Two sides of the street

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:49

    Some of the items were Byram Township officials disagree with the state Department of Transportation on how to improve and expand Route 206 through the center of town. Let's Talk Byram wants more Context Sensitive Design planning, which involve a commitment by DOT to a process that encourages collaboration with stakeholders so that the project reflects the goals of the people who live, work, and travel in the area. DOT held its last public hearing May 10, the fourth meeting in the past two years, to outline its plans for Route 206 improvements. Highlands Act Byram insists the township's exclusive inclusion into the Highlands preservation area last year area must be considered in project plans. DOT contends the 1.2-mile stretch falls outside the Highlands boundaries and is not subjected to preservation regulations. Lanes of Contention DOT plans to widen Route 206 from two lanes to include up to five lanes. Byram claims the additional lanes will create more congestion Out-Of-Style, Out-Of-Date? Byram claims DOT has not used contemporary "smart growth" planning models including NJFIT and hyper-build, which have been successfully implemented on projects at Route 9 in Flemington and Route 29 in Trenton. DOT's planning process had been ongoing for the past 10 years prior to a formalized agreement signed in September 2003. The Time Is Right? Byram wants a six-month moratorium on design planning before beginning phased-in work on the project. DOT plans to begin work on the project in late 2006.