Oradell Attorney Gives Notice; Traffic Study Coming on Hekemian Impact
Fearing the Elm Street Bridge will be a cut-through for traffic generated by the proposed development, Oradell's counsel informs Zoning Board that Oradell will be submitting their own traffic report to the Board.
Louis Flora of the law firm of Giblin & Giblin in Oradell appeared before the New Milford Zoning Board last week to inform the Board that on behalf of Oradell, he will be submitting a traffic report regarding the traffic impact that the proposed development of the United Water Company property will have on Oradell.
The proposed development includes a 70,500 sq ft supermarket, 4300 sq ft bank and 221 residential units with four-story 428-spaced parking garage.
In Oradell, residents are concerned about any impact to New Milford Road and on Elm Street once the bridge rehabilitation has been completed and is open to the public. Oradell's Borough Engineer Marisa Tiberi stated on Tuesday that the rehabilitation project is nearing completion to the Oradell Mayor and Council.
"In addition to flooding and traffic, I'm also seriously concerned with the infrastructure," Beechwood Road resident Tom Belthoff said at an August meeting of the Oradell Mayor and Council. "The New Milford Ambulance services Oradell, our fire and police departments provide coverage to New Milford. If you drive up New Milford Avenue during rush hour, school openings or closing, you're lucky there are no collisions with the trains. At some point the Elm Street Bridge will be open and that will serve as a cut-through and impact residents on Elm and Grove."
"Elm Street will be used as a cut-through street," Demarest Avenue resident Mike Kurk said at that same meeting.
When questioned by Flora on whether the new Shop Rite would draw customers from surrounding communities, Joseph Pagano, Director of Produce for Inserra Shop Rite who testified as a factual witness on behalf of Hekemian, said that all Inserra Shop Rites draw from the surrounding communities.
Elizabeth "Betsy" Dolan, a traffic engineer hired by Hekemian had testified that she provided for 354 spaces for new ShopRite. 470 is the number of spaces required by ordinance.
In determining how many of those spaces would be occupied by employees during any given shift, Pagano testified that the number of employees at the new Shop Rite will increase from its current headcount of 115 to 140 with 40 to 50 people per shift, approximately 10 overlapping. Pagano said that many of these employees are part-time.
Dolan focused her study at the following hours during the month of September 2011 and February, March and April 2012:
- Monday through Friday 7am-9am; 2pm to 4pm; and 4pm to 6pm.
- 1pm to 2pm Saturday
- 7pm to 9pm summarized peak hour at each intersection
- 2pm to 4pm
- 4pm to 6pm
- Saturday 11am to 2pm
However, Pagano told Flora that the peak shopping day at the Shop Rite is Sunday, followed by Saturday and Monday. According to Pagano, Tuesday and Wednesday are the weakest shopping days, testimony that is in direct contrast with Dolan who testified that Tuesday was a peak traffic day.
During her testimony, Dolan concluded that the additional traffic caused by the proposed development can be accommodated because the roads that she studied around the area are "underutilized." It was determined that all approaches will operate at "acceptable levels of service or better with the addition of site traffic."
The next special meeting of the Zoning Board dedicated to the continuation of the United Water property hearing will be Monday, October 29 at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers of New Milford's Borough Hall.