.5 million on the lights, signs and roadwork. After their long-anticipated debut, grumbles started pouring in that the signs for the new lights were causing confusion.

Mayor Pasquale Menna said he’ll take up the issue Captain Darren McConnell, who heads the police department’s traffic safety unit.

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