Witherspoon Street in Princeton. (click to expand)
On Thursday night, the town of Princeton will host its first public consultation on reconstruction of Witherspoon Street to “formulate a master plan for this very important corridor”. All aspects of the street will be considered, including repaving the road, sidewalks, crosswalks, sewers, lighting and street trees. The project is also an opportunity to improve conditions for cycling on Witherspoon Street. Although it is a prime route for people riding in and out of Princeton, Witherspoon Street is not a pleasant place to ride a bike. The town’s “Complete Streets” policy requires street designs to consider the needs of all users, and the increase in popularity of cycling, e-bikes, and electric scooters poses a question about how such users can be safely accommodated and encouraged. What solutions might work on narrow Witherspoon Street? Here are some options…
The Princeton ‘Dinky’ train, at its terminus at Princeton Junction. (click to expand)
NJ Transit is reportedly considering options for upgrading service on the ‘Dinky’ rail line, which currently runs 2.7 miles from Princeton rail station on Alexander Street, to the main line station at Princeton Junction, in West Windsor. The study will consider replacing the existing Arrow III trainsets with some kind of bus. Adding infill stations along the route is also under consideration. This possibility of adding extra stations would help Princeton University connect their new development in West Windsor to the historic campus, or provide opportunities for remote employee parking. But the Dinky study should be used as an opportunity to help address the transit needs of the town. One option, which is not currently being considered, would be to run the Dinky train to Trenton. Continue reading
The campus of Westminster Choir College in Princeton is likely to be in the news in 2020. (click to expand)
It’s that time of year for some guesses about what is likely to be in the news in Princeton in the next 12 months! It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future, and in Princeton things often happen more slowly than could reasonably be expected. But some of these things are likely to happen, if not in 2020, then sometime soon. Also, check out which of our 2019 predictions came true – they are listed at the bottom – and we got 5 out of 10 right!! Continue reading
Council Member David Cohen gets ready to unveil the town of Prineton’s new affordable housing plan (click to expand).
The town of Princeton has released its new affordable housing plan (link here). The plan envisages over 700 new units of housing, which must be in development by 2025, to comply with state housing laws. Continue reading
Mercer County Courthouse, in Trenton, NJ. (Click to expand)
A deal to settle the town of Princeton’s requirement for state-mandated affordable housing is expected to be finalized in the next few days. That’s what the town of Princeton’s attorney, Kevin Van Hise, told Judge Mary Jacobson at a hearing on Wednesday. The town will brief municipal committees on the outline of the deal next week, with a public hearing expected before Christmas.
An NJ Transit train arriving at Raritan station. (click to expand)
The question of where Princeton will add new affordable housing looks set to be answered in the coming weeks, with the town’s attorney describing negotiations on a housing settlement as “in the final stretch“. The addition of new affordable housing is necessary to comply with state law and to provide homes for people who live and work in the Princeton area. The sites for new housing in other towns often seem poorly planned, however, such as the plan that was passed by West Windsor last year, which envisioned several large apartment blocks in fields that are not particularly close to anything. Several of these sites are likely to be very dependent on car use, further reinforcing planning based around cars and traffic. Is there a better way? A proposal from a local planner (author of “A Smart Growth Vision for the Princeton Region“) potentially offers an alternative.
Construction beginning to replace bridges on Alexander Street in Princeton, October 2019 (click to expand)
For several months, Princeton elected officials, business leaders, police and local media have been warning about what is assumed will be a minor disaster: the closure of Alexander Street to allow replacement of defunct bridges over the Stony Brook and D&R canal. The fear seems reasonable. Alexander Street is used for approximately 8,000 daily motor vehicle trips. If those vehicles cannot use Alexander Street, it is assumed that they will move to other roads, and cause traffic chaos there. But how bad is it really going to be? We set out to measure traffic before and after the closure of the road.