Afternoon rush hour traffic on Route 1 is much, much worse, the worst
it has been since 1998, before the elimination of the traffic lights
at Meadow Road and Nassau Park.
When can we look forward to some help? Not much can be done about the
slowdown at the merge point of Scudders Mill Road onto Route 1. The
state department of transportation holds out a slim hope that the
other chief bottleneck – the lights at Washington Road and Harrison
Street – will get relief. That’s if the plans for the proposed Penns
Neck Area Bypass really do go through.
Proponents and opponents of these proposals have been lying low for
several years. Years of wrangling, followed by thousands of hours of
roundtable negotiations, had produced a consensus of the various
factions, and it produced the supposedly definitive Environmental
Impact Statement for one set of solutions.
Content in (or frustrated by) the assurance that the state doesn’t
have money to move very quickly anyway, neither side was saying much.
Then the Sarnoff Corporation approached West Windsor Township with a
plan to close the Fisher Place entrance to Route 1, make that a dead
end street, and move that traffic light north.
Those who went to the mat to come up with the current plan cried foul
and began to mount a letter writing campaign.
"The bid by Sarnoff to move the Fisher Place light is really an
attempt to rewrite the Environmental Impact Statement," says Candace
Preston, of Financial Markets Analysis on Alexander Road, one of the
letter’s signers. "The roundtable agreed to a depressed Route 1 under
Washington Road and a service road parallel to Route 1, but not to a
road behind the houses on Fisher Place," says Preston.
Shing-Fu Hsueh, mayor of West Windsor, insists that closing Fisher
Place is not a new idea, that it was approved by the West Windsor
Planning Board in 2002. Preston points out that the 2002 approval
would have been superseded by the conclusions of the roundtable, in
which Hsueh participated, and by the EIS.
"Right now the EIS is what we have, and it resulted from thousands of
hours contributed by people from Princeton, West Windsor, Rutgers, and
DOT. It would be shame for all that time over six years to be lost,"
says Preston. "We want the whole plan implemented."
Walter Schmidlin, speaking for Sarnoff, says that the DOT was well
aware of Sarnoff’s development intentions, and that moving the access
road north (and closing Fisher Place) was always included in the Penns
DOT’s three-part plan is called the Route 1/Route 571/Penns Neck
project, and it would eliminate all the traffic lights north of the
Carnegie Center. One part is to rebuild the Millstone River bridge,
necessary for building a Harrison Street overpass. The overpass would
connect, in the short term, to single lane frontage roads parallel to
Route 1. In the long term, if Sarnoff or a developer came up with the
money, the overpass could connect to a road running through the
Sarnoff Corporation property. DOT spokesperson Erin Phalon says that,
contingent on federal funding, construction could start on the
replacement of the Millstone River bridge as early as 2009.
For the second part, the DOT would depress Route 1 underneath
Washington Road. Phalon says that, if funds are available, work on
this could start as early as 2010, but Hsueh is among those who think
this is unlikely.
The third part of the plan is to connect Alexander and Washington
roads by extending Vaughn Drive from where it ends at the Princeton
Junction train station to Washington Road (Route 571). "I am very
optimistic about federal and state support for the Vaughn Drive
extension because of the possibility of developing the transit
village," says Hsueh. The Vaughn Drive extension is on the books to
start as early as 2011.
The cost for all these changes, says Phalon, would be $130 million,
including nearly $14 million for the new bridge, $30 million to extend
Vaughn Drive, and $55 million to realign Harrison Street (demolishing
the decaying Eden Institute building) and build the Harrison Street
The environmental impact statement has been approved for all three
parts of the project. Last spring the DOT budgeted $1 million for 2006
and $5 million for $2007 for preliminary designs. Phalon asserts that
the department is scheduled to produce the preliminary design in two
years, late in 2008.
The proposed move of the University Medical Center of Princeton to
Route 1 and Plainsboro Road could hotwire all these proposals,
suggests the mayor. When and if the hospital gets official permission
to move, the Federal Highway Administration might change its
He points out that the Penn’s Neck EIS did not take into consideration
the hospital coming to the FMC property on the east side of U.S. 1.
