WZBN TV-25 Highlights Route 571 Plans

WZBN reporter Rose Eiklor interviewed Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh and WWBPA President Jerry Foster and 2nd Vice President Alison Miller. The broadcast was on December 6, 2011.

Jerry made the case for a revised plan: “While the new plans will allow pedestrians to walk along Route 571 much more easily due to the new sidewalks, they won’t be able to cross as easily. And it’s not enough, in our view, to be able to just walk along a road; we’ve got to be able to cross it safely as well. Any median or refuge island that goes in the middle would be a huge improvement to being able to cross the road safely. The other main thing that we’re looking for is less speed through this section of our ‘Main Street.'”

Alison continued:
There also are many, many commuters who will cross right here [the intersection of Route 571 with Wallace/Cranbury], because this is the way to the train station, and it’s expensive to buy a parking space, especially when you can walk. And commuters are always in a hurry, and we’re very concerned about commuter safety.”

Mayor Hsueh worries that any changes in the design at this point will require the Township and County “to go back to square one again…I have reservations about [their design], because they didn’t know that we’d already discussed with County about those concerns. But County…also has certain kinds of ground rules regarding a county roadway, and we have to compromise with them.”

The mayor continued: “The speed limit is decided by the state DOT, so my feeling is, once we have this design done and once we have people riding bicycles around, [there will be] opportunities we can request for reevaluation of the speed limits, and there are technical standards–it’s not even political negotiations, it’s all based on statistical analysis.”

Commenting on the YouTube site, WWBPA trustee Chris Scherer notes, “It is not financially or socially responsible to implement a ‘ solution’ that requires rework to be considered safe and effective.”

WZBN TV-25 is New Jersey’s Capital News Station.

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4 Responses to “WZBN TV-25 Highlights Route 571 Plans”

  1. Brian says:

    I will clarify on the Michigan law: The State law expressly bans townships or cities from setting a limit without a traffic study, and bars them from breaking the 85th percentile rule unless there is an approved, valid safety reason for doing so (usually by only 5 mph). Because of this, many local major roads are getting bumped from 25 to 35 or 40 and your 55 mph urban highways are getting bumped to 65 or 70…but still, they are having a rough time enforcing it.

    There was a huge discussion about this rule and Ann Arbor, who continues to defy it despite legal pressure, trying to act like they don’t have to obey it. The discussion went way past 100 replies if I remember right, and was filled with a lot of hate and the idea that people were just ‘capitulating to the speeders’. Which is incorrect, of course. I just find it funny since while many ‘conservatives’ act like you should obey the law without question, they don’t rag on larger entities who flout the law, only people.

  2. Brian says:

    Andy B is actually unfortunately right, though you don’t want to just decrease the speed limit unless you institute traffic calming measure that decrease the speed proportionally. This new law is actually the bane of all common sense, since it allows townships to just arbirarily lower the limit for no valid reason other than residents complaining, or some misguided belief that it will remedy some problem like pedestrian accidents amongst other reasons.

    However, my view isn’t popular and I’ve had zero success in writing local/county/even representatives with it. Not surprising since local politicians are more interested in what their vocal minority says, which is directly opposed to my view because of emotional reasons, so no surprise.

    Even in Michigan where they are implementing my idea (I spoke to the head of State Police traffic services there for an hour, interesting discussion to say the least) they are having trouble enforcing their ‘anti-stupid speed limit law’. Cities have been taking the state DOT there to COURT to try to keep their absurd limits, even when there’s no logically backed reason for it. So apparently even with the law not on their side, townships will do anything to please their residents and are blinded by the whole ‘safety crusade’.

  3. Henry Murphy says:

    I am glad Jerry and Allison and the group are so active. I wrote to Mayor Shueh and spoke to him personally on this issue. I urge interested readers to do the same.

    Watching and listening to this discussion about all the bureaucrats at the town, county, state and even federal level over a stretch of road less than one mile long is astounding, as is the news that this has been in planning since “the 80’s”! No wonder so many citizens become anti-government over the years.

  4. Actually I believe your mayor is now wrong about NJDOT setting the limit. It is my understanding that new rules set forth allow towns to alter conditions on municipal roads without State approval. The same with counties and their roads.

    Plus shouldn’t NJDOT, with their leading Complete Streets policy, be doing all it can when a town is begging for a project to be built “Complete”… HMMMM???



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