Traffic consultant to study traffic light need

Residents of the age-restricted Traditions at Federal Point share concerns with Lawrence Township Council

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A traffic consultant has been hired to study whether a traffic light is needed at the intersection of Federal City Road and Federal Point Boulevard.

The Lawrence Township Council awarded a $5,600 contract to Aurora and Associates to conduct the traffic study at its Sept. 19 meeting. The consultant is based in Lawrence Township.

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The consultant will visit the area of Federal City Road and Federal Point Boulevard during the peak morning and evening rush hours to conduct a traffic count at the intersection, officials said.

The study grew out of concerns by residents of the age-restricted Traditions at Federal Point housing development, who pointed to an apartment development that is under construction on Federal City Road.

The entrance to the 300-unit Woodmont Forge at Hopewell apartment development is opposite Federal Point Boulevard. The apartment development is located in Hopewell Township.

There are also several offices and a daycare center in three office buildings on Federal Point Boulevard in Lawrence Township.

Several Traditions at Federal Point residents shared their concerns about increased traffic from the Woodmont Forge at Hopewell apartment development at a Lawrence Township Council meeting in August.

Charles Gray, who is a retired city planner, said he was concerned about the Traditions at Federal Point residents’ ability to safely make a left turn out of Federal Point Boulevard onto Federal City Road.

The new apartment development will add more traffic to Federal City Road, which is already heavily traveled, Gray said. It will make it more difficult to make left turns.

“My concern is that we have a lot of older people (who live in Traditions at Federal Point), and our reaction time is not as great,” he said.

Gray suggested either banning left turns, or installing a traffic light. He acknowledged that a traffic light would be “very expensive, but so is a loss of life.”

Barbara Dauber, who lives in the Traditions at Federal Point development, said she has to plot how to safely exit the development onto Federal City Road. It often involves making a right turn and doubling back.

“Now we have 300 apartments across the street. I know they will have 600 cars coming in and out of there. Federal City Road was never built for all of this traffic. It’s a country road,” Dauber said.

“My plea to all of you is to think about all of us who live there in Traditions at Federal Point,” she told the Township Council.

Charles Lavine, who lives in Traditions at Federal Point and who sits on the Lawrence Township Zoning Board of Adjustment, said it is not unusual for a planning or zoning board to ask the developer for improvements such as a traffic signal.

Boards have negotiated with developers to get accommodations like a traffic light as part of the approval process, Lavine said.

Lavine said he attended the Hopewell Township Planning Board meetings when it held public hearings on the Woodmont Forge at Hopewell application.

The Hopewell Township Planning Board could have obtained a traffic light at the intersection as part of the application, he said. Hopewell Township could have solved the problem.

“It’s just plain old common sense. It shouldn’t take this long to solve the problem,” Lavine said.

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