Virtual Walk Down West Windsor’s Main Street

Saturday, October 23 by JerryFoster


Join us as we take a videoed walk down Main Street in West Windsor, Rt 571, from the arboretum opposite the high school at Clarksville Road to the gateway to the Princeton Junction train station at Wallace Road. We’ll see just how close we are to having a sidewalk along the entire 0.7 mile stretch! It should be noted that we’re walking along the south side of 571, since the north side has almost no sidewalks. Only a few gaps exist, at:

  1. a house just before the Professional Center
  2. the Valero gas station
  3. the Schlumberger building
  4. Coldwell Banker building
  5. Sovereign Bank building

A crosswalk and pedestrian signal is missing across Alexander Road between the Valero and Shell gas stations. The curb ramp is too steep at the Sunoco station, but they’re missing at:

  1. the arboretum crossing 571 and Clarksville
  2. Windsor Plaza (ex-Acme) shopping center, crossing 571 at Sherbrooke

Sidewalk repair is needed for broken or raised slabs at:

  1. a house near Clarksville
  2. Windsor Plaza (ex-Acme) shopping center

And that’s all! Please join the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance in encouraging the township to work with the responsible parties to complete our Main Street, making us a more pedestrian friendly community.

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Stop For Pedestrians

Tuesday, September 28 by silvia

These are photos from our pop-up campaign to call attention to the new law that requires motorists to stop and stay stopped as long as a pedestrian is in the crosswalk.

Did you catch us? for the 30 minutes we were at Route 571 and Sherbrooke Drive on Thursday, September 23 or the 30 minutes at Wallace Road and Scott Avenue on Saturday, September 25 as the new Arts Center was being inaugurated? We got some smiles and thumbs-up, but also some scowls and some drivers who ignored the law — and pedestrians seeking to cross Route 571.

There are three more opportunities to give us a wave as you drive by or — better yet — take part:

  • 7:15 a .m. Wednesday, October 6 at 7:15 a.m. at Clarksville Road and Route 571, by High School South;
  • 5:30 p.m. Thursday, October 21 at Canal Pointe Boulevard by MarketFair; and
  • 6:45 a.m. Monday, November 8 at Cranbury/Wallace Roads and Route 571.

Help us show West Windsor cares about pedestrian safety!

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Demonstrating Pedestrian Safety

Friday, September 10 by silvia

Join the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance in a series of half-hour “West Windsor Walks” to educate drivers and pedestrians about the new law that requires motorists to stop and stay stopped when a pedestrian is in a crosswalk.? Show that West Windsor cares about pedestrian safety!

  • Thursday, September 23, 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., by the crosswalk at Sherbrooke Drive and? Route 571
  • Saturday, September 25, 10:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., to help celebrate Arts Center Opening Day, by the crosswalk at Alexander? Road and Scott Avenue
  • Wednesday, October 6, ?7:15 a.m. to ?7:45 a.m., to help celebrate National Walk to School Day, by the crosswalk at Clarksville Road and Route 571, by WW-P High School South.
  • Thursday, October 21, 5:30 p.m. to ?6:00 p.m., by the crosswalk to MarketFair at Canal Pointe Boulevard & Mayfair Drive
  • Monday, November 8, 6:45 am. to 7:15 a.m., by the crosswalk at Cranbury/Wallace Roads & Route 571

Participants will wear yellow vests to attract attention and point drivers to signs reminding them of the new law.

Please email your RSVP (or ask questions) to wwbikeped@gmail.com.

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Progress on Route 571/Cranbury Road

Saturday, August 28 by silvia

571-Cranbury-Wallace Countdown SignalHave you noticed the pedestrian countdown signals at all corners of Route 571/Princeton-Hightstown Road, Cranbury Road and Wallace Road? Crosswalks and ADA-compliant ramps have yet to go in, but this is a big safety improvement for one of West Windsor’s busiest intersections. Getting it made safer for pedestrians, many of whom are headed to and from the Princeton Junction train station, has long been a top priority for the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance, and we applaud West Windsor Township, Mercer County and the New Jersey Department of Transportation for making it happen.

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More HAWKs Light Up Across the U.S.

Tuesday, August 17 by silvia

HAWKs are High-intensity Activated Cross Walk lighting systems and are a way to let pedestrians cross busy roads without a standard traffic light. The signal stays dark until pedestrians or bicyclists want to cross. They press a button, and the overhead signals flash yellow lights, followed by a solid yellow and a solid red, stopping traffic so the people can cross.

Researchers with the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University last year compared before-and-after accident data at 21 HAWK sites in Tucson, Arizona and found a 13% to 29% reduction in all crashes and a 50% drop in pedestrian accidents.

