Telltale signs: assorted pieces of automotive plastic on the side of the road, a crumpled guardrail, a few pieces of glass reflecting off the roadway.
I think that makes two accidents in two days at the intersection of West Jersey and Ridge in Egg Harbor Township. Hopefully, there were no serious injuries in the latest mishap.
Almost anyone who lives off one of the streets that cross West Jersey will tell you: that is one dangerous road!
I was surveying the aforementioned guardrail yesterday at the West Jersey and Ridge intersection. There are four guardrails at the intersection that were installed a few years ago. The look of all four of these guardrails is almost comical. They've each been banged into numerous times. The metal has been crumpled, straightened out, and crumpled again. The wooden supports: several are split and no longer connect to the ground. It looks like a demolition derby was held there.
It's not just the Ridge Avenue intersection that has played host to numerous accidents. Several of the cross streets have seen their share of accidents, from Ridge all the way down West Jersey into Hamilton Township.
There aren't traffic lights at these troubled intersections. No four-way stops. The cross streets have stop signs, but that's it. Trying to cross West Jersey, especially during afternoon rush hour, is absolutely terrifying at times. Think of it as a game of Frogger with the cross traffic at 50 mph!
I just have to say this: who decided that an extra cut-across way was needed at the Cates Avenue intersection? This had to be the DUMBEST traffic move ever!
Now, I know traffic studies have been conducted, accident reports have been studied, and they've all concluded that everything is fine as it is.
Well, let me ask you to do me a favor, you traffic surveyors and consultants: put your mother behind the wheel of a car and send her up Ridge Avenue at 4:30 in the afternoon. See how she fares trying to make a left turn onto West Jersey!
A dozen or so years ago, cut-throughs on the Black Horse Pike were closed off and it seems that the rate of accidents on the Pike in the area dropped. Sure, sometimes it's a hassle, but it's easier and safer. Why not do something on West Jersey? Why not try something to make it safer?
Last year I wrote about the silly, very-short passing lane on West Jersey, just east of the Ridge Avenue intersection. Check that story out here.
Look, West Jersey Avenue was built years and years ago, when the population of EHT was far less than it is today. Times change, things change - maybe it's time for the road to change!