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Letter to the Editor: Proposed Retail on Rt. 9 is 'Traffic Nightmare'

Former Planning Board member Herb Lazar is against the proposed retail establishment at the corner of Symmes and Rt. 9 South.

The following letter is from former Manalapan Planning Board member Herb Lazar.

On July 26, the Manalapan Planning Board will consider changing the zoning on the land behind the library on Symmes Drive to permit retail establishments. 

Right now that land is zoned for an office park. The proposal will permit 105,000 square feet of retail PLUS additional commuter parking spaces [either 400 or 100 additional; it's unclear how many]. Also included will be a 4 way traffic light on Symmes so you can get to the new property and the Epicenter.   

This will cause a traffic nightmare, especially on weekends. The traffic study done by the property owner shows that traffic on Rt. 9 and Symmes is already bad and will get significantly worse. Retail will produce more traffic than an office building would produce. Traffic might back up from the new light, past the jughandle, to Rt. 9.

The Symmes traffic light will NOT meet the State safety standards as it will be too close to Rt. 9. Not only will Symmes be effected, but the streets and jughandles at Ryan and Taylor Mills will necessarily get worse.  Drivers will use Taylor Mills, Tennent and Craig to avoid Symmes.   

I’m all for economic development and increasing the municipal tax base. But this is crazy. Please come to the July 26 Planning Board meeting at at 8 p.m. and voice your concerns. Even if you don’t speak, your presence will be felt. 

Also, please send letters [120 Rt. 522] to Mayor Susan Cohen, Deputy Mayor Donald Holland, the Township Committee and the Planning Board [email addresses on the Township Website] or call them [732-446-3200].  Let them know that a short term tax ratable is not worth a long term traffic nightmare.

- Herb Lazar

Mike July 25, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Why do we want to let developers over develop our towns like they did on Staten Island? If you want to live in the city, move to the city.
pj2805 July 25, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Sounds like "gjc" doesn't live anywhere near Manalapan by stating " drive 25 miles or more just to buy something that I can't find in my own neighborhood." I can't picture what "new" product or service this complex will have. The harsh reality is that the township is looking to favor development over the quality of life.
gjc July 25, 2012 at 08:57 PM
pj2805 I am a Manalapan resident. What is said is if you drive businesses out by ridiculous regs, you will wind up driving 25 miles for many things. I didn't say that I have a problem now.
Aron Weiss July 26, 2012 at 03:10 AM
When Costco was being proposed their was fear of traffic tie ups it never happened. When Chase Bank at Pond Road was proposed their was fear of traffic tie ups it never happened. Years ago when the Target shopping Center was proposed on Rt. 9 South they added a third exit lane and the tie ups never happened. Why is traffic always the reason to keep something from being built? With proper planning and cooperation between the town and developers the traffic problems will not happen, jobs will be created and a ratable will be created. A win all around.... Aron from Manalapan
Tx July 26, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Aron lets remember what was said about the traffic when they wanted to put up Freehold Raceway Mall, yet now I am sure the mall is a plus point when a home is sold, (you have FRM right near you) Traffic is the go to problem that is always brought up.

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