The Voorhees Township Committee unanimously passed an ordinance during its second January meeting that prohibits left hand turns from Avian Plaza onto Evesham Road.
The ordinance previously passed upon introduction at the committee’s Jan. 11 session, before official passage at a Jan. 25 meeting.
The exit out of Avian Plaza has been the site of two deadly crashes in recent years, according to the Voorhees Township Police Department, including one this past November and one in 2015.
The Sun previously covered the November fatal crash that killed 62-year-old Gibbsboro resident Rita Mohr while she was attempting to leave the Avian Plaza. Six years ago, Sengching Hwang, 64, of Marlton, was also killed in the same area after she struck the vehicle of another motorist attempting to exit the plaza.
The Avian Plaza has two driveways along Evesham Road that now prohibit left hand turns onto Evesham Road, according to Public Information Officer Carmen Del Palazzo. Another exit on the side of the plaza leads to Brendenwood Drive, which gives way to a traffic signal that can much more safely lead motorists making a left onto Evesham.
According to Township Administrator Larry Spellman, discussion of the intersection has come up in recent years because of the high number of accidents in that area.
“It was such a no brainer of a decision to make,” said Spellman. “It’s something that’s been talked about for a while, but with it being a county road, of course, there has to be a lot of coordination to get it done.”
Spellman also said that before the prohibition, the township eyed measures to make the area safer, such as restricting the height and size of brush and plants along the Avian Plaza that may have hindered the views of motorists down Evesham Road as they attempted to leave the strip center.
According to Del Palazzo, the left hand turn prohibition was recommended by Voorhees police after the deadly November crash. Following approvals and coordination with Camden County, the ordinance was approved and presented to the township committee.
In addition to signs at the exits showing that a left hand turn is not allowed, Del Palazzo said striping is expected to be done by the county along Evesham Road to further prevent motorists from making the now illegal turn.