What’s happening on Route 571

Work Needed: CR 571

Tuesday’s meeting about Princeton-Hightstown Road essentially put preliminary engineering drawings on a concept that the Township had drawn up a few years ago. The plan calls for a single lane of traffic in each direction plus a shared turn lane in the middle for most of the stretch between Cranbury/Wallace Roads and Clarksville Road. The number of lanes would expand to three, including a dedicated left-turn lane, at intersections. Sidewalks and paved shoulders for cyclists would be added. It does not call for altering the speed limit, now 40 mph.

The consultants from Louis Berger stressed that this plan is aimed at improving safety, not capacity, on this road, which had 154 accidents in three years from 2005 through 2007. This is 50% more than the statewide average for similar roads.

The next step is an environmental study and more detailed design plans. This could take one to two years. The harder part is coming up with the millions of dollars needed to fund the project.

Members of the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance had many questions. Among them:

  • How will High School South students safely cross 571 from the Sherbrooke neighborhood if additional lanes are added? And to the Arboretum if a right-turn lane is added in the style of the one at Penn-Lyle and Clarksville, rather than a turn lane at the traffic light?
  • How about a pedestrian-activated signal at Sherbrooke?
  • NJDOT guidelines for a Town Center call for speed limits of 25 mph to 30 mph. Why not do that here?
  • What happens to making this part of town comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act if the project is scaled back?
  • Where are the bike lanes that are in the concept drawing and in the master plan?

Click here for the Power Point presentation from the Public Information Meeting on Tuesday, December 15.

The WWBPA will submit comments on the design shortly and will post them here.
You can send your own comments using this form.
Mail the form to
John Kovar, P.E.,?Project Manager
The Louis Berger Group, Inc.
412 Mount Kemble Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960-6654
or e-mail your comments to jkovar@louisberger.com

Click here for Princeton Packet report on meeting.

One Response to “What’s happening on Route 571”

  1. sandy says:

    We were asked to post the following letter sent to The Louis Berger Group from a resident:

    Dear Mr. Kovar,

    I have a suggestion for improving the safety of pedestrians attempting to cross Hightstown road in Princeton Junction. It is based on the experience of my children, one of whom is special needs, and both of whom walked to High School South by crossing Hightstown road.

    It is also based on my own experience. Two weeks ago I was struck while crossing Hightstown road at the Wallace-Cranbury and Hightstown intersection. I was returning from work from the train station about 6:00. I was crossing in the crosswalk (on the Acme side of the road), at the proper time, and although it was dark, I was wearing a reflector vest. The driver that struck me just wasn’t looking to see if anyone was in the crosswalk. I assume that the driver was looking either straight ahead to see if someone was making a left turn from Cranbury on to Hightstown, or looking left to see if anyone was running the red light on Hightstown, as sometimes happens.

    There is only one way to make crossing the street safe for pedestrians. There must be some segment of time in which no cars are allowed to drive through the crosswalk. And the only way to create that time is with colored arrows. In other words, we need arrows that control turns. The system should be set up so that you can turn left (right) if and only if the left (right) turn arrow changes from red to green.

    A system of colored turn arrows would also reduce the number of car crashes, many of which I am sure are caused by the game of chicken that is played when someone is trying to make a left turn, say from Hightstown road on to Wallace road. And I think it is possible that with the use of sensors the system could improve the flow of traffic by allowing long queues of cars waiting to make left turns to empty.

    Hugh Rockoff,
    Princeton Junction
    Department of Economics
    Rutgers University
    75 Hamilton Street
    New Brunswick NJ 08901
    http://econweb.rutgers.edu/rockoff/

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