Certainly, development generally will put more cars on adjacent roadways but Planning Board and BOAR review will help to control inflows and outflows of cars on to roadways to help control traffic issues. In addition, the proximity of these housing units to downtown and public transportation will limit vehicle traffic during rush hour.
The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University found that when comparing apartments to detached single-family dwellings, apartment dwellers own fewer cars and generate fewer automobile trips per household. The proposed overlay zones within Westfield are located in close proximity to downtown and mass transit, thus allowing for more pedestrian vs. vehicular activity.
Often, there is a concern that new apartments will result in a strain on local schools. However, studies conducted by the Center for Urban Policy Research at Rutgers University, the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, and information from other New Jersey municipalities have shown that the number of school-age children in multi-family housing is dramatically lower than that which comes from a detached single-family dwelling and in many cases is nonexistent. During last year’s Downtown New Jersey Annual Conference, the South Orange Village President stated that they were seeing one school aged child coming from 33 units of multi-family housing.