October 10, 2012

To the Editor:

The closing of left turns at Washington Road and Harrison Street on Route One has created gridlock in Princeton. The town already had a traffic problem, given that about a decade ago traffic measurements indicated that it had worse congestion than major Midwestern cities. The recent closings have significantly increased the volume of cars using Alexander Road, a narrow, twisting road not designed to handle even a fraction of the traffic that now crawls along it during the morning and evening rush hours. Hapless commuters to New York City and Philadelphia, people who form a large segment of the Princeton population that has been long abused by New Jersey Transit, are now forced to experience the “service interruptions”, “signal delays,” and “congestion” of the train commute on their way to and from Princeton Junction, before they even board a train. Frustrated and, in some cases, enraged drivers are engaging in dangerous practices such as illegal U-turns and lane crossings and running red lights.

Princeton — its elected officials and its residents — needs to fight back. Concerned citizens can register their displeasure on the township’s website: www.princetontwp.org There is a quick survey that can be accessed by clicking on a link on the front page of the website. Let’s not let fly-by drivers on Route One ruin our quality of life by snarling our roads. After all, residents and would-be residents might decide to put the pedal to the metal and leave Princeton behind. What would happen to tax rates then?

Curtis A. Glovier

Drake’s Corner Road

To the Editor:

On November 11, Westerly Road Church will hold a ground-breaking ceremony for the new construction of a church in Princeton. For a long time our thriving church has exceeded capacity in our current location and after years of discussion, deliberation, and input from the community, we have an approved design that is a credit to Princeton. The church (on Bunn Drive and Herrontown Road) is an applicant for the SmartGrowth designation and has been designed for sustainability, efficiency, practicality, and beauty. With an efficient design that will be LEED certified and a tight footprint that allows for the preservation of the remaining 7.5 acres as a protected environmental easement, it’s a project that honors the land, the values of the community, and our faith convictions.

We offer our heartfelt thanks to the Princeton community, public officials, and the Township staff for your support and hard work on this project. We extend an invitation to the community to join us for the ground-breaking ceremony on Sunday, November 11 at 2 p.m. (at the Bunn Drive site), and to join us for worship in our new facility in late 2013 — until then, you will always be warmly welcomed at our current location on Westerly Road.

John Beeson

Associate Pastor, Westerly Road Church

To the Editor:

It is with great conviction that I enthusiastically support Dick Woodbridge as candidate for the first mayor of united Princeton.

At this crucial time in Princeton’s history, it is imperative that we choose the best candidate to help us smoothly transition through the merging of the two Princetons. This process will help to determine the success of the new government, and will be highly visible on a State level.

Dick’s highly-regarded experience as a former mayor of Princeton Township and on Township Committee, as well as his membership on Borough Council qualify him as the only candidate with experience in governance in both Princetons. Dick’s deep roots in our community, dating back from grade school through college at Princeton University, along with his lifelong professional career in Princeton as an attorney, make him highly qualified to lead us at this time. Dick’s long-time devotion to local volunteerism and community activism allows him an insight which will be most beneficial in bringing the two communities together.

Never before has it been more important for Princeton to choose its leadership. We are fortunate to have an ideal candidate to move us forward into the first chapter of our future as a united Princeton. I endorse Dick Woodbridge for mayor and I urge all Princeton voters to do the same.

Susan D. Carril

Westcott Road

To the Editor:

A couple months back, a house near ours was looking deserted. A dumpster finally appeared and I noticed among the discards some wood that would be perfect for a backyard project. I knocked on the door and got permission to take anything I wanted. Days later, I stopped by again and noticed some old science books, mostly physics. I took one about Einstein, intending to return later for a closer look. The next morning, the dumpster was gone. Again I knocked, and learned that this unassuming house I walk by every day had been the home of no less than Julian Bigelow, chief engineer at the Institute for Advanced Study for von Neumann’s 1940s project to build one of the world’s first computers.

Though Bigelow’s papers and a few books will end up in various archives and a Bryn Mawr sale, thousands of books were thrown out for lack of a home. I’ll always wonder what books slipped away just out of reach. The loss had particular poignancy for me because I know a bookshelf where they might have been perfect, in the former house of the great mathematician Oswald Veblen out in Herrontown Woods.

