To the Editor

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This article was prepared for the July 2, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Between the Lines

In September the Department of Transportation is expected

to end the wrangling over one of the last bottlenecks on Route 1,

the troika of lights at Washington Road, Fisher Place, and Harrison

Street. It will pick one of the 19 plans proposed by stakeholders

after two years of deliberations.

Each plan has been analyzed in an environmental impact study. The

plans, as described at a meeting on Monday, June 30, range from doing

nothing, which no one favors, to some elaborate and expensive engineering.

Among these: tunneling Route 1 under Washington Road. This plan would

have frontage roads along Route 1’s Princeton side and could include

a connector through the Sarnoff property to the Harrison Street interchange.

But we predict that traffic will dramatically improve if the DOT simply

builds its original Millstone Bypass plan, including the overpass

at Harrison Street. The annual U.S. 1 traffic surveys have shown that,

as traffic increased over the past 15 years, the overall driving times

have actually decreased, thanks to new overpasses. When the College

Road overpass was built, it helped. When the Scudders Mill Road overpass

was built, it helped. When Meadow Road’s overpass was built, it helped.

A Washington Road/Harrison Street overpass would also make a huge

difference. The worst afternoon bottleneck is where traffic pours

off Scudders Mill and clogs at Harrison.

But will the DOT be willing to foot the bill to tunnel under Washington

Road? The advantage is that it would maintain three entrances. The

disadvantage is that it would continue to route heavy traffic through

neighborhoods in West Windsor. We think there is a chance to have

the cake and eat it too by picking a modification of the original

Millstone Bypass plan. It would include the connector road through

Sarnoff to the Harrison Street overpass and a feeder road from Harrison

Street running parallel to Route 1 to link up with Washington Road’s

dramatic tree-lined entrance. There would still be three entrances

into Princeton.

Princeton worries that all incoming traffic would funnel onto Harrison

Street. We don’t think so. To pick one reason why not: Hoagie Haven.

To traverse the stretch of Nassau between Pine Street and Olden Avenue —

which has nearly a dozen eateries — is like herding gnats. People

dart in and out from behind parked cars as traffic slows to a crawl.

If you once drive that stretch you will avoid it next time.

Yes, drivers could choose Prospect Street or Wiggins to reach the

center of town. But we believe that a feeder road parallel to Route

1 will be faster and more pleasant. And to get to the western side

of town, the Alexander Road overpass will still be the best choice.

Top Of Page
To the Editor

KUDOS TO YOUR theater critic, Simon Saltzman, for his literate and

penetrating reviews! He is a gem! I particularly enjoyed the review

of "Master Harold and the Boys." Is this a fan letter? You

bet!

Lucille Weitz,

Monroe Township

We agree. Also to Saltzman’s credit, he picked 18 of the 22 Tonys

this year.


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