DOT Review Prompts Changes To Crossroads Traffic Plan
Meeting with the DOT may lead to coordination with NY on how to change the weave at the intersection of Routes 17, 287 and 87
The plan for road construction around the proposed Crossroads shopping center development will change, after representatives from the township and the Crossroads developer met with the NJ Department of Transportation late last month, Crossroads attorney Jim Jaworski said at a Planning Board hearing Monday night.
Crossroads traffic engineer Daniel Disario will be adding “substantive changes” to the traffic plan based on DOT suggestions, Jaworski said. Though he did not go into detail about what exactly those changes will be, he mentioned some of the DOT’s concerns, including adding additional entrance points to the shopping center. The current plan only calls for one entrance.
According to township engineer Mike Kelly, the DOT is also aware of local traffic impacts the development may have. “They brought up concerns about Stag Hill Road access, so the DOT is aware of impacts on areas outside its jurisdiction,” he said.
The current plan for traffic improvements has mall traffic exiting onto Mountainside road, which is the only entrance to Stag Hill. Both residents and board members have brought that up as a concern at previous hearings.
Kelly said the DOT meeting may have also paved the way for a “global fix” of the traffic pattern at the border between Mahwah and NY state.
“[The DOT] is very anxious to rekindle talks to get the [issues with the weave at the intersections of Routes 17, 287 and 87] resolved,” Kelly said. Representatives from the NJDOT said they would move to set up a meeting with the NY traffic officials this September to address the weave, he said.
“That would not be so much with the developer, but a global fix to the weave,” Kelly said.
Jaworski said the developer hopes to resubmit a traffic plan to the DOT in “four to eight weeks.” He said that plan “should be readily approvable, with some minor tweaking.”
The ongoing public hearing on the Crossroads development was postponed Monday night. Jaworski said he asked witness Robert Crespi, who is in the middle of testifying about environmental issues at the site, not to come to the meeting because Kelly’s office has not yet finished reviewing Crespi’s environmental impact study.
The study submitted to Kelly's office is “about a foot high,” he said. The Crossroads site is the former location of the Ford Motor Co. plant.
The hearing on the proposed 600,000-square-foot shopping center around the Sheraton Mahwah Hotel will continue August 20. The Planning Board also extended its deadline to finish hearing the application to Halloween of this year.