More traffic at Parker & Valley-proposed 46 units at Gleason site

As if the intersection at Parker & Valley wasn't slow enough at peak hours, a 46 unit apartment building is being proposed at the former Gleason's Cleaners site.

Between 5 and 6 it usually takes 3 light cycles to get across Valley on Parker. Frustrated drivers zoom through side streets, despite the speed bumps on Kensington. On the other side of Valley little streets like Buckingham Gardens Parkway have no speed bumps or other protections.

Something needs to be done about the intersection. Unfortunately it doesn't look like Parker can be widened to put in left turn only lanes - which would help immensely. Changing the timing on the light to allow more traffic to cross Valley would also be an improvement.

During the summer it is relatively quiet, but once the day care program at the South Mountain Y is in full-swing the stretch on Parker from Dunnell to Valley moves very slowly at drop-off and pick-up time.

Here's the story on Village Green (if you are not a subscriber, you should be)

https://villagegreennj.com/development/maplewood-to-intro-redevelopment-plan-for-gleason-cleaners-site-july-19/?source=newsletter

Here's information from a local activist.  https://ohno60.wordpress.com/7-west-parker-re-development/


I hope my Maplewood neighbors can at least speak up and get the building to look better than the prison building they just built across Valley from the high school


1)  46 units?  You have to be kidding

2)  With all that money changing hands, who is going to sweep up the crumbs?

3)  Hurricanes Floyd (1999) and Ida (2021) completely inundated this property with several feet of rushing flood waters from the adjoining Rahway River branch.  This is exactly the prime flood zone property that should never be built upon.  I don't care what the developer says about how to remediate this problem, this is a really stupid idea, and I hope for everyone's sake they will not be able to obtain financing.


The flooding possibility is a real problem. 

WRT traffic, unless all 46 units had their residents going in or out at the same time, I don't see how a residential building there would be appreciably worse for traffic than Gleason's was, with dozens of cars going in and out 6 days a week. 


If the ground floor is entirely parking that would probably mitigate the flooding issue.


DanDietrich said:

If the ground floor is entirely parking that would probably mitigate the flooding issue.

Unless your car is parked there.


Cars don't matter in a situation like that.  If the building and the people are fine they can get new cars.



DanDietrich said:

Cars don't matter in a situation like that.  If the building and the people are fine they can get new cars.


As long as the developer is transparent about the risk. 

Overall I think traffic from residents of the building is unlikely to make a huge impact. They’re not all likely to be leaving at the same time and many folks might be walking to the train. 

I wonder how many people will move there who are retired and want to stay in the area, or will have work-from-home jobs. 


Look at it this way:  You wouldn't build a beach house between the dunes and the breakers.  What insurance company would ever cover the risk of that, or of this proposed development?  It's just a matter of when, not if.

What is the Maplewood Zoning Commission thinking?  And who has "greased the wheels" for this nutty idea and who has received the "grease"?


wedjet said:

Unless your car is parked there.

Wasn't there a flood damage problem with the school buses parked near there, but on a higher elevation?


Formerlyjerseyjack said:

Wasn't there a flood damage problem with the school buses parked near there, but on a higher elevation?

During Hurricane Ida the entire area, including the DPW lot, was inundated. I don't know how long the buses were out of commission or what had to be done to repair them.


DanDietrich said:

Cars don't matter in a situation like that.  If the building and the people are fine they can get new cars.


Looking at the rendering, the lowest level is open to the outside. Significant flooding could cause cars to float downstream into the low bridge along West Parker and cause unknown amounts of damage, closing it indefinitely.  Should be fine.


There is a big difference between cars getting flooded and cars getting washed away.  What kind of flood should we plan for?  Should we stop all building?  Perhaps demolish all of the homes that currently abut the water.


If the building is constructed to handle Ida level flooding and perhaps a bit worse, what is the problem?


Whew. There appears to be some kind of barrier to keep the cars corralled.


tjohn said:

If the building is constructed to handle Ida level flooding and perhaps a bit worse, what is the problem?

The building will be fine.  It's being built on top of pilings, just like all those houses down at the shore.

The issue is what happens to all the cars on the ground.  Flooding from Ida would have wiped them out, a total loss.  Unless they were all moved elsewhere.  But the school district didn't even move the buses.


Remember the police cruiser that ended up being washed away on Pierson and ended up in the fence to the golf course? They went out searching for the guy who went out to clear the storm drain by his house up on Ridgewood. 
The difference with the school buses being flooded is because the school board couldn’t get the drivers out there to move the buses. With an apartment building the tenants will move their individual cars to higher ground. 
There’s a reason the golf course is where it is… no residential buildings can be put in that area.


Jaytee said:

Remember the police cruiser that ended up being washed away on Pierson and ended up in the fence to the golf course? They went out searching for the guy who went out to clear the storm drain by his house up on Ridgewood. 
The difference with the school buses being flooded is because the school board couldn’t get the drivers out there to move the buses. With an apartment building the tenants will move their individual cars to higher ground. 
There’s a reason the golf course is where it is… no residential buildings can be put in that area.

