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Traffic on Duke St. raises concern

When Arthur Street closed for construction, Lee Ann Smith wasn’t surprised to find more traffic coming down Duke Street. The work on Arthur started at First Street, so it was easy for drivers to turn right on First and take Duke through town.

Smith expected cars would resume using Arthur when the road reopened. Instead, she found the increase in traffic remained and there were still large trucks, including full-size tractor-trailers, coming down the street. Concerned about what could become an ongoing issue, Smith has asked the township to look into the matter.

Lee Ann Smith keeps a close eye on kids Tyler and Nicole these days, concerned about the increase in traffic and large trucks she sees driving past their house on Duke Street.
Lee Ann Smith keeps a close eye on kids Tyler and Nicole these days, concerned about the increase in traffic and large trucks she sees driving past their house on Duke Street.

The Smiths moved to Duke Street four years ago. Part of the draw was the large fenced backyard that made the house ideal for raising children. Now Smith, mother of a three-year-old and a six-year-old, is a little less happy with the location.

“A lot of speeding goes on; it’s because there’s only one stop,” she noted. “As a parent, you’ve got to be watching your children anyway, but I’m concerned even when I’m out front with them.
“There’s a lot more young families on our street than there used to be, so I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s concerned about it.”

She would like to see a second four-way stop installed at the corner of Duke and Park streets to dissuade large trucks and force speeders to slow down.

Rod Kruger, Woolwich’s manager of engineering, said the street may still be seeing some extra traffic as a result of the construction at the corner of Church and Arthur, where regional crews are putting in a right-turn lane.

“I have a suspicion that some of this may still be lingering as a result of the partial closure at Church and Arthur,” he said. “I suspect once … that gets reopened up, that things will all settle down and kind of go back to normal.”

Before the township takes any measures to control traffic, Kruger wants to know just what is rolling along the street. The township will be installing monitoring equipment along Duke Street to collect data on how much traffic is passing through and what kind. After a month, township staff will have a clearer picture of just how many cars and trucks are using the roadway.

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