Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 35
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
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New Campaign By Borough Police Aims to Make Intersections Safer

Anne Levin

Pedestrians who cross against the light on Nassau Street at Witherspoon or Washington streets might find themselves face to face with an officer from the Princeton Borough Police in the near future. Starting after Labor Day weekend, walkers who opt not to wait for the “Walk” sign may be approached by police as part of an effort to make those intersections safer. The same goes for bicyclists who fail to observe the rules.

The Borough police department will begin a new bicycle and pedestrian safety initiative at these busy crossings just after the holiday. “We have come up with a brochure we will be handing out to pedestrians or cyclists who we see improperly crossing the street,” Lieutenant Robert L. Currier Jr. told members of Borough Council at its meeting last week.

Asked by Councilwoman Jo Butler whether police would crack down on offenders, Mr. Currier said that was not the aim of the initiative. “It’s more of an educational thing at this point,” he said. “We’ll tell them, in a nice way, that they need to obey the lights.”

Ms. Butler and other Council members commented that they have had concerns about pedestrians, in particular, who cross against the lights. “It feels like we’ve gotten a bit lax about this,” said Ms. Butler. Princeton Borough Mayor Mildred Trotman added, “I’m not at all opposed to the educational aspect of this, but it does concern me that people continue to dart out into those intersections. From a safety point of view, maybe it could get a little stronger.”

Councilwoman Barbara Trelstad commented, “People don’t wait for the walk sign at Nassau and Vandeventer streets. It also causes traffic to back up. Most of them are under the age of 20. I agree, we need to be stronger.”

In his report to Council, Mr. Currier also said that while this has been a busy year for the Borough police, juvenile crime is down.

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