As candidates for township committee, we are writing to reaffirm our strong opposition to the application from Signature Acquisitions LLC, seeking site plan approval and variances to remove a three-story building at 150 Allen Road and construct two buildings, including 24 trailer loading spaces. The presence of 74-foot trucks, hauling a load of up to 40,000 pounds, navigating our residential roadways on a daily basis is a call for action including being present and voicing concern at the Zoning Board of Adjustment meetings on the application.
We are committed to preserving our community and, inherently, its safety. The potential of large truck traffic poses new dangers for our residents driving on local roads. The weight of a truck or bus “increases the risk of more severe crash damage, injuries and fatalities.” according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Likewise, loaded tractor trailers need up to 40 percent more space to stop than passenger vehicles, creating the potential for collisions as the driver has less time to react to other drivers and road conditions. In addition, the FMCSA reports that 54 percent of all fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in rural areas.
Having attended the most recent meeting of June 7, 2023, on the Signature application, we were concerned, among other factors, that the applicant has yet to respond to a letter from Somerset County. The County, which has jurisdiction over Allen Road, found that truck turns at the entrance need a larger radius. Project Engineer Robert Moschello acknowledged that Signature had yet to modify the radius plans.
As candidates for local township committee, we reiterate our strong opposition to the proposal from Signature Acquisitions LLC before the Zoning Board of Adjustment. The roadways where these trucks would travel to and from were designed as arteries connecting a thriving community in transit, including, among others, families, commuters, pedestrians, bike riders, school buses, and joggers. Let’s keep our community safe. Bring your voice to the meeting on August 9.
Ana Duarte McCarthy & Lily Wong