Second Princeton Parklet Will Be Located on Palmer Square

ParkletThe town and the Arts Council of Princeton solicited proposals for a sponsor for the second annual Princeton parklet, but there was only one taker interested in being the sponsor this year.

JaZams on Palmer Square was the only business to apply.

Applicants had to agree to pay $5,500 to the town to cover the cost of lost parking meter revenue and administration fees, and the host is responsible for all design and artist fees. The sponsor also had to agree to use the existing parklet structure provided by the municipality, but could add its own touch to the parklet, which takes up two parking spaces.

Business Administrator Marc Dashield told the Princeton Council Monday night that jaZams had requested a reduced fee of $3,500. He said the cost is lower than last year because the business just needs to assemble the existing structure, not pay for a new one.

The parklet was not listed on the agenda, but the topic came up for discussion during staff reports. Councilwoman Jo Butler and Councilman Patrick Simon had questions about the costs and the location.

“It’s right on the square. There is already a park on the square, and the library is right around the corner,” Butler said, adding that parking is already tight on Palmer Square.

Mayor Liz Lempert said the parklet is exciting. “JaZams is very excited about it, and they hope it will attract business there,” she said.

Some council members wanted the governing body to vote on the issue. The council then voted 4-2 to approve the reduced fee for the parklet. Last year the first parklet was located in front of Small World Coffee.



  1. the parklet isn’t exciting – its a nuisance – if we’re going to lose more parking please enforce the 2 hour limits from the restaurant and bakery people who park all day. a parklet next to a park hmmmmm, at least make it no smoking so the smokers don’t take it over like the SWC one

    1. I found the Small World Coffee parklet annoying, Every time I would walk through I would inhale second hand smoke from the people using it as a smoke space. Disgusting! I started crossing the street to avoid it. Annoying if your destination is the bank.

    2. another nice point re: proximity to a beautiful open space? more cars circling for a parking space. More air pollution, congestion and why should stores in town center expand into public areas. It makes no sense.

  2. What about parking spots on the back of the old Post Office on Palmer Square?
    These are occupied by cars and they don’t pay for parking as there are no meters. Furthermore, all these cars block the pedestrian traffic.

  3. The sponsor makes up for lost parking meter fees, but who replaces the lost revenue from missed sales? Why not put the parklet in one of the many empty storefronts and leave the parking spaces for the cars. Mayor Lempert seems out of touch.

  4. Great to see a new parklet. Just a shame that the town made it so hard that we have already lost a month of the summer with no parklet. The one outside Small World last year was very popular and it should have come back as well. Downtown is too congested for pedestrians. Too much street space is dedicated for cars instead of people. It would be better if we had more parklets or more street closures to make room for people, like the Jazz Feast. It’s a popular thing that draws people into the town and improves quality of life. And for parking, there are 3 garages within a couple of blocks – one on Chambers Street, one on Spring Street, and even one directly across the street on Hulfish Street. Come on.

    1. It would be better if we had more parklets or more street closures to make room for people, like the Jazz Feast. It’s a popular thing that draws people into the town and improves quality of life.

      Which streets would you close? Would you limit access to the Spring Street garage to Wiggins Street? Not convenient if entering from Nassau Street to drive all the way around to Wiggins.

      If you close Hullfish then the only way into the other garages is via Chamber’s Street. I have a Princeton parking card. It doesn’t work in the Chambers Street and Huffish St. garages which are private garages run by Palmer Square Properties.

      It seems to me that inconveniencing visitors driving into Princeton from neighboring towns (West Windsor, Lawrenceville, Skillman, etc.) would discourage visitors. The very people who shop and dine in Princeton and keep if from collapsing financially.

      1. There is a balance to be struck between making the town a pleasant and safe place to relax and shop, and trying to squeeze as many cars as possible into the most central areas. Right now, we have too many people cruising around Palmer Square and Witherspoon Street trying to find on-street parking, just because they can’t be bothered to drive into a garage. They pollute the town, endanger pedestrians, and reduce the possibilities for pleasant activities like street performances and outdoor dining.

        We should reduce vehicular access to Palmer Square, Chambers Street, and Witherspoon between Nassau Street and the Library. If not outright street closures, then traffic curbing and sidewalk expansions. Out-of-towners might say they will no longer come to Princeton, but I doubt it, because there is no cultural equivalent to downtown Princeton in Skillman or West Windsor. Downtown Princeton is an experience. People come for the experience, not for easy parking. We should focus on the experience, not the easy parking.

    2. You must be one of the centrally housed people who can easily walk everywhere around town in no time… wanting to keep it to yourself & tourists for business income… keeping out your fellow townspeople in the outlying former Township, the elderly, families with young children, & other taxpaying Princetonians who need to travel by vehicle away with limited parking for events & fees. Consolidating to fund your Disney World without accommodations for all taxpayers was not what those in the Township had in mind.

      1. SFB runs the Walkable Princeton blog and he is a big supporter of Avalonbay. I think he also serves on some of the mayor’s committees. He doesn’t seem to have a day job because he spends all his time posting on his blog or commenting here and on other Princeton pages, kinda stalkerish really. Someone once mentioned his name here I believe but then it was deleted because he whined about being outed. Also notice he never identifies himself on his own blog.

          1. I deleted my comments because I’m not going to take part in online discussions if it means I have to be the subject of personal attacks and random speculation. I think you guys (FreshAir and Princeton Rez) ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

  5. It’s silly… parklet, who came up with this idea anyway? A parklet should be in a park-like setting, i.e. on Palmer Sq in front of the Nassau Inn, where there is grass? I can’t imagine that breathing in the exhaust fumes on a busy street is healthy, and if someone can’t get into a coffee shop they tie up the parklet conducting their own business! It’s silly… and so is the Valley Road Project… all in the name of a Walkable, more Sustainable Princeton! Three houses in a row are being sold, and there are more at either end of the street. Again, it’s silly.

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