From top to bottom New Jersey is dotted with small, formerly rural villages whose character was generally shaped in the century before the automobile became our principle means of transportation. A few good examples are Kingston, which lies in Franklin South Brunswick and Princeton Townships (Somerset, Middlesex, and Mercer counties), Allentown village in the Borough of Allentown, Burlington County, and Griggstown in Franklin Township, Somerset County.
While the problems in each village are unique, the overall pattern is the same from place to place. Across the state, the village, which to many observers is a key to the character of life in New Jersey is in danger of disappearing. Population pressures beyond the village boundaries, increasing traffic, and zoning for ratables in one municipality when a regional perspective is called for are the main culprits. The state plan calls for the creation of new villages but fails to address the issue of preserving the existing villages which provided the model. We hope we can raise awareness of the fragility of these many villages and how their disappearances will drastically alter the state’s historical character. Smart growth requires efforts to preserve these villages as viable places to live.
Charlie Dieterich, Kingston Greenway Association,
P.O. Box 391,
Kingston, NJ 08528-0391
John Fabiano, Upper Freehold Historical Society
Marilyn Kulik, Citizens to Preserve Griggstown,
1079 Canal Road,
Princeton, NJ 08540