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'Traffic Calming' Fountain Project Moves Ahead in Collingswood

Borough commissioners have applied to Camden County for approval of the roadway project, plans for which should be available in the spring of 2014.

The intersection in the background of this photograph shows the approximate location of the traffic-calming device that will be installed along Haddon Avenue. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.
The intersection in the background of this photograph shows the approximate location of the traffic-calming device that will be installed along Haddon Avenue. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.
Borough commissioners continued to clear the way for the most talked-about roadway project in Collingswood on Monday: a "traffic-calming device" that will be situated in the median of Haddon Avenue before the Collings at the LumberYard apartment building.

Plans for "the famous fountain," as Mayor James Maley called it, were approved for submission to the county during the monthly local government meeting.
Construction is expected to begin in the spring.

At least part of the issue is conceptual for some residents—including one woman who said she thought it sounded "goofy"—but they'll have to wait a few months for the drawings to be provided.

In the meantime, Maley described the construction as  "a long, concrete barrier" with plantings and a crosswalk.

The idea is less about installing something on the scale of the Swann Memorial fountain at Logan Square in Philadelphia, and more to provide a mechanism to both beautify the roadway and slow the increasing volume of cars that travel it.

Maley compared the project with traffic bump-outs like those in front of the Old Zane School building and Villa Barone on Haddon Avenue, and emphasized its purpose in forcing motorists to slow down, especially given the expected increase in the volume of pedestrian traffic when the apartments are completed.

At least one resident wanted to make sure the important questions were answered at the meeting, asking the mayor, "Can we have the fountain green on St. Paddy's Day?"

