Walk of Canal Pt. Blvd.
On Tuesday, April 17th, twenty-one West Windsor residents braved the weather and took part in an educational walk of Canal Pointe Boulevard in the vicinity of Princeton Market Fair to
examine conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists along this busy roadway. Participating in the
walk were seven residents who live in the communities along Canal Pointe Blvd, several elected officials, and Trustees and members of the WWBPA. The group met at Market Fair, and went on a 40 minute walk along Canal Pointe Boulevard between the Marriot Residence Inn and Meadow Road, crossing the roadway several times and generally observing the pedestrian and bicycle conditions firsthand.
In the picture above, it can be seen that there are no crosswalks at Heritage Drive where many Canal Pointe residents cross.
The group agreed that Canal Pointe Boulevard has serious flaws regarding safety and mobility for pedestrians and cyclists and is in need of immediate short-term amelioration as well as long-term reconstruction. Conditions for pedestrians crossing Canal Pointe Boulevard are dangerous and in fact represent a real lost opportunity, since the neighborhoods along Canal Pointe Boulevard contain a high density of residents living near significant retail and business centers, yet there is a clear lack of safe pedestrian crossings and bicycle facilities.
In the picture shown on the left, the sole existing crosswalk between Farber Rd and Alexander Rd at Mayfair Drive is inadequate- no curb cuts, no paved connection to existing sidewalks, no pedestrian refuge islands, and a lack of signage warning motorists of pedestrians.
The group fully endorses the recommendations from the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan developed for West Windsor by the Transportation Planners Orth-Rodgers and the Mayor’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force, for placing Canal Pointe Boulevard on a “road diet”. Such a road diet would reduce the automobile travel lanes from two in each direction to one in each direction with a middle turning lane, would include a grass median (which would put the “boulevard” back into Canal Pointe Boulevard), and would include high visibility pedestrian crossings and bicycle lanes, all of which would result in reduced automobile travel speeds, safer pedestrian crossings, and safe bicycle facilities. The Township has budgeted a traffic analysis of Canal Pt. Blvd this year.
In the picture above, the abysmal conditions for pedestrians can be seen at the intersection of Meadow Road and Canal POinte Blvd. There is a complete lack of crosswalks at this busy intersection. The picture below shows what pedestrians must do to cross Canal Pointe, no curb cuts, no crosswalk, no pedestrian refuge island to stop halfway. The last picture shows the lack of crosswalks at Heritage Drive to enable pedestrians to cross Heritage Drive. There are no such crosswalks at any of the exisiting intersections, such as Carillon Blvd, the entrances to Market Fair, Mayfair Drive, or Heritage.
Due to the dangerous current conditions, we urge the Township administration and the Township Council to take the appropriate actions to make Canal Pointe Boulevard a bicycle and pedestrian safe roadway. We owe it to the thousands of residents who reside in the communities along Canal Pointe Boulevard. This is especially true in light of the current discussion of “smart growth” development in the redevelopment area- we have attractive high density housing along Canal Pointe Boulevard; now let’s be smart and provide pedestrian and bicycle connectivity between this housing and nearby retail and business centers. A letter to the Mayor outlining our observations and recommendations can be found on the WWBPA web site http://www.princetononline.org/wwbpa/
Walk participants: Abbi and Hillary Allen, Ted and Susan Strempack, Matt Martin, Dan Fabrizio, Ralph and Lois Gerstein, Diane Ciccone, Daryl McMillan, Sandy and Rachel Shapiro, Susan Conlon, Alison Miller, Newell Benedict, Franc Gambatese, Heidi Kleinman, Linda Geevers, Chuck Chang, Anne Marie Strange, Ken Carlson.