Streets for People

Our streets act as essential arteries for our town, connecting our homes to the businesses, services, and community we all enjoy.

The Streets for People initiative enhances our streets by working to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, ability, income, race, or ethnicity, has safe, comfortable, and convenient access to our community and all that it offers. This encourages the revitalization of our local economy, supports current social distancing measures, and also acts to strengthen our society. 

The initiative helps encourages fitness and health for all residents and supports sustainable transportation, fulfilling key objectives of the Princeton Climate Action Plan, Bicycle Mobility Plan, Complete Streets Policy, and Safe Routes to School programs.

As Princeton reopens, several approaches are underway to implement this initiative. These include:

  • Slow Streets: About a dozen residential streets will be designated as only for local car traffic. Drive-thru traffic will be discouraged and vehicles will be asked to slow down to keep the streets safe for pedestrians and children. (Check out the FAQ below.)
  • Bike Boulevards: As defined in the Princeton Bicycle Mobility Plan, sign posts will designate these Boulevards to connect the community and create a “greenway.” This helps enable a variety of new cycling loops around our town, ranging from the 16-mile Fitness Loop around the perimeter to the 4.5 mile Town & Gown Loop in the core. (Check out the interactive Princeton Bike Loop map.)
  • Additional Bicycle Parking: Opportunities to park strollers and bikes will be expanded in the core business district, allowing for easier access to shops and restaurants and alleviating parking congestion.

The Streets for People initiative is among the first of similar several other efforts within New Jersey and around the country to encourage the reopening of the economy in a manner that is safe for all. We hope you will participate in and enjoy this new chapter of Princeton’s reemergence. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Slow Streets

What is a Slow Street?

Slow Streets are quiet, residential streets designated as only for local car traffic. Through traffic is discouraged and vehicles are asked to maintain slow speeds.

Slow Streets are designed to prevent overcrowding on sidewalks and facilitate physical distancing in line with public health orders. The use of the street allows neighbors to maintain social distance while jogging, walking, and biking.

What will Slow Streets look like?

Simple tools including temporary signs and a sawhorse will be used to divert through traffic and slow down overall speeds. These strategies are designed to improve safety for people who are walking or jogging and remind the public about current health orders like maintaining social distance.

What are not goals of the Slow Streets program?

  • Slow Streets do not create new locations for the public to gather.
  • Slow Streets do not restrict local traffic from accessing residences and businesses along the designated streets. Only through traffic is restricted.
  • Slow Streets do not restrict emergency vehicle access along Slow Streets.

Are these full street closures?

No. Streets are open for local vehicle access. Residents and their visitors, services (e.g., mail, delivery, contractors, landscapers), and emergency vehicles can all access the street. Streets are closed to through traffic.

What kind of activity is allowed on a Slow Street?

Slow streets are for “active use” by local neighbors. Activities include jogging, walking, and biking, but not group sports or gatherings of any kind. All participants are asked to maintain social distance and keep 6 feet from every neighbor. Face masks are encouraged to protect yourself and your neighbors. 

What are the selection criteria for Slow Streets?

Slow Streets are quiet, residential, local streets that do not serve as arterials or major collectors, as advised by Princeton Police. Each street was evaluated for several factors, including insufficient sidewalks, density of the neighborhood, and narrow streets. Other considerations included connectivity to the Downtown District, a popular destination, or a Bike Boulevard, as defined in the Bicycle Mobility Plan. Also, the selection of streets is geographically diverse, offering a variety of Princeton residents the chance to participate. 

Which streets have been identified as Slow Streets?

Streets initially being considered as Slow Streets are Ridgeview Road, John Street, Clay Street, Linden Avenue, Patton Avenue, Walnut Lane, Dempsey Avenue, Cuyler Road, Littlebrook Road North, Magnolia Lane, Library Place, and Westcott Road. Please note the current map of proposed Slow Street pilot locations.

Who is evaluating this initiative?

The Princeton Bicycle Advisory Committee (PBAC), along with the Princeton Police, Engineering Department, the Department of Public Works, and Sustainable Princeton, will evaluate feedback from residents in and around Slow Streets on a semi-monthly basis and report the findings to Council for the duration of the program.

The PBAC consists of residents with particular expertise and interest in alternative transportation. As appointees by the Council, they provide advice to the Council on matters of concern to both pedestrians and bicyclists.

Are Slow Streets 24/7 or at certain times of the day?

During the initial phase, Slow Streets will be open 24 hours a day for two days in a row, typically on weekends. Once established, Slow Streets may be in place 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the initiative.

What about parking?

No parking rules have been impacted by this initiative, so please follow the current rules. To enable pedestrians and children to use the streets, we do encourage those who have driveways to use them whenever possible.

Is there a speed limit change on Slow Streets? 

The Slow Streets program encourages slower speeds with traffic-calming barriers but does not currently impact the speed limit. Princeton Council is considering an ordinance that could lower the enforceable speed limit on these Slow Streets.

How long will this last?

The Slow Streets program is in effect until mid-October, at which point it will be evaluated based on feedback from the public and guidance from the State of New Jersey. 

Throughout the program, the actual streets designated as Slow Streets may shift based on feedback from residents.

Where did this come from?

In mid-June, Princeton Council passed several new ordinances allowing the Downtown District to reopen in compliance with COVID-19 restrictions, establishing the Slow Street program, and implementing new Bike Boulevards. Each of these actions is designed to encourage the revitalization of our local economy and strengthen our society while supporting current social distancing measures.

Can my street become a Slow Street?

Potentially. The municipality can consider a limited number of local, residential roads as Slow Streets. To request that your street be considered, please complete this form.

This is great. How can I help?

Volunteers are needed to monitor the signs and traffic calming devices to ensure they remain in working condition. Please use this form to sign up to volunteer.

How do I provide feedback about Slow Streets?

As soon as the first Slow Streets are up, we hope you will complete our survey about your experiences with Slow Streets. Check back soon!

In the meantime, you are welcome to use this form to make comments.