To the Editor:
Making a left turn out of the Route One/Harrison Street Sunoco Station onto Harrison Street is a hazardous vehicular motion and should be banned.
The recently completed widening of Harrison Street at the intersection with Route 1, has succeed in improving the flow of traffic turning on to Route 1 from Harrison Street. However, these changes have had the unintended and undesirable consequence of making the left turn motion out of the Sunoco more dangerous than before. Vehicles exiting the gas station on to Harrison Street going towards Princeton now have to cross three lanes of traffic, often blocking traffic in the two lanes on the gas station side of Harrison Street. Vehicles turning on to Harrison Street from Route 1 cannot safely see the vehicles crossing the three lanes of traffic on Harrison Street when they make the right turn on to Harrison Street from Route 1. Crossing three lanes of traffic is a dangerous maneuver under any circumstances, but even more so if an ambulance is negotiating traffic on Harrison Street to get to the hospital.
It now appears that Sunoco is proposing major modifications for the station. An early review of the proposed plans by the West Windsor Site Plan Review Advisory Board raised many questions, and it is expected that Sunoco will submit revised plans in several weeks. As gas stations have evolved in recent years, it is likely that the owner will propose some form of a mini-mart and gas pumps to increase the use and profitability of the site.
The function of the Harrison Street/Route 1 intersection is a critical to all of us who live north and west of the hospital. The hospital and Princeton University took leadership roles in widening the intersection to help solve the traffic problems that made it difficult to access Route 1 and the new hospital site. This includes the installation of a special traffic signal at the intersection that is maintained by Princeton Township that can be controlled to stop traffic on Route 1 by rescue squad vehicles heading to the hospital. However, the benefits of all of these expensive changes that are meant to improve access to the hospital can be negated by a driver exiting the gas station and blocking all three lanes of traffic while trying to get into the lane of traffic heading north on Harrison Street.
To protect the lives and safety of patients and EMT crews trying to get to the hospital, and motorists using the Sunoco station, I ask the Mayor and Council of West Windsor Township to take the necessary actions to place “No Exit” signs at the gas station Harrison Street driveway to deter drivers from blocking traffic and risking an accident by crossing three lanes of traffic when exiting the gas station to head north on Harrison Street.
Very truly yours,
Princeton Township Committeeman