Township Engineer Dennis McNulty said a new grant application is available for the “Local Freight Impact Fund” by the state Department of Transportation.
The grant is a competitive $30.1 million program that awards municipalities that have 10 percent or more truck traffic (vehicles over four tons) on a local road. County and state roads are ineligible for the application.
Public Works Supervisor Dennis Chambers said the only streets the township would have success with are Woodland Avenue and High Street. Both streets are alternate routes to and from Swedesboro-Woolwich.
“The problem is you have to justify you have about 10 percent truck traffic, and you have to do a traffic study to prove that,” McNulty said. He added towns within industrial corridors, such as Bellmawr and Gloucester City, were successful in getting the grants, however it took time to hit the 10 percent mark due to passenger car traffic.
According to the NJDOT, if the township were to be awarded money, it can only use it to improve road conditions for safe truck movement, improve access to roads for the freight, repair aging bridges and to create new, safe roads.
“It’s a lot harder to reach 10 than you think even on these roads we think have a lot of traffic in our minds,” Chambers said.
The committee is holding off on applying for the grant for now, as McNulty is working on costs of the traffic study. The application isn’t due until Oct. 19.
McNulty said he also had the township’s inspector and a representative from the Devonshire subdivision’s developer out to review the “no parking” signs after residents questioned if the restrictions can be lifted.
He concluded the development is missing signs, according to site plans, and the restrictions were in compliance with the appropriate ordinance.
He clarified stating a fire truck or other emergency vehicle wouldn’t be able to get by if both sides of the streets had cars parked, but the insides of cul-de-sacs have legal parking.
“The reason there’s no parking on the two sides for the cul-de-sac is they’re narrow,” he said. “You are allowed to park inside the cul-de-sac, just not in the stem road.”
Members of the township committee questioned if the inspector and representative reviewed the main roads’ parking restrictions and said it causes issues for homeowners and visitors.
Due to the size of the streets, McNulty said it would be difficult to make adjustments to the restrictions due to laws stating emergency vehicles must be able to smoothy pass through. He added he will, however, look into if signs are placed on the correct sides of streets.
In other news:
- An ovarian cancer awareness 5k will take place at William Wilt Park on Sept. 29 beginning at 8 a.m. All proceeds will go to the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance Foundation.
- In July, there were 37 crashes, 285 traffic summons issued, 47 arrests and 3,304 calls for service were made. Police Chief Thomas Mills added the department held a drunk driving checkpoint in mid-July and made five arrests (one was for a DUI) and issued 40 summons. A grant was awarded to the department to participate in the “Drive Sober, Get Pulled Over” campaign, which is in effect until Labor Day.
- Back Creek Road is now 35 mph for the entire length of the road.
- Resident Paul Showers gave thanks to pubic works for assisting his neighbor and himself following a recent storm. He also inquired if the township could install signs or send out reminders to residents to pick up dog waste after he found feces near his home.
The next committee meeting is scheduled for Sept. 3, beginning at 7 p.m. Municipal offices are closed on Labor Day.