Barnegat Wants Dangerous Intersection Resolved

Jun 16, 2017

A resolution adopted by the Barnegat Township Committee June 13 is urging the state Department of Transportation and the Ocean County Engineering Department to consider reconfiguring what officials say are “dangerous conditions” at the intersection of Route 9 and Barnegat Boulevard North.

Committeeman John Novak had recently asked the police traffic safety unit to conduct a study of the intersection, with which he is quite familiar.

“I take that way home every day from Toms River, and I have seen so many near misses there,” he said. “Making the problem even worse is that any crash there will cause a huge tie-up on Route 9.”

Novak said the problem is regarding the southbound lanes. He said as vehicles are heading south past the TD Bank, there is one lane for going right on Barnegat Boulevard, and the other lane is for both straight traffic and vehicles turning left onto Bayshore Drive.

“When people stop to make a left onto Bayshore Drive, drivers a few cars back might not realize that person has stopped,” said Novak. “This would lead to a rear-end collision. When a  car is stopped, attempting to make a left turn, a lot of drivers will veer into the other lane to get around that car. This also is a dangerous situation.”

Novak said the township will be forwarding a report from police Lt. Keith Germain, in which he outlined possible solutions.

“There are two possible recommendations,” Germaine wrote. “The first one is an adjustment to the travel lanes and the addition of a left turn lane for the southbound Route 9 traffic to make a left on to Bayshore Drive. The right turn only lane could be modified from a right turn only to also include the traffic traveling straight. A left turn lane on the opposite side of the intersection could also be added for the traffic traveling north on Route 9 onto Barnegat Boulevard north.”

Germaine said a second option would be to create a cut-through from Route 9 to Barnegat Boulevard for the traffic that would turn right from Route 9 to Barnegat Boulevard.

“The current lane that is for right turn only would then be utilized as a straight only lane,” he said. “The cut-through would merge on to Barnegat Boulevard where a dedicated lane already exists. This would reduce the amount of vehicles at the intersection and reduce some of the issues that have occurred there.”

Additionally, Germaine said a review of accident reports from the past three years shows there were 35 accidents at the intersection. None of the crashes were fatal.

“Most of the crashes occur when vehicles are traveling at a slow speed,” he said.

Since Route 9 is a state road and Barnegat Boulevard is a county road, Novak said any changes “aren’t likely to happen any time soon.”

“But at least we have to start somewhere, so hopefully this will eventually get resolved.”

— Eric Englund

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