Whether the Route 1 jughandles are open (as they are now) or closed (as they were during the somewhat disastrous “experiment” by the state Department of Transportation to improve traffic flow on Route 1), transportation planning in congested central New Jersey remains a critical issue. The two letters below were written just before the DOT announced the end of its experiment, but the concerns they raise remain important.

For more traffic considerations please turn to our cover story, beginning on page 35.

#b#Who Counts More? Cars or People?#/b#

The New Jersey Department of Transportation claims that its blockade of left turns into Princeton via Harrison Street and Washington Road is speeding up northbound traffic on Route 1. Meanwhile, the folks who live in the towns on both sides of the highway report chaos, hazard, and misery.

Where is it written that the convenience of drivers who are in a hurry to be elsewhere trumps the well-being of local residents and businesspeople who are already where they want to be? We know that traffic engineers think more of vehicles than people, but that doesn’t mean we should be forced to share their enthusiasm.

Half a century ago in New York City, the automobile-worshipping Robert Moses permanently devastated the Bronx when he cut the Cross Bronx Expressway through traditional residential neighborhoods. When he tried to repeat the destruction by ramming an expressway through lower Manhattan, he was stopped only because of the public clamor organized by the legendary Jane Jacobs.

If I lived on one of the impacted Princeton area local roads or streets I would be tempted to launch a civic action. A phalanx of community leaders driving their cars side by side at a cautious 10 mph on every northbound lane of Route 1 during a week’s worth of rush hours would be one way to remind NJDOT that there are human priorities, too, and might persuade them that they should have left bad enough alone.

Allen H. Kassof

Mercer Road, Princeton

#b#Collateral Damage#/b#

"First, do no harm.” A tenet of medical ethics we would do well to consider in all facets of life. For six weeks the New Jersey Department of Transportation has been conducting a traffic experiment, closing the jughandles to speed traffic along the Route 1 corridor. The pilot was initiated without considering the collateral damage that could result.

In NJDOT’s desire to promote traffic flow, cars have taken precedence over the property rights and well-being of local citizens. Residents of Penns Neck want a peaceful neighborhood where children can play and adults can walk or jog without fear of being hit by frustrated and impatient drivers trying to find a quick way to get back onto Route 571. The increasing number of posted signs has not succeeded in reducing the number of cars making K and U-turns in our neighborhood or the number of accidents that have occurred since the pilot’s inception.

Local police have been a helpful presence and we appreciate what they have done to ensure the safety of our residents. If the NJDOT makes these changes permanent after the 90-day trial period is over and police presence on Route 1 ends, how many egregious actions will occur daily?

The violation of our once-peaceful neighborhood can be resolved by moving forward with the Harrison Street overpass, Vaughn Road Connector, and the widening of the Alexander Road bridge at the D&R Canal. I urge NJDOT to put people first and find an alternative solution.

Lori Pantaleo

Varsity Avenue, Penns Neck

#b#Cheers for Supporters#/b#

The Parkinson Alliance is grateful to our numerous sponsors, participants, donors, fundraisers, door prize donors, and volunteers for all they did to make the 13th annual Carnegie Center 5K and One Mile Fun Run to benefit The Parkinson Alliance, held on Saturday, September 22, the most successful run to date. We extend a special thank you to Boston Properties for continuing to host this event and for their support.

We extend a special thank you to Congressman Rush Holt for kicking off the race.

The 2012 King Award was presented to Platinum Sponsor, First Choice Bank. Created in memory of Joseph G. Fennelly, a generous philanthropist and long term volunteer of the Parkinson Alliance, the King Award recognizes a sponsor’s dedication and commitment to the Parkinson’s community. Jerry Fennelly, son of Joseph G. Fennelly, presented the award to Randy Hanks, president and CEO of First Choice Bank.

It was a record-breaking year in terms of runners (more than 700 ranging in age from 5 to 81) and money raised for research (over $76,000). The net proceeds from this event go to Parkinson’s research.

This fundraiser has become a fall tradition in central Jersey. It attracts both serious and not such serious runners. Many runners participate because of their connection to the Parkinson’s community — either because they have Parkinson’s disease themselves or are running in honor or memory of someone with the disease.

Every dollar for research takes us one step closer to finding the cause and cure for Parkinson’s disease.

Carol Walton, CEO

The Parkinson Alliance

On Friday, September 29, more than 300 members of the community joined the Friends of the Princeton Public Library for Beyond Words, the Friends’ annual benefit. The evening began at Richardson Auditorium with a talk by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Eugenides, followed by a cocktail reception, silent auction, and dinner.

The Friends wish to acknowledge our sponsors, guests, donors, benefit committee and volunteers whose generosity and hard work helped the Friends raise more than $120,000 for the library. These funds will be used to purchase books, DVDs, e-books and music; enhance staff development; and support the library’s many free programs.

In particular, we would like to thank Jeffrey Eugenides, as well as our presenting sponsor, the Gould Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, and our platinum sponsor, Glenmede. We are also grateful to gold sponsors, Howe Insurance Group and Princeton University; bronze sponsor, Princeton University Press; and our corporate supporters, Princeton Black Squirrel and Stark & Stark. By supporting the Friends and the Princeton Public Library, they have done tremendous good for the entire community.

Ellen Pitts and Wendy Evans

Event Co-Chairs

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