Quick Check representatives pledged Monday to alleviate traffic at their desired location at the corner of Route 33 and Colts Neck Road by working to install a traffic light at the busy intersection.
The Howell Zoning Board of Adjustment heard continued traffic testimony from the convenience store applicant at a hearing Monday, which was the fifth session on the Quick Check proposal. The applicant is seeking use variances (in addition to site plan approvals) to construct a convenience store and gas station at the nearly 3-acre site, as both uses are not permitted within the zone.
Attorney Henry Kent-Smith, of the firm Fox-Rothchild LLP, represented Quick Check and introduced a neighbor's testimony on traffic at the Route 33 and Colts Neck Road intersection, while also calling for continued testimony from traffic engineer Charles Olivio.
Olivio has testified that a traffic signal is highly needed, especially since traffic will increase if the Quick Check is built. However, Quick Check will have to work with both the New Jersey Department of Transportation and Monmouth County to ensure a traffic signal is constructed.
Currently, the intersection has a free-floating flashing light that flashes yellow on Route 33 and flashes red on Colts Neck Road.
Olivio testified Monday on data showing the accident patterns at the intersection. He presented a chart looking at the type of accidents, the road conditions, the time of day the accident occurred, as well as the number of vehicles involved. He noted in the past 34 months, there have been 51 accidents at the intersection.
“In my opinion, we need to convert this to a fully monitored intersection,” he said. “A traffic signal would help ease this problem.”
The board asked about how quickly this signal could go up if the application was approved, and Olivio said that it would be close to 12 months.
“This is a dangerous situation, and we want to make sure that the signal is in place before the Quick Chek goes up,” board member Thomas O’Donnell stated.
Kent-Smith said that it would be a priority to get the signal set up before the convenience store was built.
“Before we break ground, we will get this done,” he said. "If this application is approved, I can guarantee that no gas or coffee will be sold at the location until that traffic signal goes up," the attorney said.
Resident Thomas J. Stackhouse, of nearby Sagamore Drive, was called by Kent-Smith to testify on his impressions of traffic from a local perspective. Stackhouse said he's seen many accidents occur and emphasized the need for a traffic signal.
“This traffic light would provide a great relief to all of us,” Stackhouse said. “We want the light, and we want it yesterday.”
The zoning board will continue hearing Quick Check's application at 8 p.m. May 2.