More states are installing them, as USA Today recently reported. The WWBPA thinks one place it could work in West Windsor is at Sherbrooke Drive and Princeton-Hightstown Road so that pedestrians can cross from the Sherbrooke development to the Acme shopping Center.

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Council Adopts Washington Road Resolution

Tuesday, July 20 by sandy

Washington RoadOn July 19, 2010, West Windsor Township Council adopted a resolution,?requesting “that Mercer County establish a bicycle route from the Delaware and Raritan Canal to the Princeton Junction Train Station at West Windsor along Washington Road.”

Route 1 Circle

This is just a first step. The Departments of Transportation for both Mercer County and the State of New Jersey will have to come on board, since this is a county ?route and it crosses U.S. Route 1, for which the State of New Jersey is responsible. It’s not clear how quickly they will act.? Join the WWBPA in reminding officials that this is the best way for cyclists to go between West Windsor and Princeton and that bike lanes will make the route safer for all. Come to our next meeting (Aug. 12) to learn more about how you can help.

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Washington Road Update

Sunday, July 11 by silvia

Washington Road-projected

This is how Washington Road might look with bike lanes.

The West Windsor Council is discussing a resolution that asks Mercer County to designate ther shoulders on part of Washington Road as bike lanes. Please show your support at Monday’s meeting (July 12, West Windsor Municipal Center, 271 Clarksville Road) and speak up during public comment at the start of the meeting ( 7 p.m.)

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Let’s Get Bike Lanes on Washington Road

Thursday, July 1 by silvia

The WWBPA has written to local and county officials urging that the shoulders on Washington Road between Route 1 in West Windsor and Faculty Road in Princeton be marked as bike lanes. After the repaving work is done, the shoulders will be wide enough — so what are we waiting for? And why not create bike lanes on Washington Road on the other side of Route 1? This would be a big safety improvement for cyclists commuting to the Princeton Junction train station or to jobs in Princeton, as well as for recreational cyclists.

Do you agree? Let officials know!

Read the WWBPA letter.

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Road Work on Washington Road

Friday, June 18 by silvia

Washington Road RepairMercer County is repaving Washington Road/Route 571 between Route 1 in West Windsor and Faculty Road in Princeton beginning Monday, June 21. The work will take about 10 days and during that time, only westbound traffic will be permitted between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. (Traffic will flow in both directions at other times).



Mercer County notes that the entire roadway will be milled first, which creates a rough surface. Cyclists may want to seek alternate routes.

A decision has not yet been made whether the restriping will include a bike lane or just shoulders. Watch for updates.

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Construction begins on Cranbury/Wallace/571 Intersection

Wednesday, June 9 by sandy

Beginning reconstruction of 571 Wallace Cranbury intersection

Planning for an improved intersection, June 9, 2010

From the West Windsor Township Web site:

Construction begins on the Cranbury Road/ Wallace Road/ CR 571/ NJ Route 64 intersection improvements

Construction has begun on improvements to the intersection of Cranbury Road/ Wallace Road/ CR 571/ and NJ Route 64. The project includes new pedestrian crossings in every direction, countdown timers on traffic lights, and a dedicated left turn lane coming off of the bridge (eastbound) turning onto Cranbury Road. In addition, the State has approved using the eastbound side of the bridge as a pedestrian crossing with a sidewalk on the south side of the bridge leading to Station Drive and a crosswalk to get to the sidewalk on the south side of Washington Road.

If you have any questions concerning this project, please contact the West Windsor Township Engineering Division at (609) 799-9396.

http://www.westwindsornj.org/road_construction_060810.html

construction vehicles near intersection

Construction vehicles near intersection, June 9, 2010

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Pedestrians, Bicyclists at Risk on New Jersey Roads

Wednesday, February 3 by silvia

A new report from the Alliance for Biking & Walking shows that lack of investment in biking and walking could be contributing to higher traffic fatalities in the U.S.

In New Jersey, 12% of all trips are on foot or by bike, according to the study, putting us on par with California, Pennsylvania and Connecticut and not far behind New York. Yet 23% of all traffic fatalities were pedestrians or bicyclists. Only New York (25%) and Hawaii (24%) fare worse. And only 0.6% of its federal transportation funds go to benefit bicyclists and pedestrians, one of the lowest ratios in the nation.

Nationally, 9% of all trips are made by bicyclists and pedestrians and 13.1% of all traffic fatalities are bicyclists and pedestrians. States on average spend 1.2% of federal transportation funds on bicyclist and pedestrian projects

Walking and bicycling also are great forms of exercise and a way to help fight the country’s growing obesity problem–if we can make it safe.

