TRENTON, N.J. - Bob Hope of Bob Hope’s Auto Repair ceremonially flipped the switch to “on” at the new traffic signal at the corner of Arena Drive and Reeves Avenue March 14, along with County Executive Brian M. Hughes and Hamilton Mayor John Bencivengo. Hope, whose shop is at the busy intersection and who said he knows first hand how busy the junction is, was happy to oblige.
The initial request for a traffic signal came from Mr. Hope who urged that Mercer County investigate whether it was warranted. With agreement from Hamilton Township, Mercer County studied data from the intersection and agreed that a signal was needed. Hamilton Township subsequently adopted a resolution supporting installation of a traffic signal at the intersection.
Hughes thanked Mr. Hope as the traffic engineers explained how the traffic light mechanisms worked and how the light would only be triggered when traffic approached from Reeves.
“This new traffic signal is a prime example of how one citizen’s astute observations can result in a solution that can improve the quality of life of others,” Hughes said.
Along with Hughes and Bencivengo, Hope was joined by Freeholders John Cimino and Andrew Koontz, and Mercer County Director of Transportation and Infrastructure Aaron T. Watson.
According to records from the Hamilton Township Police Department, there were a total of 27 crashes in years 2007, 2008 and 2009, resulting in 11 injuries. Based on an analysis of recent traffic count data, it was determined that the intersection exceeded minimum volume thresholds required for installation of a traffic signal. It was also noted that many pedestrians cross Arena Drive to access area parks, schools and businesses.
“Hamilton Township was happy to play a role in helping to make this new traffic signal a reality,” Bencivengo said. “Our township, county and state governments collectively want to improve traffic safety for our citizens; and today, I believe that our cooperative efforts have led to this positive result for the safety of our citizens.”
Traffic signal foundations and underground conduit were installed by a contractor, with Mercer County forces installing the remaining elements of the traffic signal, including poles, mast arms and wiring. Modern detection technology will be employed so that the signal would remain green to Arena Drive unless a motorist or pedestrian wishes to cross or access Arena Drive. The traffic signal will also provide ADA-compliant pedestrian push buttons and pedestrian indications. ADA compliant sidewalk ramps are being constructed at the intersection in the near future as part of Mercer County’s share of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant funds. In addition, signal timing for the new traffic signal will be coordinated with Central Avenue due to the close proximity of the two intersections.