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New Crosswalk at Library a Bad Idea, Traffic Cop Says

Town council has no plans to put in a temporary crosswalk on Second Street after the township's traffic safety officer cited safety and regulatory concerns.

Dropping a crosswalk in the middle of Second Street to accommodate library patrons would be both potentially dangerous and contrary to federal guidelines, according to Moorestown's traffic safety officer.

When residents complained to council about the inconvenience of using the crosswalk at Second and Church streets to get to the library during the construction of town hall, and the dangers of jaywalking that went along with it, township manager Scott Carew turned to Sgt. Randy Pugh for guidance. 

A number of people suggested the township install a temporary crosswalk from the parking lot behind Peter Pan Gift Shop to the sidewalk that runs adjacent to the courtyard at the library to give patrons easier access. But Pugh said he examined the issue back in 2007 and came to the same conclusion: It's a bad idea.

The primary reason Pugh opposes a temporary crosswalk is due to the fact that it's too close to the intersection—a particularly high-traffic intersection—at Church and Second. 

The federal government provides guidelines for municipalities to follow regarding the installation of crosswalks. There's an entire report on the Federal Highway Administration website about crosswalks, part of which reads, "Marked crosswalks should not be installed in close proximity to signalized intersections (which may or may not have marked crosswalks); instead, pedestrians should be encouraged to cross at the signal in most situations."

Pugh noted the federal guidelines are not mandates—but it's not smart for towns to make up their own rules.

"For a town to deviate from that, they do so at their own peril," he said, stressing the potential for injury and, consequently, lawsuits. 

Pugh also pointed out that many pedestrians wouldn't even use a temporary crosswalk. He spent hours monitoring pedestrian traffic, and most people just crossed wherever they could, usually closest to where they parked their car.

Not to mention the police "have enough enforcements issues with the crosswalks on Main Street and Chester (Avenue)."

When the subject of a new crosswalk came up at Monday's town council meeting, Carew and members of council said they would follow Pugh's recommendation.

Township traffic engineer Jim Rudderman came to the same conclusions as Pugh, as did the state Department of Transportation when it performed a similar study in 2007.

Coach February 15, 2013 at 12:30 PM
..really? aren't you guys arguing for it, just gonna jaywalk acrossed the street anyhow?.
scouty February 15, 2013 at 01:02 PM
Good old Officer Pugh, keeping Moorestown safe, one parking ticket at a time...
The Situation February 15, 2013 at 01:09 PM
What good 'ol officer Pugh should do is walk up and down Main St and educate people on the dangers of jaywalking. It's only a matter of time before some clown gets wacked by an auto up there. They actually think just walking anywhere means you'll stop. But no, it's easier to 'stake out' a crosswalk. Hey, we see you!
Bill February 15, 2013 at 01:54 PM
Someone correct me if I'm wrong here. The entrance to the Library during construction can only be accessed by walking up the sidewalk from the Church St side?
Rob Scott (Editor) February 15, 2013 at 02:56 PM
Yes. Or cutting through the grass.
Bill February 15, 2013 at 03:15 PM
Using Google earth and measuring the walking distance from the spot where they want the new crosswalk would save people about 20 ft. Is this a joke ? Council actually wasted time considering this. I'd bet none of these people would think twice about walking 20 feet to hit the buffet line a second time. Unbelievable how lazy some people are.
Tom February 15, 2013 at 04:14 PM
Mr. Scott, I was under the impression that jaywalking and destruction of public property were crimes. How hard is it to use the crosswalk?
The Situation February 15, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Nice mtwnres, glad to see you're on board with the ridiculousness throughout the township. The BS meter hit red on this whole discussion.
ML February 15, 2013 at 06:29 PM
Finally, some common sense....
Bobby29 February 15, 2013 at 07:49 PM
Or they could just walk the extra 50-100 feet to the light...are people serious right now?
Walk it off February 15, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Mayor Jordan and Mr. Carew were right Monday night to listen to the experts. Who was that little man who was fighting with Mr. Carew because he was mad at the contractor for not putting an extra cross walk in? He was very rude and condescending.
janet swanson February 16, 2013 at 01:11 PM
It would be beneficial if the library could relocate one of the book return boxes to the Peter Pan parking lot. Many of my trips to the library consist of just book returns, as I'm sure is the case for many others. A book return across the street might eliminate the need to cross Church St for many people.

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