#b#Save the Dinky Reflects on Loss#/b#

Save the Dinky Inc. respects the legal process, but we are obviously disappointed by the February 17 court rulings upholding New Jersey Transit’s decisions to move the Dinky terminus to accommodate Princeton University’s development goals. If the law permits NJ Transit to enter into a private deal to turn over precious public transportation assets to a private developer, the law should be changed.

Princeton has lost an historic in-town train station with pedestrian access from a public street. In return, we have a park-and-ride station farther from town and a resulting significant loss of ridership. For people trying to get to work, the prospect of getting coffee from a mega Wawa doesn’t outweigh the inconvenience.

It is unfortunate that the court has shown so little sensitivity to the vital public interests at stake in these cases. We fought this battle to give voice to the interests of the many people who rely on walkable public transportation and who care about sustainable development. We are grateful to our supporters who have recognized that this was one of those battles worth fighting, win or lose. As far as next legal steps, we are considering our options.

Anita Garoniak

President, Save The Dinky Inc.

#b#‘Complete’ Streets? Long Way to Go#/b#

I was very impressed by your February 17 cover stories on Complete Streets. The subject is one that needs to be exposed to as many Americans as possible. It seems to me that Americans view the concept of Complete Streets as a great idea, just as long as it is not done in their town because that will mean higher taxes to achieve implementation or loss of freedom.

Princeton is a case in point. Portions of Hamilton Avenue, Prospect Avenue, and Mount Lucas Road were resurfaced in 2015. However, only Mount Lucas Road has seen any improvements for non-motorized users. In all cases there were multiple neighborhood meetings for the Engineering Department to discuss the plans with the residents AND get their feedback in order to minimize the negative externalities. Yet, Mount Lucas Road is the only road where complete streets was implemented.

Why? I can’t speak for Prospect Avenue residents but I am confident that Hamilton Avenue residents raised their voices unreasonably loud over the loss of a few parking spaces (all of the affected homes have driveways) to the detriment of the public good. Those residents would prefer cyclists to continue using their sidewalks, risking further injury, because the present roadway has a higher “level of stress” than what many cyclists feel confident riding on.

Unlike West Windsor, we have our work cut out for us. Princeton is a dense, compact region. The needs of babies in carriages, pedestrians, joggers, commuting cyclists, and touring cyclists will not be satisfied as long as residents put their own needs first. I look forward to learning about the recommendations of the consultant for the Princeton Bike Master Plan and where we go beyond their release to the public.

I really enjoyed Robert Hebditch’s description of bicycling on Quaker Road. I would suggest to Mr. Hebditch that he come to Princeton’s Cyclovia in June when Quaker Road will be closed to vehicles for a few hours. Maybe he could even be “The Leader of the Pack.” Now, “thinking outside the blacktop,” we could boost attendance at our Cyclovia by having a celebrity be the first rider on Quaker Road. We could use the celebrity to vouch for the value and importance of Complete Streets.

Dan Rappoport

Editor’s note: The writer is a longtime Princeton bicycling enthusiast who remembers commuting from his apartment to Quakerbridge Plaza by bicycle for two years using Quaker Road and crossing Route 1 before the overpass was built.

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