Monroe Township’s proposed ban on tractor trailers causes debate in Cranbury

Scott Jacobs

The feud between Monroe Township and Cranbury Township continues to escalate.

The Monroe Township Council will vote in early October on whether to adopt an ordinance to ban tractor trailers on three county roads between Monroe and Cranbury.

This proposed ordinance prompted a motion at a Sept. 23 Cranbury Township Committee meeting that empowers the township attorney to represent the township’s interest at the Oct. 7 council meeting in Monroe and a future Middlesex County Transportation Coordinating Committee meeting.

Cranbury Township Committee members voted 4-1 to approve the motion. Mayor James Taylor, Deputy Mayor Dan Mulligan, Committeeman Mike Ferrante and Committeeman Glenn Johnson voted “yes”.

Committeeman Matt Scott was the dissenting “no” vote.

“This motion was essential to pass. If we do not have representation on the record in Monroe and the county transportation committee then opposition does not exist,” Cranbury Township Mayor James Taylor said. “Therefore the county and the state could sit there and say hey Cranbury does not care and allow Monroe to put weight restrictions on the roads, which would put Monroe trucks to the Cranbury owned roads.”

If approved, the proposed ordinance would put a weight restriction of no more than eight tons on trucks permitted to travel on Cranbury Station Road, Prospect Plains Road and Cranbury Half Acre Road all of which are county routes.

However, this ordinance would have to be approved by Middlesex County and the state Department of Transportation.

“If this ordinance goes forward the township attorney would represent us in front of the county and state as well to oppose the restrictions. If they were to decide to put up signs on those county roads as this process continues we will take whatever legal actions we need to take to make certain those signs are removed expeditiously,” Taylor said.

He said he is beyond frustrated at this point.

“We have made overtures in the past. I have tried to not make public comments and let things quite down, but things continue to get ratcheted up,” Taylor said. “I was also frustrated that some members of our own township committee did not see the severity of challenging what Monroe is doing.”

Scott who voted against the motion said he agreed with the judgment that members should protect Cranbury from towns forcing actions like truck traffic.

“What I do not agree with is this whole general idea of fighting with other towns. Even though Monroe’s mayor may have acted out of turn I still think we should try and work together with other towns,” he said. “I do not think we should be in an adversary relationship with Monroe or Robbinsville when the larger issue is truck traffic in general.

He said everyone should pull back the lens a little bit and look at a larger local area solution to these problems.

“We need to figure out a solution on where these trucks can go and how to improve the lives of residents. This is not an irreversible moment between Cranbury and Monroe,” Scott said. “This might be a combination of a little grandstanding on the parts of the mayors. I think we all know this is something we want to figure out and cooler heads will prevail.”

Monroe Mayor Gerald Tamburro did not respond for comment to The Cranbury Press.