Transit Village: Take Two

While the May 8 West Windsor municipal election led some headline writers to proclaim that the town’s redevelopment plans and transit village designation for the area around the Princeton Junction Train Station were dead in the water, the fact is that the planning process continues to move forward.

The three candidates swept into office on the controversial redevelopment issue were most adamantly against the 1,000 units of housing associated with the plan. They were open to consideration of a smaller scale proposals for the train station and downtown areas of West Windsor.

Hillier Architecture is still scheduled to present the latest iteration of its plan to the West Windsor Town Council and Planning Board on Monday, June 4. The council is going ahead with its “open mike” meeting on Monday, May 21, aimed at eliciting comments from residents on various issues, including the redevelopment process. And the Princeton Junction Neighborhoods’ Coalition, a group of residents living in the vicinity of the train station area and who have registered complaints about the planning process, have scheduled a critique of the Hillier plan on Thursday, May 17, at 7 p.m. at the Senior Center at the West Windsor municipal complex on Clarksville Road.

Presenting the critique: Transit-oriented design planner Stephanos Polyzoides, a Los Angeles-based architect and co-founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism. For more information call 609-275-5042. For information on the Princeton Junction Neighborhoods’ Coalition go to

Noting that Polyzoides has helped design two mixed-use transit-oriented developments in the Pasadena, California, area, the neighborhood coalition says that he “will critique the Hillier design for Princeton Junction, indicating where it succeeds and where it falls short on delivering ‘community’ and other goals cited by the residents.”

Other items on the agenda of the Princeton Junction Neighborhoods’ Coalition: “How the financial risks associated with such designs can be minimized and how communities need to deal with developers.”

Polyzoides received his bachelors and masters in architecture from Princeton (where his roommates included U.S. 1 editor Richard K. Rein). From 1973 until 1997, he was associate professor of Architecture at the University of Southern California. The Congress for the New Urbanism, an association of over 3,000 architects, planners, engineers, developers, government officials and environmentalists, works toward the restoration of existing urban centers and the reconfiguration of suburbs.

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