Letter of Support
Secretary Pete Buttigieg
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20590
RE: Mercer County Application to US DOT’s Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program
Dear Secretary Buttigieg,
Over sixty years ago, the State of New Jersey purchased a large portion of Stacy Park from the City for construction of the NJ Route 29 Freeway. The goal was to make it easier for commuters living in outlying suburbs and those coming from other cities along the I-95 Corridor to travel more quickly to and from downtown Trenton. But in the process, those of us who live in the city lost many acres of public green space and access to the Delaware River waterfront, and the character of neighborhoods along a seven-mile stretch of the Capital City changed dramatically. Large-footprint office buildings and surface parking lots replaced the traditional urban street grid of homes and businesses that had dominated this part of town.
In recent years Trenton has seen neighboring cities such as Wilmington, Allentown, and Philadelphia restore access to waterfront areas through creation of public green spaces – and in doing so revitalize urban areas. It’s time Trenton committed to reimagining our own waterfront, and the first key step is the realignment and redesign of Route 29. We ask the US Department of Transportation to help us make this comprehensive planning process possible.
This planning process is the first step toward:
- Improving waterfront access
- Creation of new public spaces
- Promoting resiliency and mitigating flooding
- Improving the quality of the environment
- Highlighting historic assets
- Attracting economic development to the waterfront
- Ensuring revitalization is equitable
- Facilitation of public involvement
- Promoting public health by providing access to recreation and walking/biking paths
- Making our Capital City more beautiful and livable
We the community of Trenton strongly support Mercer County’s proposal to carry out a planning process to explore the realignment of Route 29 in Trenton. Community engagement is an essential part of Mercer County’s proposal, and we are committed to participating in order to support the revitalization of our city.