Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 31
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
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Borough Council Opposes Move of the Dinky Station

Anne Levin

Borough Council has made it official: It opposes Princeton University’s proposal to move the Dinky station.

The Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution at its meeting last Tuesday, stating its reasons for not supporting the University’s plan to relocate the station 460 feet south of its present location. The move would make way for a proposed arts and education complex and a second access road to its large parking garage.

The resolution states that the proposed move is contrary to smart growth norms, state development and redevelopment plans, and New Jersey Transit policy; and it is not in the best interest of Borough residents. A copy was delivered to Princeton University trustees, University President Shirley Tilghman, and the
Executive and Board members of New Jersey Transit.

Councilman Roger Martindell was the only member at the meeting to comment on the resolution, calling it a step in the right direction that should have gone further. “This resolution is somewhat perfunctory in scope,” he said. “It doesn’t provide an adequate platform. It’s too passive to be of maximum use. I hope we’ll augment it, detail it, and advance the point of view that’s inherent in here.”

Officials from the University have maintained that they will move the station whether or not they obtain rezoning approval from the Borough and Township. The relocation would shift the Dinky station from the Borough into the Township.

Asked for his reaction to the resolution, University vice president Robert Durkee commented that while it has two “whereas” clauses, it’s lack of a “resolve” clause makes it “a bit of an odd resolution.”

Mr. Durkee takes issue with the reasons stated for opposing the Dinky move. “Saying that it is contrary to state development and redevelopment plans is a bit odd, because they have a letter from the governor that is very supportive of the plan,” he said. Saying the proposed move is contrary to New Jersey Transit policy is questionable since “they’ve had Transit in saying this plan is the best chance we all have to increase ridership and sustain the Dinky over time.

“Some of the reasons are questionable,” he added, “but at the end of the day, is it helpful? If whats going to happen is that a new station is going to be constructed and the terminus is going to be moved and the area developed, I think the question should be, what is the best way to develop it? And many have said development to support arts would be a good thing.”

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