Engineering officials from both the county and township have determined that traffic safety concerns outside two Brick Township public schools are not caused by the designs of the respective roadways along which they are located, but by traffic caused by the drop-off and dismissal processes of the schools themselves.
James Edwards, the business administrator for the Brick Township school district, said he met with Ocean County Engineer John Ernst and Brick Township Engineer Elissa Commins on-site at Osbornville and Herbertsville elementary schools, where the determination was made. Over the course of the past year, some parents have complained about encounters with other motorists as well as school buses, and accidents that have ensued, during drop-off and pickup times. Earlier this year, the administration at Osbornville modified the traffic pattern for vehicles in the school parking lot, which officials said alleviated problems there.
“At Osbornville, there is a great improvement based upon the administration’s new traffic patterns there,” said Edwards. “It has greatly alleviated traffic on the roadway, and there does not appear to be a safety concern over there anymore, according to [Brick Police] Traffic Safety.”
At Herbertsville, the issues seem to center around drivers parking their vehicles along Lanes Mill Road, and going on to encounter moving traffic and buses when they pull out. The township’s police department has said they will begin strictly enforcing “no parking” regulations on both Lanes Mill Road, at Herbertsville School, and Drum Point Road, near Osbornville School. Both roads are under county jurisdiction.
“Parents at both schools are going to be notified that there will be no parking tolerated on the roadways,” said Edwards, adding that the building principals will be responsible for getting the word out after consulting with Susan McNamara, Director of Planning, Research and Evaluation for the district. “The township has indicated that they will be ticketing vehicles parked on the roadways during drop-off and dismissal.”
The district is continuing to look into the traffic patterns at both schools and how they can be optimized. At one point, there was a discussion of construction an access road that would run from the rear of the Osbornville school property, however the safety issues seem to have been solved, Edwards said, and such a project is no longer under consideration. There may, however, be a future project that would add extra parking to the Osbornville site, which could necessitate a new access road.
“We’ll give it some new, future consideration once the new park goes in the back of that school,” said Edwards, referring to the 6-acre property carved out of the Breton Woods preservation project where the township is planning to build a public playground. “That will allow us to take down the old playground that’s there currently, which potentially could turn into some more parking.”