Pedestrians and cyclists will soon be able to enjoy another milestone for the soon-to-be completed 22-mile long Lawrence Hopewell Trail (“LHT”).
This week, the Hopewell Township committee approved a resolution endorsing a mid-block pedestrian crossing on Carter Road (Mercer County Route 567) between Cleveland Road and the Mount Rose intersection. The crossing will allow for safe connectivity between the eastern portion of the trail to the newly preserved 320-acre Mount Rose Preserve, in Hopewell Township.
New to the LHT? Every season is perfect to enjoy it but Spring couldn’t be sweeter. Check out the LHT website and start exploring.
LHT co-presidents Eleanor Horne and Becky Taylor both thanked the committee members for their support of the vision of a multipurpose trail.
“From the beginning, our vision has been for a family friendly trail — and that includes safety. We share a heightened concern for safety for young riders, inexperienced rider and people with children,” said co-president Horne. “And, because is a County road, we have sought the advice of the County engineer.”
The crossing will be marked with a variety of safety measures, all at the recommendation of the Mercer County engineer, including a rapid flashing LED beacon that will alert drivers when a pedestrian or cyclist will be entering the high visibility crosswalk. Advanced trail crossing signs will be installed to alert drivers to the possibility of needing to stop.
There was some committee discussion as to whether installing a flashing sign would improve the safety of a mid-block crossing.
“All the other cross walks are on the edge of town where there is slower traffic,” urged Committee member John Hart. “Carter Road is 50 mph and there is a lot of truck traffic there since 206 is closed… I think it is dangerous and someone is going to walk across there when a truck is coming and they re going to be hit. This is a rural area where people don’t expect to see a flashing light in the countryside and there are no other lights around until you get Mount Rose.”
Julie Blake said that she respectfully disagreed and thinks that the flashing beacon makes vehicles aware that someone is crossing the street.
Mayor Kevin Kuchinski and Deputy Mayor Vanessa Sandom both agreed that safety is of utmost importance and asked for advice from Hopewell Township’s engineer, Paul Pogorzelski. “I am more concerned about safety, not liability,” said Mayor Kuchinski. “I want to hear from Mr. Pogorzelski whether this enhances the safety of the crossing.”
“These types of installations are the way of the future. We are worried about safety and unanimously agree that the highest visibility is important. The flashing light gives you that visibility. The county just recently installed several last year that are probably the best on the market,” said Pogorzelski. “And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration prefers this type of installation to make the crossing much more safe.” (For info from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, check out this link.)
Pogorzelski suggested that a separate “whereas clause” in the resolution to specify that the crossing be constructed with the highest visibility and enhanced advanced warning devices.
In voting, Committee member John Hart moved to approve the resolution, as amended, which passed unanimously.
“I feel honored that each of you have taken time to show how important it is to you to have safety on the trail,” said co-president Becky Taylor. “The whole point of this is to make the community better, stronger and more connected. This is going to be a great year as we finish this trail up. I want to thank all of you for your support and we look forward to getting across that busy road.”
MercerMe founder, editor, and publisher Mary Galioto is proud to serve as a Lawrence Hopewell Trail board member.