Monroe approves truck ban targeting access to Cranbury

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

MONROE – A controversial ban to restrict trucks over 8 tons from using township roads to make deliveries into Cranbury will head to county and state departments for final approval while both sides believe they are in the right.

The council approved the change with strong support from residents who applauded the decision during the October meeting that had attendees packed in the chamber and an overflow area with the discussion and vote was simulcast.

“I think we’ve heard from the people how important this is. Four years ago the then-mayor of Cranbury asked me as the mayor of Monroe and the mayor of South Brunswick to support a movement to have regional controls over the traffic,” Mayor Gerald Tamburro said. “We supported it. South Brunswick said it would eliminate 13,000 trucks, however, they did do that. And that’s not our problem, our problem, my problem is to protect you the township residents and this ordinance is the first step in doing that.”

The weight restrictions on Cranbury Station, Prospect Plains, and Cranbury Half Acre roads still need Middlesex County and state approval before becoming official.

“To restrict truck traffic along Station Road we think is very necessary and very essential for the safety of residents of our community and there are other residential communities affected along Station Road,” said Arnold Jaffe, who is the vice president of the Cranbury Crossing board of trustees. “We think it was very unconscionable for Cranbury to develop such a robust warehouse community without taking into consideration the safety of residents of a neighboring town.”

Monroe created the new weight limits after traffic studies from its Police Department and professional service provider Center State Engineering over the summer.

The measure has been met with resistance from the Cranbury township committee, which authorized its attorney to consider and recommend any necessary legal action.

Scott Miccio, a legal representative of Cranbury, said that the township “formally lodged its objections to the proposed truck restriction ordinance being discussed,” and that he hoped Monroe would obtain the necessary county and state approvals before enforcement.

Approximately 300 people attended the meeting, according to the Monroe township administration.

There were very few objections raised about the regulation. Councilman Charlie Dipierro wanted weight-limit exemptions detailed, but was rebuffed by officials who said that the wording allowing for local deliveries protected township businesses and community members.

In the statement, Weinberg said “We are pleased that every step in this process was deliberative, transparent and based on full community input. We received an increased number of complaints this spring, promoting Mayor Tamburro to order the traffic studies.”