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Legibility Study

3
What is an Action?

 

An Action is the smallest, most concrete recommendation made in the Master Plan. An Action can be a policy, project, program, partnership, plan, study, or advocacy position. They can be City lead or sponsored by outside organizations. Actions are combined in Initiatives to achieve Goals.

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Background

Trenton is often difficult to navigate. The street pattern is a composition of competing grids and radial routes approaching from all directions. Additional confusion is caused by one-way streets and streets changing names. The City of Trenton should conduct a study to eliminate changes in a street’s name. For example:
  • Chambers Street has a strong identity in the Chambersburg neighborhood. However, when traveling toward downtown, it becomes Lincoln Ave for a few blocks, before changing to Perry Street, then Bank Street, then Passaic Street. [Chambers Name]

  • South Warren Street is a major street through the downtown and waterfront district. It takes a sharp turn as it approaches Route 1 and becomes New Warren Street. Adding to the confusion is a small block of South Warren Street on the south side of Route 1. This block does not relate well to the rest of Warren Street as it does not logically align. This block better relates to Riverview Plaza across the intersection with Route 29. With a redeveloped waterfront, this intersection is a potential gateway to the redeveloped waterfront.

south warren name

south warren name

Broad Street and State Street have strong physical identities across the city, but their changing orientations can be confusing. It is important to preserve these longer routes, but their identities must be enhanced as they change angles. In the short term, appropriate solutions for these streets could be banners that reinforce their identity as they traverse the city (See Wayfinding Projects). The Study should also consider the effect of returning Broad and Warren Streets to their pre-colonial names (King Street and Queen Street) would have on legibility. In the long term, the City must conduct a study to see if Broad and Warren can be converted to a two-way street as far north as Battle Monument (see

Where streets bridge over the highways, ceremonial arches could further enhance the legibility of key streets. See Broad Street Gateways diagram from Broad Street Vision Plan.

broad arches

broad arches
The City should also identify locations in which direction of travel could be improved, and one-way streets should be eliminated when possible. One-way streets can work well in a regular grid with frequent opportunities to make turns. The majority of streets in Trenton are two-way. The occasional one-way street makes the network even more difficult to comprehend and traverse.
 

broad warren two way

broad warren two way
The City of Trenton should make Broad Street (Route 206) and Warren Street two-way roads as far north as practical. Both are important links in the downtown. These roadways should remain two-way to at least State Street, where motorists could choose to turn left or right. On-street parking should be maintained at the current level. These streets are multi-lane one-way streets. A traffic study to determine the limits of the conversion and nature of impacts should be determined in the study.
Finally, the City should include identify and provide solutions to the missing and broken street and traffic signage. Basic improvements to these will make it significantly easier for residents and visitors to navigate the City.
Details of Legibility Study

Classification:

Study

Supporting Departments:

Police Department

Fire Department

Department Of Public Works

Cost:

$40,000

Status:

Pending

Districts:

Downtown District

Topic Focused Report:

Circulation

Priority:

Medium