Though Veblen’s uncle Thorstein is better known, Oswald may have left the greater mark. His vision and influence were instrumental in building the Princeton U. math department into a powerhouse, designing Old Fine Hall, and bringing the Institute, and Albert Einstein, to town. We also owe him gratitude for hundreds of acres of greenspace in town. The Institute Woods and Herrontown Woods would likely not have been preserved if not for Veblen’s influence, generosity, and love of nature.

But Veblen’s contributions to the world we now inhabit extend beyond Princeton. Though most of Bigelow’s books were lost, they led me to recent writings by George Dyson (Turing’s Cathedral) and Jon Edwards. Therein lie descriptions of Veblen’s role in helping get German math and physics scholars out of Germany before World War II, “undoubtedly delaying the development of Hitler’s bomb.” His work on ballistics during the world wars increased the accuracy of Allied artillery and stirred early interest in developing machines to expedite the necessary trajectory computations. Dyson devotes a chapter of his book to Veblen’s role in spurring and facilitating development of the computers we use today.

All of which brings us back to those empty bookshelves in a boarded up house in Herrontown Woods. When Veblen died in 1960, after a life of transformative service to University, Institute, town, nation and world, he left behind one wish for that house–that it be made into a library and museum. That wish remains ungranted, as the neglected county-owned house and nearby farmstead move toward demolition. A citizens group has submitted a proposal to restore the buildings and put them to public uses, but like the dam restorations at Mountain Lakes, all depends on funding.

Lest more books slip needlessly into the abyss, I encourage anyone seeking a good home for books related to the Veblens and other Institute luminaries to contact me (609.252.0724, veblenhouse.org). If individuals and local institutions come forward to grant the Veblens’ dying wish, we’ll have some fine bookshelves to put them on.

Stephen Hiltner

North Harrison Street

To the Editor:

The Princeton Borough Shade Tree Commission is pleased to announce its inventory of approximately 2300 street trees (102 species) is now officially on line and accessible to the general public. The tree survey and data collection took three years. The Commission thanks all in the Borough who volunteered so many hours to make the new data system possible.

Starting October 1, 2012, anyone can access the street survey by going to the Shade Tree Commission’s website, address www.pbshadetree.org, clicking the green word DATABASE in the left side column, and following the instructions provided on the website. Users will be guided through steps to choose any address in the Borough and obtain the species names and sizes of curbside street trees at that address.

In addition to satisfying the tree curious, this inventory will enable municipal employees to maintain the database, identify aging trees requiring removal, schedule the removal of diseased or damaged trees, and plan for replacement trees. They can also record citizen reports about trees in distress or requests for trees to be planted in vacant sites. Database reports will assist Public Works staff in diversifying tree species along a street (a means to forestall the spread of some diseases), and in selecting replacement trees with proven salt resistance or with mature heights appropriate to a particular street’s features, considering signage, utility wires, sidewalks etc.

A look at the new database reveals that pin oaks are at present the most populous street trees in the Borough, followed by sugar maples. London plane trees are in third place, then red maples, thornless honey locusts, Norway maples, and Japanese zelkova, with 95 other species following in decreasing numbers.

Princeton Borough has earned “Tree City” status for 17 years. Maintenance of the database will help consolidated Princeton track growth of its diverse urban forest and keep a healthy tree canopy going forward. A similar survey to cover roadside trees in the Township is underway, and results will be added to the Borough’s on-line data in 2013, post-consolidation.

Princeton Borough Shade Tree Commission

Alexandra Radbil, Chair,

Pat Hyatt, Vice-Chair,

Sharon Ainsworth, member, Marie Rickman, member,

Welmoet von Kammen, member, database master,

Jenny Crumiller, Borough Council liaison

To the Editor:

I meant to write much earlier than this to thank Jane Buttars, Dr. Vojislava Pohristic, and Alexi Assumus for providing the much needed information on the status of the environmental impact on the neighborhoods surrounding the old hospital site. I am surprised by the lack of response or concern shown by local residents when there is a strong possibility that the site is contaminated and that there is not only the actual demolishing of the buildings (lead paint, lead doors, asbestos, medical waste, X ray equipment, etc.), but the removal of hospital also poses threats to the surrounding water systems.

