NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Traffic safety issues once again brought a number of residents and parents whose children attend the Indigo Gymnastics Center to the Monday, Dec. 4 council meeting. This time the cause of alarm is that a new company with potential truck traffic is planning to move in the 705 Central Avenue Location. Both the Summit Speech School and the Indigo Gymnastic Center are also operating at this building.
Cameron Saifi, Director of the Indigo Gymnastics Center, explained that the safety of children and families attending Indigo and the Speech School will be in jeopardy, if Criterion Acoustics is indeed permitted to purchase the rear units of the building. A special concern is the planned loading dock at the rear of the building and anticipated frequent trucks using the narrow entrance way into the site.
Mayor Al Morgan explained that the zoning officer has approved the Criterion Acoustics plan since it constitutes a permitted use of the zone. He noted that there used to be a loading dock at that same area in the past as well. He advised Saifi to take the issue to the Zoning Board of Adjustment as the council has no jurisdiction over the zoning matters.
However, at least 12 families whose children attend Indigo have contacted the borough administration with concerns. AnnMarie Mcllwain told the council that the Indigo parking lot already is “an accident waiting to happen.” It is large, busy, and poorly lit, she said. The parking lot situation will be further complicated by this new business coming in with potential truck traffic. Mcllwain noted that the facility is used by 1000 families, many of which do not live in New Providence. “We bring a lot of revenue to the town,” she said.
Another patron from Summit pointed out that even if the trucks use the Balcom Road entrance the added traffic will affect not only visitors of the Summit Speech School and Indigo Gymnastics, but also the entire middle and high school population.
A Radcliff Drive resident also expressed her concern of the potential truck traffic and noise generated by them. The quiet neighborhood where she purchased her home 10 years ago is no longer quiet, she said. She told the council that her family oftentimes, even in the middle of the night, hears a humming noise – which could be an idling truck or a generator – emanating from the Central Avenue industrial area. She asked the council what the parameters of the truck frequency will be should Criterion Acoustics move in.
“You bring up good points,” Morgan said. According to the federal law idling is not permitted, he added. Councilman Jim Madden noted that the borough has means to address noise issues. “Your complaints help us act. Don’t be afraid to call,” Council President Gary Kapner said.