Edison Redevelopment Stalls at Planning Board
Traffic engineer says there will be 'no significant negative impacts ... to the surrounding area' in West Orange, citing a new traffic study.
The Edison redevelopment project continues to hit delays as the Planning Board again did not vote on the proposed changes to the altered site plan.
A new traffic study found that the changes to the plan will have “no significant negative impacts ... to the surrounding area” or intersections, said traffic engineer Bill Lothian, of Langan Engineering, speaking on behalf of Prism-Green Urban Renewal Associates IV LLC, a subsidiary of the redeveloper.
The original traffic study for the project was done in 2007 when the redeveloper, Prism Green Capital Partners LLC, was proposing to build condominiums with more than 660 parking spaces.
The redeveloper has since proposed to offer rental units with 642 parking spaces instead, in addition to nixing a plethora of high-end features.
“It is our opinion,” said Lothian, “that the analysis results show better results than the results that we got in the 2007 study. The conclusion that we reached [is] that there should be no perceptible increase in traffic ... due to this change ....”
Skepticism was voiced by residents and Councilman Joe Krakoviak at the meeting that adding more than 600 cars to the downtown area will not have a sizable impact.
Lothian said that those vehicles will not be coming and going all at the same time, so they will not “significantly" affect traffic. However, he did add there will be a “slight increase” in the morning and afternoon traffic near the redevelopment.
Each traffic study was conducted on a single weekday. The most recent traffic study was done approximately three months ago on a Friday.
There were no recommendations to widen or place traffic signals at the intersections of Lakeside Avenue at Main Street, and Charles Street at Main Street, said Lothian. Vehicles will enter and exit the parking garage via Charles Street.
Jitney service is now also in question. Planning Board Chairman Robert Bagoff noted that in the original 2007 testimonials, the redeveloper testified it planned to offer a Jitney service. However, now that service was not gauranteed.
Whether or not a Jitney service is offered will now be based “on demand," said Lothian.
The redeveloper first went before the Planning Board on July 11 and unveiled a scaled down version of the Edison Village project.
Among the various changes to the original 2007 include:
• High-end penthouses were eliminated;
• The average size of rental units was decreased;
• Studio apartments jumped from nine to 33 units;
• One-bedroom apartments increased from 121 to 181 units;
• Two-bedroom apartments dropped from 128 to 82 units; and
• Three-bedroom apartments decreased from 18 to six units.
The redeveloper will continue to seek approval for its altered site plan when it goes before the Planning Board again September 5 at 8 p.m. at town hall.