Do residents realize the amount of dust particles which will spread over the area? I remember the amount of dust/dirt that settled on our front porch and window ledges and came in through the window screens when the new sewer lines were put in a few years ago and all that debris came from just digging up part of the street and sidewalks.

In May of 1980 when Mount St. Helens erupted in Oregon “Over the course of the day, prevailing winds blew 520 million tons of ash eastward across the United States and caused complete darkness in Spokane, Washington, 250 miles from the volcano.” I am certainly not comparing the volcanic eruption to the demolition of the old hospital site, I am simply pointing out that the debris from the hospital will cover quite a bit of Princeton and the debris will not only be concrete and glass dust but, unless the contaminated items in the hospital are not disposed of in an environmentally safe way, residents have some major health issues to deal with.

Nancy Green

Lytle Street

October 3, 2012

To the Editor:

In celebration of our 45th anniversary, the Arts Council of Princeton (ACP) sends heartfelt thanks to the community for its continued support and participation. The ACP was founded in September 1967, and so we aimed to fill this past month with vibrant anniversary festivities.

Thank you to the hundreds of artists, families, and friends who joined us for our early-September Annual Members Show, which featured 165 artworks by member artists. We are delighted to share news that our Free Fall Open House on September 9 garnered both record attendance and class registrations. Our mid-month 1960s Dance Party was festive and fun — we grooved to music alongside a giant screen featuring vintage rock-n-roll footage and videos. Finally, we produced an Age of Aquarius benefit concert with renowned singer-songwriter Francis Dunnery. It was wonderful to see so many new and familiar faces here throughout this exciting month.

Thanks to everyone who helped make our events successful including: McCaffrey’s Markets, Lucy’s Ravioli Kitchen, Lindt Chocolate Shop, Halo Pub, bai Brands, the bent spoon, small world coffee, Princeton Record Exchange, Emily’s Café & Catering, and CoolVines. We send special thanks to our performers at the Fall Open House — who set the tone and created lots of excitement on our terrace and front steps — Lisa Botalico and the La Feria dancers, Uma Kapoor and her Bollywood dancers, and Zoe Brookes and the Stone Soup Circus troupe. Our gracious and informative artist-instructors rounded out a superb Open House. Finally, we thank our extraordinary volunteers, who on a daily basis work in so many ways to build community through the arts.

The ACP Staff and Board

To the Editor:

Though I am a registered Democrat who has lived in Princeton Borough for more than 30 years, I had never publicly supported a political candidate or issue, because I was a reporter. Journalists, in this country, generally try to maintain at least the appearance of impartiality. (In France, it is considered a breach of ethics for the reporter NOT to state his or her opinion at the top of the article.)

But in this Princeton mayoral race, I support the Republican candidate, Dick Woodbridge.

I respect Woodbridge’s regional vision as a community leader. As a business reporter for U.S. 1 Newspaper, I interviewed him in the late ’80s when he was among the first to suggest branding Central New Jersey as the “Princeton Rutgers Research Corridor,” now recognized as “Einstein’s Alley.”

I respect Woodbridge’s business savvy and experience. He is a patent attorney who advises companies — from struggling entrepreneurs to mega firms — and helps them succeed. I have “picked his brain” over the years on any number of legal and entrepreneurial issues. He has common sense about what will work and what won’t work.

I respect Woodbridge’s good will and diplomacy. He is one of only two people to have served in both town governments; he was council president in the Borough and mayor in the Township. From my point of view, being mayor is a difficult and thankless job. I am grateful that — in this difficult time of transition — someone of his caliber and experience has stepped forward to do it.

Woodbridge has lived through Princeton’s history. He knows “where the bones are buried” and he has the tact and diplomacy that Princeton needs in this crucial transition time. I would like to remind everyone who has not already lost faith in the American political process that this opportunity to elect Woodbridge as mayor may be Princeton’s last chance to have a two-party system. Democrats, please split your ticket and vote for Richard Woodbridge.

