Increased truck noise irks Edison residents

Officials hope measures
will reduce impact
on Silverlake Avenue

Staff Writer

Increased truck noise
irks Edison residents
Officials hope measures
will reduce impact
on Silverlake Avenue
Staff Writer

EDISON — Changes that officials hope will help offset an increase in truck traffic on Silverlake Avenue are on the horizon.

On Thursday, the Township Council introduced an ordinance to reduce the speed limit for trucks weighing more than 4 tons to 15 mph on Silverlake and Glendale avenues.

Ordinances that would restrict access to these streets between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. are also being discussed, said Louis Rainone, township attorney.

Once these ordinances gain approval from the council, they will be sent to the state Department of Transportation for review.

"This is not a two- or three-week process," Rainone said. "It has to go to DOT and come back."

Residents of Silverlake and Glendale avenues have attended township meetings to complain about the increased truck traffic on the residential streets after the Railroad Construction Co., Paterson, opened a warehouse on Glendale Avenue on the Raritan River. The company houses trucks and equipment at the site.

"This morning at 4:13 a.m., 4:23 a.m. and 4:50 a.m. were the first three heavy tractor-trailer trucks going down the street. It’s basically turned this neighborhood upside down," Richard Pastor of Silverlake Avenue said at the meeting.

To combat the problem, the township health department will be enforcing current noise ordinances that restrict loading and unloading of equipment between certain hours and restricts the decibel levels of noise, Rainone said.

The road was not made for truck traffic, and work is already required to fix potholes and bumps, said Jennifer Graci, a resident of Berrue Court.

The township is trying to put Silverlake Road on the list for the next round of road improvements, said Jonathan Capp, business administrator. That list will be completed by the beginning of next year.

According to Graci, trucks come down the road in the early morning and continue throughout the day.

There are three school bus stops on Silverlake Avenue, and parents are worried about the safety of their children, she said.

The Edison Police Department is in the process of conducting traffic surveys to find out the number of vehicles that travel down the road and their average speed, said Police Chief Edward Costello Jr.

"The survey that was done counted both the volume of vehicles and the speed" in a 24-hour time period, Costello said.

The average speed was 25.1 mph with about 2,000 vehicles traveling on Silverlake Avenue, the chief said. The survey did not distinguish between the number of cars and trucks traveling on the road.

Another survey will be done within the next few weeks to ensure the validity of the survey, Costello said.

The council has also proposed that an ordinance be passed to change the notification responsibilit.ies of applicants before the Planning and Zoning boards.

State law requires all residents within 200 feet of an application be notified of an application before the board, Rainone said.

The residents of Silverlake Avenue were not notified when Railroad Construction went before the township because they do not live within 200 feet of the property.

A new township ordinance that would require notification of all residents within 300 feet of an application is being reviewed by the Planning Board and the Zoning Board, Rainone said.

"The extra 100 feet that we’re adding is for informational purposes only. Information is power," Councilman Parag Patel said.

There are few houses within 200 feet of the Railroad Construction warehouse, Pastor said.

More people would have been at the Planning Board public hearing in July had they been notified about the application, he said.