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Allentown officials want county to deliver better plan to rid town of trucks

ALLENTOWN – Borough officials are not satisfied with a plan put forth by Monmouth County representatives to shift truck traffic to Main Street as part of Allentown’s attempt to enact a truck ban on several streets in the community.

The issue of a truck ban was a topic of discussion during the Dec. 7 meeting of the mayor and Borough Council.

The meeting provided residents with the latest update on borough officials’ attempt to relieve Allentown of what they have said is a significant number of trucks traveling through the borough each day.

Borough officials have said much of the truck traffic in Allentown is attributable to the presence of an Amazon warehouse on Old York Road in neighboring Robbinsville, just beyond Allentown’s border at the end of North Main Street.

Mayor Thomas Fritts has said that in enacting a truck ban on certain streets in Allentown – specifically Church Street and Waker Avenue – he does not want to create unintended consequences on other streets in the community.

However, Fritts and Borough Engineer Carmela Roberts said that is exactly what the county’s latest plan would do.

Roberts provided an update on the proposed truck ban on Church Street and Waker Avenue to borough officials and members of the public on Dec. 7. She said that “what the county is proposing is not a ban, but a movement of trucks to Main Street.”

“We have let the county know that moving trucks (from one street to another) is not an acceptable solution. It doesn’t help the borough. We have asked the county to continue to study the situation and to provide a solution that helps a long-standing problem,” Roberts said.

Following Roberts’ comments, Fritts said, “We have asked Monmouth County for additional information and we are waiting for that information. There is one finish line – a truck ban for the borough. We are not just going to accept what they offer us (in terms of a solution). I have no patience and I am disgusted with bureaucracy. We are going to keep fighting the good fight.”

The mayor said the county representatives who are working on the truck issue have embraced Allentown’s concerns and are willing to work with the borough.

Borough Council President John A. Elder III summed up the situation, saying, “We need to take care of public safety and maintain the integrity of historic Allentown.”

In other business at the Dec. 7 meeting, the council members accepted Shawn Noel’s resignation from the Board of Recreation Commissioners; accepted Eileen Kuzma’s resignation from the Senior Committee; and authorized the appointment of Steve Gomba as the emergency management coordinator for a three-year term.

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