Princeton Council Holds Firm On Controversial Poe Road Sidewalks

Sidewalks on either side of Poe Road, as currently exist beyond Roper Road, will now be extended to Route 27 following a Council decision. (click to expand).

Sidewalks on either side of Poe Road, as currently exist beyond Random Road, will now be extended to Route 27 following a Princeton Council decision. (click to expand).

At their regular meeting on Monday night, Princeton Council discussed an ongoing question about sidewalks on Poe Road between Random Road and Route 27. Neighbors along this section of Poe Road have fought the plan to install sidewalks here, even though this improvement is part of Princeton’s municipal sidewalk masterplan. Despite the opposition, Council agreed in principle to move ahead with sidewalks last November, with only one member- Bernie Miller- voting against. But opposition has continued. Whereas municipal engineers had made plans for sidewalks on either side of the street, opponents in the neighborhood argued for just one sidewalk, on the western side of Poe Road. Council discussed this question in a work session, but ultimately decided to continue with the plan to build both sidewalks on either side of the street. Continue reading

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Princeton’s Most Walkable Neighborhoods

Walkability in Princeton, as scored by walkscore.com. Darker green areas are more walkable. Unshaded areas are car-dependent. (click to expand.)

Walkability in Princeton, as scored by walkscore.com. Darker green areas are more walkable. Unshaded areas are car-dependent. (click to expand.)

Princeton is known as a walkable town, but the ease with which residents can walk to amenities varies greatly between different neighborhoods.  A new map of walkability from walkscore.com allows us to easily see which neighborhoods are most walkable. The walkscore.com algorithm takes into account the stores and attractions that are within walking distance, and gives each location a ‘walkscore’ of 0-100. 100 is the best, representing a “walker’s paradise”. Viewed on a map (see above), walkable areas are green, with yellow shading representing moderately walkable neighborhoods, and unshaded areas more car-dependent. (click here for a zoom-able map). Continue reading

Posted in Downtown Vibrancy, Princeton, Real estate, Walking | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Princeton Engineers: New Bike Lane To Be Installed As Part Of Mt Lucas Rd Improvements

Mt Lucas Road in north Princeton is set for improvements. (click to expand)

Mt Lucas Road in north Princeton is set for improvements. (click to expand)

Princeton engineers will stripe a new bike lane at Mt Lucas Road as part of upcoming engineering works to upgrade water mains and repave the road. The new bike lane is one of a number of ‘Complete Streets’-type improvements intended to make the repaved road more consistent with municipal policy to favor people walking or on bikes. The improvements are remarkable in a suburban New Jersey context, but still fall some way short of first-rate facilities on a key corridor connecting Princeton with townships to the north. Continue reading

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Princeton Council Agrees To Fully Fund Future Sidewalks

New sidewalk construction at Ewing Street, Princeton.

A recent municipal sidewalk addition project at Ewing Street, which was part-funded by neighboring property owners. Future sidewalks will be fully funded by the town. (click to expand)

Princeton Council has approved a change to how the town builds sidewalks. Up till now, half of the cost of constructing sidewalks has been charged to the owner of the abutting property. In future, the town will fund 100% of the cost of new sidewalks. Repairs to sidewalks, which were previously charged to the neighboring property owner, will also be funded by the town. Continue reading

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Join us April 1 For A ‘National Walking Day’ Stroll In Central Princeton!

National Walking Day this year is April 1, 2015 - no joke! (click to expand)

National Walking Day this year is April 1, 2015 – no joke! (click to expand)

We are hosting a recreational walk on the morning of Wednesday April 1 in honor of ‘National Walking Day‘! The annual celebration of walking is designated by the American Heart Association, and is now in its ninth year. To get involved, we will walk from Hinds Plaza in downtown Princeton, through the Princeton University Campus to the new Dinky Station. The total walk time will be about 30 mins. Continue reading

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Princeton To Redraft Housing Element; May Need Many More Affordable Homes

Affordable housing at Princeton Community Village, off Bunn Drive. (click to expand)

Affordable housing at Princeton Community Village, off Bunn Drive. (click to expand)

Shirley Bishop, an expert in affordable housing, advised Princeton Council last week that the town was not in imminent danger of a “builder’s remedy” law suit. She was speaking in light of a NJ Supreme Court ruling that gave the Superior Court control of affordable housing quotas. But the town must update the ‘Housing Element’ of the community Masterplan by November, and it may be necessary to increase the number of planned affordable dwellings. Continue reading

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TBT: When Princeton Nearly Said “No” To Michael Graves

The Paul Robeson Center for the Arts in Princeton is a distinctive Michael Graves design. But the building was the source of controversy for years. (click to expand)

The Paul Robeson Center for the Arts in Princeton is a distinctive Michael Graves design. But the building was the source of controversy for years. (click to expand)

This week has seen many tributes to local architect Michael Graves, who died last Thursday at the age of 80. An internationally recognized force in the post-modern architectural movement, Graves was a true legend. The local media are full of praise this week, but the reaction to Graves’s only major public building in Princeton was a lot more mixed. When Graves offered his services to design a new home for the Princeton Arts Council at the intersection of Paul Robeson Place and Witherspoon Street (see image above), the Planning Board returned a simple answer: “No”. It took years, multiple revisions, and significant down-sizing before the building that currently stands was approved.

Continue reading

Posted in architecture, Downtown Vibrancy, People, Placemaking, planning, Princeton, The Parking Question, Zoning | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment