County Study Envisions 'Road Diet' for Washington Avenue
Access and Mobility study sees four-lane, 40 mph roadway as incompatible with plan.
Green Brook Township zoning envisions the development of a village commercial district, with multi-story, mixed-use buildings offering retail and office space on lower floors and residential spaces above and nearby, in the area around the Washington Avenue and Greenbrook Road intersection.
But such a pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly neighborhood wouldn't work well with Washington Avenue's traffic barrelling through the area at 40 mph.
So county planners studying the area as part of a mobility and access study under way said Washington Road might be a candidate for a "road diet," slimming it down to two lanes south of Route 22, instead of four.
That was one of the points from the study Green Brook Planner Richard Roseberry shared with the Township Committee at Wednesday's meeting, after he and Township Administrator Kelly Cupit attended the county Planning Board's Access and Mobility Improvements Study meeting last week.
The study is being undertaken by the county to check areas where local zoning and planning may be at odds with county road planning—such as exists in Green Brook's Village Commercial District, a zone created about six years ago aimed at increasing potential tax assessments while creating a central area for the township.
Roseberry said the county study examined three conceptual plans for the zone, noting a mixed-use concept is most like the township's thinking, as opposed to plans that included more commercial development on Greenbrook Road or one with mixed residential and retail uses (similar to the current development in the area).
The county will be wrapping up its study with an April 2 public hearing, and Roseberry said the county planners want to hear from the township on the study.
"How far before their meeting do they want input from us?" Mayor Pat Boccio asked.
"Like... today," Cupit said.
Roseberry noted the project could help the county and township obtain grants to use for making roadway and sidewalk improvements to the area, but as Cupit noted, everything starts with changes to the roadways, which are county roads, anyway.