Barbara Figge Fox

Cedar Lane

To the Editor:

At least two of Princeton’s largest institutions, Rider University and Princeton University, are supporting proposed legislation now in the State Assembly that would empower them to build whatever they want, wherever they want, regardless of local land use controls.

The legislation, known as Assembly Bill 2586 (A 2586), would exempt private institutions of higher learning in New Jersey from the Municipal Land Use Law, including oversight by planning and zoning boards.

In Princeton, passage of A 2586 could embolden Rider to place a multi-story parking deck on its property behind Linden Lane, Princeton University to build a 15-story tower in the Engineering Quad along Murray Place, the Seminary to build a multi-story student center along Mercer Street, or the Institute of Advanced Study to build any number of housing units wherever it chooses. In each such case, the development could be built totally independent of any zoning control.

Were A 2586 to pass, the consequences of uncontrolled growth — on traffic, the environment, and the quality of life in individual neighborhoods and the community as a whole — could be horrific, but there would be no legal basis to challenge that growth. Princeton would become the quintessential “company town,” even more dominated by the four institutions.

And there’s lots of opportunity for each of the institutions to grow: in Princeton Borough and Township, the four institutions control the following acreage, according to the municipal tax assessor: Princeton University – 440.73; Rider University – 25.31; the Seminar – 96.1; and the Institute for Advanced Study – 359.42, for a total of 919.56 acres of developable land.

With passage of A 2586, the homeowner with a one-quarter acre lot will have to follow the zoning rules but the private educational institutions in the community, with 919 acres and multi-million or multi-billion dollar endowments, will not.

Princetonians who care about the future of our community might usefully contact their Assembly representatives to oppose A 2586. Residents might also contact those whom they know in the administrations of the four institutions to urge those institutions to think in terms greater than their narrow institutional goals — to think of the consequences of A 2586 on the community as a whole!

Roger Martindell

Patton Avenue, Member, Princeton Borough Council

To the Editor:

Over the past several years, it’s been my pleasure to work in local government with Liz Lempert. I heartily urge you to cast your vote for her as mayor of the new consolidated Princeton.

In campaigning for our merger, Liz applied her organizing skills to solidify support from many corners. On complex planning issues we worked on, she displayed a special sensitivity to the interests of disparate neighborhoods. Liz has a talent for consensus-building that makes a difference in producing results.

Liz has been a real advocate for sustainability. With your vote for her as mayor, she now has a chance to make neighborhood sustainability work throughout the new Princeton.

Marvin Reed

Former Mayor, Princeton Borough

To the Editor:

As everyone knows, this is an election year. Across the nation, there are big contests and major issues between Democrats and Republicans.

But not in Princeton. Here we are about to elect the first mayor of our unified town, one Princeton. Fortunately, we are blessed with having two exceptionally well-qualified candidates. Either one would be able to do the job.

But here’s my point. In Princeton, there are more voters registered as Democrats than as Republicans. But the choice between the two mayoral candidates, Dick Woodbridge and Liz Lempert, should not be a matter of partisan affiliation. Rather, it should be about which candidate has the experience and the ability to do the job in the best possible way.

I urge voters to make their choice for mayor of Princeton without reference to the nominal party affiliation of the candidate.

Harvey Rothberg (MD)

Bertrand Drive

To the Editor:

Mayoral candidate Dick Woodbridge, who attended a recent Township committee meeting, was right to ask for clarification on PPS Superintendent Judy Wilson’s comments, “the Valley Road school building did not need any attention, it has been well maintained” (“Issues of Education Spark Discussions,” Town Topics, September 5).

We are puzzled. Ms. Wilson might be talking about a section of the building where PPS board meets as the rest of the building gets an “F” in maintenance, as Mr. Woodbridge well said.

Again, we must keep the message going since some other disinterested parties do not seem to be listening.

The Valley Road building on Witherspoon Street is not in good shape. As Kip Cherry pointed out in the September 12 mailbox (“Historic Valley Road School Building Neglected”) it has been left to rot as the PPS will not make a decision on what to do with the property.

