by Robert Holt
The location has been prone to accidents over the past four years. Woolwich Township Police reports have shown 19 accidents at the intersection since 2012, with two of them involving school buses.
Committeewoman Jennifer Cavallaro expressed fears that some traffic travels through the intersection at a high rate of speed. “When school traffic is moving through that intersection, it becomes a lot more dangerous,” she said. “It is a ticking time bomb.”
Woolwich Township Mayor Sam Maccarone felt the Committee should write a letter to local freeholders. “There is a bit of a blind spot at the stop street the way the intersection is laid out,” he explained. “We can work something out with the county. Anything is workable.”
Deputy Mayor Alan Schwager commented, “If they don’t think 19 accidents are important, what will be?” Committeeman Jon Fein added that Gloucester County could provide officers to sit at the intersection during peak hours.
“Safety is the number one concern for our residents of Woolwich Township,” Maccarone maintained.
The Committee agreed upon a resolution to bring the matter of the intersection to the attention of Gloucester County.
Director of Community Development Matt Blake reported that there have been delays in the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s plans for the Kings Highway intersection project. The work is now expected to start in fall of 2017, and is not expected to be completed until June 2018. But due to township concerns expressed at a meeting with the DOT, the agency added a crosswalk and traffic island to their conceptual plans.
Blake noted that Woolwich was still awaiting comments and commitments from the State Agriculture Development Committee regarding the auction for developmental rights to properties. A 90-day public notice period is needed for the auction.
And Woolwich has chosen a two-phase conceptual plan for the pedestrian crosswalks and Shared Use Path along High Hill Road. The first phase will be funded by a $175,000 grant from the DOT awarded earlier in 2015, while the second phase will be submitted with a grant application to the DOT Municipal Aid Program.
In other business, the Committee introduced an ordinance on its first reading that would establish the position of Park Director. Schwager wanted to see coordination between the local police and the parks and recreation department.
“I’d like to see that the police are notified by the park director if a major event was taking place in the town,” he observed.
In his construction and zoning report, Schwager noted that 916 permits had been issued in Woolwich Township to date. He also mentioned that the Environmental Commission was looking for a new member.
In Finance, Committeeman Frank Rizzi reported that budget requests for next year have gone out, and discussions will begin in December. Cavallaro said that the Swedesboro/Woolwich School District has begun conversations about their new budget.