Town looks to improve pedestrian safety on Route 206


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Aiming to ensure pedestrian safety on Route 206/State Road, the Princeton Council has awarded a contract to a traffic consultant to study the feasibility of installing rapid flashing beacons at two key pedestrian crosswalks.

WSP USA was awarded the $14,624 contract to conduct the feasibility study at the Princeton Council’s Aug. 9 meeting.

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The consultant has one year in which to complete the study and make recommendations.

The crosswalks to be studied are on Route 206/State Road at Mansgrove Road, and at the crosswalk on Route 206/State Road at Herrontown Road.

The rectangular rapid flashing beacons, similar to the ones that may be installed at those crosswalks, are already in place on Witherspoon Street near the Princeton Public Library and on Alexander Road.

The consultant will prepare a memorandum that will be submitted to the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT), which has jurisdiction over Route 206.

If DOT agrees that the rectangular rapid flashing beacons or a similar pedestrian safety measure is warranted at one or both crosswalks, WSP will submit a proposal for Phase 2 services to the Princeton Council.

The rectangular rapid flashing beacon is activated by a pedestrian who wants to cross the street. Signage, indicating a pedestrian crossing the street, would be installed on the same pole as the beacons.

The town’s Traffic Safety Committee recommended studying the Mansgrove Road and Herrontown Road crosswalks. The Woodland Drive/Mansgrove neighborhood has been asking for the rectangular rapid flashing beacons for several years.

The crosswalk at Herrontown Road has a higher pedestrian demand than the one at Mansgrove Road because of the businesses, including food establishments, on the west side of Route 206/State Road.

More pedestrians are expected to use the crosswalk at Herrontown Road because of impending development on the east side of the road.

One of those developments is an affordable rental apartment complex on the site of the former SAVE animal shelter, at the corner of Mount Lucas and Herrontown roads. Work has not yet begun on the development.

RPM Development LLC received Planning Board approval in 2019 to build the apartment complex, whose 64 apartments would be earmarked for low- and moderate-income households.

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