Lifting weight limit on White Lake Road expected to reduce traffic, enhance safety, on 15 and 94

Sparta. Cpl. Kurt Morris of the Sparta police said truckers dislike having to negotiate the steep 7.29 percent incline on Route 15.

Sparta /
| 05 Nov 2021 | 12:38

A traffic expert from the Sparta Township Police on Oct. 26 recommended to the Township Council that it lift the four-ton weight limit on White Lake Road.

Cpl. Kurt Morris said lifting a four-ton weight limit on White Lake Road will reduce traffic on Routes 15 and 94 and make those roads safer. He said that, right now, traffic coming up Route 15 needs to bypass White Lake Road and continue into Lafayette and continue up Route 94.

Morris says trucks have to negotiate a 7.29 percent incline, which he said is very steep. He also said truckers he has stopped have said they don’t like to negotiate that hill.

“To have a truck at that size and carrying that weight is a great safety risk for anyone driving a vehicle in that area,” Morris said.

The township on Sept. 28 unanimously passed an ordinance banning trucks heavier than four tons on Fiddlers Way and McCloud Lane, while maintaining the current ban on White Lake Road.

“People in the neighborhood feel like they can let their kids out and play,” Councilman Josh Hertzberg said. “People were very thankful to see the response and see the difference in the neighborhood.”

The original version of the ordinance removed the weight limit from White Lake Road but was amended to maintain it pending further study.

White Lake Road had been limited to four tons, excluding the Park Lake Road area, which has minimal truck traffic. A lot of trucks go to Aaron Way and Camp Sacajawea is up and running, as well. Trucks bring deliveries to the businesses on Aaron Way, as well as the camp and Sussex County Technical School on the corner of White Lake Road and Route 94.

Morris said the signs on Fiddlers Way and McCloud Lane have been erected and said he counted traffic over an area of White Lake Road, which saw 34,000 vehicles in six days. All the vehicles were measured by size and speed.

“A lot of people feel speed is an issue out there,” Morris said. “I can tell you it’s not.”

According to Morris’ study, the average speed on the area he tested was 44 miles per hour in a 40-mph zone.

The average tandem truck size is about 300 inches and higher and only 2,800 vehicles measured up to that size, but those vehicles only accounted for 8.2 percent of the vehicles on the road.

“I can’t exactly say it was a tandem truck,” Morris said. “It could have been a pickup truck towing a trailer. It could have been a tractor trailer or a bus going to the school.”