Susanne and Safer Route 70 Committee members,
The memo Susanne attached to her email below is represented as “a draft proposal to address safety issues through the Erlton section of Rt. 70 as a response to the death of Mr. Farley.” It contains 9 recommendations to NJDOT’s Commissioner Kolluri limited to “DOT actions to remedy hazardous conditions on Route 70 at Edison and George.
While I agree with Susanne that this is a good first step, I believe that we must not accept this as the Township’s response to our Safer Route 70 Plan or indicate that this is all we expect NJDOT to do. I hope we may be able to discuss the following points when we meet (next Monday?):
1. The Mayor’s draft recommendations are limited largely to one intersection on Route 70 and one neighborhood. While the opening paragraph states that the recommendations are to remedy hazardous conditions at Edison and Georgia, the recommendations also include signalizations elsewhere in Erlton (Cooper Landing Road, Queen of Heaven, and Vermont Ave.-Park Drive), but no where else in the Township.
2. Our Safer Route 70 Report identified pedestrian and other safety improvements that were needed along the entire stretch of Route 70, not just the Erlton portion. (see summary of them attached) For example, we recommended phasing the timing of Route 70’s traffic lights to promote an average speed of 35 miles per hour through all of Cherry Hill, not just a lower speed limit through the Erlton section.
3. We all need to be clear with the Mayor and NJDOT Commissioner Kolluri that the other unsafe areas on Route 70 also need to be addressed and that there are many other locations with equal or greater safety risks that require attention, including especially the intersection of Old Cuthbert Road.
4. It is poor public policy to only address these known safety problem areas and hazards after we have death. Cherry Hill, its Mayor, and the Transportation Commissioner need to be pro-active in addressing all of our safety recommendations as soon as possible, with at least the same vigor as they pursued the ill-advised closure of median openings. Our Safer Route 70 Committee should insist that NJDOT address all the recommendations, not just those that pertain to Erlton.
5. The nine recommendations in the draft memo omit several measures that data and experience have shown will reduce accidents and improve pedestrian safety at all intersections. These include: (1) advance stop lines and (2) an exclusive pedestrian phase at pedestrian activated traffic lights to give pedestrians sufficient time to cross before they are threatened by left or right turns that other wise share the green light time. Pedestrians must always have preference over vehicles because they are more vulnerable.
6. Our Safer Route 70 Report referenced previous research by Van Houten (1998) and Van Houten and Malenfant (1992) that found that painting advance stop lines (ASLs) 20 feet prior to a crosswalk over multiple lanes, significantly improved motorists yielding to pedestrians. More specifically, relocating ASLs to 20 feet and installing prompting signs resulted in a 90 percent reduction in motor-vehicle pedestrian conflicts (Van Houten and Malenfant, 1992). Here are the pictures we included to show what it would look like:
You can see some local examples of ASL’s across Chapel at its intersection with Cooper Landing Road. They ought to be installed at all Route 70 intersections.
7. Exclusive pedestrian timing should also be enabled at all pedestrian crossings on Route 70. It has been shown to reduce pedestrian crashes by 50 percent in some downtown locations with heavy pedestrian volumes and low vehicle speeds and volumes. This, and other pedestrian safety improvements the Township should be recommending for all Route 70 intersections is included in a report on the following website:
If exclusive pedestrian timing is unacceptable for some valid reason at any location, the next best thing to replace the “concurrent pedestrian signal” timing I believe we have at the Edison/Rt. 70 and other intersections (i.e. where motorists may turn left or right across pedestrians’ paths after yielding to pedestrians), is the Leading Pedestrian Interval or LPI traffic signal. An LPI gives pedestrians an advance walk signal before the motorists get a green light, giving the pedestrian several seconds to start in the crosswalk where there is a concurrent signal.
This makes pedestrians more visible to motorists and motorists more likely to yield to them. This advance crossing phase approach has been used successfully in several places, such as New York City, for two decades and studies have demonstrated reduced conflicts for pedestrians. The advance pedestrian phase is particularly effective where there is a two-lane turning movement. To be useful to pedestrians with vision impairments, an LPI needs to be accompanied by an audible signal to indicate the WALK interval.
There are some situations, such as the Edison/Rt. 70 intersection, where an exclusive pedestrian phase are preferable to an LPI. Exclusive phases are desirable where there are high-volume turning movements that conflict with the pedestrians crossing.
8. The nine recommendations in the draft memo also omit one of our other important recommendations: elimination of left turns onto Georgia and Edison from Route 70. Left turns from Route 70 onto Edison would be eliminated by making Edison one-way northbound, and left turns onto Georgia from Route 70 could be eliminated by adding the traffic signal we recommended and is included in draft recommendation #9. In any case, the Township should follow the recommendations of our Safer Route 70 Committee and the Mayor’s Route 70 Task force at this intersection, eliminate left turns from Route 70 onto Edison and George (whether or not Georgia remains two-way), and restore the Route 70 median width at this intersection to its original size (by filling in the left turn lanes) in order to provide greater pedestrian safety. We should point out that we opposed and the Mayor’s Route 70 Task Force report never recommended these left turn lanes to begin with. NJDOT did them on its own.