"You're talking to a Maley," he replied.
mary anne degenhart December 04, 2013 at 07:43 AM
I remember being at a meeting when this idea was first proposed, and I thought it was a joke. Is that really where our tax dollars need to be going? But its a done deal. I'm not surprised.
Mel Sharples December 04, 2013 at 07:52 AM
As someone who was almost run down in front of Woksabi last Friday night, I endorse any project that makes people pay attention. Put down your phones and stop speeding down Haddon, people. And this is much less of an issue in front of Barone and Garfield, where there are cutouts and slight risers.
Collingswoodnative December 04, 2013 at 08:35 AM
Dumb idea. That's all I have to say about this.
Jasomm December 04, 2013 at 08:54 AM
Collingswood definitely can use more sidewalk bump outs and traffic calming devices. Something that enables easy pedestrian crossings with clear indications for drivers should be at Knight, Woodlawn, Collins, and Lee/Fern in addition to the existing one at Irvin/Washington (aka the bump-out at Zane School)... However, the top priority once the Lumberyard is occupied should be the crossing at Atlantic/Powell across Collins. That spot is very difficult to cross and very poorly lite. Once people start commuting to Philly who live in "The Collins" it will be a major pedestrian thru-way, and cars on Collins are usually gunning it toward the traffic light.
Rob December 04, 2013 at 09:50 AM
why put it in the Center of Town? They need to do something on each end of the Center to get people to slow down before the approach the downtown area. I live on E. Knight where Casona was and I can tell you people are coming down Haddon Ave at a high rate of speed. It's not only dangerous to pedestrians, but also to local traffic coming from the side streets trying to turn on Haddon. Turning on Haddon isn't a problem when people go the speed limit, but when they are flying down Haddon it's very dangerous.
MJT530 December 04, 2013 at 11:22 AM
This is a great idea...traffic on Haddon goes ridiculously fast. I am curious as to why I have never seen a speed trap on Haddon. I know Oaklyn has speed traps usually on rt30. Is CPD afraid of getting a bad rep for going after speeders? I would rather CPD get the bad rep if it meant people would slow down.
Jordi Sabaté December 04, 2013 at 11:29 AM
I really hope that they do not put in a generic fountain that can be found in most towns or garden stores. The last place I lived, they installed a fountain in the square and it was just very generic and there was nothing special about it. Since Collingswood has a big artist community, I hope they can call on local artists to draw up some design plans for the fountain and then find someone local to make it. That way, we could support local vendors/artists and get something that is unique to Collingswood.
DoneWithNews December 04, 2013 at 11:39 AM
http://www.nj.gov/lps/hts/pedestrian.html "The driver of a vehicle must stop and stay stopped for a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk" We already have this lattice of crosswalks, which I find encourages pedestrians to mindlessly bumble out into the street. "…except at crosswalks when the movement of traffic is being regulated by police officers or traffic control signals" Ever have to wait at Collings and Haddon for a pedestrian, who is crossing against a red signal? Since pedestrians and motorists act like unpredictable human beings and don't rigorously adhere to best practices with regard to crosswalks, I am unconvinced by the prevailing thought that the construction of an object will make the difference. Why not twice a month have stings, and write tickets to motorists who don't yield correctly to designated pedestrian crosswalks? Hand out some fines and word will get around plenty fast that the law really means what it states in Collingswood. Or go ahead and build your silly water fountain; I'll look forward to speculating about the political connections of whosoever's name is inscribed on it.
mcdan3 December 04, 2013 at 01:36 PM
We sure could use one of those "traffic calming" fountains or speed bumps or another stop sign or something to slow down traffic running on Maple between Browning and 130. Very dangerous!
Tamara Brunker December 04, 2013 at 02:15 PM
I agree with Jasomm about crossing Collings. I was walking my bike across the pedestrian crosswalk the other evening and saw a car nearly run down the Mayor, Mr. Maley.
Joseph Russell December 04, 2013 at 02:23 PM
Every single night, I get off the train, get to Haddon Ave, and wait until there are no cars coming to cross. Not one stops, and I'd obviously never just start walking in front of a driver in this state. And this is at the intersection with Homestead where there is, and has been forever, a crosswalk. So, whatever your personal world views are, there's no question that more aggressive traffic-calming measures are needed in one of the only towns in South Jersey you can actually call walkable.
Bonnie L. Mason December 04, 2013 at 05:06 PM
This is a great way to create traffic jams; not terribly calming to drivers, especial first responders or ambulances. That is what will happen if someone breaks down near anything in the middle of Haddon Ave. It would be infinitely less expensive to post 15 mph signs between Fern and W. Zane Aves and enforce it. We have new police officers who can do so. They should enforce cars stopping for pedestrians in cross walks. I keep an eye out for people needing to cross and stop for all of them, even if not in the crosswalk! It seems that most people driving these days are in a big hurry, or using a cell phone, to the point that they endanger themselves and others. Lets not waste tax payer monies; lower the speed limit in the most busy area downtown and I bet one month of strict enforcement will get people to slow down. No warnings; just tickets. Bonnie Mason
Jasomm December 05, 2013 at 12:38 PM
Bonnie's Idea is a good one too... Ideally the borough and county will cooperated in taking a multifaceted approach to improving the pedestrian safety on Haddon, AND auto traffic flow. This means making the sidewalks and crossing better in Collingswood, but also encouraging traffic to route through other ways than Haddon Ave. Improving the 30/130 intersection and the Route 130 bridge over Copper River are a good starts (once completed). Another thing I think would help is improving North and South Atlantic Ave, and actually making each of them One Way continuously from Cuthbert to Collins. I have been playing with a bunch of ideas over the years expanding on the lumberyard and PATCO's old TOD proposals. I put some rendering together here if you want to see how making the Atlantic(s) a Boulevard with added parking ties lots of things together nicely for alternative car routes. That is the most practical (simple) idea illustrated. http://tinyurl.com/kwuxj3c
BarbC December 06, 2013 at 08:40 AM
I agree with Bonnie. Ticketing for speeding is a better way to control, less costly, and eliminates "obstructing" Haddon Ave. I cross Haddon Ave. in Haddonfield all the time and always have motorists stop for me. Enforcement is the answer.
Veritas December 16, 2013 at 09:40 AM
It's all good, our Mayor is going to borrow the money to build his legacy monument. I feel so much better now.

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