Leave it to the readers to have the last word, and often the best word. Three of our recent columns have been one-upped by informed members of the community.
Some of you will remember the ode to walking (September 4), in which I ruminated about the possibility of taking a mundane subject like walking and turning it into a book. A few days later I got a package from Herb Hobler (Herbert W. Hobler, the HWH in radio station WHWH). In the package was Hobler’s 1999 book, "Walking, A Moving Experience" (www.xlibris.com), chronicling his adventures during more than 6,000 consecutive early morning walks.
So there already is a book on walking. A Princeton book at that. Thanks, Herb.
Then last week (October 2) I made what now seems to be a feeble plea for considering pedestrians and bicyclists in the Millstone Bypass proposal for Route 1. Shortly after that column appeared I got a call from Ken Carlson, co-chairman of the West Windsor Recreational Trails and Bikeways Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org). His committee has thought the issue through, and has presented a detailed proposal to the Partners’ Roundtable charged with reviewing the many options for the bypass.
It is well recognized that Route 1 poses a significant barrier in our township and in essence divides our community. The at-grade crossings of Route 1 (i.e., Harrison Street, Washington Road, and Carnegie Center Drive) are clearly dangerous places for pedestrians and bicyclists. The overpasses of Route 1 (i.e., Alexander Road, Meadow Road, and Quakerbridge Road), are even less safe, particularly for bicyclists, due to the system of access ramps and high traffic volumes and speeds. The West Windsor group urges that bike lanes and sidewalks be added to all newly constructed roads and that any overpass be designed for safe use by bicyclists and pedestrians as well as cars.
In addition, "as a more comprehensive solution to the problem of bicycle and pedestrian mobility, we propose that a dedicated bicycle/pedestrian bridge be constructed over Route 1 as part of the road improvements that are now being considered.
"We recommend that the bicycle/pedestrian bridge be located immediately south of the Dinky Railroad Bridge. A bridge in this location could link up with an existing and partially complete bicycle/pedestrian path that extends from University Square to the Princeton Junction train station, traversing behind businesses on Alexander Road. West of Route 1, the bridge could link up to a proposed bicycle/pedestrian path that would extend to the Delaware and Raritan Canal either in parallel to the Dinky railroad tracks or along Alexander Road.
"This bridge location provides the best possible solution for east/west bicycle and pedestrian traffic because it optimizes west-bound access to the Canal, the Canal Pointe neighborhood, and Princeton University and east-bound access to the train station, Carnegie Center, businesses along Alexander Road, and residential neighborhoods such as Penns Neck and Berrien City. We recommend that this bridge be developed regardless of which Millstone Bypass alternative is selected."
Now for the last word on the Hooters column (September 25). Disregarding my request that we men be left alone to ponder the dynamics of this alluring bar that has planted an outpost in the Mercer Mall, a woman reader E-mailed an account of her own visit several years ago to another Hooters.
"While I was working at a mega-bookstore down the road during the holidays, a male customer invited me out for a beer after my 11:30 p.m. shift ended. I decided to go, driving my own car and knowing the parking lot at Hooters would be well-lit and `safe’ with other people.
"It only took about 10 minutes to discover this guy was a real jerk when I asked him about his children. With beer in hand, he let it slip out that his children were the greatest … and were fast asleep at home with his wife.
"`Your wife? You have a wife? And you’re here having a beer with me?….’ He insisted he just wanted someone to talk to … I read him the riot act on fidelity, letting him know that one woman does not do this to another woman. I preached him a sermon on going to a marriage counselor and told him to get his narcissistic butt home to his wife and children ASAP!
"The Hooters staff cheered me on. I paid for my own beer, and needless to say, I never saw this guy again. His big mistake was thinking any literate woman who might enjoy a beer after work would lack a clear code of ethics. Moral of the story: You just might meet a raving feminist preaching the gospel of fidelity at Hooters."