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

Posted in Biking, Complete Streets, Local, planning, Traffic, Walking | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Fixing Princeton’s Parking Problems In Three Easy Steps

Pay-by-space parking meters by Princeton Rail Station (click to expand).

The town of Princeton is holding a public meeting tonight (June 14) to discuss parking. The meeting is the latest in a series of discussions led by consultants hired by the town to evaluate issues relating to parking. These issues include (1) Perceived shortage of downtown parking, (2) Employee parking encroaching on residential neighborhoods, (3) the difficulty of balancing parking vs other street uses, for example bike lanes, and (4) the high cost of parking for employees of local businesses. With such a wide range of problems to solve, the consultants have their work cut out. But there are some simple approaches that could really help reduce the current parking chaos in Princeton…
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Posted in Alternative Transportation, Biking, Complete Streets, Placemaking, planning, Princeton, The Parking Question | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Princeton Must Build Thousands Of New Homes. Where Can They Go?

Time to build: Princeton urgently needs to allow for construction of a huge amount of housing (click to expand)

The town of Princeton announced at the end of April that it will settle a court case about how much affordable housing the town will add through 2025. Six weeks on, the terms of the settlement are still shrouded in secrecy. Nobody at the town is talking, but it seems very likely that the town will have to add somewhere in the region of 700 new affordable homes. The town will build most of these as ‘inclusionary’ units in larger, market-rate developments, which means that several thousand homes will probably have to be built. But the settlement, when it comes, will not just say how many homes Princeton must allow. It will also specify the *sites* for new affordable homes, and set a timetable for zoning changes to allow the homes to be built. Members of the public are not getting the chance to comment on where the housing should go, but here are some ideas… Continue reading

Posted in Affordability, Density, Placemaking, planning, Princeton, Real estate, Smart Growth, Sustainability, Transit, Walking, Zoning | Tagged , , | Leave a comment