Proposed Route 571 Main Street Design Unsafe

Tuesday, September 13 by JerryFoster

571/Wallace-Cranbury morning commute 2The WWBPA responded to the county’s proposed CR 571 Main Street design recently, maintaining that it is unsafe for everyone: motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians alike. In the past 10 years, two pedestrians were killed on this stretch of roadway (2004 and 2005), while no motorists were killed.  A 17-year-old motorist was killed in 2006, however, just west of downtown Princeton Junction, when she lost control of her car on the curve coming off the bridge over the train tracks.

The proposed wider-straighter-faster design does nothing to address these safety issues. Instead, it preserves the current 45mph design speed and 40mph posted speed limit. Drivers don’t respect crosswalks when they have to slow from high speed, and the proposed design does nothing to provide pedestrian refuges in the center of the roadway to promote safe crossing.

Rt 571 Concept Illustration

The design also features a new two-way center left turn lane (TWLTL) that studies have shown to be unsafe; AARP calls them “suicide lanes.” One study even showed that artificially lowering the posted speed limit, but not the design speed, caused an increase in crashes.

Picture 7

Here’s a picture of Hamilton’s SR 33 that most resembles what is planned. The 45mph design speed is simply not appropriate for the pedestrian friendly Main Street that our Redevelopment Plan envisions. A survey of other Mercer County towns shows that Princeton, Lawrenceville, Hightstown, Hopewell and Pennington all have 25 – 30mph speed limits on their Main Streets. Why not in West Windsor?

The WWBPA is not just opining, and we’re not just complaining – our response, and our recommendations based on the December 2009 Public Review, are founded on research and guidelines from the New Jersey Department of Transportation. We are recommending constructive, Complete Streets alternatives to remedy the safety issues and make a Main Street that we can all be proud of.

The current design shows why Mercer County should adopt a Complete Streets policy to complement the state and West Windsor township policies – our transportation network needs jurisdictions with consistent policies to benefit our taxpayers.

Thanks to everyone who has gotten involved to support our position! We appreciate all of you who have signed our petition at the Farmers’ Market, or who have contacted the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, which recently conducted public outreach on this and other federally-funded projects.

More help is needed. Please contact our public officials to support our position. With a lower design speed and pedestrian refuges, our senior residents can cross Route 571 safely to the new Rite Aid, and our children can cross Route 571 safely to the new ex-Acme shopping center, as well as to the high school. And our teenage drivers should be able to keep control of their vehicles when going more slowly. Everyone benefits.

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From Hamilton to West Windsor

Wednesday, July 6 by silvia

What's your ride?

The WWBPA does a lot of work to make sure that West Windsor is friendly for bicycling and walking, but we also realize that many people want to bike to West Windsor from neighboring communities, and the best route isn’t always the same one they would use with a car.

So we asked Vince, who we met at BikeFest, to tell us about his 10-mile ride from Hamilton Square to his job near the train station. He rides to work three to four days a week. Here’s his route:

I start down Paxson Avenue in Hamilton, which is a 25 mph residential street with a fair amount of room, for about a mile.  I then head south on  Mercerville-Edinburg Road for about ¼ mile. This is the worst part of my trip, as the road is four lanes with no shoulder at all. It is slightly downhill, so I pedal hard and get out into the painted area to make a left on Flock Road. Then a quick right on the continuation of Paxson Avenue, which I take for about a mile to the way to the west entrance of Mercer County park. It’s about 3 ½ miles through the park, then a left on Dutch Neck Edinburg Road. I love this part with the wide bike lane…. Then I usually take a left onto Village Road West to Penn Lyle. When I get to the intersection at High School South,  I take residential roads to Wallace Road at the train station. (I avoid Alexander Road completely, as there isn’t much room.)

He  adds: “If West Windsor was not so bike-friendly, I would never consider biking to work.”

What’s your route?

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