Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 46
 
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors



Advertise in Town Topics

Iris Interiors


Advertise in Town Topics

Weather Forecast


Mailbox

The 460 Foot Solution: Improved Traffic Patterns Justify Moving Dinky Station

Bob Schwartz
Grover Avenue

Red Cross Invites “Touch of Home” Holiday Mail to U.S. Armed Forces

Marguerite Mount
Chairman of the Board
American Red Cross of Central New Jersey

Pedestrian Casualty Waiting to Happen at Crossing Near Spring Street Building

Kurt Tazelaar
Grover Ave
Princeton

Making Public Damian’s Message on Sharing Family Health Histories

Carol Auerbach
Bunn Drive

A Message for Borough Residents Desiring A More Active Local Two-Party System

Roger Martindell
Prospect Avenue

On Behalf of Children, Lovers, Others, Resident Wants Sidewalks Kept Clear

Elizabeth Hamblet
Wittmer Court

A Wish List for Parents, Residents, From PIACS Friends Association

Justine Wu -West Windsor
Xinyi Wei - Princeton
Melissa Edwards - Kendall Park
Fang Zhang - Plainsboro


The 460 Foot Solution: Improved Traffic Patterns Justify Moving Dinky Station

To the Editor:

Princeton Future’s meeting on the proposed Arts and Transit District and alternatives was educational, and may lead to a compromise that would benefit residents of the town. The advantages of these new facilities are clear; discussion focused on traffic and moving the Dinky station.

The University’s plan provides major traffic improvements to that chronically congested part of town. By adding a road across the north end of the Dinky tracks, the substantial traffic between the Lot 7 garage and points north would bypass Alexander between Faculty Road and University Place a huge problem area now. The intersection near Wawa would improve from an “F” to an “A” roundabout and a nearby “B” light.

Since NJ Transit forbids a new road crossing the Dinky’s tracks, its station would be moved 460 feet south, a 2 minute walk. This would inconvenience only a small fraction of the residents who use this part of town, most of whom drive and would enjoy less traffic congestion on Alexander.

About half of Dinky riders are dropped off at or drive or bike to the station; these residents would benefit by the improved traffic flow, parking, and waiting area. The other half walk to the station, but most are students and university employees (who would walk diagonally less than two minutes more), not residents. And some walkers think a longer walk is a fair tradeoff for more arts and public spaces, a better Dinky station, and improved traffic.

Some at the meeting opposed any move of the Dinky station “not one inch” and others proposed spending over $50 million to keep it at its current location, but under ground. While creative, that solution would require climbing several stories of stairs, construction that closes the Dinky line for a year or more, a large sum of money that seems unavailable, and years more of delay.

Several at the meeting urged a compromise be reached so that the best version of this project can proceed before delays jeopardize its funding, a sad prospect culturally and to anyone who drives on Alexander at rush hour. I agree.

I suggest one last try to get NJ Transit to agree to a road crossing the Dinky tracks. Failing that, either the University plan or Kevin Wilkes’s alternative to move the Dinky station will give major traffic and cultural benefits to most residents and visitors alike. Let’s accept that tradeoff, combine the elements of each plan that best enhance traffic flow, and move forward.

Bob Schwartz
Grover Avenue

Red Cross Invites “Touch of Home” Holiday Mail to U.S. Armed Forces

To the Editor:

Every year during the holiday season, Americans take time to reflect and give thanks for the many gifts in our lives.  Whether down the block, across the country or around the world we gather with family and loved ones to share a “touch of home.” It’s during this special season we ask you to take time to remember the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, their families and our nation’s veterans who may be separated or far from home. Between now and December 10, you are invited to send holiday greeting cards with messages of thanks and support. Red Cross volunteers and Pitney Bowes will screen, sort and deliver your card to military installations and veterans and military hospitals across the U.S. and around the world.  

Visit www.redcross.org/holidaymail for details on how you can send a card. Once you’ve read the guidelines, mail your card by December 10 to:

Holiday Mail for Heroes

P. O. Box 5456

Capitol Heights, MD  20791-5456

 

Marguerite Mount
Chairman of the Board
American Red Cross of Central New Jersey

Pedestrian Casualty Waiting to Happen at Crossing Near Spring Street Building

To the editor;

A pedestrian casualty waiting to happen, the alleyway leading into South Tulane next to the new apartment building on Spring Street crosses a busy sidewalk and is blind to drivers and pedestrians from both sides.   This is technically legal but it doesn’t matter how many signs are posted warning drivers to stop or be careful, motor vehicles are going to routinely barrel through.  It would be a danger even if drivers came to a legitimate full stop... and they don’t.  

