Your last chance?

Ever traveled through the intersection of Main Street & Hillside Avenue in Chatham Borough?*

Then you know those old streets are narrow and misaligned, making navigating the intersection confusing, chaotic, and dangerous.**

Crack it up at Hillside & Main

Knowing all that, our Zoning Board must nonetheless consider waiving a whole slew of our laws to allow the new Exxon owner to add a busy convenience store that would make that intersection even worse without doing any good for Chatham.

That vote could happen as soon as February 29, when the Zoning Board will hold a special 7 pm hearing on multiple variances the new Exxon owner needs to add that convenience store to the Main Street Exxon station.

What can you do about that? Plenty.

First, come join your neighbors and friends at the special 7 pm Zoning Board hearing on February 29 at Borough Hall, 54 Fairmount Avenue. (Use the side entrance and take the elevator to the upper level.)

Second, ask the Zoning Board the total number of additional cars and trucks that will cross our sidewalks to get in and out of the Exxon site each day, in a day, during current peak traffic hours AND during the extended service hours of the proposed store, from 6 to 8 am and from 6 to 11 pm, when the current service station garage is closed.

Ask them to consider what effect that additional sidewalk traffic could have on pedestrians and cyclists on our Main Street, an important concern under our Master Plan.

Ask the Applicant’s Professional Planner if he would support construction of a similar enterprise at a busy corner near his own home.

Questions? E-mail [email protected]

* Police crash reports for 2018 through 2023 show that Hillside is the worst of the three big Main Street intersections, including also North & South Passaic and Lafayette/VanDoren.

**The author has chosen to abstain from participating in deliberations concerning, or voting on, this proposal in her capacity as an alternate member of the Historic Preservation Commission.