Greetings! Some exciting activity has recently taken place with the Lawrence Hopewell Trail and we would like to share the good news with you.
Hopewell Board Approves Trail on BMS Property
On July 29, the Hopewell Township Planning Board voted to approve the application from Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) to construct a portion of the trail on the grounds of their Hopewell facility. This leg of the trail will be completely off-road and will extend along the frontage of the property on Pennington-Rocky Hill and Titus Mill Roads from Wargo Road to Old Mill Road. When complete, the BMS portion will extend approximately 1.2 miles.
The BMS leg will eventually connect to the Stony Brook – Millstone Watershed on an off-road trail being planned for that property. The other end of the BMS segment will connect to Rosedale Park where another segment of the trail is planned, although the exact route has yet to be determined. The County has just begun developing a master plan for Mercer County Park Northwest which will include provisions for a recreational trail in both Rosedale Park and on the old AT&T land off of Keefe Road commonly referred to as the “Pole Farm”. We are hoping to see ground broken on this portion of the trail by the fall of 2005. We are extremely pleased to have the support of Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes in our efforts to construct the trail.
Lawrence Town Council Applies for DOT Grant
In Lawrenceville, the Town Council voted on June 16 to apply for a $200,000 state DOT grant to construct the trail along the perimeter of the Carson Road Woods property. This portion of the trail will provide a connection via a residential street to the current existing leg on the property that runs through the Educational Testing Service Rosedale campus. The ETS segment will be opened formally in the Fall. ETS has agreed to allow the use of its internal roadway system for over one mile of additional trail that will be perfect for families and less experienced riders, as well as walkers.
We are pleased to announce that we have formed a partnership with the Office of Bicycling and Pedestrian Programs at NJDOT for assistance on developing some of the more challenging connections of the trail. One of these sections is the Route 206 crossing in Lawrence Township and determining where and how best to construct a crossing to ensure maximum safety for users. We have benefited tremendously from the leadership provided by Sheree Davis and her staff at NJDOT who see the importance of trails such as the LHT in the State’s transportation plans.
Trail Opens in Village of Lawrenceville
On May 30, we held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the annual Lawrenceville Main Street Jubilee to officially open the downtown portion of the trail. Cyclists, walkers and runners can now follow the white and green trail markers through the Lawrenceville School campus with the trail accessible from entrances on Route 206 and on Lewisville Road. The trail continues from the school up Gordon Avenue, onto Phillips Avenue, to Craven Lane past the swim club, and across Bergen Avenue to Village Park. For a longer trek, continue on through Village Park where the trail temporarily ends on Yeager Drive. We want to thank the Lawrenceville School, one of the oldest and most prestigious private schools in this country, for their willingness to open their beautiful campus to the LHT and to the community at large.
LHT Participates in Safety Event
On May 8, we participated in the annual Bicycle Safety Rodeo/Skateboard Safety Jam sponsored by the Mercer County Chapter of New Jersey SAFE KIDS. Hosted by St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center, the Rodeo drew over 1,000 people who came to learn about a variety of safety measures for children involving cycling, skate boarding, and swimming. The LHT had a table set up among the many other participants and distributed bicycle reflectors and literature about the Trail. Our kudos and thanks to LHT Executive Committee member Jane Millner of the St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center who organized this wonderful event for the benefit of the community.
East Coast Greenway Alliance
On a more personal note, we had the pleasure of partnering with the East Coast Greenway Alliance for a community fundraiser held on August 15 to raise money for two of our dedicated task force members, Mike and Anne Kruimer, who will be cycling from Maine to Florida beginning this September. The goal of the east coast ride is to raise money and awareness about the East Coast Greenway which is an effort to connect off-road trails and construct new ones to ultimately create a 2,800 mile trail. We are awed by the commitment of Mike and Anne to raising awareness about safe cycling and public access to trails. They are indeed people who live what they speak, and we are privileged to work with them.
A Gem in the Making
We invite you get involved in the work of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail by visiting our membership page and signing up as a member. Opportunities also arise to volunteer and we are grateful to have support from all sectors of the community. But most importantly, come out and use the portions of the trail that are currently open. You will see firsthand the tremendous potential of this local “gem-in-the-making” and why so many residents and organizations have partnered to support its development.
Becky Taylor, Senior Director
Eleanor Horne, Vice President and Corporate Secretary
Educational Testing Service