On Wednesday evening, January 10, Princeton’s Site Plan Review Advisory Board will consider a plan for a new Princeton First Aid & Rescue ambulance station at Witherspoon Street and Valley Road. The plan to move PFARS from their current home at Clearview Ave to this site has been discussed since 2014. It is expected to cost $7.5 million. We obtained the site plans and rendering of the current concept from the Princeton Zoning Department (apologies for low quality of the pictures). The site is at the intersection ofWitherspoon Street, Valley Road, Mt Lucas Road and Terhune Road. It is bordered on one side by State Road 206. The Princeton Police Station / City Hall is close by. The section of Terhune Road that intersects with Rt 206 will be permanently closed, to provide space for parking for the new facility:
Here is the site as seen on ‘Google Maps‘. The site is quite close to Community Park Elementary School, and potentially directly across the street from the Valley Road School site, which is likely to become a new ‘pre-middle school’ under plans being drawn up by Princeton Board of Education. To the west lies Community Park South, with its extensive trail network:
Viewed in more detail, we can see that the ambulances and emergency vehicles will exit from the south of the building, onto Valley Road. New traffic signals will be installed at the intersection of Valley Road and Route 206. The 20-space parking lot will be accessed via a curb cut at the new 3-way intersection formed by Terhune Road and Mt Lucas Road:
Pedestrian and cyclist safety ought to be a major consideration for the Site Plan Review Advisory Board. Princeton’s police department and firehouse are already in this area, creating something of an ’emergency services ghetto’ at this gateway to the town that is adjacent to two schools. A thoughtful plan would also increase access to the trails in Community Park South, by providing safe trails and crossings to the nearby residential areas. Current plans for non-motorized circulation seem extremely rudimentary, but hopefully the plan will improve.