CRANBURY: Officials mull where to add parking spot

By Jennifer Kohlhepp, Managing Editor
Save a tree or create an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant parking spot?
That was the question Township Committee members and residents pondered during Monday night’s committee meeting.
Dr. Stuart Alexander, whose practice is on North Main Street, advocated for the parking spot in front of 19 N. Main St. instead of the proposed area in front of 11 N. Main St. He said township planners were suggesting the handicapped accessible spot be placed in front of 11 N. Main St. so the township would not have to cut down a tree. However, he said, the non-native tree’s root system is and will continue to damage the sidewalk in front of 19 N. Main St.
Frank Marlowe, the owner of 11 N. Main St., said he would prefer planting a tree in front of his residence to having the ADA-compliant parking spot there.
“After hearing all of this, the point is you don’t want the darn tree (in front of 19 N. Main St.),” Mr. Marlowe said. “The size and its roots are ripping up the sidewalk and will rip up the brick you are going to put in front of 19.”
Committeewoman Susan Goetz said the Township Committee would have to get approval from its Shade Tree Commission to remove the tree at 19 N. Main St.
Deputy Mayor Dan Mulligan noted that if the Shade Tree Commission is “vehemently against” removing the tree “our hands are tied.”
After hearing from the residents and noting that all of the committee members were on board with removing the tree, Mayor James “Jay” Tayor suggested drafting a resolution.
“It would empower us as a committee to have a resolution drawn urging the Shade Tree Commission to allow us to take the tree down,” Mayor Taylor said.
The clerk drafted a resolution during the meeting but the committee ultimately decided against adopting it and submitting it to the Shade Tree Commission. Instead, committee members asked Committeewoman Goetz to relate their desire for taking the tree down for the installation of the handicapped parking spot in front of 19 N. Main St.
Committeewoman Goetz said she would tell the commission that the committee spent an hour talking about the situation and would like the commission to seriously consider taking the tree out. 