In West Windsor, the WWBPA is advocating for a safer Princeton-Hightstown Road/Route 571, which has 50% more accidents than similar roads in New Jersey. We also want safer routes to the Princeton Junction train station and more safe routes to schools. We have held a number of events to highlight safety problems across down and conducted an inventory of 193 intersections to assess walkability.

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Upgrades to West Windsor Intersections

Saturday, January 30 by silvia

Mercer County is planning improvements to a number of intersections in West Windsor that will make our roads safer for pedestrians. Several of these involve Princeton-Hightstown Road/Route 571 or are near our schools.

Countdown SignalSome existing pedestrian signals will be upgraded to include countdown displays. Ramps that comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (appreciated by those pushing strollers too!) or detectable warning surfaces will be installed along with those upgrades or where roads are being resurfaced.

The following intersections are getting ADA ramps and upgraded pedestrian signals:

  • Village Road and? Old Trenton Road
  • Princeton-Hightstown Road/Route 571 and? Rabbit Hill Road
  • Princeton-Hightstown Road/Route 571 and South Mill Road
  • New Village Road and? Edinburg Road
  • Dutchneck- Edinburg Road and? Village Road East
  • Clarksville Road and? North Post Road
  • Quakerbridge Road and Village Road

Slayback Drive and Princeton-Hightstown Road

These intersections are getting ADA ramps:

  • Clarksville? Road and Everett Road
  • Princeton-Hightstown Road/Route 571 and? Clarksville Road
  • Princeton-Hightstown Road/Route 571 and Slayback Drive
  • In addition, Mercer County will mill and resurface Princeton-Hightstown Road/Route 571 between Clarksville and Slayback as well as Clarksville Road between Everett Road and North Post Road.
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A Look at 2009 and Plans for 2010

Saturday, January 30 by silvia

Take a look at the WWBPA’s annual report, recapping many of our activities in 2009. In 2010, our focus will be on promoting bicycle safety education to children and adults, partnering with schools to promote safe routes to school, highlighting existing bicycle and pedestrian links and advocating for connections to fill in missing links.

We are determined to improve our main street (Princeton-Hightstown Road/Route 571) . We also have heard the need for safe connections to Plainsboro and want to start the conversation now.

Join us at our annual meeting, 7:30 p.m. Thursday February 25 at the West Windsor Municipal Center, to talk about how to best achieve these goals. Together we can make a difference and get closer to our goal of a bicycle and pedestrian-friendly community.

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Reactions to the WWBPA’s Recommendations for Route 571

Monday, January 11 by silvia

Let's see the right changes to this dangerous road.

The WWBPA’s recommendations in response to Mercer County’s “concept” plan for Princeton-Hightstown Road/Route 571 are getting plenty of attention.

Please take the time to read our lengthy comments aimed at making this busy stretch of roadway safer for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists and making it more in keeping with the Main Street our town deserves. Leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts about what needs to be done.

The key points are:

  • Reduce speed to 25-30mph, per state guidelines;
  • Landscaped medians with left-turn cutouts and pedestrian refuges? rather than a two-way left turn lane;
  • Pedestrian-activated signal that stops traffic at Sherbrooke Drive. This can be done as a first step, before the millions of dollars needed for the full concept plan is found.

Councilwoman Linda Geevers wants a formal response from the engineers and/or consultants to the recommendations and suggested that they may want to meet with us.

Resident Larry McGill wrote in a neighborhood forum: “The WWBPA is demonstrating once again what a tremendous asset it is to our town.? The safety issues related to this stretch of 571 require exactly the kind of careful thought and analysis you’ve provided here.”

Former WWBPA officer Meg Chicco wrote:

“Many thanks to you and the WWBPA for your efforts to keep 571 at the top of the list. It has been a long process to get it this far and we have to keep pushing to make sure it doesn’t slip in the list of priorities.

I just want to comment on item #2. As you know the Mayors Task Force (bike/ped life before WWBPA) took an active role in working with the County and the Township to help design the plan that we have today. Some time during that process the idea of medians was proposed. The County was adamantly opposed to this idea for some very practical reasons.

  1. The road would have to be significantly wider to accommodate medians. This would require more taking of property and a greater engineering cost.
  2. Since the County is responsible for 571 maintenance they opposed medians due to upkeep and the difficulty they present for plowing.Landscaped medians (and ordinary ones as well) require maintenance.
  3. Since the properties along 571 would eventually change (we hope) with some being consolidated (we hope) the placement of driveways and cross-overs are yet to be determined.
  4. As for the change in speed-limit and a signal at Sherbooke, these are improvements that would not effect the current design.

If I recall correctly the Council passed a resolution with regard to the improvments on 571. If they didn’t back when the design was proposed they should now. If a resolution was passed, what is the effect of this resolution with regard to the obligations of the Township to press for these improvements?”

