Commuters: Traffic in and out of Princeton a nightmare on Tuesday

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, the line of traffic extended all the way from Route to Faculty Road. Photo submitted by a reader.

Alexander Road at the border of Princeton and West Windsor was closed for the first full day on Tuesday as workers began to make emergency repairs to the bridge over the Stony Brook. Commuters in the Princeton area experienced significant delays during both the morning and evening commutes.

Many commuters worry that they will experience the same delays on a regular basis once the longer-term project to replace two bridges and a culvert on Alexander Road begins in the fall. The project is expected to be completed by the spring of 2020.

Commuters reported delays of 20 to 40 minutes getting in and out of the Princeton area on Tuesday. Drivers who used Harrison Street and Washington Road faced significant delays. Several readers also reported that there was heavy traffic other area roads like Quaker Road and Rosedale Road because of the Alexander Road closure. Traffic was sometimes at a standstill on those roads and other area roads, readers said.

“This is a preview of what will come this summer when it closes down for a year,” one Planet Princeton reader said. “What a nightmare.”

Dinky train riders have had to take shuttle buses to the Princeton Junction station since October because NJ Transit is short of workers and has been using the Dinky staff and equipment on other lines. Dinky service will not be restored until late May. The closure of Alexander Road is another setback for those commuters, who must now spend a much longer time riding the bus to and from Princeton Junction because of the Alexander Road detour. The revised bus schedule can be found online here. Some train commuters are calling on NJ Transit to restore the Dinky earlier because of the Alexander Road closure.

Please share your thoughts on this story.

10 comments
  • anonymous
    April 9, 2019 at 6:55 pm
    “This is absolutely insane. It took me 25 minutes to get from Route 1 to Princeton. Can you blame voters for voting Republican when this completely Democratic state runs so poorly!”

    As I recall it was Christine Todd-Whitman who used the Transportation trust fund to lower taxes. She was not a Democrat!

  • Frank Wiener, the bridge which requires the emergency work is the responsibility of Mercer County, not Princeton. It was built in 1990 and is scheduled to be replaced as part of the road widening project (funded by the state) in the fall. However, they discovered something wrong with the stringers under the bridge and determined that it had to have a repair now because it might not make it to November! Better to do this now than have a bus or truck collapse the bridge and possible loss of life.

  • Krystal: You are doing a wonderful job. Planet Princeton is the first unbiased and balanced news source in Princeton for decades. For once, we have a media source that isn’t in the business of protecting local politicians and well entrenched political philosophies. Thank you for being there.

  • Sorry, Krystal. I didn’t mean my comment to be a criticism. This is an important story. My comment was only meant to highlight how bad things are, and how much worse they will be. I apologize for a confusing comment. Keep up the good work!

  • “Dinky train riders have had to take shuttle buses to the Princeton Junction station since October because NJ Transit is short of workers and has been using the Dinky staff and equipment on other lines. Dinky service will not be restored until late May. The closure of Alexander Road is another setback for those commuters, who must now spend a much longer time riding the bus to and from Princeton Junction because of the Alexander Road detour.”

    New Jersey Transit could restore Dinky service today, in light of this. Suspend a train elsewhere and assign its personnel to the Dinky. There is no law that says the Dinky line must remain down all this time. Let others go without service; Dinky riders have put up with this for seven months.

    The reason it won’t happen is such a thought would not even occur to the New Jersey Transit personnel who make such decisions. They don’t ride their own trains and buses so they have no idea what commuters go through. It’s all politics, with no thought to performance.

    I know some people thought the exit of the Last Great Fat Joke from the governor’s office meant N.J. Transit would finally improve. Our present governor, who came to us from that caring, humanitarian organization Goldman Sachs, shockingly has made no difference.

  • Mike, yes we all know traffic is bad, but with the closure of Alexander Road it is much worse. The point of the post was to inform drivers about the delays they can expect because of the closure, and what to expect when the long-term bridge projects begin.

  • My favorite aspect of this story is the notion that traffic was only a nightmare on Tuesday. Traffic getting in and out of Princeton is a nightmare on a daily basis and will only get worse.

  • To “anonymous”: When I moved to Princeton, the former Township had a REPUBLICAN Committee, including a REPUBLICAN mayor. It was a great place to live then. Taxes on my house were about 15-20% of what they are today. It wasn’t so very long ago, and the public schools were just fine then as well.

  • This situation is totally unnecessary and unacceptable. It’s a result of poor planning, lack of public concern and apathy among our elected officials, but Princetonians don’t learn. Just keep voting for these incompetent incumbents and the results will never change. And, it’s only going to get worse.

  • This is absolutely insane. It took me 25 minutes to get from Route 1 to Princeton. Can you blame voters for voting Republican when this completely Democratic state runs so poorly!

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