To the Editor:
In the March 23 issue of the paper, a letter raised an alarm about development in Princeton [“Widespread Development Will Have Broad, Lasting Impact Across Princeton”]. It cited an eclectic group of projects — University housing, a new hotel, a relocated restaurant, affordable housing, elder housing — as cause for concern. Claiming to simply “bring attention” to these projects, the letter ends by asking “What impact will all of these projects have on our streets, on our neighborhoods, on the environment, and in our schools?” (italics are mine). Implied in this question is the assumption that the increase in visitor and residential population in Princeton will be harmful to us, those who have already settled here, by bringing more traffic, less parking, more students in schools, and myriad other problems.
There was no mention of the value of these projects to the community. Yet the continued health and vitality of Princeton depends on not just tolerating but welcoming growth that helps encourage a diverse population to live, learn, work, and visit here.
More notably absent was any consideration for the implied them, the people who would benefit from these projects: the students and faculty, the visitors to the town, the merchants, and, most critically, those who wish to find a home here but can’t. Are we really going to choose ease of parking, speed of travel, and comfort with the status quo over the things that allow more people to live and work here in a satisfying and healthy way?
I believe that such priorities need to be examined and realigned.