SOMERVILLE — Looking to avoid a tragedy, rather than react to one, this Somerset County borough is urging the state make Route 28 just 25 mph throughout the entirety of its 2-mile route through town.

The state Department of Transportation already lowered the speed limit to 25 mph on the western portion of the state road, which includes Main Street in the downtown and West End Avenue. Posted signs made the move official in February, but Somerville believes the eastern half — which continues up North Gaston Avenue before turning on Union Avenue — should be treated the same.

"I want people to know, basically — once you're in Somerville, it's 25 to stay alive," Mayor Dennis Sullivan told New Jersey 101.5.

The stretch of road from Meadow Street to the Bridgewater border includes medical facilities, including a hospital, an elementary school, a daycare center, and a Motor Vehicle Commissions office, and branches off to several residential developments.

"We're expecting some increased activity because we're in the process of building a new combined fire/police/EMS facility," Sullivan added.

The Borough Council passed a resolution supporting the change in early February and sent the memo to the DOT the next day.

The DOT said it's aware of Somerville's interest in lowering Route 28's speed limit but hasn't yet received a resolution of support requesting the change. Sullivan said the borough recently recent the request.

The borough was successful in getting the DOT to lower the speed limit from Meadow Street to the edge of Raritan, based on traffic studies. Speed-limit signs were posted in February, making the change legal to enforce.

Somerville also wants county roads lowered to 25 mph when passing through the borough.

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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.