To the editor,

"Traffic stinks." That is one of the campaign slogans used by Sharon Winnick who is running for Raritan Township Committee. If you are living in Raritan Township or the surrounding area and commute you have to agree.

Over the past two plus years I have made it a point to attend Raritan Township Committee, Planning Board and Board of Adjustment meetings and I have realized one very obvious point. That is that those of us doing the commuting or driving for work in this area are wrong. There is no traffic problem and as we increase our population by another 600 units of housing the increase will not exacerbate the traffic issue. I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t attended these meetings and heard the traffic consultants for the applicants testify that there is no traffic problem and what their client proposes will have no negative effect on the township or its residents.

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Tell that to the motorist that is sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on Route 31 heading North or South at 8:30 or 9 a.m. It is just in your imagination that you are sitting there burning gas and ingesting exhaust fumes as you become more agitated and may be late to work.

Of course, the experts may be right because they did this study prior to the influx of students going to Hunterdon Central and PolyTech or in the afternoon when school lets out. The study was done prior to Costco’s peak hours or when everyone was rushing to or from Route 202 over river Road. Or around Labor Day when everyone heads to the Flemington Department Store for back to school. The other morning traffic south on Route 31 was backed up from Bartles corner to Woodschurch road. Six hundred more housing units won’t have any effect on that, right, lots of luck.

I have never, in the time I have been attending these meetings heard one expert say “granting the application and / or the approval of the project will have a negative effect on the area. Of course not, because if they didn’t manipulate the figures to get a positive result, they probably wouldn’t get another job. it is like when we say that 30 percent of the traffic going past the hospital turns into the road by the pharmacy, and we draw attention away from the fact that 70 percent continues south.

Quite a long time ago a man I knew told me a story which I won’t relate here but when all was said and done the end result was “figures lie and liars figure.” I don’t think anyone is actually lying. It's all semantics. I am beginning to believe that the gentleman that said traffic hasn’t changed on Route 31 in 10 years is right. It was bumper to bumper then and it is bumper to bumper now. How could it change? There’s no room between those cars. We have almost 600 people per square mile in Raritan Township. How much more can we handle? How many more cars?

Vote for Sharron Winnick. Vote for controlled growth. Vote to put a conscience on the Raritan Township Committee. Rethink Raritan Township - Together We Can Make a Change.

John Mackay

Raritan Township