To The Editor:
Redevelopment Ignores Pedestrians
The latest version of the Princeton Junction Redevelopment Plan is not bicycle and pedestrian friendly. The plan, which was hastily approved by the West Windsor Township Planning Board on Thursday, January 29, lacks bike lanes and a pedestrian-friendly promenade, among other issues.
The plan’s goals, as written by Township Council, are laudable, including a goal that the plan “will include sidewalks and bicycle lanes,” and a policy that “continuous sidewalk/path and bicycle connections should be provided throughout the Redevelopment Area.” The goal also states the plan “will utilize traffic calming on roadways where appropriate.”
The plan details, as they emerged during the Planning Board hearings, do not meet these goals. Bike lanes are largely absent from the Redevelopment Area — only Washington Road is shown with bike lanes. In addition, the Main Street near the Promenade will encourage high speed through traffic, since it is three lanes wide (including a center turning lane), and lacks on street parking, bike lanes, or other traffic calming features.
The public review period was insufficient. The plan was released to the public January 12, and approved 17 days later, although the Planning Board had 45 days for review. The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance (WWBPA) recently submitted detailed recommendations outlining bicycle and pedestrian improvements to the Planning Board. However, these were largely ignored, as were alternative solutions provided by Township Transportation Consultant Gary Davies. In the rush to finish the review, an opportunity was missed to greatly improve the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians in our town. These issues are vitally important and must now be addressed by the Township Council, which we hope will act to include bicycle and pedestrian friendly design requirements in the plan.
President, West Windsor Bicycle
and Pedestrian Alliance
Plainsboro and WW Receive Bikeway Grants
The New Jersey Department of Transportation has awarded funding to communities in the 14th District for their Local Bikeway Programs. West Windsor Township and Plainsboro Township were selected as beneficiaries of funding grants for their respective Bikeway Improvement Projects.
The Bikeway Improvement Projects promote smart choices for recreation and mobility. Biking offers residents an alternative mode of transportation, reducing traffic congestion and auto emissions. It also offers a way for residents to get physical exercise and encourages an active lifestyle. The benefits of biking can be seen in terms of improved personal and environmental health.
I would like to express my gratitude to Governor Corzine and the Department of Transportation for selecting West Windsor and Plainsboro Townships as recipients for these grants. Both towns are great communities in which to live.
This program will enhance the quality of life for everyone by offering recreational and commuting opportunities for our residents. Bill Baroni
14th District, State Senate
Eden Annual Gala Exceeds Its Dreams
On January 17th Eden Autism Services celebrated its 21st Annual Eden Dreams gala, Dreams of Amon-Ra, at the Hyatt Regency Princeton. In spite of the economy, this year’s event raised $100,"000. I would like to thank our very generous community for its continued support in helping us to improve the lives of individuals with autism and their families.
I want to thank our 20 individual and corporate sponsors as well as our dedicated Steering Committee, led by co-chairs Janet Quartarone and Rob Robinson. We must also recognize the outstanding Hyatt Regency staff; the staff of Jennifer Angelo Design, who provided the beautiful decor; Howard Design Group and Ancraft Press for donating the printed materials; and everyone else who helped to bring our event to life.
Also, thanks to the many individuals and businesses who generously donated silent auction prizes. A special thank you to Richard Chibbaro of Continental Airlines, who for the past 12 years has donated airline tickets to be used for our silent auction, special giveaways and raffles.
Finally, please know how much we appreciate the individual donations of so many of our friends and neighbors, who attended and supported Dreams of Amon-Ra. Their generosity is making it possible for Eden to realize its dream — of individuals with autism learning, growing, working and leading productive lives in their communities.
Thomas P. McCool, Ed.D.
President & CEO, Eden Autism Services
Lions Club Steps Up To Obama’s Challenge
President Obama has challenged us, as heirs to the greatest nation in the world, to reaffirm American values of humble gratitude, duty, patriotism and community service. The Lions Club, firmly rooted in these values, provides an opportunity for local residents to meet that challenge.
Formed in 1917 and now the world’s largest service organization, Lions Club International has more than 1.4 million members in more than 200 countries. With a motto of “We Serve,” its mission is primarily focused on helping the less fortunate but particularly those who are blind or afflicted by sight and hearing problems.
The West Windsor Lions Club, chartered in 1952, has a proud record of providing assistance to a variety of charities and individuals. The complete list is too long for this letter but it includes the Lions Eye Banks of the Delaware Valley and of New Jersey, the Katzenback School for the Deaf (where no-longer-needed eyeglasses collected at several Township locations are processed and recycled), Lions Eye Research Foundation at the University of Medicine and Dentistry, Blind Athletes, two New Jersey summer camps for the blind , and Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic.
The list goes on, but worth mentioning is the Club’s ability last year, in cooperation with Lens Crafters, to provide more than 60 West Windsor citizens with essential eye examinations. That includes 14 seniors who now have new eyeglasses that they would not otherwise have been able to afford.
Additionally, the Lions Club provides scholarships to college-bound seniors in both WW-P high schools, middle school awards, and assistance to needy families in the Township. It also holds its annual children’s “Egg Hunt” in Community Park at Easter.
How is the West Windsor Lions Club able to provide these charitable contributions that totaled more than $60,"000 over the last three years? Through such fundraising events as “Breakfast with Santa,” the Renaissance Faire in the Mercer County Park each May, a golf outing in the fall, an annual “Art Auction,” a proposed “Village Antique Faire” and members’ own contributions. Its bylaws mandate that all of the funds raised by the Club be used for charitable purposes.
More than 60 students from both WW-P high schools have recently formed a Leo Club, a junior affiliate. These eager-to-serve young people are already organized to raise funds for their favored charity and have offered to assist with planned activities of the “parent” Club.
We welcome inquiries from those who are now interested in joining our club, as well as from businesses that would like to learn how they, too, can support our efforts.
Dr. Ronald J. Slinn
President, West Windsor Lions Club