Council to Discuss Princeton Chamber’s Proposal to Redesign Downtown Kiosks Tonight

Vandeventer KioskTo some people, the two kiosks on Nassau Street are an eyesore, but to others they are a Democratic outpost, albeit a messy one, where all residents can get their messages out. For years, the kiosks at the intersection of Witherspoon Street and Vandeventer Avenue have served as one of the ways residents, school groups and other nonprofits try to reach the public, with people posting everything on them from notices about rooms for rent, to pictures of lost dogs and posters about upcoming performances.

Now the business community is proposing that the kiosks be redesigned. The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce wants to manage the kiosks and sell advertising on them. A much smaller space would be allotted for community notices, possibly one panel, and the notices might have to be approved and be placed under glass.

Late last year the former Princeton Borough Council tabled a vote on the proposal, with some officials and residents expressing concerns that residents were losing their ability to post freely in the kiosks, which many people still read to learn about what is happening in town.

Chamber representatives and some officials argue that redesigned kiosks would provide better and more organized information to engage residents and visitors, give Nassau Street a cleaner look, be eco-friendly, and provide potential revenue to the municipality while being maintained by a private entity, not the municipality. The advertising revenue would go to the Chamber of Commerce. It is not clear what percentage the municipality would receive. The redesign would take about 10 weeks to complete.

The issue will be discussed at 7 tonight at the public Princeton Council meeting, which will be held in the main room of the municipal building at 400 Witherspoon Street.

What do you think of the plan? Are the kiosks a nuisance or do you read them? Should they be replaced with new ones that include ads, or removed altogether?

newkioskdesign
A rendering of the new kiosks that would be managed by the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

7 comments
  • The “new” kiosk design reminds me of something you’d see in a mall. But then that’s what our downtown is becoming anyway, isn’t it? Urban Outfitters, J. Crew, Ralph Lauren, etc. The strategy seems to be about bringing in busloads of tourist-shoppers to spend their dollars (at national chains).

  • I’d put a high value on keeping it as a community noticeboard. I’d honestly rather they got rid of the kiosks rather than use them as a corporate advertising board.

  • I can’t even begin to enumerate the negatives in taking away a public media for free communication and replacing it with corporate and “approved” messages.

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