This has been going on for over a year and we ask Princetonians to take charge, and PPS to leave their egos behind, make a brave, honorable choice and let the “Save the Valley Road School” committee turn the building into a community center/non-profit space; in other words, lead by action.

Candidates mention their goals of turning Princeton into a sustainable and diverse community. What do they exactly mean? We are already facing issues with AvalonBay at the site of the hospital. We have an opportunity here. What about recycling and reusing the building? What about having a community center and non-profit organizations that will certainly mean diversity?

Princetonians have approved a referendum for referred maintenance and improvements. We find ourselves in a predicament. Though we highly value education and consider teachers the most important professionals, should we trust the board to use our money the right way? Let’s be realistic and let’s avoid more dollars coming out of our pockets when PPS board decides that another referendum is needed in a year or so, to tear down a building that could have been turned into a real community asset.

Adam Bierman, Sandra Jordan

Grover Avenue

To the Editor:

It has been eight years since community representatives, municipalities, traffic engineers, environmentalists, and the public developed a plan for the Route 1/Washington Road intersection. The principal components of the plan (called alternative, D.2.A) put Route 1 in a cut under Washington Road and added frontage roads on both sides of Route 1, a west-side connector road to Harrison Street, and a Vaughn Drive connector road. Taking all of these elements together, the NJ DOT envisioned area-wide improvements.

At the time, the New Jersey Department of Transportation stated, “Alternative D.2.A was selected as the preferred alternative because it provides a reasonable level of transportation benefit, while avoiding and minimizing environmental impacts. It represents a project that will achieve significant benefits without entailing years of delay due to extensive environmental permitting requirements. In short, it is a project that can be accomplished expeditiously.”

The DOT noted that it would provide congestion relief by improving traffic flow on Route 1, improving traffic flow on east-west routes crossing Route 1, and reducing traffic on residential streets; minimize environmental impacts to natural areas and species; reduce pollution; avoid residential displacements; minimize impact to historic properties listed with the National Register; and improve bicycle and pedestrian access and safety.

Having studied 20 alternatives, with many configurations, the NJ DOT concluded that the complete plan was needed, not a selection of the elements, instituted haphazardly.

Now the NJ DOT has gone against its own plan and, without community input, without computer modeling, has chosen instead to make employees, commuters, and especially residents of the Penns Neck neighborhood guinea pigs for an experiment that has failed in all parameters except perhaps in possibly improving traffic flow on Route 1 for a relatively short distance.

It is time to stop the Route 1/Washington Road experiment and to restore safety to the Penns Neck residents until funding can be obtained to do the job completely and effectively.

Sandra Shapiro

Wycombe Way

To the Editor:

Last Monday, Princeton residents reaffirmed their steadfast commitment to educational excellence for all of our town’s children. On behalf of the Princeton Board of Education, we thank the voters for being well informed, supportive and allowing this wise investment in facilities at all six of our public schools.

Because the community has permitted the district to take care of the nuts and bolts of its facilities work, students can be assured that their learning environments, from pre-kindergarten through graduation, will be safe and strong for years to come. The board will once again turn its full, undivided attention to the learning, achievement and wellness of the students in our charge.

Thanks again for supporting excellent public schools.

Timothy Quinn,

President of the Board

Andrea Spalla,

Vice-President of the Board

To the Editor:

There are several critical leadership qualities required to serve as mayor of our community as it moves through the vital process of consolidation. We are most fortunate that mayoral candidate Liz Lempert meets this rigorous test and indeed exemplifies what is needed — a new generation of leadership.

A. Commitment to the consolidated community — Liz has demonstrated a strong commitment over the past several years to working together as one community — a requirement for consolidation leadership.

B. Inclusive planning — Liz has excellent planning skills — both short and long term — with all community stakeholders.

C. Fiscal responsibility — We have closely watched and worked with Ms. Lempert as liaison to the Finance Advisory Committee in her efforts to both keeping the tax rate flat while at the same time maintaining the high level of community services that Princeton deserves.

D. Timely decision-making — Liz has the ability to tackle the endless debates that often immobilize local government and guide the governing body to decisions in an efficient and effective manner.

