Gordon Meth, director of traffic engineering with the RBA Group, Inc., gave the Parsippany-Troy Hills Council a traffic overview at the Tuesday council meeting on the proposed Waterview Development, which drew a few hundred people and lasted for three and a half hours.
“Overall the traffic impacts are wide-ranged, large scale, really non-existent,” said Meth.
The ordinance rezones a tract of land in the Waterview complex and although it was to be voted on Tuesday night, due to a time constraint, the public hearing will extend to the Oct. 1 meeting.
Meth started by looking at “what the current zoning allow for and what does proposed overlay zone” allow to compare land development potential.
“After a thorough review of the ordinances for the POD zone, we find that 259,000 square feet of office space could be developed,” said Meth.
The overlay zoning includes:
- 40,000 sq. ft. grocery store
- 149,900 sq. ft other retail
- 60 townhouses – about 2,500 sq. ft. per townhouse
In total, the proposed overlay zoning is 339,900 sq. ft., which is 80,900 sq. ft more than the current office zoning.
Meth then went through comparisons of peak-hour traffic for morning, evening and Saturday. He compared the current and overlay zoning for inbound and outbound traffic:
- Current Zoning: 361 inbound, 50 outbound, total 411
- Overlay Zoning: 218 inbound, 179 outbound, 397 total
- Change: -143 inbound, +129 outbound, -14 total
“That’s a change in reduction of 143 trips (inbound) … overall in the morning, we have slight overall reduction (in traffic),” said Meth, which the crowd responded to with loud laughter and claps.
Board president Brian Stanton used the gavel to silence the room and told the public, “I don’t want to sit here all day and do this.”
- Current Zoning: 63 inbound, 306 outbound, total 369
- Overlay Zoning: 303 inbound, 297 outbound, 600 total
- Change: +240 inbound, -9 outbound, +231 total
In Meth’s presentation, it stated that the slight reduction is in peak direction and the increase is in off-peak direction.
- Current Zoning: 61 inbound, 52 outbound, total 113
- Overlay Zoning: 373 inbound, 288 outbound, 661 total
- Change: +312 inbound, +236 outbound, +548 total
According to Meth's presentation, the change is comparable to peak traffic from a 250,000 sq. ft. office building and the township should note that Saturday traffic volumes on Route 46 and Waterview Boulevard are about 45 percent of weekday peak hours.
“Thorough analysis was done, intersection by intersection, of what this extra traffic would do,” said Meth, going into the ‘Traffic Impacts’ portion of his presentation:
Route 46 and Waterview Boulevard
- Increases in delays for left turns from Waterview Boulevard
- Would be an issue for any development under current zoning as well
- Could be addressed through adding left turn arrows “to both directions of Waterview Boulevard” and and southbound right turn lane and retiming signal
- Delay would be better than existing case (less than one minute)
- Small increases in delay due to increased traffic
- Could be addressed through signal retiming
“Overall the traffic impacts are wide-ranged, large-scaled, really non-existent,” said Meth.
Meth then touched upon the issue of Stormwater and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection:
- Any development of the property in question would be required to detain stormwater on site, and have less peak stormwater run-off than existing case
- Any development of the property in question would be required to submit applications to NJDEP for wetlands or floodplain if these are disturbed in any way.