June 2, 2021
By: Tyler Eckel
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Hamilton Township was notified earlier this week that requests by the Township to establish restrictions on commercial vehicles in Cornell Heights is supported by the NJ Department of Transportation (NJDOT).
In September 2019, the Township wrote to the NJDOT requesting an investigation to limit commercial vehicle traffic in Cornell Heights as weight and/or vehicle restrictions on roadways can only be granted by the Commissioner of the NJDOT. At the time, the investigation did not result in a recommendation from the NJDOT however, in late 2020, Hamilton Township was joined by representatives from NJDOT, the State Legislature, and Mercer County to hear from residents directly on concerns over commercial traffic in the Cornell Heights section.
After hearing concerns from residents, the NJDOT agreed to revisit the Township’s request for an investigation which included reviewing a truck traffic analysis by the Township’s consultant, Center State Engineering. The report by Center State Engineering recommended alternative routes for commercial vehicles. This week, the NJDOT informed Hamilton Township that following their review, it was their opinion that large design commercial vehicles would have difficulty performing safe turning movements from certain streets in Cornell Heights.
“I’m pleased that the NJDOT has recognized the importance of protecting the Cornell Heights neighborhood from the negative safety impact that large trucks have had on our community,” said Assemblyman Dan Benson. “These roads were not designed to accommodate the ever-increasing size of trucks often used and as Chair of the Transportation Committee, I am committed to ensuring the safety of Hamilton residents from improper trucks using local neighborhood streets as a cut through.”
With this news, Hamilton Township plans to put forth an ordinance to the Township Council to restrict vehicles 45 feet or longer from Rutgers Avenue, Trinity Avenue, Vetterlein Avenue, Leigh Avenue, Sandalwood Avenue and Princeton Avenue. Additionally, a similar restriction on Sweetbriar Avenue, which is a Mercer County road, would have to be considered by the Board of County Commissioners.
“Large truck conditions have been a long-term concern in Cornell Heights, exceeding my time in office,” stated Mayor Jeff Martin. “On behalf of our residents, I thank Fred Dumont, Director of Community & Economic Development, Assemblyman Benson, and the NJDOT for their support to make Hamilton a safer place to travel for both our residents and visitors.”
Following Council approval, the ordinance will then be sent to the NJDOT to give final approval and signage of this restriction will then be posted in Cornell Heights and be able to be enforced by the Hamilton Township Police Division.