FARMINGDALE – Residents in Farmingdale are raising concerns about the increasing truck traffic in the neighborhood. Not only has general traffic and truck traffic allegedly increased, but they say accidents in the area are also on the rise.
“Our peaceful neighborhood has been increasingly disturbed by the problem of general traffic and growing truck traffic,” Farmingdale resident John Woolley said.
Woolley explained how over the years he’s seen dozens of accidents, more within recent years. The most recent accident just occurred in January, where a work truck was driving down Belmar Boulevard with their back end up, which resulted in taking out three telephone poles and sending pieces flying onto several neighboring properties.
“This accident could easily have resulted in injuries or even deaths and represents only one of many dangers occurring,” Woolley said.
Another resident who lives on Belmar Blvd. also has been addressing her concerns about how hazardous the road is.
“I have lived at this address for over 40 years. In that time, I have seen a number of traffic accidents and have even written to the county expressing my concerns over the danger that exists,” Linda Tyberghein said.
Tyberghein continued to express how she feels that many drivers speed and drive recklessly on Belmar Blvd.
“Several years ago, a neighbor was hit by a passing car. I had a woman land her car in the ditch in front of my house. A few years back a truck went off the road and landed in a neighbor’s front yard. Recently that huge truck brought down telephone poles and numerous wires and braked in front of my house. The road had to be closed for three days. I had my grandchildren with me when it happened and had to get them home safely. I was very anxious. My own children were never allowed to play in the front yard without my being with them. There was never any trick or treating here. When I’m driving home, I often worry about turning into my driveway as frequently I see a car in my rear-view mirror following too closely behind me or preparing to pass.”
With many residents being upfront about their concerns regarding the traffic, many of the incidents are recorded and can be found on the community website, farmingdaleforever.org. On the website, you can view pictures of recent truck traffic and accidents.
So why are they so many trucks driving through the small town of Farmingdale? Woodlley believes it’s all coming from the transfer station nearby. Residents have proposed their ideas and solutions to what they believe will make the road safer.
“We are seeking to create a truck route on Birdsall Road, as well as lower the speed limit and further limit passing on Belmar Blvd in order to decrease the danger growing on the road,” Woolley said.
“In my opinion, the speed limit of 50 mph is too high for this largely residential area,” Tyberghein said. “What is really of concern is that much of the traffic doesn’t observe the 50 mph limit and goes much faster. I would really like to see something done to make this a safer street.”
Are the traffic issues on Belmar Blvd. and in Farmingdale dangerous? According to Officer Matthew Cherney of the Howell Police Department, about three crashes happened in 2020.
“I looked at the crash data and in 2020, if you take the deer strikes out and the crashes that occurred at the intersections, so either at Birdsall or at 547, which are the two intersecting roadways, in 2020 there were three crashes on the road. In 2019, with the same criteria, there were three crashes as well.” Cherney said.
As for the commercial truck traffic increasing, it’s due to the fact that there are many industrial buildings near the Farmingdale area.
“If you take a look at that area there’s a lot of industrial infrastructures. If you go a little bit further down out of our town and into Wall, that’s where most of the buildings are. They have a large recycling building, which is where that truck was coming from the day that it pulled down the wires,” Cherney said. “I don’t think this accident had anything to do with speed. Either there was a malfunction with the truck because the bed is not supposed to raise unless a parking brake is on, that’s the only way. For whatever reason something failed and that’s the reason why it came up as they were driving along. At least that’s my understanding of it.”
“But here’s the other thing, you have this road which is a county road which connects to 547 which is another county road which runs north and south through Farmingdale Borough and it goes south to 195 in Howell. On the other end of that you have Route 34, so this is a major roadway,” Cherney said.
Officer Cherney also explained how the past crashes from the data reports were not all from the same part of the road.
“The crashes aren’t even in the same area. There is a bend on the roadway, so if we had three crashes and they were all on the bend then maybe that’s something else we need to look at but those three crashes were not in the same area.”
When it comes down to making any changes, whether it’s the engineering of the roadway of the speed, it would be up to the county to implement them.
When asked if anything would be changed regarding Belmar Blvd., the county did not respond by press time.