Princeton Valley Road Garage Demolished In A Single Day

The scene at the old Valley Road garage in Princeton this morning. (click to expand)

The scene at the old Valley Road garage in Princeton this morning. (click to expand)

The municipal garage at Valley Road and Route 206, which had stood since 1963, has been demolished. The structure, which was used for the storage and refueling of vehicles belonging to the town, disappeared in a single day, as part of ongoing efforts to construct a new base for Princeton First Aid and Rescue Service (PFARS). Continue reading

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Does This Graph Prove That Consolidation In Princeton Was A Success?

Municipal tax trends in Mercer County. From Princeton Citizens Finance Advisory Committee 2014  Budget Newsletter (click to expand)

Municipal tax trends in Mercer County. From Princeton Citizens Finance Advisory Committee
2014 Budget Newsletter (click to expand)

When Princeton Borough and Township consolidated to form one municipality on January 1, 2012, the rest of New Jersey looked on. The Garden State has an astonishing 565 municipalities, and Governor Christie has championed the cause of consolidation as a way to reduce the cost of administration and drive down taxes. But so far, the marriage of the Princetons has been the only consolidation. That is something of a pity from a planning perspective, because the balkanized municipal landscape makes it hard to confront regional planning issues (think: traffic, transit planning) that cross municipal lines. On the other hand, New Jersey has a lot of municipalities for a reason: people like having hyperlocal control over their neighborhoods. The main question for towns considering consolidation, however, is tax. Does consolidation reduce tax bills? Continue reading

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At ‘Overcrowded’ Princeton High School, 1 in 6 students is from Cranbury

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Elementary School in Cranbury, NJ. For high school, Cranbury kids are bussed ten miles away to Princeton High, by-passing several other school districts on the way. (click to expand)

Despite a recent study showing that Princeton’s Public Schools will not see major increases in student numbers, petitioners at Princeton Council meetings continue to argue that Princeton High School is over-burdened. According to this argument, development projects in town, including much-needed affordable housing, should be delayed or down-sized because of lack of space at the High School. But this would be a very strange way to make development decisions, especially because 1 in every 6 students at the High School comes from Cranbury, a town ten miles to the south-east, which doesn’t even share a border with Princeton. There would be space for hundreds more students at the High School if the sending-receiving relationship with Cranbury School Board was allowed to lapse.

Continue reading

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Princeton Launches Affordable Housing Task Force- But Skeptical Voices Remain

This parking lot on Franklin Avenue is the subject of a potential plan to build new affordable housing in Princeton (click to expand.)

This parking lot on Franklin Avenue is the subject of a potential plan to build new affordable housing in Princeton (click to expand.)

At the Princeton Council meeting on September 8, there was a lively discussion about a plan to set up a task force to consider the possibility of adding affordable housing at two sites that Princeton’s municipal authorities have recently acquired. A parking lot at Franklin Avenue and Harris Road was donated to the town by Princeton University. And a plot at North Harrison Street and Clearview Avenue was given to the town by Princeton First Aid and Rescue Service as a result of a land-swop deal that will see the town underwrite construction of a new PFARS station at Valley Road and Route 206. Continue reading

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Seven Tips For A Successful Princeton Car-Free Day on Monday, September 22!

Go car-free.

Go car-free on Monday, September 22, 2014! (click to expand)

World Car-Free Day is happening this coming Monday, September 22. Many of us are very dependent on our cars to get to work and do our daily business. But it is possible to make this the one day when we leave the car at home. It will probably require a little bit of thinking and planning, so here are some things to consider this weekend… Continue reading

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Why No New Jersey Towns On ‘Top 100 Best Places To Live’ List?

White Plains

White Plains, NY, the nearest town to Princeton to rank in the livability.com ‘Top 100 Best Places To Live 2015′.

Livability, a website that “explores what makes small-to-medium sized cities great places to live” has published its annual ‘Top 100 Best Places To Live” list. The list examined places with populations of 20,000 – 350,000 residents. The top two places to live turned out to both be in Wisconsin: Madison and Rochester. After that, Arlington VA; Boulder, CO and Palo Alto, CA rounded out the top 5. Cambridge was there too, at #40. Noticeably absent from the ‘Top 100′ list was any town from New Jersey. What is going on? Continue reading

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Howard Hughes Launches Website About Redevelopment of American Cyanamid Site Near Princeton

Screenshot of Howard Hughes website about redevelopment of their American Cyanamid site property. (click to expand, via .com)

Screenshot of Howard Hughes website about redevelopment of their American Cyanamid site property. (click to expand, via hhcwestwindsor.com)

The Howard Hughes Corporation have launched a new website to inform local residents about their ongoing plans to redevelop the American Cyanamid site in West Windsor. Last year, Howard Hughes Corp made a presentation to the West Windsor Council, in which they argued that the existing zoning for the site, which is for light industrial and commercial uses, is not suitable for current needs. They are seeking to modify the zoning to allow construction of a mixed-use development including stores and new homes. Continue reading

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