Once again, please leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts about how to improve this road. Thank you! To see comments already entered, please click on Comment here or below.

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Route 571, Southfield Road and McGetrick Lane

Tuesday, January 5 by silvia

West Windsor’s Planning Board will consider a proposal on January 6 to consolidate five residential lots between Route 571/Princeton-Hightstown Road, McGetrick Lane and Southfield Road for a mix of office and retail uses.

The WWBPA is aware that this area is difficult for bicyclists and pedestrians and will evaluate the plans to ensure they bring us closer to a bicycle and pedestrian friendly community.

This article about the project appeared in the West Windsor-Plainsboro News ahead of the meeting.

Update: The WW-P News report on the meeting. No decision was reached.

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A Safer Bit of Route 571

Monday, December 28 by silvia

Finally, this intersection along Route 571 is being made safer.

The intersection of Route 571/Princeton-Hightstown Road, Wallace Road and Cranbury Road, one of the busiest intersections in West Windsor and the site where a pedestrian wearing a reflective vest was struck by a car last month, will become safer for those trying to cross the street. This is great news and comes two years after the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance highlighted the safety problems there and made a number of recommendations.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation is in the final design phase of improvements that will include marked crosswalks and pedestrian countdown signals at every corner. Lighting at the intersection will be brought up to code, if it isn’t already meeting the requirements.

A sidewalk also will be added from the northwest corner (by the school bus depot) along the bridge to Washington Road, where a pedestrian crossing across Washington Road will be added. NJDOT also intends to add a left turn lane off the railroad bridge, which will eliminate what some pedestrians use as a refuge island.

NJDOT intends to do the work in the spring or early summer of 2010 and says that funding is secure. (This is being paid for through federal pedestrian-safety funds.) It has decided not to wait for improvements promised by Rite-Aid, which is going back to the zoning board for permission to make some changes to its plans.

The WWBPA was often told that this was a particularly difficult intersection because it involved Township, Mercer County and state jurisdictions. That the three entities have worked out a plan shows how the WWBPA can bring people together to find solutions.

While we are pleased with the planned 2010 improvements by the NJDOT, in our view they do not address all needed improvements to this gateway to West Windsor. Other improvements to the main street Princeton Junction area (along Route 571 from Cranbury/Wallace Roads to Clarksville Road) are now under review as part of a long-term project that includes the intersection at Cranbury/Wallace Road. To that end, we are in the process of drafting recommendations that consider the usage context of the roadway (i.e., with Route 571 as West Windsor?s main street). Context is critical because it drives the choice of design features that work together to impact safety. Based on these considerations, WWBPA recommendations for this road segment include:

  • Lowering the desired operating speed, supported by roadway design elements, not just a lower posted speed.
  • Adding bike lanes per the Township Master Plan.
  • Strengthening the design cues to drivers when entering the main street gateways (e.g., by reducing the posted speed limit in the transition areas leading to the gateways to 35mph, reducing to one through-travel lane before the gateways).
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Pedestrian Who Was Struck Speaks Out

Saturday, December 19 by sandy

struck by car turning right from Wallace to CR 571I 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

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What’s happening on Route 571

Thursday, December 17 by silvia

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.

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WWBPA Speaks Out On Rt 571 Intersection

Saturday, December 12 by silvia

Read our letter in the December 11 issue of the Princeton Packet about the need for improvements at the intersection of Rt 571/Princeton-Hightstown Road and Cranbury and Wallace Roads. It’s time to see changes. Click here for more.

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Pedestrian Struck at Rt. 571 and Wallace/Cranbury Road

Saturday, December 5 by sandy

571/Wallace/Cranbury intersection, 2007

571/Wallace/Cranbury intersection, 2007

A right-turning car struck a pedestrian as he was crossing Route 571 (Princeton-Hightstown Road) at the corner of? Wallace Road at 6 PM on Monday, November 30. As was his custom, he was wearing a reflective vest. Fortunately, there was no neurological damage, and no bones were broken.

The WWBPA recommended changes to this intersection in 2007 and continues to push the Township, County and State to improve the intersection.

Until (and even after) these changes are a reality, one resident recommends using a red, flashing light when out after dark.

Also, please attend the meeting about Route 571 (Princeton-Hightstown Road) on Tuesday, December 15 between 6 PM and 8:30 PM at the West Windsor Municipal Center. Let’s ensure that this intersection is improved for the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.

This information meeting, conducted by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and Mercer?County Engineering Division in conjunction with West Windsor Township,? will show improvements being planned between Cranbury/Wallace roads and Clarksville Road.

Plans?will be on display beginning at 6:30 P.M. on December 15,? and?DVRPC and County representatives will be available to answer?questions. A formal presentation of the project will begin promptly at?7 P.M.

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