“Slow streets” for local traffic only to be implemented on 12 Princeton streets

At a recent Princeton Council meeting, the governing body unanimously approved a resolution to designate all or portions of 12 local streets as “slow streets” for local traffic only in order to promote walking and biking.

The “slow streets” program was recommended by the Princeton Bicycle Advisory Committee in response to the increased use of sidewalks and streets because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following streets are part of the initial program:

-Library Place between Route 206 and Westcott Road

-Hutchinson Drive between Mercer Road and Route 206

-Westcott Road between Mercer Street and Route 206

-John Street between Paul Robeson Place and Community Park

-Clay Street between John Street and Witherspoon Street

-Linden Lane between Guyot and Hamilton avenues

-Patton Avenue between Murray Place and Cedar Lane

-Cuyler Road between Jefferson Road and Ewing Street

-Dempsey Avenue from Walnut Lane to Terhune Road

-Walnut Lane from Dempsey Avenue to Terhune Road

-Ridgeview Road between Cherry Hill Road and the Great Road

-Littlebrook Road between Rollingmead and Tyson Lane

Councilman David Cohen, a cycling advocate and the liaison to the bicycle advisory committee, said during his presentation about the program at the June 15 council meeting that cyclists and pedestrians are seeling alternatives to walking on the roadways. The advisory committee identified streets in town that are not arteries and don’t have a lot of traffic on them anyway, he said. Those streets will be closed to thru traffic once the program is implemented, which could be as early as next week. Cohen said the roads would be open to residents, deliveries, and emergency vehicles.

Residents of the streets received fliers about the program over the weekend and in some cases on Monday notifying them of the changes. A special video meeting is being held tonight to discuss the program (see link and call-in info. below.)

Cohen said at the council meeting that the bike and pedestrian advisory committee, whose members have vigorously endorsed the program, will review information every two weeks and evaluate how the program is going. Residents of other streets can also apply to have their streets designated as slow streets.

“We realize we could end up with a situation where 50% of streets are asking to be slow streets,” Cohen said at the meeting. “That is not going to be allowed. We only have a limited number of barricades.”

He said streets slow streets could be rotated and streets can take turns being designated as slow streets.

“We anticipate that residents are mostly going to love this because who doesn’t like less traffic on their roadways, and it doesn’t negatively impact their neighborhoods,” Cohen said. “I expect we will hear a little bit of negative feedback, perhaps from some drivers who like to cut through on these roads. So we’ll see how that goes.”

Next month the council is also considering discussing revisiting the possibility of bringing beta bike lanes back on Hamilton Avenue and Wiggins Street.

Zoom meeting link for 7 p.m. meeting June 23 https://princeton.zoom.us/j/93336670504
attend the meeting by phone:
+16465588656,,,99240659397# US (New York)
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 933 3667 0504


  1. Library Place between Route 206 and Westcott Road ?? Library Place between Hodge Road and 206 is definitely an artery and it has sidewalks on both sides of the street for walking. Shutting down a street like this for walking and biking is wrong and basically selfish. It not a private road, it’s a public street. Enforce the speed limit if people are speeding but it’s pretty arrogant to shut down streets for no good reason.

    1. Yeah, that one is a complete non-starter. It’s a pretty significantly travelled route.

      1. I like to use Library Place, too, but this is a limited time change. With so many more people staying home, traffic is light, so going up to the traffic light and turning at Bayard Lane instead of Library Place is not a big deal, or using Elm Road on the other side. If you’ve tried exercising by going down to the canal path, you’ll understand why the council is looking for ways to provide more places for people to get out and walk, jog or bike while we’re trying to keep 6 feet apart.

        1. What ever happened to Share the Road? Closing side streets or even Palmer Square in downtown for businesses to use the sidewalks for sales or dining tables makes sense. Closing thruways with plenty of room for bikes and side walks for walking doesn’t make sense for the vast majority.

  2. The bike lane on Wiggins/Hamilton was one of the WORST things that Princeton has ever tried. That thoroughfare is used by the hundreds of residents in the Western Section and the Palmer Square apartment complexes from using Nassau Streets and the crowded intersections to enter Nassau Street. Why not make a bike lane on Franklin for bicycles that are too afraid of sharing the road on Hamilton or Nassau?

  3. Ah who cares? I stopped going into Princeton and buying from Princeton businesses weeks ago. Not worth the hassle and the policies seems antagonistic to non-Princeton residents.My brother-in-law attempted to dine out in Princeton last weekend. He says that Witherspooon Street between Spring and Nassau Street was so crowded he didn’t feel safe. He came home.

  4. One really needs to ask about which residents and which homeowners benefit from this. For the reasons that David Cohen mentions, it’s a benefit to have less traffic on your street. In effect, the town of Princeton is improving the quality of life and the property values for the residents of these streets. It would be great if all Princeton residents would receive similar benefits, but they can’t. Why is is fair for the town to bestow these benefits on a few select streets and residents? Will property taxes be raised to reflect the financial gift that has been bestowed?

    David Cohen raises a very good alternative proposal. The closures should be rotated among all Princeton streets and residents. Otherwise, this is a very worrisome gift to a select group of residents.

  5. Is this going to be 24/7 365? Seems rather selfish to me and unduly clogs the “passing” streets with the cats that would have turned off onto these streets. Didn’t realize Princeton had such a strong biker mafia to completely close so many streets.

  6. Why? Who asked for this change? A few vocal citizens who captured the council’s ear? The citizens who pay the bulk of the taxes for this community are continuously subjected to the whims of the vocal few. Just say no local officials. It is not hard.

  7. As a Westcott Road resident for 30+ years I think this is a dumb idea. I don’t want unsightly garbage-collecting barricades that I have to navigate around each time I leave or return to my house. I want the ability to freely decide whether to turn right or left out of my driveway without even more of a traffic maze than this town already is. There hasn’t been a bike or pedestrian problem to this point; why make this change?

  8. Bad idea to close down John Street. Will cause more traffic on Green Street where, because of the pandemic, traffic on Green has dropped significantly . The kids who live on Green Street have been outside PLAYING like I used to when I was a kid (biking, rollerblading, goofing around with chalk and water guns). We adults sit on our porches during quarantine and watch them have a blast every day without worrying about the usual speeding cars who try to beat the Witherspoon/Roberson light or look for non-existent parking on Green.

  9. Interesting idea. But I haven’t memorized all Princeton streets yet, so when you can please post a map of the town with the relevant streets highlighted. Many thanks in advance.

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