Mercer County has launched a study of Rosedale Road, from Elm Road in Princeton to Carter Road in Lawrence Township, that may result in creating roundabouts at key intersections and speed limit reductions.
The study is being conducted in response to safety concerns voiced by the Municipality of Princeton to protect bicyclists and pedestrians, including children who cross Rosedale Road on their way to the Johnson Park School on General Johnson Drive, Mercer County officials said.
There are some safety measures in place, such as a pedestrian-activated crossing light and signage that indicate a school zone. There are flashing overhead lights that announce reduced speed when children are present.
Princeton had requested a traffic signal at the intersection of Rosedale Road and General Johnson Drive, but it did not meet the minimum standards for the installation of a traffic signal, officials said.
Princeton residents have increasingly pushed for increased safety measures on Rosedale Road, following the death of an elderly man in August 2021. He had activated the pedestrian crossing light and was crossing Rosedale Road when he was struck and killed by a car that allegedly did not slow down, according to reports..
Mercer County had already hired a design consultant, Traffic Planning and Design, to study Rosedale Road prior to the pedestrian fatality.
The consultant has submitted a design solution that calls for a roundabout, or small traffic circle, to be installed at Rosedale Road and General Johnson Drive. Princeton officials support the proposed roundabout.
The consultant’s proposal also eliminates traffic lights on Rosedale Road at Elm Road, Province Line Road and Carter Road. They would be replaced with roundabouts at those intersections.
While Princeton officials have supported the roundabout at General Johnson Drive, they had questions about the roundabout at Rosedale Road and Elm Road. Princeton officials want more information about a proposed roundabout at Elm Road, they have said.
The consultant suggested lowering the speed limit on Rosedale Road in Princeton between Elm Road and Province Line Road to 35 miles per hour. The speed limit ranges from 25 miles per hour near Elm Road to 40 miles per hour around General Johnson Drive and 45 miles per hour to Province Line Road.
The 45-miles-per-hour speed limit on Rosedale Road in Lawrence Township from Province Line Road to Carter Road would not be changed.
Meanwhile, a group of Princeton residents gathered on Rosedale Road Feb. 25 at the crosswalk near General Johnson Drive to mark the six-month anniversary of the crash that killed the elderly pedestrian in August 2021.
At the gathering, Fairway Drive resident Leslie Fabello said they would not have had to gather if Princeton and Mercer County officials had paid heed to concerns about pedestrian safety that were shared more than 20 years ago by the Johnson Park School PTO and then-Johnson Park School Principal Robert Ginsberg.
“We wouldn’t have to be here today worrying about the safety of our children crossing from the school to the Greenway Meadows 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,” Fabello said.
Fabello said that to ensure that residents would not have to gather together in six months or six years or 22 years because of a similar tragedy, they must stand together and continue to ask Mercer County when work would begin to make design improvements.