West Windsor and Princeton to Discuss New Route 1 Improvement Proposal at Public Meetings This Week

Route 1 Penns Neck Intermediate PlanAt a series of meetings this week, West Windsor and Princeton officials will discuss the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s new proposal to reconfigure Route 1 between Washington Road and Harrison Street.

West Windsor Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh will hold two special public meetings to discuss the NJDOT proposal and gather feedback. The first meeting is at 10 a.m. today (Feb. 25) in Room A of the municipal building. The second meeting will be held this Wednesday (Feb. 27) from 7 to 9 p.m. in Poom A of the municipal building.  If you cannot make either meeting, comment forms, together with copies of the aerial view, can be found at the receptionist’s desk at the municipal building.

Princeton officials will discuss the proposal as part of two regularly scheduled meetings tonight. The town’s traffic and transportation committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. in Room A at the municipal building located at 400 Witherspoon Street. The Princeton Council will also discuss the proposal as part of it’s regular public meeting at 7 p.m. tonight in the main meeting room of the municipal building.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation’s new concept plan for improving the flow of traffic along Route 1 between Washington Road and Harrison Street includes:

-Widening Route 1 to four lanes in each direction

– Eliminating the jughandles at Washington Road and Harrison Street again

– Adding a traffic light and two jughandles for u-turns about half way between Washington Road and Harrison Street

– Adding a new circle-shaped jughandle at Washington Road on the site of the former Exxon Station that is now vacant, so that drivers traveling south on Route 1 can cut across the highway and get on to 571.

– Eliminating the jughandle and light at Fisher Place

– Drivers heading northbound on Route 1 who want to go in to downtown Princeton would take the new jughandle, go south on Route 1 briefly, and then make a right on to Washington Road.

There is no funding for the project yet. The project could cost up to $40  million and is meant to be a 20-year solution.

The NJDOT eliminated the Route 1 jughandles at Washington Road and Harrison Street last August, but reopened the jughandles after area residents complained. Many drivers chose to made a right on to 571, and made u-turns along the road and side streets instead of turning off at Alexander Road or driving up to the Scudders Mill Road jughandle to turn around. The problems prompted Penns Neck residents to start a successful petition drive, and residents also held a protest along 571. DOT Commissioner Jim Simpson came out to talk with protesters, announced he was pulling the plug on the plan, and promised to come up with another solution.

One Comment

  1. 15 Feb 2013 1149 hours

    Northbound Route 1? Access lane starting at Dinky bridge with a loop @ Washington Road; flyover (not a full-blown overpass) for Harrison Street.

    Southbound Route 1 from Plainsboro approaching Harrison finds a full-blown, full deceleration lane already built into the new Millstone River bridge for right turn. This would/could/should have been done at the time the Millstone River bridge was reconstructed.

    Southbound and Northbound Route 1 deal with Washington Road itself AT GRADE.

    Harrison has the flyovers to and from Harrison/Route 1.

    Main lanes of Route 1 (North & South) lie in an open ‘trench’ compliments of the ‘cut-and-cover’. The bulk of the earth excavated from north of the Dinky bridge is moved to serve as the foundations of the Harrison Street flyovers.

    I wrote to the DOT about alternatives and received an unintelligible response from an Assistant Commissioner.

    Funding? Major league simple. PU owns both sides of the affected roadway… which, in light of the $17 billion endowment burning a hole in its investment portfolio, effects improvements in its infrastructure in lieu of ONE MORE ARTS & TRANSIT VILLAGE. This construction project will NOT cost $330 million.

    The most important ingredient for the success of this project? COMMON SENSE. Try it.

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