Oppose Traffic Calming Obstructions

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Friday, January 20, 2006

Information from a recent traffic calming test in Princeton:

Preliminary findings from a three-month-long, state-funded study looking to improve declining traffic conditions on the Route 206 corridor from Nassau Street to Cherry Valley Road were subjected to yet another public hearing last week, aimed to flesh out any lingering concerns of residents....

Particular attention was given to the idea of installing traffic-calming roundabouts at jammed intersections like those along 206 at Ewing Street or at Nassau Street near Borough Hall....

[M]embers of the Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad were concerned that some of the proposed traffic-calming measures might impede emergency vehicles, which rely on quick access through the path of least resistance....

Mark Freda, who, along with Squad Chief Greg Paulson, was in attendance on behalf of the Squad, worried that before the final Route 206 study report is completed, there needed to be something "on the record" that indicates the emergency services in town desire more input as the plans approached implementation. He expressed particular concern as to whether emergency vehicles would be able to maneuver the pedestrian "refuges," which, according to some plans, stretch up to 90 feet. He worried that cars approaching the roundabouts would not be able to yield to an ambulance or fire truck for a lack of space.

"If you approach that at rush hour, and traffic is backed up that full 90 feet or longer, how are the cars going to go to get out of our way?" Mr. Freda added that he would like to see some shoulder or drive that would allow emergency vehicles to get around the traffic.

"Our concern is that people will see the conceptual plan and say 'okay, that's it, it's done.' But we needed to stand up and say that we agreed with the overall effort, that traffic's going to be calm, but just don't want a situation where we can't get to somebody when we need to get to them."

Representatives of the grassroots community group that helped initiate the state grant to fund the study, "Citizens for a Safer Route 206," said that the Rescue Squad was one of several "stakeholders" who have been, and will continue to be contacted individually by the engineers involved in the study.

posted by Ontario Emperor  # 17:02


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