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Upscale Chocolatier Coming to Downtown Millburn

Will New Stop & Shop Add Traffic To Millburn Avenue?[POLL]

Tell us what you think in out poll or in the comments!

Residents and the township engineer raised concerns of traffic safety, after representatives from Springfield presented the proposed building and landscaping plans for the Stop & Shop on Millburn Avenue.

The Stop & Shop is proposed for the old Saks Fifth Avenue location, 92 Millburn Ave., in Short Hills. Even though that property is located in Springfield, Millburn has jurisdiction on the 20-foot piece of land entering the property, the township engineeer, Thomas Watkinson, said.

"There will be some more talk because the there's an issue with the way it's set," said Watkinson at this week's Zoning Board meeting. "It's the driveways, that's what causes the problems."

This week, the traffic engineer for ARC was scheduled to address the traffic plan, but the engineer didn't attend. Instead, ARC Springfield's civil engineer, Michael Fowler, presented the astectics of the building and Kenneth Narva of Street-Works in White Plains, N.Y. presented the landscaping plan. 

that the county has approved the widening of Millburn Avenue to accommodate a light at Millburn Avenue and Baltusrol Way to allow for a left turn lane into and out of the parking lot and onto Baltusrol Way.

The other driveway on Millburn Avenue would be for delivery trucks only and would not allow for an right turn exit out of the property because that would put trucks headed in the direction of downtown Millburn.

Watkinson said he is worried about the truck traffic on Millburn Avenue increasing causing conjestion. He also said the right-hand turn from Morris Avenue to Millburn Avenue more than a 90-degree turn, which would be sharp for 18-wheelers.

"I don't know where it is headed," Watkinson said. "I just know I raised my issues and now it is up to the board."

Residents were told ARC Springfield's traffic engineer will attend the next public hearing Monday, Oct. 1, in the Town Hall. 

Other residents raised their concern throughout the meeting saying there were already issues with traffic on Millburn Avenue without the addition of a food store. Residents previously have had concerns with noise as well. 

The president of the Short Hills Association, Eleanor Wallen, also addressed these issues in a .

"The Short Hills Association proposes that Millburn and Springfield Township officials meet with Stop and Shop representatives to discuss traffic solutions so that Millburn does not bear this traffic burden while Springfield collects the property taxes from the proposed Stop and Shop."

The 20-foot piece of land is a sidewalk that goes all the way to the curb and landscaping that will call for the removal of six trees and the addition 12 different trees. It was given to Millburn in land deal with Springfield that shifted the boundary line by 20 feet back in 1957

