NJ Historic Sites Council to Review NJ Transit Plan to Remove Dinky Tracks Feb 16

Update: The Council voted to table the decision until the next meeting, after they get more information, including the status of the lawsuits.  At the next meeting, on April 19, the Council voted to approve NJT’s application, subject to certain “mitigating conditions.”  The Council was informed that NJT would move the station anyway and that approving it with conditions would give it the most leverage.  The “mitigating conditions” require NJT to document the historic site and to install an interpretative display in the new station.  The Council’s recommendation was adopted on May 11, 2012 DEP Assistant Commissioner for Environmental and Natural Resources Rich Boornazian.  His letter adopting the recommendation authorizes NJT to abandon 460 feet of easement.  The May 11 letter, with the Council’s resolution, can be found at the links on the right.  Save the Dinky has appealed this ruling; the appeal is now pending in the NJ Appellate Division.

Dinky Track Removal Application (pdf)
Supplement to application regarding removal of public easement (pdf)

This review will take place on Thursday, February 16. 2012, at 10 a.m. in the DEP Public Hearing Room, lst Floor, 401 East State Street, in Trenton. The Dinky track removal is now the FIRST ITEM on the agenda. Please note that the previously posted agenda does not have the correct order. For the revised agenda, see http://www.nj.gov/dep/hpo/2protection/hsc_agnda_2_16_12.pdf

The good news is that the state, at least, recognizes that the proposal to move the Dinky terminus will erase a significant piece of Princeton’s history by severing the station buildings from the terminus. If you value Princeton’s history and would like to see the University develop its arts complex in a way that preserves its history, this is a meeting that you should attend

Download New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places – Mercer County

See the listing on page 8:
Princeton Railroad Station (ID#1742)
University Place
SR: 3/17/1984
NR: 9/29/1984
(Thematic Nomination of Operating Passenger Railroad)

Note that the application makes no mention of community opposition and it claims that the track removal and the removal of the easement are necessary for the campus expansion.
Borough Council Resolution Against Moving the Dinky

Note also that NJ Transit has no factual basis, other than the University’s assertion, for the claim that the project will alleviate traffic congestion. The University ignored the impact of shifting Dinky-related traffic from University Place onto to Alexander Road.

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