Increased truck traffic concerns many in U.F.

We were dismayed to read a recent letter from resident Joseph Puglino regarding the issue of truck traffic in our town. While supporting Deputy Mayor [William] Miscoski’s stance on fighting any rerouting of truck traffic, he seems to miss the mark on a few key issues. Namely, while this issue has been raised by members of The Woods development, it is also being raised by residents of other affected neighborhoods, such as Galloping Brook and Forge Mill Estates, both of which have also felt the impact of increased truck traffic over the past few years. In addition, an association has formed to address this very issue, which is open to any concerned member of Upper Freehold. We are not part of this association, but certainly support its cause. Mr. Puglino seems to indicate that this is a “Woods” problem only. He goes on to comment that the owners of the “palaces” in that development didn’t do their homework before moving in. As if somehow the size of our homes limits what we are allowed to think or say.

What’s ironic is that this critique of failing to do our homework could have also been levied against the residents of Heritage Green and the Four Seasons, both of which were built in the late ’90s. Residents of both communities, among others, waged a now legendary battle against the westerly bypass despite moving into their homes five to ten years after the 1992 study solicited by the county which recommended the bypass system in the first place.

How did they address that problem? The 2003 committee resolution called for by then-resident Steve Fleishacker’s summation of the original 1992 study supporting the completion of the easterly bypass before a westerly bypass could be evaluated. In other words, take the traffic that was proposed to go past Heritage Green and the Four Seasons, and send it past the upstart Woods community, which was seeing its first home built in that year, among others. And, oh by the way, since 2003 when that resolution was passed, two additional properties along Sharon Station Road have continued toward development with the blessing of our township’s Planning Board, which includes the current mayor, Fleishacker. When completed, these developments, along with the adjacent Golf Edge Estates and Woods locations, will total about 250 homes. Putting almost 800 trucks per day right through the middle of these developments is not good planning at all. The school kids are our biggest concern – all kids traveling on school buses – not just those that live in this area. It would be a mistake to assume that just because a child is picked up by a school bus in another part of town that the bus will never have to travel through this area.

Yet despite all of the proposed building and apparent steerage of traffic towards the east side of town, the residents of the Woods and others affected by this issue have not called for any dissolution of the easterly bypass – instead we have only asked for some help with the alleviation of some of the truck traffic that has created so many documented safety incidents on this route, by means of a weight limitation. In fact, the presentation given on Sept. 7 to the committee by residents of these affected neighborhoods stated clearly that what was needed here was a global solution, which solved for the alleviation of truck traffic throughout many of the major residential areas of our township. Something that clearly was not considered when the traffic was simply shifted from the west side of town to the east side of town, thanks to the work of Mr. Fleishacker, and the committee resolution in 2003.

So yes, Mr. Puglino, we did do our homework as did others who live here, and we continue to do so to this day. I hope you are open to the idea that people from our neighborhood might actually have a good idea or two that could be beneficial to the majority of the township, and not just serve the interests of ourselves only.

Because, as you stated in your letter that you don’t know Mr. Miscoski, you also don’t know us. I’d hate to think that you are so arrogant as to assume that you know our motivation based on the size of our home.

Patrick and Bernadette Nolan

Upper Freehold