Johnson Trolley Line


Join us on November 13, 2023, to celebrate our founders, friends, and future. Our founders, Eleanor Horne and Becky Taylor, built a bold idea into a community asset winding 22 miles through two towns serving thousands every year. We would not have succeeded without our friends—hundreds of people and institutions like BMS, ETS, and governments that backed us from the start.

Now we raise our sights for the future. Help us realize a new vision—the Johnson Trolley Trail Corridor— a pedestrian-bike route linking Trenton, Ewing, Lawrence, and Princeton to the 22-mile LHT loop.

Please join us in honoring our founders and building a partnership to realize this vision. Save the evening of November 13, 2023. Be part of the celebration at the Chauncey Center on the ETS campus in Princeton.

What will the Johnson Trolley Trail Corridor deliver?

A safe way for pedestrians and cyclists to cross I-295 in the heart of Mercer County

The construction of I-295 in the 1970’s divided communities in the center of Mercer County, isolating people to the south of the highway from those to the north.

The barrier of I-295 limits mobility for pedestrians and cyclists in many Mercer communities, separating and isolating them as “islands.” Most county and state highways in Mercer County are high-volume, high-speed, or wide roadways producing a high level of traffic stress tolerated only by a very few determined individuals. Access for pedestrians and cyclists is often limited to their immediate neighborhoods.

For those who are “carless,” lacking access to reliable automobiles, and those who wish to be “car-free,” preferring healthy, low-carbon transportation, mobility options are limited.

More equitable access to businesses, recreation, and schools

Increasing pedestrian and bicycle mobility increases equity. Access to a safe trail corridor affords people of different backgrounds and abilities a fair chance to achieve their potential and well-being.

The proposed Johnson Trolley Trail Corridor (JTTC) reconnects communities divided by Interstate-295. Reimagining existing infrastructure along the historic Johnson Trolley Line route and adding a pedestrian-bike bridge crossing I-295 links Trenton, Ewing and Lawrence Townships, and Princeton.

The number of intermediate, middle, and secondary school students who can travel to schools on foot or on bike would rise dramatically. People living north and south of I-295 can access education, jobs, health services, farmer’s markets, parks, and trails.

Creating more equitable access is not only a matter of fairness and justice but also a matter of social and economic development. When people have equitable access to resources and opportunities, they can contribute more to society and the economy. They can also enjoy a higher quality of life and well-being. The increased equitable access provided by the JTTC benefits individuals and communities alike.

Expand job market

Expanding the job market and the labor pool for employees and employers along the Johnson Trolley Trail Corridor means increasing the number and variety of jobs available and the number and diversity of workers who can fill them. It means employers have more options to find qualified and suitable employees for their businesses, and employees have more opportunities to find jobs matching their skills and aspirations.

The two largest private employers in Mercer County—Princeton University and Bristol Myers Squibb—are located north of I-295, near the Lawrence Hopewell Trail. In contrast, smaller employers dominate the south in the waste management, food service, and health service sectors.

The major private sector employers are:

  • Princeton University
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Co
  • Bank of America
  • Amazon
  • Capital Health Systems Inc.
  • NJM Insurance Company
  • Educational Testing Service
  • McGraw-Hill Education Inc.
  • Pharmanet Development Group Inc.
  • RWJ University Hospital

Higher-wage employers on the north side of the divide draw workers from the south. Cyclists are frequently seen on high-traffic stress and moderate-traffic stress routes from more affordable housing in the south to employment in the north. The risks to these travelers are a source of broad concern.

Increasing safe pedestrian and bicycling mobility promotes economic opportunity for all. The Johnson Trolley Trail Corridor will create these benefits for workers and organizations throughout Mercer County.

Promoting Healthy Outdoor Activity

Healthy outdoor activity benefits almost everyone. Encouraging and supporting people to be active outside improves health and happiness. People can access safe, attractive, enjoyable spaces and facilities to walk, bike, run, play, relax, or socialize. It also means that people have opportunities to learn about and practice healthy habits and behaviors that can enhance their well-being.

The existing Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT) hosts over 100,000 visits yearly. Users walk, cycle, and run on parts of the LHT that loop through towns, parks, neighborhoods, and business campuses in Hopewell Township and Lawrence Township. Natural spaces, play areas, and benches add to the experience of using the LHT. Users of the LHT regularly report a boost in mood, energy, and self-esteem.

The Johnson Trolley Trail Corridor (JTTC) expands access to healthy outdoor activity for thousands currently restricted by county and state roadways and I-295. This is particularly beneficial for those with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Offering miles of scenic and diverse routes for walkers and bikers provides more options and incentives to be physically and mentally active, preventing or reducing the risk of diseases and disorders.

Reducing CO2 emissions and traffic congestion

Walking, cycling, and running are the best ways to reduce CO2 emissions and traffic congestion. These alternative modes of transportation are more environmentally friendly and efficient than driving a private car.

  • Walking is the simplest and most natural way of moving around. It does not produce any CO2 emissions or contribute to traffic congestion. Walking also has many health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels, and boosting mood.
  • Cycling is a low-impact, low-cost way of traveling. A person on a bicycle is far more efficient at converting energy into motion than cars, buses, or even horses. Biking also burns calories, strengthens muscles, and improves cardiovascular fitness.

By encouraging walking, cycling, and running as alternative modes of transportation, the JTTC will help protect the environment, improve health, save money, and enhance the quality of life for thousands.

Thank you for your support!

© Copyright 2024. Lawrence Hopewell Trail
is a not-for-profit, section 501(c)(3). EIN: 20-0511132

The Lawrence Hopewell Trail

The Historic Hunt House
197 Blackwell Road
Pennington, NJ 08534

Stay in the loop.