As residents of Harvey cedars prepare to attend the August Ocean County freeholder meeting to argue for a reconfiguration of their stretch Long Beach Boulevard, the board has largely made up its mind on the issue.

Freeholder Director Jack Kelly notes the county engineering department, which he is liaison to, considered the borough’s request to shift the one mile stretch of road from four lanes to three. Kelly notes the request was given serious deliberation, with roughly nine months spent to considering lane configurations and safety scenarios; however they still believe the current four lane system is the safest and most efficient.

Kelly notes they are concerned safety will be an issue, especially for first responders who might be caught in a slower traffic flow. However proponents of the reconfiguration argue a road study, commissioned by the county, proves that switching to two lanes in either direction plus a turning lane wouldn’t slow down first responders because the shoulders would be effectively widened, allowing cars to turn off there if need be.

He adds that while residents have safety concerns from the four lane highway, a three lane set-up would not be safer. Adding for anyone wanting to cross, there are already five crosswalks within the 9/10th of a mile stretch of road.