Princeton Council reduces speed limit on Witherspoon and John streets


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The speed limit for the entire length of Witherspoon and John streets will be reduced to 20 miles per hour, according to an ordinance approved by the Princeton Council.

Witherspoon Street is a main corridor that connects residential neighborhoods to the Central Business District, officials said. The Community Park School, the Princeton Municipal Complex, the Princeton Fire Department and the Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad are located on Witherspoon Street.

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The decision to reduce the speed limit on Witherspoon Street is tied to its increased use by pedestrians and bicyclists, officials said. Witherspoon Street is being redesigned to include traffic calming measures to create a more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly corridor.

The Princeton Council approved the ordinance at its Jan. 23 meeting.

The current 25-miles-per-hour speed limit on Witherspoon Street is being reduced to 20 miles per hour along its entire length from Nassau Street to Valley Road, according to the ordinance.

Assistant Municipal Engineer James Purcell detailed the reasons of the speed limit reduction in a Jan. 9 memorandum to Mayor Mark Freda and the Princeton Counci.

The speed limit on John Street already is 20 miles per hour between Paul Robeson Place and Leigh Avenue. It is 25 miles per hour on the short stretch of John Street between Leigh Avenue and the Community Park parking lot.

The speed limit on John Street, between Leigh Avenue and the Community Park parking lot, is being reduced to be consistent with the rest of John Street, Purcell wrote in the memorandum.

Tineke Theo, who lives on Dempsey Avenue, applauded the speed reduction.

“(The reduced speed limit) is going to be great for Witherspoon Street and John Street for the people who walk up and down the street and who bike up and down the street,” Theo said.

Witherspoon Street is a very heavily traveled street for school children who must cross it to get to the Community Park School, the Princeton Middle School and Princeton High School, Theo said.

Princeton Councilman David Cohen said he hoped that Witherspoon Street and John Street are “the first of many streets that get identified for a 20 miles-per-hour speed limit.”

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