Landmark Self Expression and Leadership tackles the revitalization of a New Jersey Town
From the Princeton Packet
By: Audrey Levine, Special Writer
The meeting focused on finding ways to better the downtown business district.
JAMESBURG — More than 100 residents attended a meeting at the Grace M. Breckwedel School to talk about how to improve the borough’s downtown.
The March 15 meeting was sponsored by the Jamesburg Revitalization Coalition. Those who attended helped fill out a survey that asked respondents to list possible ways to improve the downtown area.
The coalition, an independent organization of homeowners and business owners in Jamesburg, has joined with three students from the Rutgers Bloustein School of Policy and Planning to begin looking at ways to revitalize the area.
Downtown Jamesburg extends from Buckelew Avenue, and along East and West Railroad avenues, according to Elliot Stroul, president of the coalition.
Mr. Stroul said that the students did research for, and prepared, a visual presentation of the different options for changing downtown Jamesburg in the categories of steets, pedestrians, buildings, signs, parking, open space and mobility.
Some of the proposed options included creating a Main Street with a tree-lined boulevard as a median; creating a sidewalk with outdoor seating from restaurants; building two-story row houses; and using banner-style signs.
Residents in attendance rated the options on a scale of negative 10 to positive 10, based on how appropriate they believed the choices to be for the town.
After the presentation, attendees filled out a written survey that asked about conditions in Jamesburg and what changes might improve the area.
Mr. Stroul said the results, along with those taken at the coalition’s Feb. 17 meeting, will be given to the Rutgers students. He said the students would then draw up a plan of proposed changes to be presented in late April or early May.
“We will then review it with the Land Use Board and the Township Council,” Mr. Stroul said. “We will prioritize what projects need to be done and try to get the money from Middlesex County.”
According to Teddy Ehmann, secretary of the coalition and owner of Family Framers, the coalition wants to involve the community in planning any changes.
He said he began work on the renovation project, dubbed “I Love Jamesburg,” after taking a leadership course with Landmark Education, which works with people who are looking to make a difference in their communities.
“This project is to benefit the community,” he said.
Many of the residents in attendance said they were glad to have some input in the possible changes for downtown Jamesburg.
“I am interested in the future of Jamesburg,” said resident Dan Dobromilsky. “They asked very good questions and these are the types of things we need to analyze to have the best future for Jamesburg.”
Resident Gail Somers also said she wants to be involved in what is going to happen.
“I want to see it move in the right direction,” she said.