Corrections or additions?
Between the Linex
Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on April 5, 2000. All rights reserved.
Well-meaning people and starry-eyed politicians in small
towns like Princeton often wonder why people won’t just park their
cars on the edge of town and then take a shuttle bus into the central
business district for shopping, dining, and other matters.
The answer, of course, is that the shuttle bus concept will only work
if there is absolutely no chance of parking at some reasonable cost
in the heart of town and if the town has a zillion attractions densely
packed into the CBD to make the bus trip worthwhile. And that doesn’t
happen because, for every new or expanded building — such as an
Arts Council or a library, for example — the municipality insists
that the building share the land with more parking, usually in some
ratio that dates back to a standard set 30 or 40 years ago.
We have thought that some similar flawed logic was at work in the
suburbs, where people bemoan the loss of open space and farmlands
— the very qualities that drew them out of the crowded cities
in the first place. Turn to page 14 of this issue for Melinda Sherwood’s
overview of today’s hot real estate market and some incisive comments
from Pennington developer Peter Blicher, president of the Central
Jersey Builders Association.
Four and five-acre zoning, Blicher suggests, is more at fault for
the suburban sprawl than the builders who turn those farmlands into
developments. Now even the builders are calling for more dense developments
clustered closer to the town centers. With demand for housing expected
to grow with new centers, we can only hope that politicians (and voters
who enable them) will see the light.
Judging from the calls and E-mails I have received,
there is a great deal of discontent about the service we are receiving
from RCN and it is fully justified. The peculiar thing is that in
spite of RCN planning a huge new office complex in either Lawrence
or Ewing, the CEO of the company, David C. McCourt, has admitted in
a recent newspaper article that he has no interest in our area since
he is concentrating on "high density population areas." That
makes it highly unlikely that during the upcoming re-franchising discussions
Princeton will obtain any improvements over our current dismal system.
But something can be done, and citizens can do it. You can come to
the public hearings, one on Wednesday, April 12, at 8 p.m. at Princeton
Borough hall, and the other on Tuesday, May 16, at the Township building.
Join me and others who will ask RCN and the Joint TV-Cable committee
why we have to pay about a third more for our cable than the adjoining
Ask why we still have to have set-top boxes for which we are charged
every month. Ask why we can’t watch one program and record another
without complicated additional hardware. Ask why we can’t have more
non-premium channels like IFC. Ask why we can’t have high speed "two
way" cable modems like they do all around us.
Finally, let’s ask Mr. McCourt why, if he is not interested in the
Princeton franchise, he doesn’t sell the system to someone who is.
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.