Opponent to ShopRite Plan Cites Concern with Traffic Analysis
Attorneys in support of the project argue Troutman report should stand.
Attorneys from both sides of Wyckoff's ShopRite debate traded blows over what impact the 62,042-square-foot shopping center would have on area drivers and residents.
Representatives for Stop & Shop continued their case Wednesday night, calling John Pavlovich, a Morristown-based traffic expert with Jacobs Engineering to testify before the Wyckoff Planning Board. He argued that several factors Inserra did not consider in the plan before the board could result in unforseen traffic and pedestrian problems.
"[I have a few] disagreements with items that I find questionable in the analysis contained in the report by Mr. Troutman," Pavlovich said.
His issues with that traffic analysis report include Troutman's decision to analyze traffic conditions given standard rates rather than analyzing traffic data compiled at existing New Jersey ShopRite locations.
Pavlovich said because of new technologies, such as supermarkets that allow shoppers to order and purchase their goods online and pick them up at the store, some of the pre-existing traffic rates contained in the Institute of Traffic Engineers Handbook would be inferior to actual traffic counts —which were not done in the Troutman report.
Under questioning by Stop & Shop Attorney Gail Price, Pavlovich also said that the traffic counts provided by the applicant did not reflect traffic during Sunday peak hours and while the Wyckoff Family YMCA is in summer session.
Furthermore, he said the board would likely want to see additional information since neither YMCA summer traffic nor events at nearby St. Elizabeth were considered by previous reports.
Pavlovich also said that long rows of uninterrupted parking in the proposed ShopRite parking lot would create congestion among shoppers looking for the best parking spaces near the lot's Greenwood Avenue entrance, which is also near the entrance to the store.
Attorney John Lamb, who represents the owner of the ShopRite lot, attempted to limit the scope of the traffic impact for which the Troutman report — and thus Inserra — should be responsible.
"Isn't it fair to say that ... there's a limit to the number of intersections or driveways that [a traffic consultant] looks at?" Lamb asked Pavlovich.
"Absolutely," Pavlovich responded.
"In most traffic analyses boards throughout the state allow applicants to just take counts on one particular day as a standard practice, but if you have a certain condition that warrants additional counts... then the board is entitled to expect that kind of additional information from the applicant," Pavlovich said.
Attorneys for Stop & Shop also called architecture expert John Capazzi, with Cliffside Park-based RSC Architects, to testify.
Capazzi presented two diagrams — one comparing the sizes of the existing structure on site with the proposed structure to be built same property off Greenwood and Wyckoff avenues, and another highlighting two small structures attached to the building.
Capazzi said these additions were not included in the square-footage of the plan Inserra presented to the planning board.
But Delia said that the two areas Capazzi indicated were designed to be open air break rooms for employees at the proposed ShopRite, and it was not necessary to include them in the square-footage.
Price said she had one more witness to call in front of the board, before concluding her arguments.
The next meeting for the planning board is scheduled for December 14 at 7:30 p.m.