At a meeting at Princeton University’s Fields Center last week, planners from Mercer County presented their draft Bicycle Master Plan. The meeting was intended to get public input and explain the various different types of bicycle facility that the County is considering on local roads.
Not that many roads in Princeton are under County jurisdiction, but every road has been considered to select the most appropriate bicycle facility based on traffic volume, speed, and space availability.
Here are County Roads in Princeton, with the facilities suggested by planners:
- River Rd (CR 605) – Bike lanes painted with white stripe
- South Harrison St (CR 629) – Sharrows (shared lane markings)
- Washington Rd (CR526/571) – Buffered bike lanes south of Ivy Lane
- Elm Rd (Cleveland Ln – US-206, CR604) – Bike lanes with painted white stripe
- Rosedale Rd (CR604) – Off-road bike path
Each of the different facilities is described in a website created by Mercer County Planning Department which can be accessed here. The website also explains the guidelines used to determine what facility should be used. The planners considered the cost of bicycle facilities in each case, and also the level of demand. Within Mercer County, Princeton has been identified as one of the greatest centers of demand for bicycle facilities, reflecting the town’s relatively high rate of cycling (at least by New Jersey standards).
Mercer County engineers are currently in discussions with the town of Princeton about plans to add bike lanes to Elm Road, as envisaged by the County Master Plan. Unfortunately, because of the limited width of Elm Road (just 29-ft in some sections), the County is only going to add a bike lane in one direction, heading north. Cyclists heading south will have to continue to share the road with a heavy volume of traffic. On Rosedale Road, the existing very bumpy sidepath is set for an upgrade thanks to a federal award secured by the town’s Engineering Department. This will improve connections to Johnson Park Elementary School, and to the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail across the town line in Lawrenceville.
Local residents can still provide input to the County’s bike planning by filling out an online survey at this link. More information about the Mercer County Bike Plan is available at the County website.