A revised Traffic Impact Analysis has been submitted to the Zoning Board reflecting Hekemian's revised plans reducing the residential component of the United Water property proposed mixed-use development. In November, Hekemian submitted a revised site plan substantially reducing the scope of the residential portion from 221 units (40 set aside to satisfy New Milford's COAH low income housing obligation) to 24 fair market, low income housing units.
The revised analysis —prepared by Dolan & Dean Consulting Engineers LLC of Martinsville —assesses the existing infrastructure in the vicinity of the site, identifies existing traffic patterns, and projects future traffic volumes. Also included is an assessment of future roadway and intersection conditions surrounding the site of the proposed development.
This revised analysis shows an overall reduction of 115 trips in total trip generation projections during peak hours for the supermarket, bank and residential portions of the development. This reduction is based mainly on the use of the recently released 9th edition of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) "Trip Generation." Earlier estimates were based on the 8th edition. The current Shop Rite was used for supermarket trip generation counts, since it is anticipated that it will be the supermarket occupying that space in the projected development.
In addition to the observations made in 2011, the revised analysis includes traffic volumes observed on various dates throughout 2012. The locations of the observations include the following intersections:
- River Rd. and Main St.
- River Rd., Demarest Ave. and Milford Ave./Cecchino Dr.
- River Rd., and Madison Ave.
- Main St. and Washington Ave.
- Madison Ave. and Cecchino Dr.
According to the revised study, the 2012 counts along Main St. were balanced with the 2011 counts and used to adjust, or increase, volumes along River Rd. Observations were made during peak hours in 2012 on:
- Tues. Feb. 14 (7 a.m.-9 a.m.; 2 p.m.-4 p.m.; 4 p.m.-6 p.m.)
- Sat. Feb. 25 (11 a.m.-2 p.m)
- Sat. March 3 (11 a.m.-2 p.m.)
- Tues. March 6 (7 a.m.-9 a.m.; 4 p.m.-6 p.m.)
- Thurs. April 19 (2 p.m.-4 p.m.)
- Sun. Oct. 21 (11 a.m.-3 p.m.)
- Mon. Oct. 22 (3 p.m.-6 p.m.)
- Mon. Dec. 22 (2 p.m.-4 p.m.; 4 p.m.-6 p.m.)
It is noted in the revised analysis that Sunday peak hour volumes (11a.m. - 3 p.m.) are comparable to, or lower than, the volumes recorded during the peak hours of other days (7 a.m.-9 a.m.; 2 p.m.-4 p.m.; and 4 p.m.-6 p.m.).
With regard to pedestrian traffic, a concern raised by many members of the public during the public questioning portion of the hearings, the study noted that during the 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. hour (when the high school lets out) a maximum of 12 pedestrians crossed River Road at Demerast Ave. According to the analysis, the majority of pedestrian trips across River Rd. occured at the signalized intersection of Cecchino Dr./Milford Ave.
The analysis states that "no substantial traffic" was assigned to Demarest Ave. because it is considered a "lower volume" road and terminates at Boulevard. The analysis determines that traffic is more likely to use Milford Ave. or Main St. rather than Demarest Ave.
Access driveways to the site will be provided at:
- River Rd. opposite Demarest Ave.
- River Rd. between Main St. and Demarest Ave.
- Main St. opposite Washington Ave.
- Madison Ave. north of Cecchino Dr.
Left-turn lanes are proposed at the approaches to the southern River Rd. and Main St. driveways.
Although the analysis indicates that the opening of the Elm Street Bridge, connecting Main St. to Oradell Ave., will likely generate traffic to a number of local streets, it is noted that the need to make a left-turn onto Main St. to access the site will discourage traffic.