Ninth Street traffic in Ocean City is reduced to two lanes this week as construction crews work to install a user-activated traffic signal to help bicyclists and pedestrians cross the busy gateway.
The signal will be installed at the intersection of Aldrich Avenue (near the TD Bank and the Haven Avenue intersection), and it will help provide an easier crossing for bicycles traveling north-south along a safe bicycle corridor under development.
The work will include installation of raised concrete to mark the path across Ninth Street.
City Council awarded a $238,857 contract to Diehl Electric Company of Hammonton in March to complete the work, and the city will use a $100,000 state Department of Transportation Safe Street to Transit Program grant for the job.
The central feature of the work will be a High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk (HAWK) signal that will be activated only by a push button and will be timed to work only in coordination with the existing traffic light at Ninth Street and West Avenue.
The signal will provide a safe crossing of the busy gateway for bikes traveling on a north-south bike route under development. An existing bicycle corridor runs south from there along Haven Avenue to 36th Street. The city is working to mark and improve a bicycle route from Ninth Street north to the Ocean City-Longport Bridge.
The crossing will serve bicycle and pedestrian traffic coming from the new Route 52 causeway bicycle/pedestrian lane.
On an 11-square-mile island where the population swells well beyond 100,000 in the summer, the city is working to develop safe bicycle routes as one way to alleviate parking and traffic tie-ups.