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CVS, County Plan Would Relieve Traffic, Engineer Says

Washington Township residents and Zoning Board members are still concerned about the effect the proposed CVS could have on the residential neighborhood.

Traffic at the intersection of Washington Avenue and Pascack Road could run more smoothly if a project proposed by the county is done, according to Gary Dean, a traffic engineer for a planned CVS at the same intersection.

Currently, there is an average wait of 95.8 seconds for drivers, according to Dean. The county plan would cut it down to about 38 seconds, he said.

"It's a significant improvement," Dean said.

Dean spoke about the county's plan at a Washington Township Zoning Board meeting Tuesday. First Hartford Realty and CVS have applied to build a new 14,500-square-foot CVS at the corner of Pascack and Washington and, as a condition of the plan's approval, have offered to donate a portion of the site to the county for the intersection improvement.  

The site of the proposed CVS is located in a residential zone. Board members and residents have expressed concern about adding a large retail use to the site, which currently has several houses built on it.

About 2,000 vehicles pass through the intersection on Washington Avenue and about 1,000 pass through on Pascack Road during the peak hour, from about 5 to 6 p.m. each week night, according to Dean. 

"It's a pretty inhospitable place to put a single-family home," Dean said.

The CVS would likely draw 76 vehicles during the peak hour, half of which would have passed by the site anyway, according to Dean. The store would likely see about 644 vehicles visit each day, he said.

Board engineer Christopher Statile said the entrances and exits for the CVS would likely cause drivers to pass through the intersection twice, once on their way in and once on their way back out.

The CVS plan proposes one right-only entrance on Washington Avenue and two on Pascack Road— one right-only entrance/exit across from McKinley Avenue and one entrance/exit across from Jefferson Avenue.

Dean said that the extra trip through the intersection would be a left turn, negating any delay for other drivers because the county improvement will add new turning lanes. Statile disagreed.

"You do introduce additional delay," Statile said.

Board members asked Dean to give them a more detailed look of how the store would affect the surrounding neighborhood at other times besides the peak hour.

"I'd like to have an idea of what this store will do during the hours of its operation," board Chairman William Johnson said.

Dean said he would look at the number of customers similar CVS stores in the area draw and would compare it to the existing traffic reports for the site to give board members a more specific expectation for the site.

