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Flashing Ambers – Winter At The Shore

Downtown Toms River, Tom Mongelli



They’re not as abundant as they once were, but flashing amber traffic signals on some of the Jersey Shore’s traffic arteries still serves as a visual reminder of the area’s seasonal population swings.

Let’s face it, the shore points get a real workout in car and foot traffic all summer. Ocean County’s population, among the fastest-growing in the state, is about 600,000. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, it skyrockets to well over 1,000,000. Plus Snooki. Is it any wonder the street signals are more plentiful, and quicker to change, with all that humanity swarming the turf?

When the temps drop into the 30s and below, there are few things as simultaneously forlorn and incongruous as a Coppertone billboard covered in snow. But the flashing ambers, along parts of Route 35 through Toms River, Lavallette and Brick, and considerable stretches of Long Beach Boulevard on Long Beach Island, are still a tacit signal from local police and the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

They’re saying, “Okay, the guests have gone home and cleanup is done. Relax. But be ready for battle stations again at the end of May.”




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