Council Continues Discussion on Franklin Street Speeding

swedesboro logoby Robert Holt

SWEDESBORO — The Swedesboro Council discussed the speeding problems in the community during their meeting on May 19. The community has been plagued by speeding vehicles for years, and the talk at this meeting centered around traffic on Franklin Street.

During the public portion, Franklin Street resident Trish Sutcliffe said there were too many vehicles to count speeding down her street. “It seems like there are more commercial vehicles out at 4:30 p.m.,” commented Sutcliffe. “They’re not doing 35.”

Sutcliffe attended a Council meeting in April, and estimated that trucks were going by at speeds between 45 and 60 miles per hour. Woolwich Police Lieutenant Joseph Morgan stated that the police have a presence on the street all night long, and mentioned that a speed radar trailer on the street can be moved.

Mayor Tom Fromm suggested dedicating a Class 2 officer for Franklin Street until the issue is resolved. Morgan pointed out that those officers are part-time, and often have other assignments.

Fromm supports placing stop signs on Franklin Street to combat the problem. Sutcliffe has drawn up petitions to be signed by street residents in an effort to obtain the signage. Fromm explained that Gloucester County officials and the local police have to work together to determine if stop signs are a viable option on Franklin Avenue.

“The County won’t lower the speed limit because they don’t think we’re enforcing the current limit of 35 miles per hour,” said the mayor. “We’ve been trying to get that lowered for nine years.”

Fromm reminded Morgan that Ashton Avenue would be turning into a one-way street after Council passed an ordinance approving the change in April. Morgan commented, “There will be zero tolerance for going the wrong way.”

Elsewhere, Municipal Clerk Tanya Goodwin gave the Council a list of homes in the area that were vacant for various reasons. Goodwin pointed out that some homes were still being cared for, while others have been vacant for years.

Water and sewer bills have not been paid in most of the homes, and service has been stopped. “They’re going to lien the properties, but this could eventually cost the borough,” Goodwin explained. “Properties will eventually be sold at tax sales, and the community will see money.”

In street lighting, Councilmember Diane Hale noted that a number of electrical poles in Swedesboro were leaning, and Atlantic Electric needed a reminder to come out and inspect them. And Fromm asked for a schedule of street sweeping around the community, so residents could park their vehicles accordingly.

In resolutions, Council approved acceptance of $180,000 from the New Jersey Department of Transportation for work on Third Street. And resolutions to submit grant applications for the NJDOT’s “Safe Routes to School Program” and 2014 Transportation Alternatives Program were passed.

In Economic Development, Hale reported that Swedesboro did not receive a Main Street grant this year, but planned to pursue it again in 2015.

Hale announced the return of the community’s “Dancing in the Street” events, the first one set for Wednesday, June 18. National Night Out was scheduled in Swedesboro a night later, on June 19.

Hale also mentioned that two more “Dancing in the Street” events would take place during the summer, and the town’s successful kayaking events would be returning this year.

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