How Walkable Are West Windsor’s Proposed New Housing Developments?

‘Freedom Village at West Windsor’ under construction in October 2018. The development will provide housing for disabled and low-income people. (click to expand. via Project Freedom)

Last month, West Windsor Township, NJ announced its proposed affordable housing settlement. The settlement explains how the town plans to provide its ‘fair share’ of affordable housing, as is required by state law. Every other town in Mercer County, with the exception of Princeton, had already settled its affordable housing requirements. The developments proposed in the ‘fair share plan’ are likely to have a significant impact on West Windsor Township. The town will be adding over 4,000 new housing units, in a town that currently has a population of about 27,000. But how will the new developments affect the built environment in West Windsor? Do the development proposals offer an opportunity for West Windsor to become more walkable? We took a look at the plans to find out more. Continue reading

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Princeton Council Calls For Use of Speed Cameras In New Jersey

Police speed board, as used in Princeton. These devices do not issue tickets. (click to expand)

At their meeting last Monday, Princeton Council passed a resolution calling on the State of New Jersey to allow local towns to install automated traffic control devices, including speed cameras and red light enforcement cameras. New Jersey is currently one of just three states that prohibit the use of speed cameras, which means that towns like Princeton are not able to use them to enforce local speed limits. Speeding remains a pervasive problem in Princeton. Police have responded to regular complaints from residents about speeding by installing radar speed display signs, which show drivers how fast they are traveling, but which do not issue tickets. These speed display signs are usually effective for a number of weeks, but do not act as a lasting deterrent against speeding. Continue reading

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Mayor’s Bike Ride in Princeton: Photos

Riders arrive for the start of the “Mayor’s Bike Ride”. (click to expand.)

On Sunday, the “Mayor’s Bike Ride” took place in Princeton. About 70 riders defied rode from Community Park South to Mountain Lakes Park along with Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert. Continue reading

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Gov. Murphy Proposal To Desegregate NJ Schools Poses Questions About Princeton School Bond

Princeton School Board Offices at Valley Road. (click to expand)

Princeton Board of Education meets tonight (9.4.18*) to consider whether to place a $130 million bond before voters for a November referendum. The $130 million is intended to expand local schools to provide capacity for anticipated growth in student numbers. But the decision is being taken as another – potentially far more dramatic – process is being played out. And that process might make the proposed expansion of Princeton schools unnecessary, even before it is completed. Continue reading

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Princeton Council Dedicates Franklin Avenue Affordable Housing Site As Interim Parking Lot

The Franklin Avenue parking lot in Princeton. (click to expand)

Princeton Council focused on parking once again at their Monday night meeting, and decided to expand the range of parking options in town by at least 150 spaces. Specifically, Council decided to start charging for parking at the Franklin Avenue parking lot, which formally was used for staff and visitors to the old Princeton Hospital, but which has lain empty for several years since the hospital moved to Plainsboro. Long-term, this site is going to be used for affordable housing, but Council decided that people should be allowed to pay to use it as daily employee parking for one to two years, before construction of the new housing begins. Continue reading

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Can Princeton’s Housing Plan Deliver The Town’s “Fair Share” Of Affordable Homes? Six Reasons Why It Might Not…

These affordable homes on Franklin Avenue in Princeton will be demolished according to the town’s housing plan… (click to expand)

After a lengthy court battle last year, a top Mercer County judge told the town of Princeton that it needs to build at least 753 new affordable homes by 2025. In response, the town has put together a housing plan, which aims to meet this obligation. The plan was presented to Council on May 17 of this year, and posted on the town website. Ten sites were identified where new affordable housing could be constructed, which would theoretically meet the requirements set by the court. The town must now present its plan to Judge Jacobson, in a hearing * scheduled for next Tuesday, July 24. If the Judge approves the plan, then the town of Princeton will be protected from ‘builders remedy’ lawsuits, where developers seek the court’s permission to build more than what is allowed by local zoning. But is the town’s housing plan realistic? Several issues suggest that the Judge may be skeptical… Continue reading

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How ‘Filtering’ Affects Housing Affordability in New Jersey

Mercer County, NJ Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson, who ruled in recent housing case. (click to expand). Via njcourts.com

On both coasts of the USA, high housing costs have become a major problem. Residents in states like California, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts often have to pay a very high proportion of their income just to find a place to live – a problem that results in many residents seeking a less expensive place to live in other states. Two potential solutions could provide more affordable housing. The first is to build more social housing, operated by local government or non-profit agencies, and provided to qualifying low-income households. The other approach is to build lots more market-rate housing, in the hope that some of it will become affordable over time. But does this really happen in real life? A major recent court case in Mercer County, New Jersey addressed this issue… Continue reading

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