Trenton’s roadways represent its largest investment in the public realm, and yet too often these roadways are foreboding. Trenton should strive to make all of its roads both safer, and more attractive for all road users. All roadways should adhere to the City’s Complete Streets Policy, and be safe and attractive for all modes. The City should adopt a Vision Zero Policy and develop an implementation plan through a Pedestrian Safety Study.
NJ Route 129
Pedestrian Safety along NJ Route 129 must be improved. It is a high-speed roadway without pedestrian facilities. However, there are key crossings of NJ Route 129 at Hamilton Avenue, Cass Street, and Lalor Street that need pedestrian enhancements. These three crossings are the only opportunities for pedestrians to cross over a 1.5 mile stretch of roadway. The City of Trenton should work with NJDOT to make targeted pedestrian enhancements at each intersection. In addition, the entire corridor should be redesigned to reduce vehicle speeds and make the area more attractive.
US Route 1
At the US Route 1 Interchange with Perry Street, active land uses including a public park, firehouse headquarters, and an approved charter school, all generate pedestrian traffic. In addition, the trail connection to the D&R Canal, and the potential extension along the rail corridor will also draw pedestrians and cyclists through this interchange. The interchange currently permits high-speed access to and from the slip ramps. Although pedestrian crossings are marked, the environment seems tailored to automobile traffic. Pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements are needed at this interchange. With the addition of the new charter school, improvements to the interchange should be considered as part of a Safe Routes to School plan.
NJ Route 29
The conversion of NJ Route 29 into a boulevard will have demonstrable impacts on driver and pedestrian safety and is a priority project. The potential of this project to transform Trenton’s waterfront is profound. Further south on NJ Route 29, crossings at Cass Street and Warren Street/Riverview Plaza should be improved to better connect pedestrians to the waterfront. Careful detailing of the roadway and land-uses should be studied as part of a Great Streets Program.
Some local roads in Trenton are oversized. The City should investigate where it can implement a road diet to convert roadway space to bicycle facilities, pedestrian space, bulb-outs, raised medians, and landscaped areas to calm traffic. Of particular note are Southard and Perry Streets, West State Street (between Lee Ave and Overbrook Ave), and Broad Street (East of Liberty Street). Furthermore, investigating the removal of the truck weight ban along NJ Route 29 will reduce the number of large trucks that circulate on local roads, which should have an immediate impact on safety and aesthetics.
Finally, ensuring that residents have safe access to schools and transit is vital. The City of Trenton should develop both a Safe Streets to Transit (SSTT) Program and expand its Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) program.