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news release

P.O. Box 600
Trenton, NJ
Contact: Joe Dee
RELEASE: October 13, 2012

NJDOT terminates a no-left-turn trial program
along a congested section of Route 1 in West Windsor


Adverse impact to residential neighborhood drives the decision

(West Windsor) - New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner James Simpson today announced the cancellation of a trial program that was intended to reduce traffic congestion along a section of Route 1 in West Windsor, Mercer County.

Commissioner Simpson made the announcement early this afternoon as he stood along Washington Road (CR 571) with West Windsor residents who had gathered to demonstrate their opposition to the trial program.

“I am announcing that NJDOT will end the trial program and restore all previous traffic movements within a week,” Commissioner Simpson said. “We told local officials, residents and other stakeholders in the Princetons, West Windsor and Plainsboro that we would terminate the trial prior to its scheduled 12-week duration if we became convinced that unintended consequences could not be satisfactorily mitigated. We are making good on that promise today.”

The trial was scheduled to continue until the last week of October. NJDOT crews will remove all barricades, barrels and signage associated with the trial in the coming days.

Commissioner Simpson said the trial, which eliminated left turns for Route 1 northbound motorists at Washington Road and Harrison Street, had produced the expected improvements in traffic flow on Route 1, but that the unintended consequences in West Windsor and the Princetons outweighed the benefits.

Despite signage and police enforcement efforts to steer Route 1 northbound motorists to the Scudders Mill Road interchange, motorists persisted to use residential streets and driveways in West Windsor’s Penns Neck neighborhood to access Princeton via Washington Road.

“The goal of the trial was to improve the quality of life for residents and commuters in this congested section of Route 1,” said Simpson, who made numerous unannounced trips in recent weeks to observe firsthand the conditions in the Penns Neck neighborhood and on Alexander Road in West Windsor and along Alexander Street and other streets in Princeton.

“Unfortunately, the trial disrupted the Penns Neck neighborhood with additional traffic and created safety concerns. Our efforts to resolve those issues and guide motorists to the Scudders Mill interchange were unsuccessful,” Simpson said. “Increased congestion along Alexander Street in Princeton was also a concern.”

There were numerous changes to traffic patterns in connection with the trial in addition to the left turn restrictions from Route 1 northbound at Washington Road and Harrison Street. All traffic movements that were permitted prior to the trial will be restored, including right turns from Route 1 northbound onto Varsity Avenue and Fisher Place, and left turn movements from Route 1 southbound at Fisher Place and Washington Road.

The Department will work with county and local governments, residents and other stakeholders toward longer-term solutions to the traffic congestion along this stretch of Route 1. “We will be exploring value-engineered solutions involving a buildable project or projects to fight congestion in this corridor,” Simpson said.

Residents, elected officials, the business community and others have urged that a number of options be revisited, such as extending West Windsor’s Vaughn Drive to Washington Road, widening the Mercer County-owned bridge that spans the Delaware & Raritan Canal on Alexander Road and building an overpass near the intersection of Route 1 and Harrison Street.

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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  October 15, 2012