By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Upgrades to one of Red Bank’s more troubled traffic areas will be in place next year, possibly by this time, Monmouth County officials told the borough council Tuesday.
In an overview of the planned enhancements, Kevin Nugent, of the county engineering office, said about $600,000 worth of work will go into the stretch of East and West Front streets between English Plaza and Washington Street — a highly-traveled section that’s seen more than 100 accidents in recent years.
Among the improvements, the county plans to:
• upgrade the traffic light at Globe Court to include a countdown clock alerting pedestrians when it’s safe to cross
• lay brick-red asphalt in the middle of the street in front of Riverview Medical Center
• bump out curbs
• install new brick-colored, textured crosswalks similar to those on Maple Avenue, at White and Front streets
• and create a raised intersection at Front and Broad.
That last addition, Nugent said, will naturally trigger drivers to slow down, while the other enhancements will clearly delineate that the area is mixed with pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
“We’re going to be doing a toolbox of things here,” he said.
The aim is to reduce the number of accidents in the area. He said between 2005 and 2008 there were 13 accidents involving vehicle and pedestrians, and 109 vehicular accidents in total.
“Which is quite a bit,” Nugent said.
Councilman Mike DuPont said the plan is a must for the borough, which has seen not only accidents, but a handful of pedestrian fatalities in recent years.
“We’re trying to make Red Bank that much safer, walking,” he said. “I love it.”
Nugent said the county is “in good shape, planning-wise,” and if it stays on track, the work could be done by spring 2012, and by fall at the latest.
“It’s been a long time in the works,” Council President Art Murphy said. “It’s good to see it coming to the table finally.”