I don't think the district expected the lot to flood.


After Sandy and Ida, nobody can claim ignorance of what might flood?


The school district forgot it's lesson learned during Floyd.  Damage during Ida was incurred because they were again using the parking lot as bus storage.  (Not able to get appropriate drivers is an excuse for their stupidity.)

And who is going to notify tenants of the proposed building to move their cars ahead of a washout?  No one, following the example of the school district.


mrmaplewood said:

The school district forgot it's lesson learned during Floyd.  Damage during Ida was incurred because they were again using the parking lot as bus storage.  (Not able to get appropriate drivers is an excuse for their stupidity.)

And who is going to notify tenants of the proposed building to move their cars ahead of a washout?  No one, following the example of the school district.

Ida happened before school was opened.

As for the tenants being notified….flash flood alerts are hard to ignore these days. 
I personally don’t think it’s a great idea to build residential homes in that area. This building frenzy is out of control now. Look at south orange, I had some friends come for the weekend who hadn’t been here in 15 years, they couldn’t believe the transformation. How many more apartments do we need? Enough already.


Jaytee said:

mrmaplewood said:

The school district forgot it's lesson learned during Floyd.  Damage during Ida was incurred because they were again using the parking lot as bus storage.  (Not able to get appropriate drivers is an excuse for their stupidity.)

And who is going to notify tenants of the proposed building to move their cars ahead of a washout?  No one, following the example of the school district.

Ida happened before school was opened.

As for the tenants being notified….flash flood alerts are hard to ignore these days. 
I personally don’t think it’s a great idea to build residential homes in that area. This building frenzy is out of control now. Look at south orange, I had some friends come for the weekend who hadn’t been here in 15 years, they couldn’t believe the transformation. How many more apartments do we need? Enough already.

The current power brokers / political leaders in both towns have made it clear they want to develop high density apartment buildings. 


yahooyahoo said:

The current power brokers / political leaders in both towns have made it clear they want to develop high density apartment buildings. 

sure looks like it. 


DanDietrich said:

There is a big difference between cars getting flooded and cars getting washed away.  What kind of flood should we plan for?  Should we stop all building?  Perhaps demolish all of the homes that currently abut the water.

Ida really changed what people in Maplewood think about flooding.  One person was swept away by flood waters and died.  There were several hairy rescues of people who got trapped.  The area by Gleason’s is known to be prone to flooding.  Another storm like Ida could result in cars in an open ground level parking area being washed away.  Lots of buildings in that area including the Woodland and the Main Library as well as people’s homes suffered major water damage.  It is possible to build to reduce the likelihood of major flood damage.  Post you reacted to is questioning a design element, not necessarily the location of development at that spot.


yahooyahoo said:

Jaytee said:

mrmaplewood said:

The school district forgot it's lesson learned during Floyd.  Damage during Ida was incurred because they were again using the parking lot as bus storage.  (Not able to get appropriate drivers is an excuse for their stupidity.)

And who is going to notify tenants of the proposed building to move their cars ahead of a washout?  No one, following the example of the school district.

Ida happened before school was opened.

As for the tenants being notified….flash flood alerts are hard to ignore these days. 
I personally don’t think it’s a great idea to build residential homes in that area. This building frenzy is out of control now. Look at south orange, I had some friends come for the weekend who hadn’t been here in 15 years, they couldn’t believe the transformation. How many more apartments do we need? Enough already.

The current power brokers / political leaders in both towns have made it clear they want to develop high density apartment buildings. 

With the support of many residents who appreciate the advantages of planned development and the responsibilities we owe in terms of economically diverse housing


Jaytee

"Ida happened before school was opened."

School being closed is not relevant.  Busses were stored in the parking lot and were flooded.  Got it?

And by the way, there are still some busses in the lot.  Doh


wedjet said:

DanDietrich said:

If the ground floor is entirely parking that would probably mitigate the flooding issue.

Unless your car is parked there.

You can move a car to higher ground, after all.

For what it's worth, my in-laws in Florida have the entire living space in their house on the second floor, over the first floor garage area.  A similar set-up is done for rebuilt housing anywhere that was flooded out.


yahooyahoo said:

The current power brokers / political leaders in both towns have made it clear they want to develop high density apartment buildings. 

That's not a trend that is unique to the two towns.


Jaytee said:

Remember the police cruiser that ended up being washed away on Pierson and ended up in the fence to the golf course? They went out searching for the guy who went out to clear the storm drain by his house up on Ridgewood. 
The difference with the school buses being flooded is because the school board couldn’t get the drivers out there to move the buses. With an apartment building the tenants will move their individual cars to higher ground. 
There’s a reason the golf course is where it is… no residential buildings can be put in that area.

--- Couldn't get the drivers?  Are you s....ing me? They don' have the phone number of their drivers? 

"Hey Arnold, wanna make $50, moving a couple of busses from Parker to the football field?"

No. It was incompetence.


--- also looks like new condos gonna happen on Irvington Ave. Fencing on two houses which are part of deep lots.


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