Middlesex County, together with the NJTPA and the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), today announced the completion of the Southern Middlesex County Freight Movement Study.
The study, which began in the spring of 2022, assesses the impact of truck traffic on local roads and neighborhoods throughout the southern portion of Middlesex County. Additionally, it examines the potential outcome of a variety of mitigation measures, such as updated GPS wayfinding, the installation of new signage, improvements to intersections, speed reduction, and improvements to physical infrastructure, as well as possible truck restrictions.
The Southern Middlesex County Freight Movement Study identifies and recommends numerous opportunities in key areas to significantly mitigate the impact of trucks on residential roads. Among the study’s primary recommendations is the designation of new preferred routes for trucks that will, whenever possible, limit their time on local roadways and in residential neighborhoods.
In response to the study’s findings and recommendations, Middlesex County and its partner municipalities will immediately begin working with local warehouse operators, their navigation (GPS) system providers, and public GPS providers to encourage them to map routes for trucks that avoid residential neighborhood roads as preferred route options for trucks. The County, in collaboration with all levels of government, will also evaluate the need for additional wayfinding signage and begin installing signage to direct trucks to use designated truck routes leading to Route 130 rather than traveling through residential neighborhoods.
Additional short-term plans that the County and its municipal partners intend to pursue based on the study’s findings and recommendations include:
- Applying to the NJDOT for truck restrictions on key local roadways such as Cranbury Station Road, as well as other local roadways in the future.
- Installing new signage, such as new wayfinding signage to direct trucks between NJ Turnpike exit 8A and NJ 33 via Route 130; new wayfinding signage for truck entry on County Road 619 (Applegarth Road) and/or County Road 614 (Prospect Plains Road) to guide trucks to warehouses; additional vertical height clearance signage on County Road 522; and wayfinding signage for trucks on Cranbury Station Road between U.S. Route 130 and Hightstown-Cranbury Station Road – including working with warehouse operator’s to establish truck wayfinding signage at their driveway exits encouraging trucks to head westbound to U.S. 130 to then travel north or south.
- Reimagining and reconfiguring intersections to better accommodate truck movements, including making it safer for trucks to make left turns through changes to the roadway markings and geometry.
- Reducing the speed limit on state Route 32 from 45 mph to 40 mph and standardizing the number of lanes in each direction. According to the study’s crash analysis, Route 32 is considered a “truck crash hotspot.”
“Middlesex County is committed to balancing the needs of businesses with the safety and quality of life of our residents,” said Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners Director Ronald G. Rios. “Given the increase in truck traffic in the southern region of the County, we conducted this study to identify the best ways to keep truck traffic off of residential roadways and out of residential neighborhoods. The Southern Middlesex County Freight Movement Study takes a regional approach to this issue, recognizing that traffic does not start or stop at any one border and that we must work together at all levels of government to enhance the safety of our roadways.”
“Today’s announcement that Middlesex County has completed its own Freight Movement Study for the southern section of the county sets the stage for much greater collaboration with NJDOT and NJTPA,” said NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “The Department is investigating both short-term fixes, such as revising turning movements at some intersections on Route 130, and long-term improvements including the elimination of the traffic circle at Route 130 and CR 539/South Main Street, that will go a long way in supporting the County’s efforts for the safe and efficient movement of freight and improved safety for the community.”
“This study is a great example of how federal funding can be used to plan improvements at the local level that will make travel safer, while also supporting the regional economy,” said NJTPA Executive Director David W. Behrend. “It’s great to see the county moving ahead with implementing the plan’s recommendations so quickly.”
“The safety of our residents and everyone traveling on and near roadways in Middlesex County is of critical importance, and one of the reasons we are proud to be the first Vision Zero county in New Jersey,” said Middlesex County Commissioner Charles Kenny, Chair of the County’s Transportation Committee. “The implementation of key recommendations of the Southern Middlesex County Freight Movement Study will help to further improve the safety of everyone who lives, works, and plays in Middlesex County. We look forward to working with our partners in both the public and private sector to make these important changes.”
“I would like to express my deepest appreciation to our representatives on the county and state level, who share our commitment in ensuring this planning report becomes an actionable document,” said Monroe Mayor Stephen Dalina. “The release of this report is a pivotal moment in our ongoing efforts to control and limit truck traffic, and I believe this partnership will ensure our residents get the relief they need.”
In addition to recommending immediate and near-term solutions for various issues, the Southern Middlesex County Freight Movement Study also considers the need for potential larger infrastructure projects in the future. Among these potential projects is the reconfiguration of the intersection of County Road 535 (Cranbury-South River Road) and NJ Route 32 (Forsgate Drive) to better facilitate and prioritize movements between the two corridors and the NJ Turnpike at exit 8A. Middlesex County, the NJTPA, NJDOT, and local municipalities remain committed to continuing to evaluate this and other issues moving forward.
About the Study
The Southern Middlesex County Freight Movement Study was completed with assistance and support from the NJTPA, and with technical support from state and regional agencies and local governments. The study process also included the gathering and consideration of substantial public and community input via stakeholder meetings, public meetings, and web-based survey and commenting tools.
The Southern Middlesex County Freight Movement Study is now available for public review at njtpa.org/MiddlesexFreightStudy. For more information about the freight movement study, please visit middlesexcountynj.gov/freightstudy.