When we broke this news earlier today, TLS, Ray Coles and Meir Lichtenstein felt that their precious Master Plan was threatened. They quickly concocted a story as a Breaking First Report saying that Route 9 widening is happening!
The Route 9 widening project spoken about for years, is becoming a reality, Mayor Ray Coles tells TLS.
During a recent meeting with the State, Mayor Ray Coles, Committeeman Meir Lichtenstein and other local officials, the State acknowledged that “despite all former promises, this is the first time it’s actually on the docket,” Mayor Coles said.
Route 9 property owners just received the attached letter, which was welcoming news.
Committeeman Lichtenstein – who the Mayor says was even more involved than he was, confirmed and welcomed the breakthrough development.
There are two projects involved, says Committeeman Lichtenstein.
The first project, which is set to begin in 2019, is a low-cost-high-impact project which will focus on turning lanes and intersections. The second project, which will involved the actual widening, is the part the DOT Commissioner confirmed has been funded – for the first time. The State highway projects will be paid for by the State.
Over the years, there have been dozens of meetings pertaining to the Route 9 widening, but as Coles says, “this is real.”
“The Commissioner of the DOT confirmed with us that the first step in getting Route 9 widened, has been funded.” Committeeman Lichtenstien tells TLS.
Sounds great right? The problem is, it's a lie!!
1) The referenced letter says 'reconstruction', not widening. It refers to the re-striping and turning lanes.
2) The State did not say that Route 9 widening is being funded!!
in 2019 they are starting to restripe and add turning lanes, and in a video taken at a Township Workshop on 9/14/17, ML said that they funded the first part of an environmental study!! That is meaningless!! They never said they are funding widening Route 9 - just that they are funding an environmental study!! We've had studies for years and years and they all ended in nothing!
Meir Lichtenstein Video
Why the sudden breaking news from TLS, Coles and ML??
But wait, it gets better!!
On 8/23/17 the NJ DOT issued a few comments on the Draft Master Plan. One of them was:
Page 179 – last bullet on page – sentence reads “promote the widening of U.S. Route 9”, but does go on to acknowledge that NJDOT does not currently have funds to support this effort. The word “promote” is somewhat troubling for the tone of this paragraph, implying that if only we had the funds, we would go ahead and widen Route 9. The PIA entry (6.11) does not exactly say this, but rather states that the Circulation Element should “acknowledge that the State does not have the funds to widen Route 9 in the foreseeable future and that Lakewood has investigated alternative north-south roadways to lessen the traffic congestion on Route 9.” Tell me if you agree whether I am reading too much into this.
Basically, the Master Plan recommends promoting widening Route 9, and the NJ DOT is asking for that wording to be changed since they specifically said (above pic) that they will NOT be widening it in the foreseeable future.
TLS is caught lying yet again!!
Which begs the question - why are TLS and Ray Coles and Meir Lichtenstein (and AK) so desperate to get this Master Plan passed that they will even sign away any chance of getting Route 9 widened?
In addition, despite numerous conflicts and legal issues with the board members, Chairman Herzl is forging ahead with a vote and refuses to allow time for the public comment to be seriously considered and the draft re-written. A petition with over 630 signatures and hundreds of people attending the public meetings are all being ignored and trampled over.
(Answer - Eagle Ridge, Cedarbridge and $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$)
By getting 'Plan Endorsement', they will be allowed to build 70% coverage on CAFRA land (Eagle Ridge) instead of just 30%. In other words, the Township is throwing away the future of Lakewood with a terrible master plan - all to allow even more density on Eagle Ridge than previously imagined!