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Opinion: Princeton, county officials need to do better to improve pedestrian safety near Johnson Park School

Angela Siso Stentz has been appointed interim principal of the Johnson Park School.

Editor’s note: An 82-year-old man was killed as he crossed Rosedale Road at General Johnson Drive, and six months later that still has some parents whose children walk or ride their bicycles to the Johnson Park School upset. Two of those parents – Stephanie Oster and Leslie Fabello, who both live on Fairway Drive in the Brookstone development – called on the Princeton Council to take steps to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety at the intersection at the council’s Feb. 14 meeting.

A group of residents and parents gathered at 8 a.m. Feb. 25 at Rosedale Crossing to mark six months since the death of Mr. Xu.
As we gathered, I shared some words:

We wouldn’t have to be here today, stood in the cold and the rain, if only Princeton Town Council and the Mercer County Commissioners had listened to the concerns shared by Dr. Bob Ginsburg and the Johnson Park PTO 22-and-a-half years ago.

We wouldn’t have to be here today worrying about the safety of our children crossing from the school to the park if only our elected council officials had acted on the findings of the New Jersey Safe Routes to School report when it identified this crossing as an area of concern six years ago.

We wouldn’t have to be here today, marking six months since the tragic death of 82-year-old local resident Pinghua Xu, if Mercer County had used the $1 million grant it received for Safe Routes to School to finally make this crossing safe in 2019.

And yet here we are. Still waiting for a solution.

To ensure that we don’t have to be here in another six months, another six years, or even another 22-and-a-half years, we must stand together and use our voices to demand action. Show your support by continuing to ask the county when the work will be carried out to make design improvements.

We then held a moment of silence.

Leslie Fabello

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