ROUTE 35 BOLLARDS NOT A PERMANENT FIX

Img_8281State transportation officials last week installed lane bollards to deter northbound motorists from turning into the southbound lanes of Route 35 (Maple Avenue) at Broad Street.

State transportation engineers have come up with a temporary fix for that dangerous new roadway alignment that redbankgreen reported Oct. 12.

But they’re still looking for a permanent fix, Red Bank Police Lt. Darren McConnell tells us.

In recent weeks, the state Department of Transportation installed “Do Not Enter” signs flanking the southbound lanes of Route 35 (Maple Avenue) where it merges with southbound Broad Street.

Then, last week, flexible plastic bollards, or short poles, were installed along a stretch of the center line on Broad immediately north of the North Jersey Coast Line grade crossing.

Both measures were intended to keep northbound motorists from falling into their old habit of making a soft left onto Maple Avenue, a practice that now will have them heading northbound into a southbound lane.

Dozens of motorists per hour made the error on two occasions that redbankgreen observed traffic at the juncture.

Under the new alignment completed last month, northbound motorists are supposed to instead continue a short distance farther north to a traffic signla and make a left around a new concrete island.

“It seems to slow cars” that might otherwise rush into what’s now an oncoming traffic lane, McConnell says of the combo of signage and bollards.

But he tells us that DOT officials don’t consider the bollards to be part of a permanent solution. Other measures they’re considering are re-marking the lanes and altering the island to make it a softer left for northbound cars.

The DOT is closed today for Veterans’ Day, so officials were unavailable for comment.

McConnell tells us that there’s been only one accident at the intersection in recent weeks, and that it did not involve northbound traffic.

Instead, he said, a truck attempting to make a right turn onto Maple Avenue from southbound Broad Street damaged a nearby car, he said.

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