TOMS RIVER – Next year, drivers will be able to make left turns out of the shopping centers anchored by Target and Michael’s, officials said.
The median between the northbound and southbound lanes on Hooper Avenue will be opened to accommodate a new traffic signal and configuration that will allow drivers to make left turns out of each parking lot, and to cross the street into each other’s lots.
Currently, if you need to go north on Hooper out of the shopping center where Michael’s is, you would have to drive south first. There isn’t a way to head north again without taking two U-turns or sneaking through back roads and residential areas.
Similarly, if you are in the shopping center where Target and Lowe’s is, there is no easy way to head south. You would have to go north and make a U-turn on Indian Hill Road in order to go south. However, most drivers just go out of the entrance near Chili’s and turn around in the parking lot in front of the mattress store across the street.
“The Engineering Department has already developed a conceptual improvement plan for the signal to allow left turns onto Hooper Avenue from the shopping centers on each side of Hooper Avenue,” Freeholder John Kelly said in a press release. “This is a heavily traveled area of the Hooper Avenue corridor. We believe this change will have a positive outcome with traffic safety and accessibility.”
The shopping center on the east side of Hooper Avenue is called the Ocean Center and the west side shopping center is the Commons at Hooper.
According to a press release, county representatives spoke to the owners of both shopping centers to discuss the change, and they liked the changes.
The changes are expected to be finished by the spring of 2018, the release stated.