Letter to Mayor Lempert and Council From Numerous Concerned Residents
To Mayor Lempert and Members of Council:
For months we have endured the intolerable and dangerous traffic congestion at the intersections of Cherry Hill, Mt. Lucas, Terhune, and Valley Roads. The closure of Terhune Road at Route 206 and the relocation and significant expansion of the fueling station have made already bad traffic conditions far worse. Now that the town Council has relinquished the option of turning left onto Route 206 from Terhune, it is imperative that the town achieve a safe left turn from Valley Road onto Route 206. This would relieve some of the congestion at the intersection of Cherry Hill and Route 206 and also on the section of Mt. Lucas Road leading up to Cherry Hill.
We are pleased that the town Council has voted to remove the intrusive canopy. However, the refusal to consider relocating the fueling station has galvanized residents. There are alternative sites for the fueling station and the traffic safety issues are sufficiently serious for us to urgently request that the town relocate it. Primarily, we are concerned about the many pedestrians and bicyclists who traverse these intersections to get to school, work, and play — Community Park School, the town pool, the playing fields and tennis courts, and the center of town. Many of these pedestrians are children.
What’s more, traffic safety is worsened by the vehicles turning left across traffic on Mt. Lucas Road to enter the fueling station at all hours. At the neighborhood meeting on April 11, the town offered to restrict the use of the fueling station during the morning rush hour (8-8:30 a.m.). The town also assured neighbors that the direction of entry and exit would correspond to the direction of Mount Lucas and require no traffic-stopping left turns. However, these commitments are not being enforced — police cars, school vehicles, and a municipal dump truck have all been seen fueling during the morning rush and facing the wrong direction.
In addition to safety and traffic concerns, neighbors living in the area, and those who must drive, bike, or walk through the area, find it incomprehensible that the town did not disclose its plans before construction and re-routing began. We are shocked that the township would allow this unsightly structure to be placed at one of the gateways to our town — let alone adjacent to their homes. We also find the night-time lighting to be invasive.
We urge that the town move the fueling station to a location that has fewer safety, traffic, and aesthetic problems. Surely the town’s procedures are not so rigid as to preclude listening and responding to the views of the many impacted citizens.
Edward Baring & Katja Guenther
Jonathan & Carrie Besler
Linda Bosniak & Andrew Bush
Carolyn Leeuwenburgh & Franklin Pierce
Claudia Guzman & Eduardo Lopez
Additional signers of this letter include Princeton residents of more than 60 households.