Parks & Rec on 11th St.
HAMMONTON—At the March 15 meerting, the Hammonton Parks and Recreation Commission discussed future plans.
At the meeting, the group discussed 11th Street, and further plans for the street. The commission members had said that work on 11th Street is a year to a year-and-a-half away, but members of the community like Bill Keller and Somerlee McMahon still showed their support and concerns for the street.
Keller was at the meeting to represent the skating community in Hammonton, and the community around Hammonton.
“I wanted to share with you just some research I found, on insurance and liability. Some states have passed a state law stating that skateboarding is a hazardous activity. New Jersey does not have such a law, if they did it was well-hidden and I couldn’t find it,” Keller said.
Keller said he hopes to try and put a skate park on 11th Street,to give the skaters of the community a home. Keller argued that it would help the community of skaters, as well as the park itself.
The commission was quick to say that they had other projects they were already involved in, and that it was impossible to get started on the skate park right away. The commission did say that they had some plans to put a skate park behind the yard where they keep all the trucks. The commission told Keller that they could not act on the plan immediately.
Summer Lee McMahon is a resident of Hammonton, and just finished maternity leave. She had expressed to the commission her concerns for safety on 11th Street, and the different obstacles she’s had to face due to safety.
“I live on 11th. I’ve lived in Hammonton for 20 years, but only on 11th for two years … I have a four month old and an 11 year old; I push a stroller around the park which is full of sand … I talked to the mayor about a week ago, and there’s just safety concerns. There’s no sidewalk from Chew [Road] to the park … you’re going uphill, you can’t see who’s coming over, also like you said you didn’t know where the entrance was, you don’t see it right away. We went today … we were leaving and I was telling my husband you have to be really careful where the guard rails are, you can’t see cars pulling in. There’s some major safety concerns … I think safety concerns have to be addressed though,” McMahon said.
Along with safety concerns, McMahon also addressed traffic concerns with the area, and the area that Keller wanted to build the skate park.
“The person who lives on the corner of Chew [Street] and 11th has had people drive through their yard. There’s a lot of traffic concerns in that area … it’s not a fast road, but it is a fast road at that segment of the road. My only concern about the skate park is not the skate park itself, but the integrity of the study … and if we could use it as a flex space. That way the town can really benefit from the space, and not just one group,” McMahon said.
The commission members ensured McMahon that they understood her concern, and addressed the traffic concerns first.
Councilman Sam Rodio said that they had gone to the town, and the intersection did not warrant a blinking light, and told McMahon that there’s a new sign on the street. When the commission eventually gets to 11th Street, then the proper safety concerns would be looked into, Rodio said. He also touched on how the police department would be patrolling the area and making sure safety is enforced. Reflector signs for the entrance of the park were also discussed at the meeting.