Bill Would Honor Melvin M. Loftus and Christopher Meyer
(TRENTON) – Legislation Assemblyman Sgt. Robert Andrzejczak sponsored to designate interchanges on the Garden State Parkway in memory of Melvin M. Loftus and Christopher Meyer received final legislative approval on Thursday, sending it the governor for consideration.
The Senate approved it 40-0 and the Assembly approved it 63-0.
The bill (A-2301) directs the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to designate the Crest Haven Road Interchange of the Garden State Parkway as the Melvin M. Loftus Memorial Interchange. Loftus was killed in an August 2003 accident at the intersection when a driver of a box truck failed to heed the traffic signal, hitting his car and pushing him into oncoming traffic.
The Stone Harbor Boulevard Interchange of the Garden State Parkway would be known as the Christopher Meyer Memorial Interchange.
In November 2004, 17-year-old Christopher was tragically killed in a car accident at the Stone Harbor Boulevard intersection of the Garden State Parkway.
Since 2004, three people, including Christopher, have died as a result of car accidents at the Shell Bay Avenue, Stone Harbor Boulevard and Crest Haven Road intersections of the Garden State Parkway. Since his son’s death, Erik Meyer, Christopher Meyer’s father, has been an advocate for the removal of the traffic lights at those intersections on the Garden State Parkway.
“This bill honors the life of Melvin Loftus and Christopher Meyer and the work of his father,” said Andrzejczak (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland). “Nothing we do can bring back those we’ve lost at these intersections, but their legacy will include saving countless other lives through the safety improvements. This bill ensures their lives will never be forgotten.”
The bill provides that no state, New Jersey Turnpike Authority or other public funds may be used for the producing, purchasing or erecting the signs bearing the designation.
Recently, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the state approved a plan to replace the traffic lights at the intersections with ramps to provide full access interchanges and improve vehicle safety.
“As the signals are removed from the Shell Bay Avenue, Stone Harbor Boulevard and Crest Haven Road intersections of the Garden State Parkway, it is altogether fitting and proper that we honor the lives of Melvin M. Loftus and Christopher Meyer and the tireless work of his father, Erik Meyer, who sought the safety improvements at these intersections,” Andrzejczak said. “This is a simple step that honors those who try to make our communities better places to live.”