By DONALD WITTKOWSKI
Park Road has a bucolic-sounding name and a leisurely 25 mph speed limit.
But that doesn’t mean drivers mosey along on Park like they’re sightseeing on a country road.
Although Park Road will never be confused with the Garden State Parkway, neighbors have complained to Sea Isle City officials that drivers often speed down Park.
In response, Mayor Leonard Desiderio and City Council plan to reduce the speed limit on Park Road to 15 mph as way to improve safety for pedestrians.
Council introduced an ordinance at its meeting Tuesday to make the lower speed limit official. A public hearing and final vote on the ordinance are scheduled for the March 28 Council meeting.
Park Road is only about seven blocks long, stretching from John F. Kennedy Boulevard to 48th Street. But as a direct link to the JFK Boulevard entryway into Sea Isle, Park Road is often used as an artery for inbound and outbound traffic.
The road also passes through the historic Fish Alley neighborhood, an enclave of some of Sea Isle’s most popular waterfront restaurants. Park Road also serves as a route to the Sea Isle City Library at 48th Street and Central Avenue.
Moreover, Park Road will be the site of Sea Isle’s proposed $20 million community recreation center. The city is preparing to demolish Sea Isle’s former public school at 4501 Park Road to make room for construction of the community center, which is expected to open in 2025.
Desiderio met with residents of Park Road two weeks ago to bring them up to date on plans for the community center. During the meeting, the mayor heard concerns about speeding along Park Road.
“We received very positive feedback on the proposed project; and the issue of excessive speeds along Park Road was raised,” Desiderio told City Council on Tuesday.
He noted that the city’s plan to lower the speed limit to 15 mph is in “direct response” to concerns from Park Road’s neighbors.
The 15 mph speed limit may not be the only thing the city does to slow down traffic on Park.
Council President Mary Tighe suggested that the city should explore the possibility of placing another stop sign or installing a “speed hump” along Park.
Speed humps consist of a slight bulge in the pavement that isn’t as jarring as the better-known speed bumps commonly used in parking lots.
Within the past five years, Sea Isle has installed speed humps along Venicean Road and on 42nd Place to get motorists to obey the 15 mph speed limit on both of those roads.
City Business Administrator George Savastano told Council that the city will look into the possibility of installing a speed hump on Park Road or implementing other measures to make traffic slow down.