To the Editor:
I‘m a longtime resident. I’m in town at least three times a day. I walk in at least once and I drive in. I drink coffee here. I buy lunch here. I buy clothes here. I buy lottery tickets here. I eat dinner here. You get the point. I’ve been doing this for 25 years. I use town. I really use town. I don’t wish it was somewhere else, I use it, I know it, I like it. I’ve also led large projects, deployed computer technology globally, and developed urban planning concepts that are still in use by the state of New Jersey. I have a feel for how things work and how things don’t work.
Princeton is at its worst when solving problems with a “known” solution. Think about this time last year when we couldn’t park because of our new parking solution. We don’t seem to know how it happened, it just appeared and it didn’t work—really didn’t work.
Now we are getting ready to apply the “known” solution to the Witherspoon Street problem. I’ve never quite understood “the Witherspoon Street problem” but nonetheless, we have a solution. The “known” solution is Witherspoon Street should have no cars and be for pedestrians only. I know there are other alternates, but that’s the “known” answer.
Plans for projects as complex and strategic as changing a north south arterial road require significant planning. It’s hard. Planning during a pandemic is fraught with problems. It’s harder. You’re measuring an artificial construct. Through traffic is off. Pedestrian traffic is off. University traffic is off. Everything is off. But wait, I’m falling into a trap, the trap of defending against the “known” solution. more