MONTVILLE, NJ - In a move designed to improve safety for Montville residents utilizing the park-and-ride lot on Chapin Road and to alleviate vehicle traffic backups on that road, Montville Township Administrator Victor Canning announced a two-prong plan at the Township Committee meeting on July 22.
“[Township Engineer] Mark Mantyla and I met with NJ Transit and NJ Department of Transportation [DOT] representatives in June and they have agreed to improve the signalization systems there so that the traffic will flow better for the businesses in the area,” stated Canning, who called the changes “encouraging” because he believes they will relieve the traffic backups that can occur on Chapin Road. NJ DOT has promised to change the markings on the road surface to delineate two left-turn lanes instead of the existing single left-turn lane.
Canning further reported that NJ DOT has agreed to move the existing bus shelter, located on Route 46 near Wendy’s Restaurant and the Raceway gas station, to a new location on the other side of the park and ride lot, accessed via Chapin Road. (See the proposed relocation site here: bus shelter relocation)
“Our Montville commuters will no longer have to cross an exit ramp of a highway – they’ll simply come out of the [parking] lot and go right to the shelter,” Canning said. Sidewalks leading out of the lot towards the shelter and along Chapin Road already exist.
One downside to the plan, according to Canning, is that Lakeland Bus Company, which operates approximately three-quarters of the bus pickups at that location, is reportedly upset by the change, which will require buses to utilize the exit ramp adjacent to Wendy’s in order to pick up passengers. “But I’m of the opinion that ‘if you build it, they will come,’” stated Canning.
The township is expected to pay approximately $500 to $1,000 for the lane marking changes and bus shelter relocation. “I think these improvements are well worth the investment,” Canning said, due to the safety and traffic backup improvements the changes will bring about.
The resolution to allot funds for the changes will be discussed at the August 12, 2014 Township Committee meeting, at which time public questions and comments will be allowed. If the resolution is passed to allot funds for the changes, Canning expects the changes to take place sometime in October, although an exact date is not known.