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