A big win for safer crosswalks

We asked local government officials for more money for those pedestrian-activated yellow flashing lights at crosswalks — and we’re thrilled to report that we got it!

With the strong support of West Windsor councilmembers, the township’s capital improvement budget now will include $100,000 for crosswalk improvements in FY 2024-2025– way more than the usual $20,000 and even more than the $70,000 that was proposed by the administration. This change was made at a budget meeting last week and still needs to be voted on at a public hearing (date TBA).

We had asked that the township create a separate line item of $60,000 for those rectangular rapid-flashing beacons, or RRFBs. While we didn’t succeed in getting a separate budget item, the capital improvement budget will explicitly list RRFBs as an example of what the crosswalk improvement funds can cover. It had only cited signage, striping, curb modifications, handicap ramps and detectable warning surfaces (those red pads) as examples.

We say that and the $80,000 increase make it a win. Thank you to all who spoke up on this issue.

Unfortunately, the township did not commit to specific locations for RRFBs, despite persistent questioning from council members. We have been clear about where we think the first ones should go: the intersection of Rabbit Hill Road and Bennington Drive/Abbington Lane — where a middle schooler was killed in the crosswalk by a driver in November — and at the intersection of Penn Lyle Road and Canoe Brook Drive — where another resident was struck by a motorist. We will continue to advocate for RRFBs in those locations.

Note that the capital improvement program calls for reverting to just $20,000 for crosswalk improvments next year, so we will need your help in early 2025 to boost that number.

What else is in the capital improvement budget?

West Windsor will also budget $100,000 for sidewalk repairs because of tree damage. If tree roots are pushing up the sidewalk along your property, call the municipal center and ask to be put on the list for sidewalk repairs.

Another $50,000 will go to design an extension of the Cranbury Road sidewalk from Van Nest Park to Rabbit Hill and then down to the Trolley Line Trail, which leads to Community Park. Actual construction will follow in later years. We called the Cranbury Road sidewalk from Princeton Hightstown Road to Van Nest Park, built over several years, one of the best infrastructure improvements of 2023. Once this next phase is completed, it will be another huge step in making West Windsor a more walkable community.

The budget also includes $1.25 million for residential road repavings and projects a similar amount in following years. According to the budget plans, it is tentatively anticipated that all or portions of the following roads will be addressed:

Year 2024: Huntington Drive, Bruntsfield Drive, Guilford Court, Borosko Place, Sunnydale Way, Wilson Way South, Lee Court, Beardsly Court, Shelton Court, Greenfield Drive South, Aldrich Way, and part of Village Road West.

Year 2025: Meadow Run Road, Harris Road, Tindall Trail, Bayberry Drive, Station Drive, Worchester Lane, Carlton Place, Benford Drive, Sutton Lane, Perry Drive, Jean Court, and part of Washington Road

Another $750,000 is budgeted to resurface Woodmere Way from New Edinburg Road to Penn Lyle Road.

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