August 21, 2013

Suggesting a Roman Solution to Princeton’s Giant, Gas-Guzzling, Traffic-Snarling Busses

To the Editor:

Now that the southern access to the community has been compromised by the “Arts” construction, a critical element of our quality-of-life has been dramatized even more than under normal circumstances. Princeton is a small old town with narrow, winding streets and yet in the last years it has been supplied with giant-sized buses used for public transport, but created for long hauls, open roads, and large human capacity. In Rome, with its even more narrow, winding streets, the problem is moving toward solution with many routes of small buses (capacity about 10 seated and 10 standing) that work their way through medieval alley-ways, paths, piazzas, and main thoroughfares in the complex center of town, and they run on ELECTRICITY. The official “ATAC” electric buses are clean, quiet, and they fill the needs of the citizens and tourists. Princeton buses are a shameful over-kill. I have never seen these gas-guzzling giants with more than a handful of people aboard. Their engines pollute the air; their sheer size snarls traffic. Their use shows no imagination whatsoever on the part of the powers that be.

And while we’re on the subject of over-kill. Has anyone else noticed the exponential enlargement of lawn and gardening equipment trailers around town? I saw one this morning that not only had an enormous truck in front but included a gigantic trailer attached. Parked on Springdale, it turned traffic into one lane for several hours. Moreover, hand-held leaf blowers not only pollute with noise and over-use (seven days a week), but also with their gaseous exhaust from over-powered engines.

How difficult would it be to convert these motors to battery-operated electric power — lighter weight, less polluting and quiet?

Who rules on this subject? To whom can we apply for new guidelines and restrictions?
Marilyn Aronberg Lavin

Maxwell Lane