The City of Trenton lacks long expanses of open spaces for children to play. Trenton should look for opportunities to use part of their largest open space asset – the street system. Partial closures of streets could allow children a safe place to play outside, which is a critical need in the hours after school. A Pilot project could be implemented to test a street closure to determine the impacts, and the hours and length of the closure could be adjusted to meet the needs of residents and children.
A good candidate for the Pilot Program would be Chestnut Avenue through the Chambersburg neighborhood. Chestnut Avenue serves both the Carroll Robbins Elementary School and the Washington Elementary School, with Columbus Park in between. By closing this street to traffic, children could play in the street and safely move between school and the park. This street could serve as a key component to a Safe Routes to School Plan.
The City should develop a daily vehicular use closure plan along Chestnut Avenue to connect Washington Elementary School with Columbus Park and the Assunpink Creek Greenway. Partnership with a local community organization to program the area as an active play space, can ensure it is an attractive and safe environment for everyone, especially children.
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