By ROBERT LINNEHAN
A local man took it upon himself to improve his community and make his life easier at the same time. Jerome Ritter, a legally blind resident of the township, contacted the Voorhees administration and successfully lobbied for a new bus stop in the Echelon neighborhood.
Ritter, 46, contacted the township to see what could be done about adding a new bus stop to the Echelon neighborhood. Ritter said it was difficult for him to walk to the nearest stop along Echelon Road and Laurel Road.
The new stop will be installed on the intersection of Echelon Road and Somerdale Road. It will be extended 241 feet to Abitare Boulevard. It’s a victory for the legally blind Ritter, who depends on the bus and Access Link as his only form of transportation. This new stop will be about 50 feet from his home, he said, and will make it much easier for him to board the bus.
“It’s much closer. I can just go to that stop and cross over. It will be easy,” Ritter said. “It will make my life much easier. I think it’s great that they listened to me and are going to put the new stop up. I thank them for doing it, it’s not up yet but I’ll be there when it’s constructed.”
Township Administrator Larry Spellman said Ritter’s request was reasonable and the township administration felt it was prudent to listen to his advice. Township representatives contacted the state Department of Transportation to see if the spot was feasible for a new stop and they quickly found that it was.
New Jersey Transit ran an analysis of the proposed bus stop and found that it would be useful for the township. The township committee then had to approve the entire plan so the stop could be installed at the proposed intersection. It may be a minor piece of news, Ritter said, but it will help him stay active and make his life easier. The active resident said he enjoys riding the buses to stay busy and to visit the Voorhees Town Center. He also depends on the bus system to get to his job at the Olive Garden on Rt. 38 at Cherry Hill and his church.
“This is a great thing that I did,” Ritter said with a chuckle. “I don’t have to worry about getting over to the mall now.”
He even had a new idea for his next project.
“Who do I call to have the blacktop redone in front of the mall?” he asked.