February 11, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES IV • Page 5 Mahwah Zoning board expert supports Pilot traffic counts by Frank J. McMahon The traffic expert hired by the Mahwah Zoning Board of Adjustment has filed a report with that board that concurs with the testimony of the traffic expert hired by the Pilot Corporation concerning traffic that might be generated at the Pilot site on Route 17 South if the current renovation and upgrade plan were approved. Judd Rocciola told the board his traffic count study at the Valero Service Station on Route 17 South, which is north of the Pilot site, reflects the traffic count estimates contained in the testimony of Joseph Staiger, who is Pilot’s traffic expert. Rocciola explained that he performed traffic counts at the Valero location during the morning peak traffic time of 7 to 9 a.m., from noon to 2 p.m., and during the 4 to 6 p.m. evening peak. “Basically, I found the peak hour trip generation at the Valero station was very consistent with the estimates provided by Staiger in his traffic report to the board,” Rocciola said. “All in all, my counts pretty clearly support the counts that Mr. Staiger presented.” Rocciola also said he did a sampling of the percentage of vehicles that use the overpass at West Ramapo Avenue, which is south of the Valero site but north of the Pilot site, to see the percentage of vehicles that come from New York State to go to the Valero station in New Jersey because of the lower price there, and cross over that overpass to return to the northbound lanes of Route 17. He told the board that his observation indicated that vehicles coming from New York State would not travel past the overpass to get to the Pilot site because they would have to travel two miles farther south to get to Macarthur Boulevard interchange to make a U-turn to return to the northbound lanes of Route 17. “The Pilot station isn’t really going to pull their (Valero’s) customers,” Rocciola said, “because it’s inconvenient to get back to where they came from and it’s important to take that into consideration.” He added that it is also important to take into consideration that Pilot would be closing its Ridge Road access, which would eliminate the option of returning to Route 17 North by using the West Ramapo Avenue overpass. Rocciola acknowledged that if Pilot has a lower price than the Valero station, it may attract more customers. In response to board members’ questions, Rocciola said the weather was fair and dry when he took his traffic counts, so weather did not play a role in his analysis. He acknowledged, however, that the faster pumping stations proposed at the Pilot site could be a benefit Pilot would have over its (continued on page 15) Pinnacle Learning Center At the Ramapo Reformed Church 109 West Ramapo Ave., Mahwah Conveniently located just off Route 17 7 AM - 6:30 PM M-F Yr. Round Flexible Hrs. Half and Full Day Pre-School - 2½ - 6 Years Crafts, Music, Spanish, Computers, Science AM & PM Academics. Owner/Director/Teacher Maria Cancelosi NJ State License CPR Trained Affordable - Sibling Discount Register for September 2009 201-512-3313