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Rumson Man Rallies to Curb Speeders

West River Road resident Ronald Reiswig has made it his mission to get drivers to slow down

Rumson resident Ron Reiswig is on a mission to make drivers slow down in his neighborhood, which happens to be on a main thoroughfare.

The West River Road resident is relatively new to the area. He loves it. He loves everything about it — except the speeding vehicles that he says barrel down West River Road, in front of his house, and cause him fear and angst over the safety of his and other people’s families.

Reiswig says he has nothing but respect for Rumson police and their vigilant patrols, but he wonders if something can be done to quell the infractions he says he’s witnessed when police do not happen to be within that one two- to three-block radius and there are speeders.

Saying he understands full well that there cannot be patrols in one spot of the borough all day long,  Reiswig said, “My goal here is to make the sidewalk and residential areas along River Road a safe and pleasant place to walk for us and our children.”

People just seem to be in too much of a hurry to travel through a sleepy suburb, he added, noting that the main street is an artery to commuter ferries, schools and beaches in the morning and late afternoon/early evening hours.

Reiswig’s fear is that a wake-up call about speeding on the road will end up coming in the form of a bad or, worse, tragic accident.

“It seems Rumson is a transit point for traffic to the beaches and ferry terminals and something needs to be done to slow this down a bit,” Reiswig said.

Reiswig went to Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl and Borough Council on the issue. Ekdahl said there are two major hindrances to abating the problem quickly: the road is a Monmouth County road, and, therefore Rumson does not have jurisdiction to change the speed limit without going through a lengthy approval process; and, there is a quick 10 mph speed limit change, from 40 to 30, heading east, giving drivers roughly two blocks to slow down.

Reiswig was told in May that steps had already been taken to lower the speed limit on one portion of the road where there are two or change the limit on the entire road to just one.

A formal request had already been made to lower the 40 mph speed limit on the one portion of roadway to 35, Ekdahl told Reiswig at a May meeting. The mayor added that the span of roadway that has the 40 mph limit is relatively short and the higher speed does not seem warranted.

He reminded Reiswig that the borough had used its speed message sign, which is equipped with radar, at the spot where the limit changes abruptly as a temporary means to slow drivers down. And, he said, police are aware of the problem and are vigilant in their patrols.

The sign is posted at different spots in town on a rotating basis.

The mayor said it would be returned to the West River Road spot when it is available. Reiswig said it has not yet returned.

“In a perfect world, there would be a walking/biking path and/or sidewalk all the way down River Road, from Red Bank through Fair Haven and Rumson that would encourage less driving and more walking and biking between towns," he said.

Reiswig pointed to Fair Haven’s adoption of a Complete Streets policy, which is administered in conjunction with the state Department of Transportation.
In adopting the policy, towns agree to create more pedestrian- and bike-friendly travel by creating dedicated cycling lanes and share arrows on the roads as well as more sidewalks, rest areas and curbing.

Fair Haven also recently dropped speed limits on a few of its residential streets from 25 to 20 miles per hour. However, the roads on which this was done are borough roads, not county.

Reiswig has been rallying neighbors to keep watch and persist in some sort of change. He recently circulated a memo to neighbors outlining his mission and asking for their help in giving the county an extra push to lower the limit. 

In the meantime, he said his personal appeal as well as that of his neighbors is for people to realize that the “15-20 seconds or so folks might be delayed by following the law and posted speed limits,” is worth it for the community safety’s sake.  

Chris August 07, 2012 at 01:30 PM
I agree this about speeding, but I mentioned the Sea Bright DWI check point as a great example of enforcement to keep our roads safe. No one would dare speed though one of those checkpoints now would they? The point is more enforcement and police patrolling side streets not just the main roads.
Ron Reiswig August 08, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Its great to see many if not most agree speeding & not stopping at cross walks is a problem - and a problem in several spots in town. I think asking the Borough Hall and Police to place more emphasis on enforcement is within our power to do. I've also reached out to Monmouth county officials and hope to make the Freeholders meeting this coming Thursday evening. I'd like to get their take on how issues on county roads like this have been dealt with and how open they are to assisting. http://www.visitmonmouth.com/page.aspx?ID=1808 I'd be curious to see what folks thoughts about permanent radar traffic signs - see example.. http://www.trafficlogix.com/safepace100.asp. Would you in favor of something like this? Think it would help? My personal experience is this does serve to remind you to slow down as they visually get your attention with flashing warnings and a strobe when exceeding a predefined limit. They are about $ 2500 give or take for battery powered + solar charging versions.
B. Carr Mahon August 09, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Bingham Ave should also be lowered to 25 between the school and River Road........Its nothing but a raceway all the time. How come Fair Haven has police out often doing speed checks...we all no NOT to speed in their town.....Rumson needs to do the same.....speed is not inforced. As far as the cross walk thing....now that is a joke. I was trying to cross the other day a police man was across the street tending to a fender bender and not one person stopped to allow me to cross in the cross walk section.......I thought I was on candid camara......Speed is one thing, enforceing is the other.......just think of the money they could be making with writing tickets
Bill Amado October 04, 2012 at 12:20 PM
When I was a kid we were taught to stay out of the streets. It worked pretty well.
Ron Reiswig October 05, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Bill.. Wow.. that was profound. Anything constructive to add? Hopefully you were also taught that if you have nothing useful to say, don't say anything.


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