E. Sensible — We find that Liz is informed by the past but not blocked by it. She tempers a strong vision with a focus on the present with practical attention to detail.

These five leadership assets provide the foundation for a new generation of governance and partnership. As Mayor, Liz Lempert will lead us successfully over the next several years to a consolidated Princeton, envisioned by the Consolidation Commission and supported by the voters. We urge you to vote for Liz Lempert.

Alison and Anton Lahnston

Elm Road

To the Editor:

We would like to thank the West Windsor Police for their tireless efforts on behalf of Penns Neck residents since the closure of the jug handle at Route 1 and Washington Road. The police re-direct confused motorists and ticket those who blatantly disregard the No U-Turn signs and place themselves and other drivers at risk. Always courteous and helpful, the police are present not only during the morning rush hour but also in the evening and on the weekend when there are major events that draw many people into the Princeton area. The 2 percent cap on municipal governments limits the police presence, but when the police are in our neighborhood, driving is safer. We have had a sharp spike in accidents on Washington Road since the jug handles were closed, but the West Windsor police have certainly prevented additional accidents.

Susan C. Parris, Dorothy Noon Holmes, David C. Parris, Moragh Boyan, Eric Payne, Kathleen Russell, R. Peter Hodge,
Ronald J. Slinn, Tamerra Moeller,
Alison Miller, Katie Gallagher,
Sharon A. Sibilia, Libby Vinson

To the Editor:

Princeton is fortunate to have a competitive race to elect the first mayor of a united Princeton. Both candidates were public supporters of consolidation and generally perceived as dedicated to its success. Our good fortune is having a choice between two candidates with very different backgrounds skill sets and visions of Princeton’s future.

In my view, on January 1, 2013 we need to move well beyond the Consolidation Commission’s baseline of limited, favorable outcomes. Now is the time to aggressively pursue our once in a lifetime opportunity to set a high standard and road map for New Jersey in achieving consolidation’s synergistic benefits through politically bi-partisan collaboration, especially in the near term.

To make the right choice for Princeton’s future, we must elect the mayoral candidate best qualified by experience and on the job performance as a community Leader, hands on in local government.

Candidate Liz Lempert is intelligent, personable, and very politically active locally, state, and nation-wide. In a heavily Democratic town and with solid liberal progressive credentials, she was clearly a safe choice for maintaining Democratic Party control in Princeton. Her profile, however, with the exception of her current position as deputy mayor of Princeton Township, cites virtually no qualifications or experience, in either public or private life, which would prepare her to lead or govern a large, multi-faceted organization in the immediate future.

Dick Woodbridge’s profile is in stark contrast to that of Liz Lempert. His qualifications and experience in both public and private life reflect leadership roles together with broad professional skills, unmatched knowledge of the local community based on a lifetime in Princeton, and a consummate hands-on record of public service in highly responsible positions. His local public service, both as volunteer and elected official, included Princeton Borough Council President, Princeton Township Mayor, Police Commissioner and much more. He is a Princeton University graduate, an attorney and engineer. After a lifetime spent here, he understands the needs and motivations of the diverse groups in Princeton and will find pragmatic ways to get things done in a politically bipartisan, collaborative way for the betterment of his beloved town.

Princeton requires experienced and proven leadership to take the helm on January 1, 2013. The clear choice is Dick Woodbridge.

John Clearwater

Governors Lane

To the Editor:

After 22 years, Springboard, the after school tutoring and homework help center, has been asked to leave the Princeton Public Library. The library director stated that “we (PPL) are no longer able to provide funding or a place in the library for a formal Springboard program”.

We are delighted to inform everyone that we have a new location in room C-104 at the John Witherspoon Middle School at the Walnut Lane entrance. The quality program that you have come to expect and rely on will be the same! The program will still be available every Monday through Thursday from 3:30 to 6 p.m. when the Princeton Public Schools are open.

We provide certified Princeton Public School teachers and former teachers who are familiar with the curriculum of the schools K-12. Springboard continues to have relationships with Princeton Public School staff that enable our tutors to work cooperatively with teachers to meet the specific needs of our individual students.

