Transit oriented developments are described in our text as “high-density area laid out so that every residential unit within it is within a 10 minutes’ walk of a transit stop. These developments are centered around at least one or two forms of public transit.
What many people might now know is that North Brunswick, NJ is working on building and developing their own little TOD, also known as a transit village. In 2006, North Brunswick TOD Associates LLC purchased a Johnson & Johnson office off of Route 1 to turn it into a transit village. Since the purchase, NBTOD has held multiple workshops in which it encouraged residents to attend and input their ideas to the land property. After these workshops, the North Brunswick township engaged in a planning and study process, this process started in 2010 and concluded in 2012.
The idea of this transit village is to provide mixed use developments for people to be able to walk everywhere in the village. This community will be a pedestrian focused community, making it easy for all residents to walk to the retail and transit stops. The transit stop which will, undoubtedly, be the most vital aspect of this village will be a new train station. This station will be between the Princeton Junction and New Brunswick stations, which is the longest stretch on the Northeast Corridor line without a train station.
The idea of this transit village is very similar to that of neotraditionalists, they share the same ideas in that they want to limit automobile use and encourage walking or cycling. This transit village will also focus on incorporating the surrounding natural environment, taking advantage of the beautiful scenery New Jersey has to offer.
The benefits of this transit village are that it will provide a more affordable and convenient way to commute to work, businesses will also attract more people, therefore increasing spending. Another benefit is that the town center will become a focal point of the community, a place where concerts, fireworks, and other festivities can be held.
My personal opinion of this transit village is that it is a beneficial and convenient way for North Brunswick residents to commute to work, while providing a safe and friendly community feeling. However, there are some problems that may arise from this community. My primary concern is that the train station will attract a lot more people than originally projected, Route 1 is already a major highway that gets congested during rush hours, how will this transit village affect Route 1 conditions? According to the website, improvements to the roads surrounding Route 1 have already been made, but is it enough to accommodate the increasing trips this village will attract? Only time will tell.