Roundabouts are the buzz around town. First proposed by two Township consultants in fall 2005 as one of several possible remedies to deal with increased truck traffic and high speeds along Route 206, a smaller version of a similar configuration could be used in a $500,000 rehabilitation effort for Cleveland Lane.
Last Tuesday, Princeton Borough Council entertained an update from several residents and the Borough Engineer Carl Peters on how to improve the roadway. The Borough has been eyeing a general reconstruction of pitted and pockmarked Cleveland Lane, eventually sparking a neighborhood conversation about traffic calming. "We expected it was something the neighbors wanted to talk about," Mr. Peters said in an interview Thursday, adding that because of the volume of traffic on Cleveland, it was something the Borough was willing to examine, particularly between Lafayette and Elm roads.
Mr. Peters said traffic on Cleveland is a particular problem in the evening rush hour with heavy use by automobiles leaving town and crossing Elm Road on to Rosedale Road. In the morning, he added, cars coming into Princeton are more inclined to make a right onto Elm off Rosedale, and turn left on to Hodge Road, because there is a dedicated left-only turn lane at the Hodge/Elm traffic signal.
Proposed roundabouts of dimensions similar to the configuration on Faculty Road near the parking hub at the southern end of the Princeton University campus would be located at the Cleveland Lane intersections at Lafayette Road and Library Place, where Cleveland takes a significant curve to the north. Hodge Road, which runs parallel to Cleveland to the south, also has a series of speed humps. However, the general perception of these devices has changed since the Borough installed the ones on Hodge and on Mercer Street.
"We try to keep those speed humps away from those curvilinear roads," Mr. Peters said. "Traffic volumes are too high at certain points of Cleveland Lane to put speed humps in. The ones we put in on Mercer Street we would not be able to do today."
Mr. Peters added that the needs of emergency vehicles would also make the roundabout option more compelling.
The Borough is seeking $300,000 in state funding for the project.
Related road reconstruction concerns Cleveland between Library Place and Route 206. Curbing will be installed only on the north side for the remainder of the roadway.
At the Tuesday, June 27 hearing before Borough Council, Nancy Greenspan, a resident of Cleveland Lane, encouraged the Borough to install the stone curbing, saying that a majority of neighbors had expressed the same sentiment.
The reconstruction plan is still in the planning stages, Mr. Peters, said, with Council slated to revisit the issue in a coming session.
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