Finally, I have several concerns and questions about inviting Bob Saldutti to attend our meeting. Members will recall that he was the Chair of the Mayor’s Route 70 Task Force that produced the report that recommended widening Route 70. It was largely in reaction to Bob Saldutti’s Route 70 Task Force report that we formed our Safer Route 70 Committee and wrote our report. Will he attend the whole meeting of our meeting or is he invited to participate in only a part? If only a part, what will we discuss with him other than the draft letter? If Bob Saldutti is still an advocate for widening Route 70 to six lanes, what purpose is served having him attend out Safer Route 70 Committee?
Before Bob is invited to attend our meeting we should get answers to the following questions:
1. Why did Matt Toyer want him to be invited? Did Mayor Platt specifically request that we invite Bob Saldutti to our meeting, or was it Matt’s idea?
2. Does Bob Saldutti represent the Mayor on this matter? If not, does he represent any other group?
3. I understood the Mayor’s Route 70 Task Force was disbanded. Is that incorrect? Will they meet again?
4. If so, will our Safer Route 70 Committee or its representatives have an opportunity to meet with the Mayor’s Route 70 Task Force and/or its representatives?
Susanne, if you or Matt Toyer can’t answer these questions and we don’t clearly understand what role Bob Saldutti intends to play, I would strongly suggest that Bob Saldutti not be invited to this meeting.
Look forward to see you all on Monday.
From: Susanne Bromke
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 8:15 AM
To: Barbara Krowicki; Barbara Shapiro; barryl...@comcast.net; dant...@comcast.net; eileen...@yahoo.com; Jackie Flechtner; 'Lydia DeMonsi'; nancy...@yahoo.com; Pat Benjamin; Pat Stewart; phi...@integratedmechanicalservices.com; 'Susanne Bromke'; 'Wanetta English'; Bob Esposito; Chris Onken; David Kalkstein; Dayla Fusco; Fred Astmann; gfha...@comcast.net; Greg Bruno; helen kushner; Jim Morris; Joyce Walker; mbne...@comcast.net; Ramin Abbaszadeh; rcsh...@aol.com; Rich Hoffman (home); Robert Shinn; Yoli Lorenz
Cc: 'Robert Saldutti'; 'Matt Toyer'
Subject: FW: Memo RE Rt 70 at Edison-Georgia
Hello everyone –
I had a really good conversation with Matt Toyer last evening. The attached memo is the draft proposal to address safety issues through the Erlton section of Rt. 70 as a response to the death of Mr. Farley. I conveyed to Matt that we are not necessarily in favor of making Edison one-way. This issue however, is strictly a municipal issue and they will do whatever the community feels is right for Edison. ESCA Board members – let me here from you ASAP on this issue. I believe the mayor or his aide is making a trip to see Commissioner Kolluri next week and they would like to take our recommendations with them. Unfortunately, I am tied up every night this week and cannot meet until Monday at the earliest. Please send your comments on this draft to me and I will convey them to Matt.
Matt also asked that we include Bob Saldutti in our conversations, so he is copied on this email. Bob – our Rt. 70 committee is planning on getting together next week. Does Monday, May 19th at 7pm work for you? If so I will send you directions to my home.
All in all, the recommendations are excellent and more than I would have expected. I think we should make every effort to work with Matt and the Mayor on this issue and hopefully come up with a plan that not only protects our pedestrians, but enhances the Rt. 70 corridor’s appearance.
Thank you all and I look forward to hearing from you. (Please note – our home phones are down and Verizon says they may not work until Monday. My cell is 856-287-3148.)
From: Matt Toyer
Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 5:28 PM
Cc: Robert Saldutti <RSal...@SalduttiCollect.com>
Subject: Memo RE Rt 70 at Edison-Georgia
Per our discussion today, attached please find a draft memo to the DOT Commissioner RE Rt 70 at Edison-Georgia.
Please be in touch as you receive feedback from your Civic Association and the Route 70 committee(s).
Matt for Bernie
I had a really good conversation with Matt Toyer last evening. The attached memo is the draft proposal to address safety issues through the Erlton section of Rt. 70 as a response to the death of Mr. Farley. I conveyed to Matt that we are not necessarily in favor of making Edison one-way. This issue however, is strictly a municipal issue and they will do whatever the community feels is right for Edison. ESCA Board members – let me here from you ASAP on this issue. I believe the mayor or his aide is making a trip to see Commissioner Kolluri next week and they would like to take our recommendations with them. Unfortunately, I am tied up every night this week and cannot meet until Monday at the earliest. Please send your comments on this draft to me and I will conv ey them to Matt.