The year 2017 saw some ‘interesting’ developments in Princeton, although everything local was kinda overshadowed by Trump. What about 2018? What does it have in store? Here are 10 predictions… remember, 6 of our predictions from last year turned out to be correct! (see bottom for proof!) Read on…and try to guess how many of our latest predictions will turn out to be right!
Predictions for 2018:
- Heather Howard and Lance Liverman will both run for Council again, and will both be re-elected. Why: Nobody seems interested in challenging them, so they can stroll to re-election. Likelihood: 7/10
- Conte’s Pizzeria will close down / be sold. Why: The Princeton pizza game is all about Nomad now, and the liquor license is worth more than the Conte’s business. Likelihood: 2/10
- Bob Menendez will be the Democratic Party nominee for the US Senate election in 2018. Jack Ciatterelli will be the GOP candidate. Menendez will win. Why: Menendez has key Dem bosses on side, and Jack is looking for another job. Likelihood: 5/10
- Princeton Board of Education will ask for an insane amount of money in a school bond referendum. Local voters will approve it anyway. Why: Princeton voters grumble incessantly about taxes but also like expensive stuff, especially when it comes to schools. Likelihood: 8/10
- Mercer County Affordable Housing Trial will end with Princeton being told to build far more than the 480 units the town wants to build. Instead of accepting it, the town will appeal. Why: The town has proven itself to be a bad actor on housing, and has continued litigation against affordable housing despite condemnation by the NAACP. Likelihood: 7/10
- Princeton University will have a planning application for new homes as part of a mixed-use development at the Lower Alexander Street Corridor. Why: It was a recommendation in their recently-published 2026 masterplan, and a logical ‘next step’ after redeveloping the Arts and Transit campus. Likelihood: 5/10
- Westminster Choir College will close down after legal action scuppers planned takeover by unnamed buyer. Why: Rider University seems to be struggling to close the deal, and Princeton residents have proven able to cause chaos with court battles before. Likelihood: 2/10
- A cyclist will be killed in a crash in Princeton. Why: Princeton Council members will offer ‘thoughts and prayers’. Why: Despite much fancy talk, the town hasn’t built or planned for safe cycling facilities, so another fatality is just a matter of time. Likelihood: 3/10
- Princeton Public Schools will move their offices into the old ‘Packet’ building on Witherspoon Street, wasting an ideal opportunity for walkable mixed-use development. Why: The site looks to be about the right size, is available, and would be close to their existing location on Valley Road. Likelihood: 5/10
- Howard Hughes Corporation will sue West Windsor in attempt to redevelop former American Cyanamid site on Route 1. Why: Along with Princeton, West Windsor is going to get hosed when the Mercer County Affordable Housing trial ruling is issued. Incoming Mayor Hemant Marathe’s aggressive anti-housing stance will make court action the best option for Hughes Corp. Likelihood: 5/10
Recap of Predictions for 2017! (Read the original post from 12.31.16 here)
- Uber will be legalized in New Jersey (likelihood – 7/10) Did it happen: YES.
- Princeton will agree a settlement on affordable housing numbers (likelihood – 8/10) Did it happen: NO. Princeton announced a settlement had been agreed in principle, and then, incredibly, reneged on it.
- More new zoning restrictions in Princeton (likelihood – 9/10) Did it happen: YES. Council introduced new regulations to make it harder for people to build double-height hallways.
- Recreation Board will backtrack on Mary Moss Park plan (likelihood – 4/10) Did it happen: YES. Instead of building a spray park at Mary Moss Park as had been planned, the town demolished the existing playground, and then left it as an empty field. Extraordinary.
- Rider University will decide to keep Westminster Choir College in Princeton (likelihood – 7/10). Did it happen: YES.
- Town of Princeton will acquire some electric vehicles for municipal fleet (likelihood – 4/10) Did it happen: NO. But they did buy some regular gasoline-powered vehicles. In other news, 2017 is on-track to be the second-hottest year on average, second only to 2016.
- Smoking outside will be banned in downtown Princeton (likelihood – 3/10) Did it happen: NO.
- ‘Cargot’ French restaurant will open at old Dinky Station (likelihood – 8/10). Did it happen: YES.
- Hosepipe ban takes effect in Princeton (likelihood – 3/10) Did it happen: NO.
- Construction will begin on new Valley Road Ambulance Station (likelihood – 4/10) Did it happen: YES. Well, preparatory and cleanup work has begun anyway.
Final score: 6/10.