Our staff includes a bi-lingual teacher and many others (including volunteers from the community and the University) who are proficient in higher level math and science.

Springboard remains a free, drop-in program with no appointments necessary.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our generous donors who have made this transition possible. We would especially like to thank the F.I.S.H. Foundation Inc. for their continued support of this program. Please know that further donations will be needed to keep this program going. Springboard is a 501(C3) non-profit organization.

Joyce Turner

Woods Way

To the Editor:

To read the letters opposing the University’s proposal to move the Dinky Station 460 feet south of its current location causes one to wonder if its opponents are utterly unfamiliar with basic Anglo-Saxon property law, off their meds, have nothing else to do or some combination of the three.

Here’s the basic rule: unless you’re breaking some law, you pretty much get to do what you want with your property. Why? Because we’re Americans. Despite endless howling, no one has adduced a single fact that says the land isn’t the University’s or that it is breaking the law.

Reality check: 460 feet is about 153 paces of an ordinary biped and can be covered even at the profoundly slow rate of speed at which I, a gimpy biped with one good leg, moves in under five minutes. No doubt, many of the opponents of 153 paces would also be the first people to urge our chronically obese population to take extra steps — except to a moved Dinky station.

So, all of you, please, try worrying about something important: world peace, the inevitably bungled consolidation, or those noisy leaf blowers.

Mark Herr

Great Road

To the Editor:

October 1 is a day I can never forget. On that day in 1994, my daughter was killed in an automobile accident. In her case, the cause was a drunk driver. Any death in a car accident, however, brings horror, disbelief, pain, never-ending grief, and a loss that cannot be recovered.

I hope that I can make those feelings understood to people who drive our overcrowded roads, often too fast, and with not enough regard for their surroundings. I hope that those feelings are especially important to our traffic engineers, administrators, mayors, legislators, governors, and departments of transportation. They, of all people have our lives in their hands, when they plan with disregard for consequences.

A direct example is the lack of thought for safety in the New Jersey Department of Transportation experiment involving the loss of jug handles at Washington Rd. and the traffic snarl at Harrison Street and Route 1. I imagine you have been reading about drivers making U and K turns in Penns Neck to get back on a straight road into Princeton; about huge trucks driving through narrow suburban streets to avoid a longer trip; about drivers spending extra time getting to work and coming home; about racing automobiles tearing down streets not made for speed. Can you imagine what this is like for the parents and children who live on those streets? The DOT wants to make traffic move faster on Route 1, but at the expense of our neighborhoods. I am outraged by this disregard for life, whether caused by lack of caring, incompetence, or politics. The experiment that has some weeks to go must be stopped NOW before a tragedy occurs.

Are you listening Governor Christie? Are you listening DOT Commissioner Simpson? Can you help us Senators Menendez and Lautenberg? And Representative Holt? This is a cry for help, and we need you as soon as possible. Please listen to someone who has been through the unimaginable.

Paula McGuire

Washington Road

September 26, 2012

To the Editor:

After sitting through the SPRAB meeting last night I have the same question that I had six years ago: why is the Dinky station being moved???

1. All of the Arts buildings can be built and be even more beautiful, if the Dinky is not moved,

2. All of the environmental attributes of the plan can be realized and many of its detriments diminished, if the Dinky is not moved,

3. The grandeur of the current Dinky station as a gateway to Princeton, McCarter, the Seminary and the University can be retained, if the Dinky is not moved,

4. The Lot 7 garage can be accessed either below grade at its south end (only a 9 foot clearance is necessary because the garage’s clearance is less than 9 feet), or at grade at its north end (all cars accessing the garage from Alexander currently cross the Dinky at-grade), if the Dinky is not moved,

5. The service tunnel can readily pass under the Dinky tracks, if the Dinky is not moved,

6. The public’s transportation deed easement on all of the 3.5 acres can be set aside on the portion of the land occupied by the Arts buildings, if the Dinky is not moved,

7. The freight building can be expanded (while preserving its historic features) to create a convenience store for the Forbes and Arts students, if the Dinky is not moved,

8.The Wawa could be relocated to the gas station on the corner of Alexander and Faculty to provide convenience items in close proximity to the new Hibben&Magee, Lawrence and other nearby housing as well as fueling services to those driving on Alexander, if the Dinky is not moved,

9. A lot of money would be saved, if the Dinky is not moved, and

10. Much goodwill will be restored, if the Dinky is not moved.

Alain L. Kornhauser

Montadale Circle

To the Editor:

In her 11 years as the president of Princeton University, Shirley Tilghman has helped make the best even better.

