Warehouse trucks are causing traffic issues in some towns. A state Senate bill seeks to change that
Companies like Amazon are increasingly using New Jersey for warehouses. Critics say that these warehouses can create traffic and noise problems in neighboring towns.
A new state bill aims to coordinate new warehouse developments between those towns and answer the objections of those who say there are too many warehouses in the state.
Allentown, Monmouth County, is one such town with multiple warehouses. The 18-wheelers from the Amazon warehouse in Robbinsville and other warehouses that have been recently built along the New Jersey turnpike often take shortcuts through the center of Allentown.
“They’re using this as a main cut-through when they can go [Interstate] 95, [Interstate] 195 to where they’re going,” says business owner Rich Koch. “Basically, we need a truck route.”
“When the trucks come down the street, these buildings will noticeably shake. It is eroding the foundations. It's popping a ton of water lines and gas lines,” says Allentown resident Kurt Wayton.
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County Route 526 heads directly into the small village. Residents say that many trucks from the warehouses use it every day at different hours of the day and night.
“Really if you look across the state and everywhere else in the nation, warehousing is just out of control,” says Allentown Mayor Thomas Fritts.
A new bill from Senate President Steve Sweeney would make towns like Robbinsville notify their neighbors before warehouses are built. The neighboring towns could then object to the county or state.
“You can attempt to fight with your neighboring municipality, but you really have no control over the project,” Fritts says.
The bill faces opposition, and in a surprise move, it failed to pass a committee in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
“Warehouse development in New Jersey is generally a good thing,” says Ray Cantor with the New Jersey Business & Industry Association.
“I respect the problems in some of the areas where warehousing's just dropping in. That's created problems for us, but I believe we can fix that too,” says state Sen. Ron Rice.
A state Senate source tells News 12 New Jersey that Sweeney will be sending the bill to another committee.