The hearing is scheduled to continue at the board's November 20 meeting, assuming that Dean has been able to complete the new report in time.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Jim Leggate at Jim.Leggate@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Concerned October 18, 2012 at 12:52 PM
We all knew it. It's Coming!!! The board and the administration do not have the guts or community concern to enforce the Master Plan or give credence to its citizens.
B@B October 18, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Time to start a group to run independent candidates and get rid of this whole bunch of Schroeder-tainted hacks.
J. Allen Goas October 18, 2012 at 01:21 PM
"Concerned" is correct. We already have one big box pharmacy in town (Rite Aid) and another CVS in nearby Westwood, so why go against the clear mandate of the Township citizens and apporve this, which will only further congest Washington Avenue? Try improving the Parkway exit mess first, before creating another one.
Falcon Fan October 18, 2012 at 02:44 PM
You are living in the past. It is time we have some progress in town. Fix the intersection and developer that wasteland into something useful.
Falcon Fan October 18, 2012 at 02:46 PM
The "Schroeder tainted hacks" are the ones that are in the way of progress. It is time to upgrade the TWP.
Judy Carroll October 18, 2012 at 03:55 PM
As a resident ON Washington ave, right by the corner...The average wait time of 95.8 seconds MIGHT be ok for those traveling on Washington ave. Come try to get out of my driveway on any given day & you'll see just how long it takes to get out! Certainly isn't 95.8 seconds! Takes FOREVER!! And to top it off, people splitting the lane when it's a ONE LANE road until closer to the light, adds to the wait & makes it very dangerous entering & exiting my driveway as well for the other residents on the road....I certainly hope that if this comes to be, they are concerned with the residents that will suffer from this!
LE October 18, 2012 at 04:18 PM
I can't understand why residents would be against this....tear down the dilapidated houses sitting there making our town look like crap...bring more tax revenue in by opening a retail store. I live on McKinley Ave and would love to have a store so close by.
joe marsh October 18, 2012 at 07:57 PM
So fix the intersection. This isn't Paramus or Paterson where we need commercial zones in the middle of a nice town.
joe marsh October 18, 2012 at 07:59 PM
People are against it because this is a nice small town. We don't need an industrial complex there. I agree that the intersection should be fixed, but we don't need a truck stop AND a mini-mall right there. I'd rather wait 2 minutes at the light than see that.
B@B October 18, 2012 at 08:41 PM
The reason the properties are dilapidated is because the owner has made them that way in order to hold people like you, who live in that area, hostage to commercial development that will turn your neighborhood into a 24 x 7 commercial zone. Wouldn't it make more sense to elect people who will not let the owner of Seasons control the entire town?
george phillips October 19, 2012 at 04:03 AM
If we can just ignore the Township Master Plan, violate the zoning laws and side step the EPA decision we can build a CVS Pharmacy we don't need. CVS should be embarassed to be involved in this project.
B@B October 19, 2012 at 12:11 PM
That's what it's all about. There are laws and a master plan that are being thwarted here by an influential non-resident. The local government is not looking at the residents' and homeowners' best interests here. There are ways to fix the intersection without making the Faustian bargain of a huge megadrugstore. The county has offered money for decades to fix the intersection and the local hackocracy has refused it.
Jeffrey Tammen October 19, 2012 at 10:27 PM
I'm in where do I sign up,one question what ever happened to the democrats who ran against them how come they are not making sure they follow thru on there promises
Jeffrey Tammen October 19, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Hey Judy,are you kidding these guys or should I say the Republican Party who has a choke hold on this community has done nothing in more then 20yrs for this intersection the county wanted to .but the mayor and council never acted on it .not only is it tough to get in and out but also a safety hazard .the wait is to much .there is way to much traffic coming south into our town and west on Washington ave.towns around us have shut opt routes from parkway and heavy traffic to van emburgh from hills dale ave.they send our way .i feel for you but I'm in same boat
Jeffrey Tammen October 19, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Yes b@b not only have they not improved intersection for decades but allow other towns to dump there traffic on us .hillsdale made ordinance to prevent heavy trucks coming from there dump site to go up hillsdale ave to van emburgh and then left to 17 which was good but they don't want the trucks passing the school.so they send them down pas crack rd past Washington school,the y,the bible school,and past a very busy intersection where high school is and up to Linwood ave doesn't make sense.then wood cliff lake shuts down 171 you can't make a right turn so everyone who lives in wil,partridge and montvale come thru us wow and then the normal traffic
Jeffrey Tammen October 19, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Hopefully they build behind your house next,so you can be even closer.and then they can park in front of your house and block your drive way and have garbage flying all over the gutter in your nice home on McKinley .
joanie December 07, 2012 at 07:15 PM
@FalconFan. You must be a new resident to the township. The township is the township because there is no development. We like it that way. We do not need another mega pharmacy in our town. If you want development maybe you should move to Paramus. That is probably more your style...cold, inhospitable and rude.
PeterB December 07, 2012 at 07:41 PM
I think people need to get with the times some progress needs to be made. So what if there is a Rite Aid and another CVS. It added revenue. Some of you people act like prima donnas on here, like how dare they build that here. Well here is a news brief for you stop acting like you are god's gift to the world. If you don't like the politics in town here is a great idea. Why don't you run for office? If you have such great ideas then why don't you put your name on a ballot and see how easy it is to change things. I moved to Bergen county about 8 years ago from Morris County for work. Morris County is much more affluent than Bergen and if they had a chance to lower their property taxes because of bringing in new revenues they would have jumped at the chance. Problem in town seems to be the voters, if you don't like something you have a voice and if you don't like it, then run for office its that simple.
PeterB December 07, 2012 at 07:43 PM
The Master Plan can be changed and needs to be updated by law. It takes more guts to change something than to stay with the same old.
joe marsh December 08, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Peter, you sound like a child. The people of this town don't want that built and don't want or need to wait until the next mayoral election to try to stop it. If you don't like that people are complaining, I suggest you move back to Boonton.
PeterB December 08, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Wow Joe - You exemplify the intelligence of this town. This project has been in the works for years and all you do is complain about what politicians have not done. Same politicians have been in power for a while hence you just sat there and complain. As I said earlier if you feel so strong about this then you could have run for office, however, you decided to just wait for someone else to do something. For the record I lived in Morris Township. It seems like from your response your a Lodi High Grad.
joe marsh December 08, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Peter, get of your mom's computer and do your homework.
Jeffrey Tammen January 20, 2013 at 04:44 AM
Peter B are you on crack, why don't you pitch a tent on the property and live there for a month and see all the congestion at this intersection plus noise plus garbage plus co gases and just and eyesore for my town I have lived her 46 yrs and tired of these properties bringing my house price down . And if the council and mayor care about the rateables in town maybe they should devise away to keep the ones we do have in town .and if you don't like maybe move to Paramus where the have all the rateables you want to lower taxes.
Jeffrey Tammen January 20, 2013 at 04:48 AM
The mayor has been in office for over 23 yrs and what do we have to show for it a bunch of band aids. We could save money sharing our dispatch ? Are you with me peter B or are you still stuck on stupid.
Pete February 22, 2013 at 01:35 AM
Yes, reward property owners who use neglect for leverage. Progress, indeed.
Pete February 22, 2013 at 01:39 AM
Morris Township grad? What is that, some kind of pedigree? You know, when you use your vaunted Morris roots as some kind of pedestal, you don't exactly exemplify intelligence. Then again, I'm responding to you, which doesn't say much about mine.

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