Access Road clears council; But it’s ‘Plan B’ that gets approval

A new access road will extend 21st Avenue through the Princeton Industrial Park.
But it’s a road most people are expecting.
After a heated conversation Sept. 5 with industrial park business leaders over traffic concerns and through traffic, city officials went back to the drawing board to construct a new road plan. It’s that plan that gained council approval on Sept. 12.
The new plan turns the 21st Avenue extension into a road for only emergency vehicles such as police cars, fire trucks and ambulances.
The council sees emergency vehicle access as critical because the new public safety building will be opening next month on a stretch of 21st Avenue south of First Street. The emergency vehicles will access the south side of the city through this new access road.
City Administrator Mark Karnowski outlined the alternative plan for the council, explaining that barriers or gates would block northbound traffic from accessing 21st Avenue from the south and also block southbound traffic from accessing 19th Avenue in the industrial park from the north.
Signage stating “Emergency vehicles only — no through traffic” would be erected, as well, Karnowski said.
It’s a win-win situation because it addresses both public safety concerns and concerns of the industrial park, Karnowski said in a memo to council members.
But road construction is connected to future runway development at the Princeton Airport.
Councilman Thom Walker’s motion to proceed with the road is contingent upon the city trying to keep plans for a future crosswind runway intact and the two coexisting.
“But if we have to get rid of the cross-wind runway, we have to get rid of the cross-wind runway,” Walker said.
“Nobody said anything tonight that changed my mind a whole lot on the cross-wind runway,” Walker said. “I just don’t think it’s going to get done.”
Walker, however, was willing to appease local pilots in the room who were fighting hard for keeping options for the future runway open.
Mayor Paul Whitcomb said the city would try to communicate with its contact with the Federal Aviation Administration to see if the limited access road would meeting FAA guidelines for keeping future runway plans intact.
The road proposal passed on a 3-2 vote with Whitcomb and Victoria Hallin casting the dissenting votes.
Industrial park business owner Joe Glenn was asked by Councilmember Dick Dobson if the “Plan B” road proposal was something he, as a business owner, could live with.
“With respect to the industrial park, it serves the purpose of letting emergency vehicles through and eliminates through traffic,” Glenn said.
“Yes, I see it as a solution,” he said.

  • BA

    I am so glad that I no longer live in Princeton. How much money are they spending on a road to nowhere that nobody can use?
    Have fun footing that bill Princeton taxpayers.