The stop signs at the Route 15 Jughandle at Edison Road would help more if so many people didn’t ignore them, according to the owner of Tomco Landscaping Supply and Jefferson Recycling.
Tom Schoonmaker said it is easier for his trucks to get in and out of the business. “At least if they stop we can pull out,” he commented, noting the cars do stop when they notice the trucks.
The signs were installed in early November 2017. In early December, two people posted on Tomco’s Facebook page that it wasn’t always easy to pull into the businesses.
The Jefferson Chronicle was informed some drivers avoid the jughandle and use the exit ramp at the former Pathmark shopping center and enter Bowling Green Parkway.
An Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request to the state Department of Transportation (DOT) yielded correspondence dating back to August 2016 between Township Administrator James Leach and the township police. A request for a review of the traffic flow came out of safety issues at Tomco. Normally these requests are funded through the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF), according to the DOT official who answered the request, but at the time this review would have started the TTF was suspended except for emergency or essential work. The review began in July 2017 and was completed in September. After the investigation, a stop bar was installed, followed by the signage. The DOT responses indicate the exit ramp will eventually be widened to accommodate trucks entering Tomco from the jughandle.
Lieutenant Joseph Kratzel of the Jefferson Township Police Department told The Chronicle it would appear a yield sign would make more sense than a stop sign, but it isn’t legal to install a yield sign at an intersection, so the state’s only choice was a stop sign.
He said only three tickets have been written for disobeying a traffic signal since the stop signs were installed but there is no way to distinguish on a ticket if the vehicle ran the stop or the light.
Correspondent Gene Spaeth contributed to this story.