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.

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.

Chris Cortazzo January 21, 2013 at 03:44 PM
The only reason traffic is so bad is because folks can't turn right off of exit 171, so exit 168 gets twice as much traffic. That being said, Pascack needs left turn lanes and signals, if you try to turn left on Washington during daytime hours you are litterally taking your life in your hands to do so. This is not an issue of having a CVS or not, the intersection is designed for less than half of the traffic it gets... If building a CVS allows the intersection to be widened on the Pascack side it might be for the best for the neighborhood.
John Q. Citizen January 21, 2013 at 09:28 PM
The toll for the exit at 165 north also increases traffic. I live in town and were it not for the toll booth at 165 I would exit there but why when I can drive up further and not pay any toll?
Mary Alice Jones January 23, 2013 at 10:01 PM
There are zoning restrictions for a reason, I don't understand why the town even considers these applications. The engineer doesn't think the traffic will be impacted - really? Has he not driven through this intersection in the morning or afternoon without the "new" gas station/convenience store. Why would you allow that gas station to add to the congestion....beyond me! Too bad the board won't listen to the tax payers.
B@B January 24, 2013 at 12:23 AM
The bottom line is that the owner of Seasons is holding the entire town hostage to what HE wants...and because he does sports dinners and who knows what arrangements he has with town officials, they will look the other way as he destroys those properties and leaves them blighted unless he gets the CVS he wants. Our local government does not represent, or care about the people. Everything is done in secret. A common grifter was on the council for over a decade. The books are kept in secret. We have no trash collection, inadequate leaf collection, the roads in town are chewed up, and the main intersections in town are owned by the same guy, now that Seasons also owns Bacari Grill. Until we can elect people who will clean up town governance and take the town back from Mr. Kourgelis and Sky Trading and represent the PEOPLE instead of CORPORATIONS (which are not people), this kind of nonsense will continue, we will have no voice, and the quality of life in town will continue to deteriorate. We had a contested election last time and the sheeple in the Township decided to keep the same hackocracy in place. We get the government we deserve. Will we wake up this year? Time will tell.
Jeffrey Tammen February 24, 2013 at 02:04 AM
Well said B@B could not have said it better myself . I hope the residents wake up and smell the coffee . What's amazing is we had to buy the latest brine truck a few years back and have not seen it out yet while other towns around have done the roads or at least the major arteries which is great. Hopefully it doesn't rott like our street sweeper we once had. I must say my road was the best it's Been done ever after this past storm so thank you Dpw . But still needs improvement in other areas.when you go uncontested for term after term what's the incentive to do your job or do it properly . We need to run good residents against them


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