Six months after the 82-year-old man was killed while crossing Roadsdale Road on General Johnson Drive, nothing has reportedly changed – and it has upset some parents whose children walk or bike to Johnson Park School.
Two of those parents – Stephanie Oster and Leslie Fabela, who live on Fairway Drive in Brookstone – called on the Princeton Council to take steps to improve the safety of pedestrians and bicycles at the intersection at a February 14 council meeting.
Oster and Fabela called on the Princeton Council to use their influence to lobby the Mercer County Council of Commissioners to improve the Rondale Road, which is supported by Mercer County.
Oster said she drove or drove her children to Johnson Park School, and observed almost every day that some drivers did not comply with the speed limit in the school zone of 25 miles per hour. Some drivers stop to allow children to cross Rosdale Road, but many do not, she said.
It was one of those cars that didn’t stop that hit an elderly man in August 2021. He pressed a button to turn on the pedestrian crossing signal on Rowdale Road and General Johnson Drive, and was crossing the street when he was hit by a car, reports at the time.
After the death of a pedestrian in September 2021, several residents appealed to the Princeton Council to propose security measures such as appointing a police officer upon arrival at the school and dismissal or installing a traffic light signal at an intersection.
The fact that Roadsdale Road is not safe is not new, and so residents are being asked to find a solution, Fabela Princeton Council said at a Feb. 14 meeting. Former Johnson Park school principal Robert Ginsberg met with school management to talk about it when he was appointed principal in 1999.
Signs have been added to indicate the school area, as well as flashing lights announcing reduced speed when children are present. A pedestrian crossing has also been added.
Despite these changes, “excessive speed remains a problem,” Fabela said.
There is hope, she said. In 2019, the city received a $ 1 million grant from the Safe Ways to School program, but it is unlikely there will be any action for several more years, she said.
“We believe that a few more years is too long to wait, and the risk of further car and pedestrian accidents is too high. We ask the Princeton Council to support our community in taking two simple steps at the earliest opportunity, ”Fabela said.
Residents would like to see measures taken to calm traffic – such as improving signs and better lighting at pedestrian crossings – until Mercer County begins work to improve the Rosedale Road, Fabela said.
Municipal engineer Dean Stockton told residents that the Princeton Department of Engineering was working with a Mercer County engineer to improve the Rosedale Road – from Elm Road in Princeton to Carter Road in Lawrence.
“We hope to get some information that we can share publicly, but we are now in an internal review period with the Mercer County engineer,” Stockton said.
Princeton Council member Eva Niedergang said city staff were “very diligent” working on the issue. She urged residents to contact Mercer County Council of Commissioners and Mercer County Governor Brian Hughes.
Princeton board member David Cohen said some short-term design ideas had been proposed, such as restoring Rovedale Road to create narrower lanes that would have a calming effect.
Mayor Mark Fred said he would talk to Stockton, a municipal engineer, about some measures to calm traffic. Fred and Princeton board member Leighton Newlin have said they will attend the next meeting of the Mercer County Board of Commissioners.