Route 1 near Princeton – operated by NJDOT using funds from the New Jersey gas tax. (click to expand)
This week, Governor Christie is expected to sign into law a new deal to fund the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund (TTF). The TTF, which funds state transportation projects, had reached a point where existing funds could only pay off interest on bonds taken out to pay for previous projects – no money was left to start new projects to build roads, repair bridges, or make needed improvements to help people move around the state. After months of haggling, the NJ State Assembly and Senate passed a deal last week, which will see the state gas tax increase to provide new funds for the TTF. In exchange – and in response to demands form Governor Christie – the state sales tax will be trimmed, along with a blend of other tax cuts, including phasing out the estate tax. We called for a gas tax increase years ago, and although the deal is messy and overdue, it is still necessary. Continue reading
Historic downtown Princeton offers housing choices (click to expand)
This week sees the first public meeting of Princeton’s new ‘Neighborhood Character and Zoning Initiative’. Consultants hired by the town will make a public presentation, with the aim of creating “strategies, policies, guidelines, and regulations that will shape future home development activities so their outcomes better complement the traditional character and form of Princeton’s residential neighborhoods and streets.” The task force plans “short-term, medium-term, and long-term” changes to local zoning, apparently with the goal of preventing ‘tear-downs’ and ensuring a greater degree of conformity with existing properties. But just as Princeton begins to further ratchet up zoning controls, the Obama White House has released a new policy document, urging looser controls on development. Who’s right?
‘Rumble strip’ speed control device at Jefferson Road and Terhune, Princeton. (click to expand)
Many Princeton residents complain about speeding cars on their local streets. The town, however, banned speed bumps through a Council ordinance in 2013. With no speed bump option, the town is increasingly making use of ‘rumble strips‘ to limit speed at intersections around Princeton. The rumble strips look like painted white lines across the road lane, but are in fact made of a small ridge of hardened thermoplastic that transmits vibrations and an audible ‘rumble’ to drivers. Recently, rumble strips have been added on Terhune Road at the intersection with Jefferson Road, as shown in the picture above. But this speed reduction technique is also Continue reading
Christ Congregation Church on Walnut Lane in Princeton – which is also a key site in the online game ‘Ingress’. (click to expand)
The Pokémon Go craze has occupied many news stories this summer as kids of all ages have discovered the joys of chasing virtual creatures around real-world locations using their smartphones. Pokémon Go is a product of Google offshoot Niantic Labs, and has many similarities to their earlier game, ‘Ingress‘, which has been running since 2012. For Ingress players, Princeton is not just a cultured college town, but a battlefield for an online war to control culturally-significant sites.
New sidewalk under construction, Shadybrook Lane, Littlebrook neighborhood, Princeton (click to expand)
A new sidewalk has been added to a section of Shadybrook Lane in Princeton’s Littlebrook neighborhood, and it’s a bit of an interesting case. Sidewalks in Princeton are usually added as part of specific road improvement or sewer upgrade projects. If the road is part of the municipal sidewalk masterplan, a new path is laid as part of the wider project. A sidewalk is being constructed on Valley Road right now, for example, as part of a big engineering project that will also see new sewer pipes put down. Continue reading
One-bed apartment plan at new Avalon Bay apartments in Princeton. (Via avaloncommunities.com, click to expand)
Avalon Bay has released floor plans and prices for their new apartments on Witherspoon Street in Princeton. The apartments are currently under construction, but are listed as available for move-in from August 19, 2016. The apartment community will eventually have 256 units, making it one of the biggest in Princeton. It is easily walkable to downtown and Princeton University campus. As expected, the apartments are pretty expensive… Continue reading
Draft Princeton bike facilities network (click to expand)
A map of proposed facilities for bicyclists in Princeton has been released. The draft map was drawn up by consultants funded by a grant awarded to the town by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. It proposes a network of bike lanes and other facilities that are intended to make streets safer for people on two wheels. Continue reading