A Safer Cranbury Rd

Tuesday, June 25 by ezeitler

WWBPA advocates for safer streets for all users: pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers alike. A critical need in our community is to improve safety and accessibility on Cranbury Road, a major connection between the train station and points west. Current infrastructure does not protect the most vulnerable users – pedestrians – who have no designated place on the road. A sidewalk, multi-use trail or pedestrian friendly shoulder would improve safety for those who must walk or choose to walk even given current unsafe conditions. Safer conditions would also encourage and allow more people to commute and travel without a car to our major transportation hub, especially those with special needs such as older adults and families.

WWBPA  supports the Cranbury Road neighborhood in their efforts to create a safer Cranbury Road  for everyone. Please join in on June 28th (see info below) and show your support to have a sidewalk/multi-use trail or pedestrian-friendly shoulder lanes installed on the Cranbury Road from Route 571 to Millstone Road making Cranbury Rd accessible for all residents.

“As a group of West Windsor residents living on or near Cranbury Road, we invite you to join us for a walk along our street, north of Princeton-Hightstown Road, on Friday, June 28. Or try to. We live in a beautiful area but, unfortunately, there are no sidewalks, nor even a shoulder.  We–and our children–face the danger of speeding cars as we walk to see our neighbors next door or to nearby stores. A stroll to the Princeton Junction train station or our local restaurants can become a perilous adventure.

Slowing traffic is important, but we are also asking our local and county officials to install a sidewalk/multi-use trail or pedestrian-friendly shoulder lanes on the road from Route 571 to Millstone Road. Cranbury Road has an unused right-of-way along this stretch, so this could be done without compromising any private property.

We invite all to join us at 109 Cranbury Road at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 28 as we walk along Cranbury Road to demonstrate the need for a safe route for us, our kids and the motorists and bicyclists who travel it daily.  Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh will join us.

We hope to see you then.”

-Sarah & John Thomson, 113 Cranbury Road

-Samirah & Yasser Rezvi, 109 Cranbury Road

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Is Roszel Rd a Complete Street?

Thursday, June 20 by JerryFoster

Roszel Repaved 3Roszel Road has recently been repaved, with new curb cuts on the sidewalk (one side only) to bring them into ADA compliance. Does that make it a Complete Street? Let’s look at the road in the context of it’s use to find out – we’ll use NJDOT’s Smart Transportation Guidebook (STG) as an objective source of a Complete Streets definition in the context of the road’s use.

Roszel connects Alexander Road (between Rt 1 and the train station) to the Carnegie Center office park, and is home to Tyco’s corporate headquarters among other office buildings. STG calls this context a Suburban Corridor, while West Windsor’s master plan classifies the road as a Principle Collector – STG calls this combination a Community Collector, and provides guidelines we’ll use to compare with the current design.

The NJDOT guidelines recommend paved shoulders and medians or a two-way left turn lane, since Roszel is a multi-lane road – neither of which were implemented.

Sidewalks are recommended “as appropriate”, with a footnote detailing specifics for state and federally funded projects, so sidewalks on one side might be appropriate in a charitable interpretation, but we believe sidewalks on both sides are appropriate in this case.

Bike lanes are listed “Evaluate for suburban and urban contexts” so their absence in the current road is mainly problematic because there are no paved shoulders or sidewalks on both sides to accomodate those cyclists who are not comfortable biking in the road. There’s still time to paint sharrows in the right lane, to encourage bicyclists to use the shared roadway.

Overall, a significant opportunity was missed – Roszel provides a connection to one of our town’s major employment centers, and paved shoulders, sidewalks on both sides and bike lanes/shoulders would have been much more bike and walk friendly. Given the low volumes, a 4-to-3 lane road diet would have been ideal and inexpensive, with no loss of roadway capacity.

What do you think?

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New Regional Transportation Improvement Plan is Open for Comment

Monday, June 10 by ezeitler

dvrpc tip accepting commentsThe Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) is currently accepting public comments on the new Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) for FY 2014. The key project for West Windsor is D0701, which plans for infrastructure changes on Route 571 between Wallace and Clarksville Rd. The plan is written to emphasize the idea of bike/ped improvements, but despite the language, the main “improvement” planned is an increase in the number of traffic lanes to three from two. There has not been traffic growth in this portion of Route 571 for the last 10 years, so this capacity increase is both unnecessary and will move away from the “town center” style intended for our main street in West Windsor. You can offer your comments until 6/18/13 on this project and other plans for our region by clicking on the project on the map. The position of the WWBPA is that speeds of 25-30 mph and a main street design will not be enhanced by the planned capacity increase. Instead, maintaining the current two lanes and focusing on increased safety for all road users including pedestrians and bicyclists is a better improvement to advance a town center type corridor. Check out our report with recommendations for improvements to this section of Route 571.

Ok, so now that you know what’s at stake for us in the upcoming plan, you might, if you are like me, be wondering: What is the DVRPC, what is a TIP and what does it has to do with planning in Mercer County and West Windsor? Have no fear. Here’s your crash course. The DVRPC is the organization that coordinates transportation infrastructure for our region, including Philadelphia, Camden and Trenton. The counties covered in New Jersey are Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer, along with Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties in PA. The commission is composed of elected officials from the cities and counties in the region as well as state level appointees from the governor’s office, and the DOT. One of the primary roles of the DVRPC is to set out transport priorities via the creation of a Transportation Improvement Plan every four years. The commission updates the TIP annually with input from local, state and federal officials as well as the public. We are currently in the FY2014 update of the 2012-15 plan.

Projects start off life as ideas and plans at the municipal, county or state level, where the WWPBA is heavily invested in advocacy for safe, healthy and useful infrastructure for all transportation users. This work helps to ensure that the best plans end up on the TIP. Being listed in the TIP does not guarantee that the project will go forward or be funded, however projects not on the TIP cannot receive federal funding, so it is a critical stepping stone to a project actually getting commitment and getting completed. One of the neat things about the public comments on the TIP for our region is that you can see not only what projects are planned but also the progress on each project and the estimated costs (those are some big numbers!). Very educational.

The last chance we have to make the plan the best it can be is at this stage, when a draft TIP has been presented. We encourage everyone to make a comment on what they want in the Route 571 corridor. The links to view the TIP and comment are above, and we will also be discussing this and other advocacy issues at our monthly meeting this Thursday, June 13th. One of WWBPA’s primary goals is to help shape transportation and infrastructure policies, plans and implementation so that our community is the best it can be. Thanks for helping us to make West Windsor a more livable place.

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