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Schooley's Mountain Safety Hot Topic at Wednesday Committee Meeting

Morris County asks township for input on safety issues for town's most traveled roadway.

An 18-wheeler crashed driving southbound on Schooley's Mountain Road in 2011.
An 18-wheeler crashed driving southbound on Schooley's Mountain Road in 2011.

Morris County is conducting a report on the safety of Schooley’s Mountain Road, and has asked the township to weigh in.

That’s one of the discussion topics on the township committee’s agenda for Wednesday night’s work session meeting, and the governing body will be giving its input on a handful of topics concerning the road, according to administrator Andrew Coppola.

The county is conducting a comprehensive look at the entire road, Coppola said, and the township committee has received input from the Department of Public Works and police department. The township will likely look at three specific areas to start, including “Big Turn,” the intersection of Schooley’s Mountain Road and Camp Washington Road, and the light at East Mill Road and Schooley’s Mountain Road.

Two head-on crashes have occurred in the past two weeks near house number 63 on the county roadway, between Camp Washington Road and “Big Turn.” Of the four drivers in the two separate incidents, none were Washington Township residents.

Drivers are also often stuck in a logjam heading northbound on the roadway when large vehicles, specifically tractor-trailers, are unable to traverse the large, angled “Big Turn.”

A decades-long conversation regarding a bypass project that would route vehicles heading southbound directly down the side of Schooley’s Mountain and beyond East Mill Road has stalled in recent years, after former Morris County Freeholder Director Bill Chegwidden said the county would no longer set aside money for planning on the safety project.

The announcement came shortly after then-Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen secured nearly three-quarters of a million dollars for the project.

The Washington Township Committee work session meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the municipal building. Residents are encouraged to attend and the meeting is open to the public. 

Claire June 11, 2014 at 07:25 PM
Chuck, the wt police sit on flocktown by first aid station, lflocktown by dorset, naughtright before ramsey, and by the hs and rt 46 by target every day. They have time to patrol rt 24 instead of these less dangerous roads. The trucks are a major part of the problem as far as danger and road damage. The second part of the problem is the turn. The police can look at speed on rt 24 as well as ticketing distracted cell phone drivers. Rumble strips may help as well.
Maggie Wydner June 11, 2014 at 07:38 PM
I lived in #67 for over 7 years. I can't tell you how many times we had to call 911 for accidents directly in front of our home. And of the many, many, many times, there was only once that it involved a truck. There were, however, several trucks that flipped or simply got stuck going around 'Big Turn'. I honestly think the biggest issue with that road is the people driving cars. When we first moved into that house, I would sit in the window sill counting how many cars went over the yellow line, going up and down the road. It was at least 9 out of 10 cars. If they can't fix the road, they could at least put blinking signs and more warnings going down the length of the road. It may not control how people drive it, but it may at least give people who are unfamiliar with it a little more warning.
Chuck Ruff June 11, 2014 at 08:02 PM
A Google search of Schooley’s Mountain Road accidents will reveal that the most recent accidents involve two head-on collisions involving cars, a motorcycle accident, and a collision between a car and a single-axle milk truck. The one thing they all have in common is that they occurred in the area between the big turn and Camp Washington Road. A ban on large trucks would not have prevented any of these accidents, but the completion of the Schooley’s Mountain Rd bypass project would have.

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