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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Residents Raise Public Safety Issue at Crest Intersection

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By Vince Conti

WILDWOOD CREST – The intersection of Buttercup Road and Park Boulevard became a subject of intense discussion at the July 20 meeting of the Wildwood Crest Board of Commissioners.  

Resident Mike Marino spoke for a group of property owners from the area of the intersection, arguing that there was a significant safety issue there. 

Marino, noting that he had the support of 50 individuals on a petition, said the concerns with the intersection are numerous. 

He cited a change in the community with the increased popularity of the Crest as a vacation destination, meaning more people and more vehicles, many of them traversing Park Boulevard.  

He spoke of more aggressive drivers, many of whom ignore the speed limit. With cars using every available parking space, even the corners, Marino said visibility of oncoming traffic was a problem, with cars inching out into the traffic lanes. 

Marino used data he and other neighbors collected to assert that the area of Park Boulevard and Buttercup Road sported only one blinking yellow light and was more devoid of signage and crosswalks than similar areas elsewhere in the borough or in surrounding municipalities.  

He and others even conducted their own one-hour traffic study meant to show that the traffic at this intersection is higher in volume than many other areas along the same roads. 

In many ways, the problems that Marino points to have become endemic to roads and intersections in many of the county’s resorts. Local governments across the county are responding with signage, reduced speed limits and enhanced enforcement.  

Marino’s argument rests on an especially vulnerable intersection due to the volume of vehicles that use it and the lack of the usual traffic calming efforts. 

In response to the residents, Public Safety Commissioner Joseph Schiff assured Marino that the borough heard the concerns but that this was not an issue that could be “fixed” in a matter of two weeks.  

Marino and Schiff got into an exchange in which Schiff continued to assure the residents that the borough was going to address the concerns. He asked for patience.  

Marino responded that he has followed the chain of command up to the commissioners and so far, found the response lacking. He raised the specter of taxpayer liability if a tragedy occurred, with evidence that the borough was aware of the safety hazards. 

The discussion ended with Schiff saying he would meet with his public safety officials and then return to the residents with both a short-term and more permanent solution. 

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