A proposal to upgrade the kiosks at the corner of Nassau and Witherspoon and Nassau and Vandeventer got a lukewarm reception from Princeton Council this week.
The Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce hopes to lease, upgrade and beautify the kiosks- now typically plastered with layers of disorganized fliers.
"They've become a somewhat disorganized, cluttered, I'll call it non-information information," PRCC President & CEO Peter Crowley said.
Crowley said weather-resistant kiosks would help visitors find attractions, local events and transportation options. Advertising panels would help pay for the initial investment (paid for by PRCC). Once that money is recouped, advertising could provide future revenue for Princeton.
"The advertising is what I object to," Council Member Jenny Crumiller said. "I feel like it's appropriate for a mall. It's just not something that I want to see."
The idea was presented to Princeton Borough Council last year, but the issue was tabled amidst concern over limits to free speech and open expression.
On Monday, Crowley said the PRCC has responded to critics and will now offer a minimum of two cork panels on the kiosk at the corner of Vandeventer and Nassau that would be open to the public.
"The main purpose is to get the information out, advertising just helps to pay for it," Crowley said. "There's a cost to this, I wish there wasn't, but there is."
A tiered advertising structure would favor local small businesses, Crowley said. National advertising would only be a last resort. All ads would face away from Nassau Street, per New Jersey DOT's request.
Resident Chip Crider expressed concern about kiosk adverising.
"You're really talking about billboard advertising on Nassau Street," he said.
Council decided to let the Traffic and Transportation Committee continue to look into the idea before making a decision on whether or not to move forward.
"I'm not sensing a lot of enthusiasm up here, I wouldn't recommend you put a lot of time and effort into this until you hear back from us," Council Member Heather Howard said.