July 18, 2018 | ° F

Livingston Avenue needs ‘road diet’ for better structure

Photo by File Photo |

A study that recommended changes to Livingston Avenue includes bicycle lanes for alternative transportation.

Livingston Avenue needs to go on a diet, according to a Rutgers study for the city of New Brunswick.

A study from the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at the University recommended major changes to the street that runs from George Street to North Brunswick, creating a “road diet” designed to optimize its structure.

The changes would include several major lanes: a travel lane for regular driving, a turn lane and bicycle lanes for alternative transportation, according to a press release from the Office of the Mayor.

Russell Marchetta, a spokesperson for New Brunswick, said the city wanted to make Livingston Avenue accessible for all types of transportation. The four-lane road was only designed for vehicular usage.

“We’re looking at ways to make Livingston Avenue more amenable to other forms of transportation,” he said.

According to the press release, creating a road diet would reduce crashes by 19 percent. It would increase travel time on the road but reduce speeding.

The road would also work on crosswalk availability to allow pedestrians to safely pass the large road, Marchetta said. They may implement more traffic lights for this reason.

Middlesex County owns and maintains the road, so New Brunswick plans to work with the county on improvements. Marchetta said they are in the process of considering finances and meeting with city planners.

Ronald Rios, the Middlesex County Freeholder director, said in the press release he applauded the city’s efforts on road safety.

“The County recognizes New Brunswick’s unique position as not only a residential town, but one that welcomes a huge influx of students, commuters and visitors, all of whom have different needs,” he said.

According to the press release, Mayor Jim Cahill believes the initiative is part of a wider effort to make New Brunswick “walkable” and healthy.

He cited several new developments in that effort, including new bicycle lanes and “sharrows” that combine car and bicycle use, according to the press release.

This year, the city plans to work on a bicycle lane between the College Avenue and Douglass campuses, according to the press release.

Cahill said in the press release the city has also scheduled a lane construction on Suydam Street and a crosswalk at the intersection of Suydam Street and Throop Street.

By Erin Petenko

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