A Closer Look At Princeton’s “Eruv”

Utility pole with attached pole to mark edge of Princeton ‘eruv’ (click to expand).

In 2015, the town of Princeton approved a plan by Princeton University to install an ‘eruv’ around several local neighborhoods. An eruv is “a symbolic enclosure that allows observant Jews, mostly of the Orthodox community, to carry objects outdoors on the Sabbath”. In practice, it takes the form of a number of poles that are attached to the side of utility poles. Most residents probably didn’t even notice the eruv being constructed, but walking around Princeton, it is possible to spot the poles that mark its boundary. They aren’t on every utility pole, just some number of poles around the edge of the eruv. The picture above shows one at the intersection of Jefferson Road and Terhune Road. It’s a thin, gray plastic pipe about 20-ft tall. Continue reading

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Bus Rapid Transit Comes To US-1 But Not (Yet) In Princeton

US-1 busway in Alexandria, VA (click to expand)

New Jersey Department of Transport (NJDOT) recently allowed cars to drive on shoulder lanes on part of US-1, a key highway in Central New Jersey which runs past Princeton and connects local towns like West Windsor, Plainsboro and South Brunswick. Allowing car drivers to drive on the shoulder lanes is intended to ‘reduce rush hour congestion’. But this new traffic alignment is quite different to what was proposed by a joint NJDOT-Rutgers University study in 2010. This ‘US-1 Growth Strategy’ envisioned  ‘growth centers’ in the Central Jersey region, which would allow green space and existing neighborhoods to be protected, and which would be linked by a new ‘Bus Rapid Transit’ system on Route 1. This ‘Bus Rapid Transit’ (BRT) has not been built – instead, we are expanding lanes for cars. But in Virginia, BRT was built, so we can see how it would work. Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Transportation, Complete Streets, Density, Local, planning, Princeton, Traffic, Transit | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Princeton University’s New Arts Complex: The View From The Outside (PHOTOS)

New ‘Lewis Center for the Arts’, Princeton University, as seen from entrance to Princeton Rail station (click to expand)

In 2012, Princeton University got approvals to construct a new ‘Arts and Transit’ complex on Alexander St at University Place. Extremely controversial at the time, the plan called for moving Princeton rail station approximately 400-ft south, converting the existing rail station to restaurants, and building a big new Center for the Arts on the site of a bunch of old houses. The old ‘WaWa’ convenience store was also torn down, and replaced with a new one. For those of us who walk or jog around that side of town, the construction has been a big mess, but it is largely done, and although the Center isn’t open yet, the paths are in place, so we can check out what the new site looks like. Continue reading

Posted in architecture, Complete Streets, Downtown Vibrancy, Events, Placemaking, planning, Princeton | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The High Cost Of New York/NJ Transit Projects: Some Possible Explanations

Departure hall for trains to New Jersey from World Trade Center PATH station. (click to expand)

New Jersey commuters to New York city are currently suffering through what NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo called a ‘Summer of Hell‘. Emergency maintenance on tracks around New York Penn Station has resulted in service cuts and packed trains. In general, there is a sense that transit options in the New York – New Jersey area are not as good as they ought to be. This is particularly true in car-clogged New Jersey, where rail commuters have put up with regular fare hikes in return for what many feel is a sub-standard service. So why don’t we have better transit? One problem, clearly, is that building new transit facilities is very expensive. But is it unreasonably expensive, or do we just lack the political will to invest in non-car transportation? Continue reading

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Proposed Triumph Brewpub At Old Princeton Post Office: Images And Site Plans!

Rendering of proposed Triumph Brewpub on Palmer Square, seen from what is currently the back of the old Post Office (click to expand)

On July 13, the Princeton Planning Board will consider a plan to convert the old Princeton Post Office on Palmer Square into a new Triumph Brewpub. The site plan shows a rendering of the new bar. The entrance would be at the back / loading dock area of the old Post Office, with a glass porch welcoming guests.  Continue reading

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‘Cargot Brasserie’ Opens At Former Princeton Rail Station (Photos! Menus!)

‘Cargot Brasserie’, at the old Princeton Rail Station (click to expand).

A new upscale restaurant opened today at the former Princeton ‘Dinky’ rail station. ‘Cargot Brasserie’ now occupies one of the buildings that made up the historic station, joining ‘The Dinky Bar and Grill’, which opened in the former passenger waiting room last year. The restaurant offers another alternative to diners looking places to go around Princeton’s walkable downtown. Across the street from McCarter Theater, ‘Cargot Brasserie’ is just a few minutes walk from Palmer Square, and right next to the Princeton University campus.
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Report: US-1 To Be Widened By Princeton

Plan of road expansion project on Route 1 around Washington Road – Harrison Road. Image by US-1 Newspaper / Diccon Hyatt.

If you’re able to get a copy of ‘US-1 newspaper’ from your local newsstand (the June 21 edition), go to page 27. Diccon Hyatt has what looks like an important story about a plan from New Jersey Department of Transportation to widen Route 1 in West Windsor, around the intersections with Washington Road / Harrison Street (near the SRI/Sarnoff site). Several intersections and jughandles would also be expanded under the plan. Continue reading

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