Main Street North Brunswick has everything a modern “transit village” needs: A Target, a Costco, high-density housing, and the Greene Turtle, a sports pub. It’s just missing one thing: the transit. The development is supposed to be centered around a train station, officially announced in 2013, which would allow residents of the mixed-use development to live, shop, and commute by hopping on the Northeast Corridor line without ever touching a car.
Main Street North Brunswick is an ambitious exercise in suburban planning. The 212-acre lot, built on a former Johnson & Johnson site that closed for good in 2009, was targeted for a transit village by township leaders, following NJ Transit’s Transit Village Initiative Program, which encouraged towns to build shops and homes near mass transit stations (U.S. 1, January 22, 2014). The village, which is about 35 miles from New York, lies on a stationless 14-mile stretch of the Northeast Corridor between the Princeton Junction and Jersey Avenue stations.
A total of 1,875 residential units are authorized, making it the biggest and farthest along of several transit village projects in the Route 1 corridor. When the development was being planned, NJ Transit said a station would be built by 2018. In 2013 Governor Chris Christie confirmed that a train station would be built at the site.
But as the 2018 date approaches, and now that shops, and some homes, have been constructed, the station remains a long-term goal. The North Brunswick station is not part of NJ Transit’s current capital plan. NJ Transit recently said in a statement to reporters that North Brunswick’s station has been made less of a priority because of other projects.
“It is important to understand that capital plans adapt to current situations and to meet priority safety, state of good repair, and operational needs,” the statement said. “We have advanced the design of the proposed station, which allows NJ Transit to have a more refined cost estimate, identify property and other needs, and an understanding of scope.”