Princeton Council Aims To Rent Surface Parking Lots At Abandoned Westminster Choir College

The surface parking lots for Westminster Choir College, off Franklin Ave in Princeton, could become parking for local employees or students / staff of Princeton High School (top right of image). Via Google Maps.

The town of Princeton is in advanced negotiations with Rider University to make the parking lots at the Westminster Choir College site available for local residents and employees. The agenda for the regular Princeton Council meeting on Monday, September 27 included “Resolution 21-309: Approving a Temporary Revocable License Agreement with Rider University for Public Parking“. This resolution was pulled from the final agenda, because the town has not yet come to a final agreement with Rider University about the terms, but it became clear during the meeting that Council is actively pursuing the idea, and the resolution is likely to return to the agenda of another Council meeting in the near future.

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NJ Transit Report On Options To Replace Princeton Dinky Train Now Expected In ‘November’

The Dinky Train at Princeton Rail Station. The existing Arrow III trains may be replaced.

NJ Transit is expected to provide preliminary findings of its ‘Princeton Transitway’ study in the month of November 2021. That was the news from Council Member Mia Sacks, the liaison between the Princeton Transit Advisory Committee and Princeton Council. Speaking on Monday evening, at the regular Princeton Council meeting, Council Member Sacks advised her colleagues that the Transit Advisory Committee had been in touch with NJ Transit, and had learned last week that a report was expected in November.

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Can Jeff Speck Help Solve Princeton’s Walkability Issues?

Planner Jeff speck will give a free talk at the Nassau Inn in Princeton on Tuesday, Sep 28 at 6.30 pm.

Princeton business leaders have invited the internationally-recognized planner, Jeff Speck, to give two talks in Princeton this week. Having worked on over 75 town master plans, and authored one of the best-selling popular planning books of the last decade, Speck has the credentials to provide insight into ways that Princeton could redefine itself for the 21st century. This moment is particularly important, because last week the Princeton Planning Board made a recommendation on consultants to oversee a re-write of the Princeton community master plan (the Clark Caton Hintz firm of Trenton, NJ, who previously helped implement the town’s affordable housing settlement). But can any outsider, no matter how expert, understand what makes Princeton tick?

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Princeton NJ population reaches 30,681 in 2020 Census

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The population of Princeton, NJ has increased to 30,681 residents. That’s the headline local figure from the US Census Board’s redistricting data, released today. Continue reading

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Princeton University Plans New ‘Health Services Building’ on Campus to Replace McCosh Health Center

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Rendering of proposed new ‘Health Services Building’ on Princeton University campus.

Princeton University has submitted plans to construct a new ‘Health Services Building’ to provide larger and improved space for University Health Services. When completed, the new building would replace the McCosh Health Center, which has been the principal site for University Health Services since 1920. 
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Princeton Council Votes For Compromise Plan With Substantially Wider Sidewalks On Lower Witherspoon Street

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Impression of the proposed new street layout for Witherspoon St between Nassau St and Chambers St, via Princeton Engineering Department.

On Monday night, Princeton Council unanimously voted to advance a new design concept for the downtown blocks of Witherspoon Street, between Nassau St and Green Street (Map) (Council Meeting Agenda Packet). The Princeton Engineering Department has been consulting on a new street layout for Witherspoon Street since February 2020. As noted in a report to Council from chief municipal engineer, Deanna Stockton, the most popular option in a public poll conducted in 2020 was for a fully-pedestrianized area. In response to intense lobbying from downtown businesses, the town instead voted in December of last year to maintain one-way traffic in a northbound direction. A second lane would be dedicated to loading and/or parking, to serve local businesses. Continue reading

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Princeton Council Approves Inclusionary Development Concept for Harrison St / Terhune Rd with 124 New Homes

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Rendering of concept for multifamily housing on Terhune Road, approved by Princeton Council on 6.14.21

A concept plan for a 124-unit multifamily residential building was approved by Princeton Council at their regular meeting on Monday night (link to meeting agenda and packet). The site, at the corner of Terhune Road and North Harrison Street (map), was already designated as a location for an inclusionary affordable housing development as part of the town’s 2020 Fair Share Housing Plan. The new plan shows significant new details, however, including the required architectural standards, and the proposed road network that will connect the development to the surrounding neighborhood. Continue reading

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Planning Decision on Humbert Street Townhouse Proposal Delayed Until July

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23-25 Humbert Street, the possible site for three townhouses proposed as part of an application under consideration by the Princeton Planning Board.

An applicant seeking to build three townhouses on Humbert Street in Princeton advised the Princeton Planning Board tonight that the application is to be revised and reconsidered at a later date. The Planning Board had been expected to vote on the proposal tonight, after a lengthy hearing and extensive public comment last month. 
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NJ Transit Launches Public Consultation to Identify Potential Upgrades to Princeton ‘Dinky’ Rail Line

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The current Princeton ‘Dinky’ train, at Princeton Station.

NJ Transit has launched a public consultation (link) to get input into what the best options are for upgrading the Princeton ‘Dinky’ train service. The ‘Dinky’ is the two-car train that runs back and forward between Princeton rail station on Alexander Street and the main northeast corridor rail line at Princeton Junction station (map). The 2.7 mile-long, single-track route is said to be the shortest commuter rail service in the USA. The trip takes about 6 minutes in each direction and there are currently no intermediate stops between Princeton station and Princeton Junction station. According to NJ Transit, continuing the service with the existing equipment is not viable, because the Arrow III trainsets are 43 years old and are being decommissioned from the network. Continue reading

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Princeton Planning Board Advances “Area In Need of Redevelopment” Designation for Princeton Shopping Center

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Consultant Carlos Rodrigues, at an online meeting of the Princeton Planning Board, discusses criteria for designating the area around Princeton Shopping Center as a redevelopment area.

Should the Princeton Shopping Center on North Harrison St (map) be designated as a ‘Redevelopment Area’? That was the question considered by the Princeton Planning Board at their meeting last night. Princeton Council had referred the question to the Planning Board, to judge whether New Jersey state law on Redevelopment Areas might apply to the Princeton Shopping Center, and several adjoining properties, including Gover Park and the old PFARS Building. After a lively discussion, the Board ultimately agreed that the proposal met the requirements of New Jersey law, and could be designated as an ‘Area In Need of Redevelopment”. 

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