The proper preemptive solution would be to block it off with a barricade.  Delivery vehicles for the Spring Street building could still enter but would have to back out and exit onto Witherspoon street.   Let’s not wait for a tragedy before rethinking this blatant hazard.

Kurt Tazelaar
Grover Ave
Princeton

Making Public Damian’s Message on Sharing Family Health Histories

To the Editor:

I would like to share a message regarding visual impairment. On October 19, 2010, Damian Alexander Utkewicz passed away suddenly in Montclair, N.J. A graduate of Princeton Theologial Seminary and The Seeing Eye in Morristown, he was 44. He could often be seen walking to work at the Seminary with his golden retriever guide dog, Victor. Damian became visually impaired due to Leber’s Optic Neuropathy. According to the Neuro-Opthamologist at Will’s Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, families should share their health histories with other family members. This vital activity can be done anytime. It has the potential to detect familial diseases early.

Damian was blessed with numerous friends, and coordinated services for disability and visual impairment. He was an enthusiastic working disabled person and the N.J. Comission for the Blind was his agency contact. He was extraordinarily intelligent, loved life, and had been planning to see Bob Dylan perform this month in West Long Branch. Thank you for letting me share with the Princeton community the news of Damian’s passing.

Carol Auerbach
Bunn Drive

A Message for Borough Residents Desiring A More Active Local Two-Party System

To the Editor:

I thank the voters of Princeton Borough for providing me with the opportunity to serve them as councilman again over the next three years. I also thank the workers and contributors who made local elections so productive for Democratic candidates, including my newly elected Borough Council colleague, Jo Butler, our counterparts in Princeton Township, Liz Lempert and Lance Liverman, and our exceptional Congressman, Rush Holt.

I have a special message for Borough residents who desire a more active local two-party system, believe that incumbents and Democrats have lost touch with residents, are angry about property tax revaluation, or feel otherwise disenfranchised. That message is to avoid free-floating anger associated with the Tea Party in the national arena and to participate with fellow members of our Princeton community to address pressing governmental and political issues locally. Collectively, we have many serious problems to tackle.

During the recent campaign I too frequently heard that Borough government should become more responsive and do more to involve residents holding differences of opinion with Borough Hall. I believe that to be a fair criticism, and I pledge to work to change that.

Conversely, those who would seek to change the political status quo in Princeton cannot afford to sit on the sidelines, but should seek to participate more fully in local affairs, if they are to harvest the change they seek in Borough Hall.

Roger Martindell
Prospect Avenue

On Behalf of Children, Lovers, Others, Resident Wants Sidewalks Kept Clear

To the Editor:

As the leaves fall and winter snows approach, it is my hope that Princeton residents will remember that the sidewalks are used by children traveling to school, exercise enthusiasts, dog walkers, and lovers young and old. Please help to keep Princeton’s sidewalks clear for everyone. Thank you.

Elizabeth Hamblet
Wittmer Court

A Wish List for Parents, Residents, From PIACS Friends Association

To the Editor:

As parents and concerned residents, we seek a fresh start for our community, which sadly has been fractured over the proposed charter school PIACS (Princeton International Academy Charter School) during the last year.

The following list represents our wishes for all families and children in our community, as we near the end of the fall semester and approach a new year:

1) We wish to encourage and support parents’ advocacy for their children’s needs in recognition of the fact that one size does not fit all.

2 ) We wish to acknowledge that regardless of philosophical differences, parents and families ultimately share a collective desire to see their children thrive emotionally and intellectually in a supportive learning environment.

3) We wish for school officials to move beyond harsh rhetoric, pitting neighbor against neighbor, and towards mutually respectful conversations about different approaches to providing the highest quality education for our children and our nation’s children.

4) We wish to raise awareness and debunk myths regarding the role of charter schools nationally and locally.

5) We wish to nurture existing friendships and alliances while continuing to create new ones in the community, whether in or outside the classroom.

We believe our children deserve and expect better from us. We must lead by example. As parents and members of PIACS Friends Association, we would like to extend our wishes for a happy, safe and prosperous holidays and school year for all on behalf of the PIACS Friends community,

Justine Wu -West Windsor
Xinyi Wei - Princeton
Melissa Edwards - Kendall Park
Fang Zhang - Plainsboro

For information on how to submit Letters to the Editor, click here.

Return to Top | Go to Obituaries


Town Topics® may be purchased on Wednesday mornings at the following locations: Princeton — McCaffrey’s, Cox’s, Kiosk (Palmer Square), Krauszer’s (State Road), Olives, Speedy Mart (State Road), Wawa (University Place); Hopewell — Village Express; Rocky Hill — Wawa (Route 518); Pennington — Pennington Market.
Copyright© Town Topics®, Inc. 2011.