Earlier this month, a teardown of a portion of Route 29 in Trenton got a huge boost when the city of Trenton signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with virtually every county, regional, and state agency that has a say in the roadway’s future. The MOU expresses the commitment of the agencies to replace Route 29 with a boulevard and waterfront park that will promote development and create better pedestrian and car linkages between the waterfront and the rest of the city.
Signatories include the city of Trenton, Mercer County, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Council, and the state departments of Transportation, Environmental Protection, Treasury, and Community Affairs.
Trenton’s downtown master plan and a city economic development corporation’s “Renaissance Plan,” both of which endorse a boulevard conversion of Route 29, are among the studies that will be used as a framework for future development. However, the MOU does not commit any agency to fund the teardown. Trenton Mayor Doug Palmer has put the project on the city’s wish list of projects to be funded with federal stimulus money. He has said that the construction on the first phase of the project can begin before the end of the year.
An NJDOT feasibility study of the boulevard conversion should be completed in March and could spur real movement on the flagship project in NJDOT’s NJ Future in Transportation program, which links land use and transportation planning.