West Windsor gains Transit Village designation
Township becomes 24th Transit Village in New Jersey
(Trenton) - The New Jersey Department of Transportation has approved West Windsor, Mercer County, as the state’s 24th Transit Village, a designation that recognizes and supports the municipality’s efforts to create mixed-use development within walking distance of NJ TRANSIT’s Princeton Junction train station.
NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson said West Windsor’s designation is unique in that it is starting with surface parking lots and undeveloped land rather than a plan to redevelop a downtown or main street area but, he noted, the municipality’s vision captures all the elements of what a Transit Village should be.
“West Windsor plans to transform the parking areas around the Princeton Junction train station into a vibrant residential, retail and commercial community served by public transportation,” Simpson said. “The combination of dense, mixed-use development and access to robust public transportation stimulates economic activity and creates healthy, walkable opportunities for residents, workers and visitors to leave their cars at home.”
“The whole idea is to promote business, mass transit, a sense of community, and a reduced reliance on cars,” Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh said. “We began the application process in 2009 and I’m grateful for the hard work of the staff and volunteers including council members and planning board members. The coordinated efforts of the State DOT and NJ TRANSIT are also greatly appreciated.”
Being designated a Transit Village provides a municipality with the following benefits:
• State of New Jersey commitment to the municipality's vision for redevelopment.
• Coordination among the State agencies that make up the Transit Village task force.
• Priority consideration for funding from some State agencies.
• Technical assistance from some State agencies.
The Transit Village initiative began designating municipalities in 1999. The roster of Transit Village municipalities includes Pleasantville, Morristown, Rutherford, South Amboy, South Orange, Riverside, Rahway, Metuchen, Belmar, Collingswood, Bloomfield, Bound Brook, Cranford, Matawan, New Brunswick, Journal Square/Jersey City, Netcong, Elizabeth City, Burlington City, Orange, Somerville, Montclair, Linden and West Windsor.
The initiative designates municipalities with a bus, train or light rail station or a ferry terminal that have embraced a Smart Growth vision. That vision encompasses opportunities for growth and economic revitalization; a commitment to compact, mixed-use development; a strong residential component including affordable housing; and jobs, restaurants, arts, entertainment and the preservation of architectural character within walking distance of a passenger transportation facility.