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Princeton receives state grant to expand shared bicycle-pedestrian path on Cherry Hill Road

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Princeton has received a $750,000 state grant toward the cost of extending the existing shared bicycle-pedestrian path on Cherry Hill Road, according to a press release through Gov. Phil Murphy’s office.

The $750,000 grant was made available through the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s (NJDOT) Bikeway grant program, Princeton officials said. The town will use the money toward the Municipal Engineer’s estimate of $824,927 to extend the path.

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The existing pedestrian and bicycle path starts at the intersection of Cherry Hill Road and State Road/Route 206 and ends at Foulet Drive, and the grant allows the town to extend the path from Foulet Drive to Crestview Drive, officials said.

“The pedestrian and bicycle path extension project enters into the geologically unique Princeton Ridge,” Assistant Municipal Engineer James Purcell wrote in a memorandum to the Princeton Council earlier this year.

The project will include some tree removal and replanting, and slope excavation and the installation of a retaining wall, Purcell said. Boulders and bedrock may be encountered in the construction area, he said.

The project is one phase of the goal to extend the pedestrian and bicycle path to Cherry Valley Road, Purcell said. The existing – and proposed – pathway is asphalt. The planned extension from Foulet Drive to Crestview Drive will be buffered by a grass strip between the Cherry Hill Road and the path on one side, and a split rail fence on the other side of the path.

A primary objective of the NJDOT’s Bikeway grant program is to support the state’s goal of constructing 1,000 new miles of dedicated bicycle paths – facilities that are physically separated from cars and trucks by an open space or barrier within the highway right of way or within an independent right of way, Purcell said.

Meanwhile, NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said the agency is “proud to support Gov. Murphy’s vision to make New Jersey more fair, equitable and environmentally friendly” through grant programs such as the Local Bikeway program.

Coming at a time of rising traffic fatalities and serious injuries across New Jersey, the state funding will help to create more walkable and bikeable roads, said Debra Kagan, executive director of the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition.

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