Following approval by a series of municipal agencies including the Princeton Township's Shade Tree Commission and Historic Preservation Commission, the Regional Planning Board last Thursday endorsed the concept of traffic calming as outlined in a DOT commissioned Route 206 Vision Plan.
The Planning Board drafted a resolution that took a favorable stance on the proposal currently on the table by state-financed planning groups to improve traffic conditions on Route 206.
The stretch of Route 206 at issue, from Cherry Valley Road to Nassau Street, is currently the subject of a study by the planning and consulting firms Glatting Jackson and Urban Engineers, after a $100,000 New Jersey Department of Transportation grant was sought by a group of residents under the umbrella "Citizens for a Safer Route 206."
And while the Planning Board did not specifically endorse one of the study's primary ideas installing a series of roundabouts at intersections including Cherry Hill Road, Jefferson Road, Ewing Street, Mountain Avenue, and the Nassau Street/Bayard Lane/Stockton Street intersections the willingness to improve the entire corridor is something the Planning Board has on its radar, said board member Marvin Reed on Friday.
The entire roadway has fallen under increased strain as vehicular traffic has intensified with automobiles and trucks using the stretch of Route 206 from Somerville to Lawrence Township as a cut-through from I-287 to I-95.
Other goals outlined in the plan presented by state Department of Transportation representatives Thursday night outline additional traffic calming measures that include increased pedestrian pathways and sidewalks, zoning that would assure an "older commercial feel," and enhanced landscaping.
And while there was a willingness on the Planning Board's part to get on board with the project, there is one caveat: early project estimates put the project at around $8.2 million and as the project waits, those costs are likely to rise with increase costs in materials and labor.
This point was not lost on Mr. Reed, who said that neighboring municipalities are lobbying DOT for millions of dollars for road improvement. South Brunswick Township is seeking $250 million for the widening of Route 1, West Windsor Township seeking $650 million for its Bus Rapid Transit system proposal that would travel on both sides of the Route 1 corridor, and Plainsboro Township is seeking several hundred million dollars for the completion of Route 92.
"By contrast, this Route 206 project is modest, but we must respond to DOT affirmatively and continue to seek the appropriations for these improvements, even if they don't come at the same time," Mr. Reed said.
The report delivered Thursday indicated that some facets of the vision plan, including pedestrian refuge islands, and the Ewing Street roundabout with an estimated $530,000 cost, could be implemented in the short term with project approval and proper funding.
Return to Previous Story | Return to Top | Go to Next Story