Richard Trenner

Province Line Road

To the Editor:

It’s important that the food-composting program be kept alive. Princetonians have put 18 months of work into the separated compostable waste program to cut down on trash going into the landfill, and have proven that it is entirely workable and environmentally sound. We understand that we are diverting about 20 tons a month from the landfill to a sustainable composting site. Four hundred sixty families already participate and many more want to sign up but must now wait until we hear if this program is to continue in 2013.

The program is straightforward: Food and everything compostable goes into our separate green wheelie bins. The big trash bins are almost empty.

This program is also compelling for economic reasons because if our curbside food collection stops, we will actually pay higher taxes since the weight of our garbage going into the landfill will be heavier. As local landfills fill up, solid waste will have to be trucked to the midwest, increasing our costs even more, whereas food waste can continue to be processed locally.

Other communities are watching us to see if they too can save money by implementing the program that Princeton is testing. Why not ask the contractor who wins the bid to take our separated trash or amend Princeton’s bid request immediately to include a food-composting pickup for all contractors?

New administration in 2013: please continue to provide this separate pickup. We will be Princeton New Jersey, and we can make this important pioneering program successful.

Lindy and Zvi Eiref

Dodds Lane

To the Editor:

We are hearing/reading multiple complaints about the negative impacts and the ineffectiveness of the NJDOT experiment of closing left turns onto and from Route 1 at its intersections with Washington Road and Harrison Street. A decade ago it was recognized that the main problem for traffic in the Penns Neck area was the east-west flow to and from central NJ’s largest employer, Princeton University. A solution that solved the east-west traffic flow and the Route 1 north-south flow was agreed to by almost everyone in the affected areas. The main feature of the solution was to put Route 1 in a cut that would pass under Washington Road.

This solution came about as a result of scores of meetings and negotiations among residents, towns, environmental organizations, and governmental agencies. The group [in which I was a participant] was called the Penns Neck Area EIS Roundtable. Among all of the possible changes to Route 1 intersections that were considered by the Roundtable, one solution, which became known as the “Preferred Alignment,” respects the environment, gives relief to West Windsor and Princeton residents, businesses and visitors, and improves NS flow of traffic on Rt 1.

Most people who have studied the traffic on Route 1 think the current experiment just postpones the inevitable long-term solution. Had plans for the Preferred Alignment moved forward when it was approved it would have been shovel ready for the stimulus money, and we could be driving on it now. This latest experiment by NJDOT demonstrates the need for the Preferred Alignment.

Lincoln Hollister

Ridgeview Road

To the Editor:

I write regarding the award-winning curbside pickup composting program that Princeton has successfully pioneered for well over a year. By signing up for this convenient service, hundreds of families here have effortlessly sent tons of organic waste to a commercial composting facility, instead of to landfills. This program includes many more materials than even the most dedicated backyard composter could handle: bones from meat/poultry/fish; table scraps and dairy products, soiled paper plates, towels and napkins, anything labeled “for commercial composting,” and — best of all — pizza boxes.

And of course this program also benefits those who cannot or do not wish to do backyard composting.

Like other curbside compost customers, my household has taken pride in reducing the amount of “plain old trash” left to throw out. So we’re disappointed to learn that this valuable service has not been included as a requirement in the waste collection bids for consolidated Princeton. This omission seems puzzling, because our municipality has to pay for trash disposal by weight, and wet organic material is the heaviest component of regular trash. Continuing this popular program could actually save money; but if it is not in every bidder’s response, how will the bids be comparable?

I hope that residents will continue to have the option of compost collection. Our town has shown itself to be a leader by achieving consolidation. What a pity if this progress is accompanied by a step backward in our “green” leadership.

Caroline Hancock

Laurel Road