"Now Princeton will have to look at this from a different
perspective," he says. "Before the hospital was the reason that West
Windsor needed the Millstone Bypass, and now the hospital will be on
this side. I am pretty sure it will be easier to work with the two
Route 92, another project embroiled in long-term controversy,
apparently took a step backward on October 5 when the Army Corps of
Engineers issued a wishy washy Environmental Impact Statement. The
Corps refused to make a recommendation, one way or the other, about
whether Route 92 should get built. The Corps’ uncharacteristic lack of
support may mean that Route 92’s future depends on its sponsor, the
New Jersey Turnpike, and the Turnpike has put it low on the priority
As originally planned, Route 92 would be a 6.7-mile, limited-access
four-lane road linking Route 1 near Ridge Road with the NJ Turnpike at
Exit 8A of the New Jersey Turnpike. It would be a direct route from
Monroe to the proposed site of the new Princeton hospital.
Last November the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (which controls this
project) shifted $175 million originally intended for Route 92 to pay
for the widening of a section of the Turnpike. That left just $6.5
million in the Route 92 account. The cost has risen over the years,
and current estimates vary from $400 million to $700 million.
Hsueh and his opposite number in Plainsboro, Mayor Peter Cantu, are
lining up against politicians in North and South Brunswick and some
environmentalists to keep Route 92 alive. "Route 92 is something that
should have been done 20 years ago," says Hsueh. "Without 92, economic
growth in that area is not going to be easy."
So far, the only section of Route 92 to be constructed is the
Hightstown Bypass. Seen as a necessary element to preserve quality of
life in Hightstown, the bypass was ultimately "bifurcated" from Route
92 and completed in 1999.
The Army Corps of Engineers postponed its "go" or "no go" decision
until the end of the public comment period, Tuesday, November 14, at 5
p.m." The EIS is available to read at the Plainsboro and South
Brunswick public libraries and also at the Monroe municipal building.
Written comments on application number 1999-00240-J1 will be accepted
at the Corps’ district office (fax, 212-264-4260 or E-mail:
DOT’s Kolluri To Speak
Kris Kolluri, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of
Transportation, will surely face some of the concerns when he speaks
on Friday, October 20, at 7:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn in East
Windsor. New Jersey’s DOT.
The Public Policy Forum Networking Breakfast is sponsored by the
Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce and the East Windsor Township
Economic Development Committee. Cost: $20. Call 609-924-1776.
PPPL Bidding War?
After 55 years of supervising magnetic fusion energy research at
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University will have to
compete for its contract with the federal government next year. The
university says it will bid aggressively.
"We are committed to making the strongest possible case for continuing
to manage PPPL, as we have done successfully for many years," said
Shirley M. Tilghman, university president, in a prepared statement.
"When the competition is initiated, we will submit to the Department
of Energy a detailed proposal demonstrating how the laboratory will
enjoy continued success under the University’s leadership. We are
proud of the cutting-edge science and engineering the laboratory has
accomplished, and we have great confidence that it will continue to
make breakthrough discoveries in the years ahead."
PPPL is one of 10 national science laboratories funded by the U.S.
Department of Energy’s Office of Science, and the DOE has begun
competitive bidding contracts for eight of them. Princeton is working
under an extension of its current contract and the new contract will
be awarded next spring.
It was a Princeton professor, Lyman Spitzer, who started studying
fusion in 1951. The facility has 400 employees in 500,000 square feet
on the Forrestal Campus. It does advanced research on fusion energy,
an environmentally benign and abundant energy source; participates in
an international fusion energy initiative set for construction in
France; operates a major research facility (the National Spherical
Torus Experiment); and is finishing construction of the National
Compact Stellarator Experiment.
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, James Forrestal Campus, Box 451,
Princeton 08543-0451; 609-243-2000. Robert J. Goldston, director.
Triangle Art: End of an Era
Joseph P. Teti is closing one part of his family owned-business, but
16 of the chain’s digital printing and copy branches will remain open,
including one at the headquarters, Darrah Lane in Lawrence.
But a "going out of business" sale is underway at the retail arts
supply business through Saturday, December 2. Art supplies represent
only a small part of the business, now that consumers can accomplish
on computers what they used to buy at the supply stores.
The business had been founded in 1939 by his father, Joseph L. Teti,
who bought a blueprint shop in Trenton. Joseph P. Teti majored in
marketing at Rider (Class of 1965) and moved the firm into
xerographics when that technology was still new. The firm made its
first purchase of a Xerox machine in 1968 and moved to Route 1 in
Lawrence in 1969. The site has six full-time employees plus part-time
workers. Teti has sold that 10,000 square foot building and will
relocate the printing business nearby.
"It is a bittersweet moment for us here at Triangle," says Teti.
"There comes a time in the business cycle, however, when decisions
such as this have to be made. This is one of those times."
Triangle: Your Creative Center, Alternate Route 1 and East Darrah
Lane, Lawrenceville 08548-8079; 609-883-3600; fax, 609-883-0011.
