JIM CLINGHAM is looking forward to May 26. On that day, the
nearby township of West Windsor will be the first community in
central New Jersey to carry a special sign identifying it as a
high-technology community along US 1, the main east-west highway.
Mr. Clingham, who heads a local high-tech group, expects other
towns here will soon display similar signs.
US 1 - or Route 1 as most folks here call it - is located just a
few miles from downtown Princeton. The highway is becoming the most
prominent high-tech corridor in the Mid-Atlantic states, similar to
Route 128 in Boston, or Silicon Valley in northern California.
Route 1 slices its way southwest across New Jersey for 20 miles
from New Brunswick to Trenton before crossing the Delaware River
into Pennsylvania. In the 10- to 12-mile section between New
Brunswick and Princeton are found the Johnson & Johnson
headquarters, large facilities for Bristol-Myers Squibb, Siemens,
the Forrestal (research) Center, the David Sarnoff Research Center,
and Dow Jones & Co. A new color printing plant for the New York
Times is located north of Princeton, a half hour drive off Route 1.
No overall planning agency
"Route 1 is the classic case of trying to build a 21st century
institution on the back of an early 20th century technological
community and an early 19th century political environment," says
James Hughes, associate dean of the School of Planning and Public
Policy at Rutgers University. There is no overall planning agency
for the Route 1 corridor, Mr. Hughes notes, reflecting New Jersey's
historical distaste for centralized government.
Also along Route 1 are a number of major Japanese and Korean
electronics firms, many of them arriving in the past few years.
Following NEC in 1988, Matsushita Electronics, Hitachi, Samsung,
and others have located nearby.
Dozens of smaller companies are located along secondary roads
that intersect Route 1. Many are electronics firms specializing in
research on high-definition television. The HDTV research under way
here - much of it concentrated at the David Sarnoff Research
Center, a subsidiary of SRI International - has branded the region
"The presence of the universities is the key to all the
development," says Jay Brandinger, executive director of the New
Jersey Commission on Science and Technology, a state agency.
Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey, is located at New
Brunswick. Driving west, one comes to Princeton University. Other
universities, colleges, and research centers cluster near Route 1,
including the Institute for Advanced Study, where Albert Einstein
once conducted research. …