A traffic expert and principal engineer for Stop & Shop, Dan Disario, told the Zoning Board, in its most recent meeting, the construction of the proposed Stop & Shop on Millburn Avenue will not add more traffic in town.
However, after a lengthly hearing, where most left, the few Millburn and Springfield residents that stayed argued it would.
"The fact that we are putting in a new supermarket at this site, is not going to all of a sudden create all of these new shopping trips to this supermarket," Disario said as his opinion in response to the public. The report he presented shows an under 10 percent increase in traffic on Millburn Avenue at peak hours.
Yet, the study did not examine traffic patterns at the intersections of Morris and Millburn Avenue or Short Hills and Millburn Avenue. The report only focused on traffic caused by the driveway entering the property, which Millburn has jurisdiction, Disario said.
The board and public asked multiple times about these other intersections. They said if those intersections are affected by the new food store, it could cause more traffic. Without that information it would be hard to make a decision, the board said.
Disario's response was the county and New Jersey Department of Transportation have already approved permits for it.
"The people that will come to this site, largely, is you, your neighbors hopefully, that are already shopping else where and simply make a decision to come here," Disario said. "So in terms of overall changes the traffic in the area, I don't anticipate significant changes."
The Stop & Shop is proposed for the old Saks Fifth Avenue location, at 92 Millburn Ave., which is in Springfield. Yet the reason the Millburn Zoning Board is involved, the township owns a 20-foot piece of land entering the property.
Stop & Shop plans to use that piece of property as a entrance and exit for its trucks, adding more trucks to Millburn Avenue. This would also require the trucks to make a right-hand turn from Morris Avenue to Millburn Avenue, which the board and residents have said could be an issue.
The number of trucks and times for delivery would be limited though, as per an agreement with Springfield. Trucks can only deliver between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Six to Eight tractor-trailers will deliver per day and between 16 and 23 vendor trucks, which are smaller.
Here's what the community has said on the issue: