• New Station at North Brunswick?

  • Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.
Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.

Moderators: Tadman, nick11a, Kaback9, ACeInTheHole

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  by NJMedic
 
From todays Star Ledger
They're all thinking about the railroad

North Brunswick wants to put transit village at Johnson manufacturing locale on Route 1

North Brunswick officials would like a train station in town.

The highly suburban community of about 39,000 residents is sliced in several directions by major highways, including Route 1, and it would like to offer mass transportation for its commuting residents as an alternative to driving. Officials think they have the answer.

They want to put a transit village on the old Johnson & Johnson manufacturing plant property on Route 1. The township and Johnson & Johnson have been talking about uses for the site since the company closed the plant last year.
Remainder of the story at:
http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/middlesex ... 045600.xml

And then there is South Brunswick.......
Train station opponents active in S. Brunswick

South Brunswick officials continue to test resident opinion on a possible train station even as a fledgling opposition group tries to galvanize township-wide rejection of the idea.

Township officials are surveying residents through its Web site and by a hard copy questionnaire being mailed out this week.
Remainder of this story at:
http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/middlesex ... 345600.xml

  by Lackawanna484
 
There's been a well organized, and very vocal opposition to the M-O-M service in this area, and an equally loud support group as well. That the towns aren't seeing eye to eye isn't surprising at all. Even if it's about the NEC, and not the MOM. A good tactic to delay the M-O-M would be to support a NEC stop in that long, straight, stop-free zone, and siphon off some bus riders.

The old J&J site would be a nice location for a Park-Ride facility for both bus and rail, as well as a local bus and jitney stop.

  by ryanov
 
Thing is, S. Brunswick is a good spot, at Monmouth Jct., to allow transfers to and from MOM. N. Brunswick is not in as good of a spot, and two stops are not necessary. Jersey Ave. is very close to North Brunswick, is it not?

  by njtmnrrbuff
 
It would be nice to actually have a "real" mainline station at Jersey Ave. That station is so close to rt 1. It would be nice for a "Mommouth Jct" stop.

  by transit383
 
Take a look at this thread:
http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10471

In the article cited there, South Brunswick is pushing for a train station on the NEC. Either way, South Brunswick is not completely pro-rail, as they are still opposed to the MOM Line.
  by Douglas John Bowen
 
In an odd way, both NJ-ARP and South Brunswick are in accord vis a vis any South Brunswick train station.

Both agree that the municipality has the right to cite a station to its own best benefit, and in its own best interests.

And both agree that the station has no bearing on the merits of MOM.

South Brunswick, of course, may believe it can leverage its own station into a reason for not supporting, or endorsing, or allowing, MOM. But to NJ-ARP, that issue is irrelevant, since MOM and the station are (by mutual accord) not linked.

NJ-ARP will hold South Brunswick to its (admittedly private) agreement with us, should the need arise. Our ace in the hole: South Brunswick is not a critical ingredient to MOM's success (it would be a nice piece, certainly).

NEC station? Fine by NJ-ARP (but consider the local traffic influx, South Brunswick!). Dayton-area station? Also fine by NJ-ARP. No station at all? No fatal flaw for MOM.

  by GandyDancer
 
Jersey Ave. remains an underdeveloped station that, if properly built out (expanded, secure parking and high-level platforms not only for the NEC tracks but a proper boarding area for originating trains) would serve the needs of North Brunswick very well. It has great access from US1 and 130 and room to grow.

Now if North Brunswick wanted to build something really fabulous, it would be a park & ride multimodal station with a hub for local bus connections as well as provision for becoming the terminus of the proposed Rutgers/New Brunswick/Piscataway LRT. That would take a lot of cars off US1 and NJ 18 & 27

  by JLo
 
IMHO, using transit village money to build new park and rides or other new stations to develop underdeveloped land is contrary to the very purpose of the transit village concept. The funds should be spent on redeveloping existing stations in towns that need the boost. North Brunswick does not need a station. Jersey Ave is very close, has park & ride facilities and is going to be developed into a full-service station anyway.

  by TAMR213
 
GandyDancer wrote:Now if North Brunswick wanted to build something really fabulous, it would be a park & ride multimodal station with a hub for local bus connections as well as provision for becoming the terminus of the proposed Rutgers/New Brunswick/Piscataway LRT. That would take a lot of cars off US1 and NJ 18 & 27
Sorry to go OT, but what ever happened to the LRT anyway? I haven't heard anything in a LONG time...
  by Douglas John Bowen
 
It's a fascinating thing, the sudden lack of emphasis on New Brunswick's transport and transit problems. Most people acknowledge the city has a congestion issue. No one knows how to deal with it.

Money is an issue, as almost always, but even this doesn't fully explain why New Brunswick's needs (or proposed transit salvation) isn't discussed.

Go busway (or BRT)? Even bus proponents express (admirable!) equivocation on applying more buses to New Brunswick's circulation, particularly when anyone can point to the current Rutgers bus system, in all its full overloaded, strained glory. Honest bus proponents acknowledge that new rights-of-way would be needed to really do any real overhaul, and that costs.

Go LRT? Even staunch LRT supporters such as NJ-ARP (the state LRT champions) have to admit that it's a hard fit. Rights-of-way are do-able, and we don't shy from street running, but (like buses) we're talking big dollar amounts and some real upheaval, not to mention choke points (George Street, or Albany St./Easton Avenue, etc.).

Some students seem to suggest monorail; we're not aware of that idea gaining much traction, but it, too, would face some of the same hurdles as the other modes. (Choke points come to mind; shoving a monorail under the George Street/NEC overpass would be a real good trick.)

New Jersey Transit's official mantra boils down to: LRT for cities, BRT for the suburbs. (This tries to discount the River Line's application in linking small towns, something NJ-ARP believes will not succeed in the long run.) By NJT's measure, New Brunswick might be an LRT candidate. But NJT argues that other, larger New Jersey cities need to be served first, and (as it happens), that means lining up for money. We're back to familiar ground.

Other factors exist, of course, including Middlesex County's political disdain for its own county seat. We're sure others here can add various and valid reasons. But New Brunswick's transit/transport future, certainly worthy of discussion, doesn't get as much discussion as it should.
  by nick11a
 
Douglas John Bowen wrote:It's a fascinating thing, the sudden lack of emphasis on New Brunswick's transport and transit problems. Most people acknowledge the city has a congestion issue. No one knows how to deal with it.

Money is an issue, as almost always, but even this doesn't fully explain why New Brunswick's needs (or proposed transit salvation) isn't discussed.

Go busway (or BRT)? Even bus proponents express (admirable!) equivocation on applying more buses to New Brunswick's circulation, particularly when anyone can point to the current Rutgers bus system, in all its full overloaded, strained glory. Honest bus proponents acknowledge that new rights-of-way would be needed to really do any real overhaul, and that costs.

Go LRT? Even staunch LRT supporters such as NJ-ARP (the state LRT champions) have to admit that it's a hard fit. Rights-of-way are do-able, and we don't shy from street running, but (like buses) we're talking big dollar amounts and some real upheaval, not to mention choke points (George Street, or Albany St./Easton Avenue, etc.).

Some students seem to suggest monorail; we're not aware of that idea gaining much traction, but it, too, would face some of the same hurdles as the other modes. (Choke points come to mind; shoving a monorail under the George Street/NEC overpass would be a real good trick.)

New Jersey Transit's official mantra boils down to: LRT for cities, BRT for the suburbs. (This tries to discount the River Line's application in linking small towns, something NJ-ARP believes will not succeed in the long run.) By NJT's measure, New Brunswick might be an LRT candidate. But NJT argues that other, larger New Jersey cities need to be served first, and (as it happens), that means lining up for money. We're back to familiar ground.

Other factors exist, of course, including Middlesex County's political disdain for its own county seat. We're sure others here can add various and valid reasons. But New Brunswick's transit/transport future, certainly worthy of discussion, doesn't get as much discussion as it should.
Don't get me started on all of the traffic problems in New Brunswick with George Street, Route 18 ad nauseum! A light rail would certainly be a good thing in this city.

But getting back on topic, North Brunswickans surely could use Jersey Ave as their station. I believe NJT wants to sell off County yard to CSX and convert Jersey Ave Station to a full fledged mainline station.

  by GandyDancer
 
Well, the emphasis on New Brunswick's transit and transport problems is not exactly sudden, at least from my POV. :-D

Back in the late '60's, an Urban Planning class I attended at Rutgers did a study of New Brunswick's transit needs and came up with a design that essentially created a transit village (shops and mid-rise apartments/condos) centered around the NB train station.

Vehicular traffic on George St. was to be cut off at Remsen and routed to Neilson St. to clear a path for LRT and to create access to a series of parking garages along Neilson. George St. from Remsen to Somerset was to be a combined pedestrian mall and street-running LRT ROW.

The LRT was to descend into a 500' cut and cover at Albany St. until past the NEC overpass to allow the LRT coming from Douglass/Cook to continue west up George without interfering with vehicular flow and then parallel Rt. 18 to a new river crossing to Piscataway about where the Lynch bridge is now.

We had planned Jersey Ave. to become what MetroPark is today, with capacity for about 6,000 daily boardings. The LRT route was to use part of the Sayreville Running Track (RRRR) with a large Park and Ride at the Turnpike and another at US1 in what was then the middle of the J&J campus. Once beneath US1, the LRT would then jog north around the Squibb property and come down parallel to College Farm Rd. through Cook and Douglass campuses to join George St. behind the Douglass Student Center. Escalators would carry riders from the LRT stop beneath the NEC up to the platforms.

The plan was presented by our faculty to Sen. Harrison Williams (of MetroPark fame) who gave it a thumbs-up and it might have gone somewhere if Sen. Williams hadn't gone somewhere also for having his hand out. Allenwood federal pen, I believe.

The continuing density increases and the additional vehicular traffic they will bring (DEVCO estimates another 7,000 daily trips) will not be solved by adding one lane to Rt. 18 as currently planned. So, even belatedly, now is a good time to start worrying about New Brunswick -- again.

  by ryanov
 
Street running is the problem with LRT in New Brunswick. I believe NJ-ARP doesn't think that it is a dealbreaker (if I recall correctly -- forgive me, Doug, if my memory fails me). I would say that it is. ANY shared track in New Brunswick would be a real problem. George is basically STOPPED at rush hour, and that curve at Somerset would be a real crunch point.

  by JLo
 
Agreed. Essentially, you need a new crossing point for Albany St and the NEC for any LRT operation. And for LRT to make any sense, it should be on close proximity to the intersection of Easton and Albany. That leaves only 3 options: tunneling under Albany & the NEC, crossing Albany at grade and through a new underpass under the NEC or elevating the LRT, which is almost impossible.
  by Douglas John Bowen
 
Ryanov's interpretation of NJ-ARP's position is fairly accurate (and in good faith; thank you!). Our assessment of George Street is that mixed use LRT/auto access would be tough to implement.

We might quibble that "dealbreaker" and "fatal flaw" involve different degrees of focus. NJ-ARP, for one, isn't convinced that George Street is the only way to connect Rutgers and Douglass/Cook campuses (let alone the best way). One of LRT's greatest strengths is to seek the path of least resistance, while still remaining relevant.

That said, we'll reiterate (and re-acknowledge) that, unlike some other, "easier" applications within New Jersey, New Brunswick poses a stiff challenge for LRT. JLo rightly sums up many of the most acute chokepoints that might be involved.
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