Cranbury takes action to officially object to Monroe’s truck ordinance

BY Christopher Lang, Correspondent, @topherlang2, MonroeNow, Oct 24, 2019

CRANBURY – Township officials officially opposed Monroe’s ordinance banning trucks more than 8 tons from use three roads to make deliveries into Cranbury.

During the October meeting, the council adopted a resolution that says Monroe’s action to ban trucks at least 8 tons from using three streets to make deliveries into Cranbury “… discriminates against certain truck traffic based only on its intended destination.”

The Cranbury resolution calls on the Middlesex County Freeholders and the state Department of Transportation to reject Monroe’s ordinance restriction access on Prospect Plains Road and Cranbury Station Road, which are both county routes, and Cranbury Half Acre Road.

The three roads cross municipal borders between the two townships.

In October, Monroe approved an ordinance to raise the weight limit on those streets, effectively banning tractor-trailers from using the roads to access warehouses in Cranbury. However, Monroe’s ordinance would not block larger vehicles from using those same streets to make deliveries in the township.

“We find [this] to be highly prejudicial and based on court rulings and engineering studies and plans that have been done in the past, we do not feel that there are any grounds for the county and state to approve restrictions on the county roads,” Mayor James Taylor said after the meeting. “Our view is this is a waste of Monroe’s taxpayers’ dollars and a waste of our tax dollars to have to respond to it.”

Cranbury will send its objections to the county and state. Its attorney also attended Monroe’s October meeting to announce the township opposed the changes.

Taylor also took exception to a possible double standard coming from Monroe. The mayor has long noted the commuter traffic that comes from Monroe through the township to access major roadways.

He said he conducted his own, unofficial traffic study in mid-October on Station Road, which he estimated 600 vehicles in the morning and 700 at night coming from points in Monroe.

“If they want to talk about the burden of traffic on a municipality, right there is proof in point that the overgrowth of Monroe is having a negative impact on Cranbury, and our residents,” said Taylor, “because cars are going right through the middle of residential developments.”

At a previous meeting, Cranbury also took action to allow the township attorney to prepare for possible legal action against Monroe.

“I would have much rather seen the two towns come together to try to come up with a joint plan for truck traffic from Cranbury and residential traffic from Monroe and coming up with options to be considered for both townships,” said Committeeman Michael Ferrante previously. “It’s just a shame that it’s coming to this kind of escalation. … It’s kind of a shame that it is bringing in the lawyers.”