Snowden Lane Sidewalk Receives Backlash of Dissent From Area Residents
A proposal to install a sidewalk
along a portion of Snowden Lane has undergone intense criticism
from some Borough and Township residents, sparking a debate regarding
the safety of the roadway that runs along the Borough/Township
The area in question is a 1,300-foot strip of Snowden
Lane between Franklin and Hamilton avenues that creates a "gap"
in a sidewalk system that otherwise continues along Snowden from
Princeton-Kingston Road to Herrontown Road.
tabled the matter at its September 7 meeting to await a decision
from the Township. While the area affects 12 homeowners whose
residences lie in the Borough, the actual proposed sidewalk would
lie on the other side of the municipal line in the Township. The
plan would also have an impact on five homes in the Township.
Borough residents spoke out against the ordinance that was before
Council, which would give the Township approval to move forward
with the $30,000 road project.
Calling the 1,300 feet of
sidewalk a "missing link," Township Engineer Robert
Kiser asked that the Borough approve this measure to increase
safety on the road.
"It's no longer a country road.
[Snowden Lane] is becoming a regular roadway," he said, adding
that the street is often used by motorists as a means to enter
downtown by way of Hamilton Avenue and Wiggins Street.
the Township Committee discussion, Princeton Township Police Officer
Geoff Maurer delivered a report indicating the need to install
a sidewalk for public safety purposes and citing an increase in
automobile accidents that, he said, could put pedestrians walking
along that stretch of Snowden in danger.
we observed a mother and two children walk down Snowden to Rollingmead
to get to the Littlebrook School and it's definitely a safety
issue to walk down Snowden Lane," he said. However, the 12
Borough residents who would be affected by this road construction
pleaded for Council to reject the proposal.
sidewalk at this section, residents said, would strip the block
of its "bucolic" character.
"I see very
little walking being done there and I don't see the need for it,"
said Bob Aresty, a resident on the corner of Prospect Avenue and
Snowden Lane. "I think it's a bad choice, it's not needed
and not worth the $30,000 to build it."
along Snowden Lane would be required to pay 50 percent of the
total cost of the project, amounts varying between $1,121, to
At the Borough Council meeting, some Council members
also felt that installing sidewalks was unnecessary.
haven't heard a compelling reason why this measure should be taken,"
said Councilman Roger Martindell.
But at the Township Committee
meeting, Deputy Mayor Bill Enslin said that this segment on Snowden
is simply a part of the sidewalk that has always been intended
for installation, but has not yet been completed.
would have strong reservations about walking children on that
street," he said. Township Attorney Edwin Schmierer bolstered
Mr. Enslin's comments by saying the Township has a "responsibility"
to pave a sidewalk in an area near two elementary schools, Littlebrook
"We have to get [the children] to school
safely," he said.
The Township Committee discussion
resulted in no formal action. The Township's Mr. Kiser said residents
potentially affected by the sidewalk will receive notice by mail
when the issue will next appear on the Committee agenda.