CHP August 16, 2012 at 07:38 PM
So when you moved near the SAF building did you think it would be left vacant forever? Remember, you bought a house near a 45000 square foot retail center. It wasnt built after you moved there. It looks as if Royal Ahold is willing to do whatever is necessary to get it done. The zoning and use conform...so get ready to go shopping.
Marty Wilson August 16, 2012 at 10:44 PM
5 ways - morris to other side of short hills ave, then right turn at chanticler (or new place) and then into parking lot/driveway. therefore nina - not 'exactly' 3 ways. shop rite - decrepit. kings - way overpriced. trader joes - inconvenient. to those who say there will be too much traffic - I would suggest that the bigger problem we have is not enough traffic and maniacal drivers driving too fast around side streets. if there is more traffic, cars will have to drive slower and it will be safer.
Marty Wilson August 16, 2012 at 10:46 PM
JCY and others who say there will be too much traffic - I would suggest that the bigger problem we have is not enough traffic and maniacal drivers driving too fast around vacant side streets, particularly down baltusrol and all those roads over there . If there is more traffic and there are more cards, then cars will have to drive slower and it will be safer. Problem solved!
Marty Wilson August 16, 2012 at 10:50 PM
I agree with JSB and Nantz - S&S is a store for the 99%, not the upper 1%. Occupy S&S - I'll be there tonight. Let S&S Shine, let freedom ring. More jobs for the local youths, higher property values for the Millburn stores along that road that will get extra customers. Lower food prices than Kings (supermarket for the rich and famous) allows all of us to shop more at other Millburn establishments...it's all good.
Marty Wilson August 16, 2012 at 10:57 PM
JCY - hopefully you were in favor of the Summit Medical Group being able to put a building up on Chatham - there wouldn't have been any trucks and doctors are good people (albeit overworked due to our litigious society). Can we agree that SMG should have been able to put a bigger building up near Chatham Road/SH Train Station?
Marty Wilson August 16, 2012 at 10:58 PM
CHP - a strip club would only have night time traffic and wouldn't affect the kids walking to school!!
Marty Wilson August 16, 2012 at 10:59 PM
how about a wal-mart?
WRR August 17, 2012 at 01:02 AM
This is a recurring theme; maintaining dilapidated/abandoned buildings over revitalization. Summit Medical Group proposal to expand and rebuild their current building on Chatham Road experienced similar arguments couple years ago. In the SMG case, instead of trucks causing noise pollution and running over kids, it would be ambulances. SMG would have to increase their staff, thus causing add'l hazardous traffic conditions especially given that the time the staff are to arrive to work would coincide with the time children walk to school. Also, the retaining wall of the proposed parking lot would be hazardous given that the children might fall and injure oneself while skateboarding; negating the fact that it's private property and children shouldn't be trespassing. Perhaps if the residents and township worked with SMG to find a common ground then, the delapidated eye soar of a once upon a time gas station and the less than appealing SMG building site would have a tudor inspired building that would have tied in with the historic aesthetics of the block. Also, the township would have realized add'l revenue from the expanded business. Regardless, taking an abandoned building and introducing new retail business, of any type, will increase traffic. Unfortunately the golden rule of real estate, location, location, location applies to all homeowners either on primary/secondary streets and/or adjacent/near commerial property - traffic is inevitable.
JCY August 17, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Absolutely not. Most residents are against it, Springfield residents are consistently against it and were forced by county courts, Millburn town council is against it. Township experts in both Springfield and Millburn warn about the risks. You may think yourself clever to belittle the risks of excessive traffic, and the threats to our children, but they is real and acknowledged by people who actually know what they are talking about. Finally, it is an unnecessary fifth supermarket. S&S is a BAD IDEA.
JCY August 17, 2012 at 02:04 AM
This is not accurate. We live in Glenwood and have never heard an ambulance going to Summit Med Group and for obvious reasons. It is not emergency care. The comparison is irrelevant.
JCY August 17, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Excellent point. Thank you for reminding us of the facts. Individuals for S&S may choose to ignore the facts, or belittle them, or extrapolate in ridiculous ways, but the essential fact remains: we do not need this supermarket, it will bring excessive car and truck traffic, it will increase our township costs, and we have no reason to believe that it will produce additional revenue for shops along Millburn Ave. S&S is a BAD IDEA.
millresident August 17, 2012 at 02:20 AM
Stop & Shop is a Great Idea! I want a supermarket where the parking lot is not cramped, the produce is fresh, the prices are good. I want it all in ONE place. We don't have that kind of supermarket in this town.
Joanne Smythe August 17, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Millburn Township owns the strip of land fronting Millburn Ave, so if Stop and Shop wants to exist in this location, they will have to address the concerns of Millburn Township residents, or fly cars into the parking lot via helicopter.
Hedley August 17, 2012 at 04:21 AM
JCY, who are you to determine how many supermarkets are necessary? First, right now there are three (again, assuming you count Trader Joe's as a supermarket), not four, so S&S would be the fourth, not the fifth, and fairly spread out through the town. I'd be willing to bet that S&S has done some market research so they know that opening at the Saks location would be a GOOD IDEA for their bottom line.
Calty24 August 17, 2012 at 01:18 PM
