Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles responds to your ‘Ask The Mayor’ questions: Williams and James

The following is an ‘Ask The Mayor’ question submitted to TLS, and the Mayor’s response. Email your questions for the Mayor to


Dear Mayor Coles,

Thank you so much for everything that you do for Lakewood, and for making this forum available.

Last summer I emailed you thru ask the mayor about the long traffic backups at the intersection of Williams and James. You, the police chief, and Sgt. Work placed a crossing guard at the intersection. The crossing guard did an amazing job and traffic flowed super smooth. There were numerous comments on The Lakewood Scoop expressing their appreciation for having a crossing guard at the intersection.

Our neighbor did carpool to camp this morning. Our daughters camp is 1.9 miles away from our house. It took her 45 minutes round trip. She waited for twenty minutes to make a left turn from Williams street onto James street.

My wife did carpool pickup from camp. She waited ten minutes to make a left turn from Williams street onto James.

Additionally Maser Consulting noted the problem with the intersection:
“The James Street traffic stream was observed to be very steady during the weekday peak hours. Based upon observation there were minimal acceptable gaps available for vehicles to enter the mainline traffic stream from Williams street.”

Indeed, there really are minimal acceptable gaps for a car to make a left turn onto James street from Williams street. That is why traffic gets backed up so badly. I think that there are much more cars on the road in the summer because of camp carpools, and the problem is even worst.

I understand that the county plans on putting a light at the intersection. Would it by any chance be possible to reestablish the crossing guard at the intersection for the meantime?
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Thank you very much,

Response from Mayor Coles:

Hi Kenneth,

Many of us were hoping the light would be further along by this summer. I have requested the chief place a Crossing Guard there again to help out.




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There are 15 Comments to "Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles responds to your ‘Ask The Mayor’ questions: Williams and James"

  • yakkks says:


  • Don says:

    There were tons of houses put up in the area in the last year that really made the problem worse. Soon, 74 houses will go up at the railroad tracks which will make this intersection even worse!

  • Steve1 says:

    Please tell us how the entrance to a new large development was approved just a few feet off this intersection? As if it wasn’t a bad enough intersection…..

  • Rob says:

    I hope the 74 (x2 including basements) families are familiar with this intersection before buying these homes. It’s not fun sitting and waiting 20 minutes just to pull out of your street.

  • Shmulie says:

    It is going to get crazy with all those cars pulling out from the new road along the tracks into this mess.

    Not to mention the train noise!

  • Didn't-ja' Notice...? says:

    Thank you, Mr. Mayor!!

    If a crossing guard can not be gotten, even 3-way stop and a DO NOT BLOCK THE BOX sign and white road demarcations would help, because of the back up from Rt 9 sometimes extending to Williams, and even all the way past the RR tracks to the west of Williams St.

    One of the too often violations at this corner have been impatient drivers in the backed up line on Williams St, when the first car in line is signaling and waiting to make a left onto James St, moving up the right side of the street to the intersection (stop sign side), then quickly making a left of their own, from that right side, cutting in front of that first car because he takes a bigger risk with oncoming traffic, many times making it impossible for the first car to make his left during one of the few “acceptable gaps.” I’ve seen several close call accidents caused by this, including my own.

    Another problem is a driver who squeezes by on the right side to make a right turn toward Rt 9, but in the process blocks the clear view of the James St WB traffic from the driver waiting to make a safe left. To avoid both these issues, I have had to be discourteous and not leave room for another vehicle to fit to my right when I approach the intersection on Williams.

    Even with a crossing guard and eventually a light, it will be a mess if a train enters this scene during peak hours. Are there any controls in place of train schedules to avoid peak traffic hours? If not, will there be?

    Thank you again.

  • moish says:

    At certain random times on some days there is a crossing guard there – he parks his car blocking the flow of traffic.

    We need a full time crossing guard!!

  • Kelly says:

    Wouldn’t it of been great had the township listened to some of us at the township meeting? I love tls and thank you for offering this service, but why does it seem like issues get solved faster thru tls then when speaking up at a town meeting?

  • A Stone says:

    The train only comes through late Thursday night.
    Secondly, the entrance to the new development I thought is on Prospect near Williams. Not on James.

    • steve says:

      the entrance is on james just about 100 feet from williams. Its going to be a disaster. Not only that but i can already see the people using this new street as an alternate to williams.

  • judah zimberg says:

    strange how a light on 7th and forest goes up and is live within a month , where theres not such a backlog of traffic, yet here where many many people are affected theres no light a year later, doesnt seem right or maybe i have to have the right glasses.

  • Dovy says:

    This morning there was a crossing guard and traffic was backed up on James past Woodhaven. We need help here fast!

  • Moshe Zeines says:

    I’ll be the crossing guard there today 3-5pm.

    Please be courteous. Keep your lights on, use turning signals, and even turning left from Williams to James, go all the way into the intersection. Don’t stand behind the white railroad tracks sign. That just makes it more difficult for other drivers going sight to go around you.

  • DAVE says:

    Thank you Moshe!!! I saw you there today and it helped my commute by 5-10 mins!! Thanx soo much!!

  • Nathan says:

    The entire intersection needs to be widened. There isn’t sufficient space for cars to continue east on James past Williams when there are several cars turning left onto Williams.

    There also is sufficient space for cars turning right (heading east) from James onto Williams to turn safely and quickly without getting dangerously close to the oncoming traffic.

    The intersection is just too small.

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