September 12, 2012

The Long and Winding Road Leads To a Sidewalk on West Side of Ewing

To the Editor:

At long last the Princeton Township Committee is building a sidewalk on the west side of Ewing Street between Valley Road and Harrison Street North. This sidewalk was recommended to the Township Committee in the early 1960’s by the Princeton Township Traffic Safety Committee, of which I was then chairman. Such a sidewalk would connect the then-existing sidewalk on the west side of Ewing Street at the Harrison Street North intersection to the then-existing sidewalk on the north side of Valley Road. In those days there were two school districts: Princeton Township residents attended Princeton Township schools, Princeton Borough residents attended Princeton Borough Schools.

The Township Committee at that time opined that such a sidewalk could not and would not be built until certain engineering feats were accomplished: some cutting and filling and some resetting of sanitary sewer lines, storm sewer drains, and some other underground lines. Mr. Kiser, currently Princeton Township Engineer, assured the committee that such items either had been, or would be, accomplished before the sidewalk was installed.

In the intervening half-century Princeton Township built many sidewalks, some needed, most not necessary. Whether or not the sidewalks were necessary, a New Jersey law passed in 1915 went into effect; once sidewalks are installed, pedestrians (walkers, joggers, runners) must use them. To quote NJSA 39:4-4, “Where sidewalks are provided it shall bc unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway”.

Henry J. Frank

Valley Road