Atlantic City Council Says No Thanks to ‘Road Diet’ Plan
The Atlantic City road with the highest accident rate in New Jersey will continue to be a four-lane road.
On Tuesday, the Atlantic City Council voted 4-3 against a plan to reduce Atlantic Avenue to one lane of traffic in each direction, with an expanded bike and parking lane on each side of the road.
A road diet study has shown that fewer lanes of traffic would make crossing Atlantic Avenue easier and safer for pedestrians and bikers.
Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small has been a proponent of the idea.
The Atlantic Avenue road diet, which would have been funded with a $2 million NJ Dept. of Transportation grant, has never been a popular idea with local business owners and residents.
Carol Ruffu, the president of the Chelsea Neighborhood Association told the Press of Atlantic City that "every resident...is against this".
Locals say that increased traffic congestion on Atlantic Avenue will just create more traffic on surrounding streets.
However, the road diet idea isn't dead yet. Under the terms of the state's takeover of Atlantic City, New Jersey could refuse to approve the minutes of the council meeting and keep the plan alive.
Down the road in Margate, where the Atlantic Avenue road diet became a reality in June, most people seem to have gotten used to the change, and predictions of driver confusion and summer traffic problems never became a serious issue.
But, one size does not necessarily fit all when it comes to roadway designs.
Atlantic City residents say the increased year-round traffic volume on Atlantic Avenue in the Chelsea district and business areas is a justifiable reason for concern when it comes to the road diet plan.