This article was originally published in the June 2018 Princeton Echo.
The Princeton Bicycle Advisory committee and councilman Tim Quinn decided we needed to experiment with bicycle lanes on a half-mile stretch of Wiggins Street/Hamilton Avenue between May 19 and 29. The committee thinks 5-foot wide lanes for bicyclists in each direction would be a good idea leaving “about 10- foot wide lanes for vehicular traffic.” The experimental phase ended only two days before Princeton Reunions and necessitated police duty time, volunteers, and the elimination of 35 parking spaces on Wiggins and Hamilton.
I would recommend they consider the following:
The lane width actually needed for trucks and cars. The average truck needs approximately a 10-foot wide lane. The average SUV is 6’7” wide. This leaves no room on either side for trucks (Princeton does have garbage trucks, etc.) and very little space on either side of an automobile. What will drivers do? Use the bike lanes to avoid colliding with oncoming traffic?
This narrow two-lane street is the only other east/west thoroughfare in Princeton besides Nassau Street for business and resident traffic accessing the downtown area. Pedestrian use is high. From a New Yorker familiar with the pedestrian/cyclist right of way conundrum, cyclists run red lights, cycle in the wrong direction, travel at high speeds and do not stop for pedestrians. Cyclists are hit by cars, hit cars, and pedestrians are hit by cyclists. Cyclists are not accountable or liable for their recklessness.
Disasters are just waiting to happen with installation of bicycle lanes in Princeton. And policing at the taxpayers’ expense is another issue. I believe taxpayer dollars would be more appropriately used to fix our potholes/roads/sidewalks and replace downed trees before spending time and money on “experimental” ideas.
Finally, why would students need these bicycle lanes to get to school in a very small section of Princeton? How many cyclists were seen on the salted roads last winter and early spring? And what lanes would be available to students and others in the other 18 square miles of Princeton?
— Nancy Woelk, Snowden Lane
A salute to Jim Floyd
When Jim Floyd passed away on May 14 Princeton lost a unique link to our communal past and a valuable voice for our future. On behalf of Princeton Community Housing (PCH), I am writing to express our condolences to Jim’s family and friends and to let others know how much Jim meant to our organization and to Princeton.
Jim’s formative years were the late 1940s and 1950s, a time of unprecedented opportunity for many in the United States, but also a time of overt and covert segregation for African American citizens. Jim never forgot the indignities and unfairness of these times, and throughout his long years of dedicated public service, he never wavered in his determination to assure an open and welcoming environment for all Princeton citizens.
Jim eagerly joined the small group of church members and other organizations who formed Princeton Community Housing in 1967 and who went on to open Princeton Community Village in 1975. From the beginning, a resident’s eligibility was based only on income criteria, and the result was a diverse community of all ages and races. Jim and his wife, Fannie, were instrumental in helping PCH obtain land along Route 206 at the border of Montgomery Township and the former Princeton Township in order to initiate the development of an inclusive community of 280 town houses, condominiums, and rentals, split evenly between market-rate and affordable units. Princeton Township became a partner in this endeavor, which today is called Griggs Farm and includes 70 rental homes owned and managed by PCH.
Long past the age when most of us retreat to full-time leisure, Jim continued as an active PCH trustee. He was the driving force behind our public meetings and outreach, encouraging us to maintain public awareness and support for providing affordable homes in our increasingly expensive town. He championed those who struggled to make ends meet, and advocated for PCH to offer credit counseling sessions to help affordable housing applicants achieve eligibility. Jim will be greatly missed at PCH and in the community he cared for so greatly, but his legacy of service, thoughtfulness, leadership and accomplishment will remain forever.
— Edward Truscelli, Executive Director, Princeton Community Housing
Sutter deserves privacy
I was displeased by the story in the May issue pertaining to the Police Department. In particular, the revelation of Chief Sutter’s political affiliation was uncalled for. He told the reporter that he did not wish to disclose it. The reporter then proceeds to tell the readers that the reporter checked with the Board of Elections and learned that Sutter is a Republican.
If Chief Sutter indicated that he does not want his party affiliation to be publicized, then what right does the public have to learn this information? He is not in the courtroom. He is entitled to his privacy. Why couldn’t the reporter respect his wishes? Chief Sutter did not harm anyone by refusing to answer the question.
Since the reporter is a Princeton University sophomore, I can only hope that he will learn not to invade people’s privacy by the time he becomes a full time reporter for a daily newspaper.
— Dan Rappoport, Copperwood
Editor’s note: Ethan Sterenfeld’s article was edited by professional journalists who stand by the decision to include Sutter’s political affiliation.