Coface North America, 50 Millstone Road, Windsor Corporate Park,
Building 100, Suite 360, East Windsor 08520; 609-469-0400; fax,
609-490-1581. Mike Ferrante, president. www.coface-usa.com
Coface Collections North America bought the assets of Newton &
Associates Holding on September 29. A subsidiary of two French firms,
it provides management and protection services for trade receivables.
Headquartered in Metairie, Louisiana, Newton provides commercial debt
collection, receivables management outsourcing, international
collections, debt purchase, and educational services. It will operate
as a division of Coface.
ICONS Inc./Bankinfosecurity.com, 4 Independence Way, Princeton 08540;
609-924-5544; fax, 732-821-9160. Sanjay Kalra, president.
ICONS Inc., which provides consulting services in E-commerce,
communications, and messaging security, expanded at the end of August
from 212 North Center Drive in North Brunswick to Princeton. The firm
now employs 20 people.
Keller Williams Realty, 2271 Route 33, Suite 106, Hamilton 08691;
609-259-8444; fax, 609-259-3399. Judy Moriarty, managing broker. Home
Max Lancaster, owner and president of Keller Williams at Canal Pointe,
has opened a Hamilton-Burlington office with Judy Moriarty as team
leader and managing broker.
Moriarty has a BS in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle
Aeronautical University in Arizona and attended New York University’s
MBA program, where she majored in finance. Moriarty moved from Weidel
Keller Williams is the fourth largest real estate organization in the
U.S.. Together the Canal Pointe and Hamilton-Burlington offices employ
Montgomery Mortgage Solutions Inc., 2230 Route 206, First Floor, Belle
Mead 08502; 908-359-2410; fax, 908-359-3929. Zibha Singh, president.
Montgomery Mortgage expanded from the Village Shopper Center, 1330
Route 206 in Montgomery, to Belle Mead. It brokers residential
mortgages in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, and it is a
licensed banker in New Jersey. It also has an office in Newtown,
Epam Systems, 989 Lenox Drive, Suite 305, Lawrenceville 08648;
609-844-0400; fax, 609-844-0415. Arkadiy Dobkin, CEO. Home page:
EPAM will merge with Vested Development Inc., a 200-person software
outsourcing vendor based in Russia. EPAM will retain its name and
Arkadiy Dobkin, EPAM chairman, CEO and co-founder, will continue
leading EPAM’s operations in its North American headquarters on Lenox
The combined firms will employ more than 2,200 people in eight
Connotate Technologies, 100 Albany Street, New Brunswick 08901;
732-296-8844; fax, 732-296-0330. Bruce Molloy, CEO. Home page:
Connotate Technologies, with a current staff of 30, will expand its
offices later this year to accommodate 22 additional employees. It is
growing in both sales and market penetration due to what a
spokesperson terms a "receptive market."
The company creates actionable intelligence and collects unique data
from the web. Its automation tools and machine-learning information
agents can be trained to do anything a human can to monitor, extract,
and integrate web content.
One of the first spinoffs to come out of Rutgers’ computer science
department, Connotate was founded by Rutgers professors Tomasz
Imielinski, author of 100 papers and two books on database mining,
Donald Smith, director of the university’s laboratory for computer
science (LCSR), and Vince Sgro, senior application programmer at LCSR
(U.S. 1, March 21, 2001).
K.P. Burke Builder LLC, 600 Alexander Road, Princeton 08540;
609-921-6511; fax, 561-799-9215. Kevin Burke, owner.
K. P. Burke Builder LLC, developer and builder of single-family luxury
homes, has moved from a small office in Kingston to 600 Alexander
A memorial service for Natalie White Vaughan, 69, who died on July 3,
will be on Saturday, October 14, at 10 a.m. at Trinity Episcopal
Church on Mercer Street. She was a supervisor and social worker for
the Division of Youth and Family Services.
Harry Kurt Pedersen Sr., 78, died on October 4. He founded Hardy
Nurseries, which he operated with his son.
Dr. James Gordon Myers, 87, on October 7. Emeritus professor of music
at the College of New Jersey, he wrote "God’s Trombones," a choral
setting to the James Weldon Johnson poem.
John Young, 67, on October 7. He worked in the Princeton Township
public works department.
Robert J. Anderson, 81, on October 8. He had been a sergeant with
Princeton Borough police.
Harry Blaze, 70, on October 9. At the Times of Trenton, he was the
night metro editor, columnist, and auto racing writer.