Stockton will get traffic light at busy intersection

The state Department of Transportation will install the light at Main and Bridge streets.

By:Carl Reader
   STOCKTON — After three years of work, the Borough Council has decided to take the money and stop.
   Traffic, that is.
   The council agreed Monday night to allow the state Department of Transportation to put in a traffic light at the corner of Main and Bridge streets to slow traffic through town. The project has been three years in the making, said Borough Clerk Kim Franklin.
   "Now we send the resolution to DOT saying council has agreed to accept the grant," Ms. Franklin said.
   Although this was the final step the council had to take to obtain the light, there was some concern by the council and residents the light would not solve the problem.
   With traffic increasing in Stockton, problems associated with more cars, such as speeding and reckless driving, also have become an issue.
State Police have responded to the council’s request to increase patrols in town. Council members noted Monday night that motorists were getting ticketed nearly every night in Stockton.
   Councilwoman Joan Haberle said that while the light could slow traffic, it won’t deal with another problem — a possible increase in truck traffic when tolls go up this summer on the New Hope-Lambertville toll bridge. Mrs. Haberle speculated trucks looking for alternate routes to avoid higher tolls might head through Stockton.
   Nevertheless, a light should help slow down both trucks and cars, she said.
   "This should slow traffic coming toward the school on Main Street," said Mrs. Haberle. "I move we resolve this as quickly as possible so we don’t lose funding," she said.
   Resident David Pasicznyk said he was against the installation of the light, saying all-way stop signs might be a better alternative. He said he was concerned traffic would discover the side streets of Stockton and make its way through them to avoid the light.
   "The last thing we need is cars sitting at the intersection gunning their motors," he said.
   The traffic light would be blinking yellow one way and red the other at non-peak hours, with timed green and red when needed, according to the council. Councilman Chris Smith suggested signs not allowing motorists to make a left or right turn onto side streets at certain hours, depending on the situation.
   "We can’t stop someone from driving up any street," Mrs. Haberle said.
   Mr. Pasicznyk said he was also worried about the proposed My Ben development of 40 houses which Stockton might have to deal with in the future. "Forty houses is a lot for a little town like Stockton," Mr. Pasicznyk said.
   He also asked how, if the town could not control speeding now, did it expect a traffic light to do so.
   "I think we need to put the light in place and fight the battles as they come up," Councilman Andrew Giannattasio said.
   He added the town had to do something to address the problem, and he said there will be no right on red, which should further slow traffic.
   Mrs. Haberle agreed with Mr. Giannattasio that the town needed to take advantage of the money made available and put up the light. If there were problems after that, the town could deal with them at that time.
   "We go to DOT and say, ‘Hey, guys, this is not working’ " should the traffic light not be the solution to the problems on the road, she said.
   "I worry about the school," she added. "It might be a hassle coming out there as it is in Lambertville by the school there. Hopefully, this will slow them up here."