BRICK – Most township accidents happen on state and county roads, which are roads the township doesn’t own.
The highest number of crashes occur on the main artery in town, Route 70, where it crosses over Cedarbridge Avenue, Chambersbridge Road and Route 88, said Brick Police Officer David Thergesen, who is the Acting Supervisor of Traffic Safety.
The police department submits crash reports to the state which collects the data, and awards grants based on everything from pedestrians being hit, bicyclist accidents, “you name it,” he said.
The most recent complete data is from 2019. There were 1,900 accidents in the township, including 176 in the area of the Route 70/Chambersbridge Road intersection, and 133 crashes near the Route 70/Route 88/Princeton Avenue intersection.
“And these are reported crashes,” said Officer Thergesen. “There’s lots of crashes that aren’t even reported.”
Other bad areas for accidents include 88 crashes near the border of Brick and Toms River on Brick Boulevard. The intersection of Church Road and Hooper Avenue in Toms River is one of the worst intersections for car accidents in Ocean County, he said.
“Basically, all the intersecting roads have multiple crashes,” Thergesen said.
According to Brick Police Chief James Riccio, the department continues to do selective enforcement in known problem areas.
“Most of the accidents are due to people being careless,” he said.
If the Police Department wants something changed on a county road, Riccio said he would normally reach out to the county engineering department to take a look at it.
“They’ll usually do some type of traffic study and see if they concur,” the police chief said. “Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.”
If they do agree, changes are made, he said. For example, Chief Riccio had asked to have the traffic pattern changed at the intersection of Duquesne Boulevard and Route 70.
“When people were exiting Target, the people on Duquesne couldn’t make a left to go down towards Lowe’s, so we had them alternate the lights so only one way goes at a time,” he said. “But nothing happens overnight – it took a couple of years for that to happen.”
As the local police see problems occur, they can request a change from the county or state, Riccio said.
On the other hand, if a repair is needed on a state or county road, the township administration meets with the county engineer only once a year, in February or March, and presents the department with a “Christmas Wish list,” said Mayor John G. Ducey.
“The list includes roads we wish to see paved, traffic light recommendations such as adding lights, adding arrows, changing the timing, changing the sequence, etc.,” the mayor said.
“We also ask for various other things like bike lanes on Mantoloking Road, crosswalks on Old Hooper and other things,” he said. “Normally we get an answer right there in person such as yes, no, we will look into it, etc.”
But this year there was no meeting, Mayor Ducey said. The county engineering department asked for a list in February, but so far there has been no response to the township’s requests, the mayor said.