The Morris County freeholders on Wednesday assured concerned residents of Morris Plains that they have no plans to widen — or even study widening — a stretch of Hanover Avenue that borders the Borough and Morris Township.
“The county has no interest in expanding the road and is not reviewing or studying such a scenario,’’ Freeholder Director Doug Cabana told residents who spoke at a freeholders meeting held in Morris Plains.
“We would only consider making changes if both governing bodies – Morris Plains and Morris Township – jointly asked for such a consideration.”
No such request has been made, although Township Committeewoman Louise Johnson met recently with the chairwoman of the county’s transportation committee to inquire about a study.
“The traffic buildup is horrendous” on Hanover Avenue, Johnson told Morristown Green, asserting that traffic is likely to increase with the addition of a BJ’s store in Hanover and redevelopment of the Colgate tract in Morris Township.
The segment of Hanover Avenue in question stretches for about 3/10 of a mile between Burnham Road and Speedwell Avenue. It’s one lane in each direction.
Johnson said she was curious whether traffic flow could be improved by adding an extra lane each way. The last traffic study of this corridor was about a decade ago, she said.
“Studies go on all the time. They’ll play out one way or another. You don’t know [how to proceed] until you get the results,” Johnson said.
When residents got wind got wind of this, however, they circulated concerns that four lanes would encourage speeding and endanger children and pedestrians.
County officials at Wednesday’s meeting said widening that portion of Hanover Avenue would require taking roadway shoulders and possibly, private property, which “would very negatively impact people who live there,” said Larry Ragonese, a spokesman for the freeholders.