August 23, 2017

A Solution to the Pedestrian-Car Conflict in the Center of Princeton

To the Editor:

At our major intersections of Nassau and Vandeventer, and Nassau and Witherspoon we often have a conflict between pedestrians trying to cross with the light (and sometimes not with the light) and cars trying to turn left or right at these busy points. The result endangers the pedestrians even if they are walking with the lights, and slows or stops traffic as the cars have to wait for the crosswalks to clear to make their turns.

I’ve seen a solution to this in New Haven. There all traffic is stopped in both directions by red lights and the walk lights give preference to pedestrians. They can cross safely and even diagonally as there is no traffic movement to contend with. Then the walk lights say stop, and traffic resumes its flow. If we adopted this system in Princeton we would make it considerably safer for pedestrians crossing at popular and very busy corners, and improve the flow of traffic in the center of town.

It may take some work and many levels of approval to get this system adopted since this involves a state road, I believe, but it would be a significant improvement for both drivers and pedestrians and would probably reduce the backup of traffic in downtown Princeton.

David Miller

Hawthorne Avenue