Crosswalk controversy in small NJ town

RANCOCAS, N.J. - November 18, 2010

A number of residents in Westampton's historic Rancocas Village are upset over new crosswalks installed along Main St. over the last year.

In this small town of quaint old homes that date back to the 1700s, many think the big white crosswalks with their two foot wide diagonal stripes don't fit with the character of the village.

"They're ugly. They're gaudy. They're too wide. It looks like a NASCAR race track out on Main Street," said Dorene Berry of Rancocas.

"What we're asking for is to slow traffic down. We don't want all the gaudy signs," said Norm Miller of Rancocas. "The other thing with the crosswalks in Rancocas is they go nowhere because we don't have sidewalks."

  Township officials say crosswalks have to conform to state laws, and big stripes - easily seen by drivers - are what the law requires.

  But some folks aren't buying it.

"It's just overkill here, it's total overkill," said Rex Breuner of Rancocas. "I just don't like them. It's just an eyesore in this little historic town."

  However one couple Action News talked to, walking from Willingboro just a couple blocks away, doesn't understand what all the fuss is about.

  "It sounds kind of silly to me. A crosswalk is a crosswalk," said James Carns of Willingboro.

"Maybe it could have been made a little more aesthetic, but it's a crosswalk!" said Adair Carns.

  Three of the controversial crosswalks have already been installed, but after residents complained to Westampton officials they agreed to stop the project until some kind of solution can be found.

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