The speed limit on Terhune Road, between North Harrison Street and Randall Road, has been reduced from 30 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour.
The reduced speed limit took effect immediately after an ordinance was adopted by the Princeton Council at its Dec. 7 meeting. Signs indicating the new speed limit are in place.
The reduction in the speed limit was made in anticipation of the development of about 400 new homes, both townhouses and rental apartments, along Terhune Road.
The Princeton Planning Board has approved the redevelopment of the former Thanet Circle office park into a 221-unit townhouse and rental apartment development by AvalonBay Communities, and an age-restricted 80-unit affordable housing development by PIRHL Developers LLC.
An additional 100 housing units are anticipated to be built on the corner of North Harrison Street and Terhune Road, opposite the Princeton Medical Group physicians offices.
The reduction in the speed limit will work in tandem with proposed bicycle and pedestrian improvements along that stretch of Terhune Road. The Community Master Plan calls for installing bicycle lanes on Terhune Road, and a sidewalk on the south side of Terhune Road between North Harrison Street and Meadowbrook Drive.
Princeton Councilwoman Mia Sacks said the residents in the Terhune Road neighborhood have been asking for a speed reduction for almost 20 years, and it means a lot that their voices have been heard.
“I think this is more than a speed reduction for the residents of the neighborhood. It makes them feel like they are important to the Princeton Council,” Sacks said.
Princeton Council President David Cohen praised Mayor Liz Lempert for her role in the effort to reduce the speed limit. She was “instrumental” in getting it done, he said.
Lempert acknowledged that “this (has been) a long, long effort.”
“I think it’s a reflection of the fact that there are a lot of changes going on along this stretch of Terhune Road. It’s in recognition that there is going to be significantly more development on this stretch of road, and we need to bring the speed limit down,” Lempert said.
Lisa Serieyssol, who serves on Princeton Bicycle Advisory Committee, said that lowering the speed limit on Terhune Road is an initiative that is “near and dear” to the committee.
Terhune Road is used by bicyclists and pedestrians to go to the Princeton Shopping Center, parks and schools as much as it is used by motorists, she said.
“Once the development is in place, it is critically important for the people living in those units who rely on transportation by walking, riding a bicycle or public transportation,” Serieyssol said.