State Sen. Troy Singleton (D-Burlington) issued a recent letter to Bordentown Township officials to address ongoing traffic concerns in the municipality.
The letter from Sen. Singleton, dated Feb. 13, was read into public record at a Feb. 24 Bordentown Township Committee meeting by mayor Stephen Benowitz.
Benowitz said that following a meeting with Sen. Singleton and Bordentown Township Administrator Michael Theokas, the municipality raised multiple concerns related to the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) with traffic congestion and the safety of pedestrians traversing through the area.
Among the list of matters raised by the state and local officials were the Farnsworth Avenue/Route 130 and Crosswicks Road/Route 130 intersections, the planned construction of the CVS Pharmacy at the Farnsworth Avenue/Route 130 intersection, its potential impact on local roads, and the implementation of a weight limit on County Road 545 – Georgetown Road for tractor trailer trucks.
With the Bordentown Township Planning Board approval of a 9,600 square foot mixed-use, single story CVS storefront location to be built at the Farnsworth Avenue/Route 130 intersection, officials said the intersection is currently operating at a grade “D” level of service. Level “D” service is defined as “approaching unstable flow.”
Although the developer of the site is planned to make changes aimed to provide some relief to the intersection, township officials still have their concerns.
“The mayor expressed the urgent need to re-engineer the intersection due to traffic concerns and ongoing pedestrian safety issues,” Singleton said in his letter. “The mayor and administrator also expressed concerns regarding the increase of traffic that the proposed CVS on the corner of Farnsworth Avenue and Route 130 would bring to the area. We asked that the DOT would do additional traffic studies as to the impact on area roads.”
The state senator also discussed the need for pedestrian safety measures to be taken at Crosswicks Road/Route 130 intersection in the township, where in May 2018, an 18-year-old woman was struck and killed while crossing it at approximately 10:15 p.m.
“There is a pressing need to address pedestrian safety here as well. Sadly, in 2018, an 18-year-old high school student lost her life while crossing the road,” Singleton’s letter read.
Another traffic concern raised by the officials was the potential implementation of a weight limit for tractor tailor trucks traversing along County Road 545 – Georgetown Road. Bordentown officials announced on Jan. 10 that they had met with Modell’s Sporting Goods, a newly contracted primary tenant for the Matrix Warehouse located at the intersection of Georgetown and Old York roads. The announcement from municipal officials came after the sporting goods retailer planned to move its primary distribution center from New York to Bordentown.
Officials said the company is planned to occupy approximately 55% of the 312,000 square-foot Matrix facility. Matrix Development Group has yet to announce another tenant for the remaining 45% of the building. Benowitz said that as part of the agreement with the tenant, their tractor trailers are planned to use Old York Road instead of Georgetown Road for all entrance and exits to the facility.
Although township officials said they advocated during the planning board approval process for all truck access to be restricted from using Georgetown Road, due to both Georgetown and Old York roads being under Burlington County jurisdiction, officials said the township could not “mandate via planning board approval the preferred truck routes.”
In turn, Benowitz explained that as part of his meeting with Sen. Singleton, he wants to resolve the matter on Georgetown Road with the implementation of a weight restriction and to direct truck traffic to Old York Road.
“The township also expressed a desire to have weight restrictions placed on part of County Road 545 – Georgetown Road to prevent heavy tractor trailer traffic from traveling down the road,” the state senator said. “Yet, the township has been told that since it is an intracounty road that goes to the joint base, they can not put a weight restriction on it.”
Following the reading of Sen. Singleton’s letter, Benowitz explained that the meeting with the state senator was part of an ongoing process with DOT to address these particular concerns in the township.
The Bordentown Township Mayor said it his intent that Sen. Singleton’s letter will be a more urgent message to DOT to address what he believes are serious matters in the municipality.
“We have been asking the DOT to come down and look at our traffic patterns and address traffic safety on our public highways,” Benowitz said. “Hopefully, this will lead a little more impotence into them do this.”