BTW, There are 4 supermarkets, 2 Shop Rites (Springfield on Morris Turnpike and Millburn), Kings, and Trader Joe's. And if you are really adventurous don't forget the new Whole Foods.
Calty24 August 17, 2012 at 01:20 PM
The effect of the increase in traffic affects all of Millburn. Millburn Avenue is a main artery right into downtown. All residents are affected, not just Glenwood.
JCY August 17, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Millresident, you wish has already been met. Both the Shoprite in Springfield and in Millburn do an excellent job. So does Kings. So does Trader Joe's. We don't need a fifth supermarket in our small town. S&S is a BAD IDEA.
JCY August 17, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Calty24, you are correct. Several respondents have made light of the traffic problems, ignore the additional tax burden Millburn residents will have to deal with because all tax revenue accrues to Springfield, and the hazards both to children walking to school as trucks find "easier" routes to deliver their products, and the noise pollution that will ensue as trucks begin to use residential streets. It is a very real problem. Thank you for clarifying. S&S is a BAD IDEA?
MarkDS August 17, 2012 at 01:28 PM
One thread of comments I do not agree with is the one about how we do not "need" another supermarket. "Need" is irrelevant to the discussion. The market should determine "need" and if there is no "need" for another supermarket the market will speak. There are valid concerns but "need" is not one of them.
JCY August 17, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Mark, we are the market. 70% of Millburn residents vote negatively on the Patch survey, and far more have voiced their disagreement in Springfield and Millburn these last 10 plus years. The cost of a fifth supermarket is as we've said more traffic, construction, additional cost, lack of tax revenue to pay for these costs, noise pollution, lack of demonstrated value to our current shopkeepers along the strip, and potential danger to kids walking to and from school. Against these, will an additional supermarket improve our community? No. Hence, call it what you'd like, but the "marginal utility" of the supermarket to borrow a term from economics, is very clearly negative. S&S is a BAD IDEA.
J S Beckerman August 17, 2012 at 02:25 PM
I think S&S may be a GREAT IDEA. It may benefit the town, so the benefits and detriments need to be fully investigated, not blindly decried from a few neighbors on the Patch with fallacious prophecies of trucks running over schoolchildren.
CHP August 17, 2012 at 02:35 PM
JCY--You consider 27 people a fair sample size to represent Millburn? Why do people keep talking about tax revenue??? There is no "lack of tax revenue". The property is in SPRINGFIELD and always was. Millburn never got and dime from the property..ever. Route 577 (aka Millburn Ave) is a county road. It is not maintained (in cost) by Millburn. Your county taxes pay for that. So if S&S is there or not the cost does not change. Construction will put people to work. The store will provide jobs. Lack of demostrated value???? Are you saying that putting a brand new supermarket will bring any less value to a street that has roughly 125,000 square feet of vacancy (and more to come)?
WRR August 17, 2012 at 03:25 PM
This poll asks if residents think S&S will create more traffic. It does not poll residents for support for or against S&S. Two completely different questions that I'm sure would yield different results. I think that it will create add'l traffic however, I welcome S&S.
CHP August 17, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Exactly...a lemonade stand in that location would generate more traffic than the property does now.
JCY August 17, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this debate. I think I've fully articulated my point of view, and have learned from the opinions and observations of several of you. I believe that S&S is a bad idea. We shall see what comes of it all.
Calty24 August 17, 2012 at 09:27 PM
As I said before, it is up to our town zoning board to review the facts and hear testimony. I believe there will be increased traffic which will have a significant negative impact on residents of Millburn. These are real and legitimate concerns that the board should not take lightly. I certainly would not leave it up to Stop and Shop to decide what works best for our community. Any town planner knows that it is their responsibility and obligation to make decisions for the good of the community and that fit within the ordinances set in our town plan. I also believe it is not healthy for the economy of any town to have retail space remain vacant. But no matter how long retail property has not been occupied, we have the responsibility to put best plan in place. This was debated in Springfield for several years, been brought to court and only this year has Millburn been given the opportunity to review the impact on our town. Given the length of time it has been in process there are obvious flaws with the plan and residents of Millburn deserve to properly debate the issue.
MillburnMom August 18, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Millers -- exactly what I was remembering -- Fresh Fields was an asset to the town, and I think S&S may be the same. The Shoprites might have to upgrade their stores to compete, imagine that!
Former Townie August 20, 2012 at 02:20 PM
I'd much rather have something functioning there than that decrepit building with overgrown weeds. you would think we live in detroit with that eye sore.
Mike August 20, 2012 at 07:44 PM
This makes perfect sense to me. Why can't Millburn eliminate access from Millburn Ave forcing access only from Morris Tpke. That way, if Springfield wants the store and the associated tax revenue, they have to deal with the increased traffic.
REJ September 02, 2012 at 12:51 PM
I wouldn't call Stop & Shop high tech just because you shop with a scanner Have you seen the one in Madison! Not so pretty, looks like they could use a few more humans. Scanners can't maintain upkeep. Traffic on Millburn Ave. with be horrendous. The intersection at Millburn and Morris is a nightmare now.

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