18 April 2007

Princeton Junction redevelopment

West Windsor is undergoing a process for planning and designing the redevelopment of the area around the Princeton Junction train station. This is a very active station on the busiest train line in the US, and all it has right now is a tiny building and large surface lots. They are planning a public comment meeting in May before Hillier reveals their plans this summer. As New Jersey moves towards more transit-oriented hubs, this could be an important demonstration of how you convert after the station has already been established as a suburban park and ride.


Anonymous said...

But it's doubtful that that "how to" lesson will include lessons on how to garner support from local residents. Currently, there appears to be large-scale resistance to the project from long-time residents. The town mayor was elected after campaigning on the notion of developing a town center. Once in office, however, his vision suddenly changed to building a transit village, an animal of quite a different stripe. West Windsor boasts one of the best school systems in the state if not the nation, and taxes are already well-above the average to support it. Its streets are clogged from 4:00 until 6:00 as the Perfect Storm of commuters coming off the nearby major highways mix with the traffic of the train commuters on the small single-laned roads. It is a nightmare today, and can only get worse. With the Transit Village's plans for 1000 housing units, much of them rental, town taxpayers are rightly concerned about the imapct on their tax bills and an already stressed infrastructure. Despite grassroots clamoring for it, West Windsor residents have never had their say through a referendum. I guess they will the next time the mayor's spot is up for election.

A.W. D'Alessio said...

The perfect solution to handling increased rail ridership and parking in West Windsor lies with developing a satellite train station at the crossroads of US Route 1 and the NJ Transit Princeton University rail branch, better known as the "Dinky". Unfortunately, the prime location for alleviating the congestion in West Windsor is currently being developed for yet another office building instead of a parking deck and ticket office. That wasn't the case when I first brought this to the attention of the planning board some years ago as a made-in-heaven solution to contentious NIMBY development issues, traffic congestion, and the efficient use of the existing infrastructure. But then again, as a career consultant, I realize that the value of an opinion is directly proportional to the fee paid for it. Hence, opportunists like Hillier carry more sway with the township than clear objective thinking.