Residents’ complaints about parkway traffic noise are finally heard

John Sluka, a resident who lives blocks away from the proposed parkway sound barrier in Brick, NJ on 8/21/19. [DANIELLA HEMINGHAUS]

BRICK TOWNSHIP — Brick Township will conduct a sound level study in an area adjacent to the Garden State Parkway, in response to residents who have complained for years about the ill-effects of traffic noise and pollution.

Residents of the Evergreen Woods area have continually spoken out against the parkway, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and other agencies for failing to properly protect those living in proximity to the highway, arguing that the widening of the parkway shoulder to create a new lane had worsened the problem. They are demanding the construction of a sound barrier as well as increased trees and foliage on both sides of the barrier.

“For years [people] have lobbied the Turnpike Authority, Ocean County, State of New Jersey to truly examine what residents of Evergreen Woods describe to us every single meeting, as we all hear of a significant decrease in quality of life as a direct result of the shoulder restoration,” Mayor John Ducey said at the Aug. 13 council meeting. 

The mayor acknowledged that despite incessant lobbying by Brick residents, the Turnpike Authority, Department of Transportation [DOT] and Ocean County have largely ignored their complaints. By conducting this new traffic study, Mayor Ducey believes the township will have real numbers to back residents’ concerns.

“So together, we’ve been in touch with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the Ocean County Engineer’s Office,” he said, “but there’s no solution …

“These agencies are not responding to the direct, first-hand account of the residents who live along this stretch of the parkway but they have no choice but to respond to actual data, so having an actual sound study done will be great,” he said.

The study will be conducted by Brightview Engineering, of Roseland, which the mayor said is one of the firms in the township’s pool of qualified traffic engineers.

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