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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Lower Asked to Slow Traffic on Seagrove Avenue

Christopher South
Dr. Ben Werner, a homeowner on Seagrove Avenue, asked Lower Township to consider traffic calming measures on his street, where he said the neighbors all consider speeding a problem.

By Christopher South

VILLAS – A representative of property owners along Seagrove Avenue near Cape May Point have asked the Lower Township Council to install speed humps to slow traffic on the quiet residential street.

Dr. Ben Werner told the council April 15 that nearly a year ago, every resident of Seagrove Avenue signed a petition asking for the township to install speed humps, which according to the National Association of City Transportation website are 3 to 4 inches high and have a slope of 3 to 6 feet; they are designed to slow vehicles down to between 15 and 20 mph.

Werner said he did not receive any response from Lower Township and this year dropped off the petitions at the Public Works Department, again without getting a response. He said Cape May Point had installed a “low speed bump” to slow down cars. He requested that the township install three speed humps on Seagrove.

Seagrove resident Kit Marlowe, speaking by phone on April 17, said Lighthouse Avenue in Cape May Point has two speed humps between Seagrove and Sunset Boulevard. He said he recalled signing the petition a year ago.

Marlowe described Seagrove as “a little over half a mile” long, and while the speed limit is 25 mph, he believes some people drive 45 to 50 mph. He said there was a car rally a few years ago that met at the Cape May Point Lighthouse and then left via Seagrove Avenue.

“They were all doing like 50,” he said.

Seagrove is often used as a shortcut off Sunset Boulevard or, as Marlowe said, people choose it because the paving is better than on Sunset. He also said there is a lot of bicycle and pedestrian traffic on Seagrove, many of them tourists, who are endangered by fast-moving vehicles.

Werner told the council the road situation has been complicated by the new entrance to Cape May Point State Park, with some vehicles backing out of the park entrance onto Seagrove. Marlowe said the parking area is small, holding 18 to 25 cars, but he believed cars could turn around there.

Mayor Frank Sippel said he and Township Manager Mike Laffey took a drive down Seagrove – or “Sea Grove” Avenue, as the sign says at the Cape May Point end of the street. Sea Grove was the original name of Cape May Point.

“I know it’s a cut-through to get to Cape May Point,” Laffey said, adding that township officials traveled Seagrove Avenue several times recently for meetings at the Cape May Point Firehouse.

Laffey said he is not sure how the township will handle the matter. He said there are other areas in the township where people would want speed humps, and when the township does surveys, it finds it is often the residents of the street who are speeding the most. He said he would speak to Police Chief Kevin Lewis about what might be done to combat speeding on Seagrove.

“Perhaps enforcement is the thing to do,” Laffey said. “Maybe do an overall presence.”

Contact the reporter, Christopher South, at csouth@cmcherald.com or 609-886-8600, ext. 128.

Reporter

Christopher South is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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