Engineer Proposes Changes to CVS Traffic Plan
Zoning Board Engineer Chris Statile made three suggestions for changes before a traffic engineer representing the proposed CVS took questions from the public.
There may still be some changes to the plans for a proposed CVS in Washington Township that would affect traffic going through or past the site.
Board Engineer Chris Statile recently met with the county's engineer and a rep from the county planning board to discuss the project.
Statile made three suggestions for changes to the plan, including a left turn lane going into the entrance on Pascack Road, the elimination of a second proposed entrance/exit on Pascack Road and the addition of an exit to a proposed entrance on Washington Avenue.
No changes have been made yet based on the suggestions, which Statile presented in a letter the day of the Washington Township Zoning Board meeting this week.
A traffic engineer representing the plan for a proposed CVS took questions about his previous testimony from the public and the board at the meeting this week.
Gary Dean, the traffic engineer, previously testified that the 14,500-square-foot CVS would have an "impercetible" impact on traffic at the busy intersection if a project proposed by the county is built.
Board Vice Chairman Michael Ullman said he was concerned about the impact on residents who live on nearby side streets like McKinley Avenue.
"For them, any negative impact is multiplied, because they have to live with that every day," Ullman said.
Dean acknowledged that some drivers do use side streets near the intersection to avoid waits at the traffic light, but said he expected there would be "less incentive" for that if the county widens the intersection as part of its improvement plan.
The intersection improvement plan and the CVS are tightly related because CVS has offered to give a piece of the property to the county for the project, if their plan is approved.
Dean also said it made sense to have a commercial use at the site because the existing large amount of traffic makes it "ill-suited" for the residential use it is zoned for.
Still, residents who live nearby said they were concerned about the amount of additional traffic the CVS might generate. Washington Avenue resident Grace Hogan noted that data from the Washington Township Police Department showed there were 45 accidents at the intersection in 2012, including injuries to 15 people.
Dean said that he expected the intersection improvement could make it safer, but also said that traffic signals can create accidents.
"Signals create accidents. It's a fact of life," Dean said. "They're installed to lessen the severity of accidents."
Typically, intersections with traffic lights have more minor rear-end accidents, while intersections without signals have more severe "t-bone" type collisions, according to Dean.
The Washington Township Zoning Board's next meeting is scheduled for February 19.