Happy Birthday to us! Walkable Princeton has passed its first birthday. January 22, 2014 was the date when Walkable Princeton founder David Keddie published his original letter announcing “an advocacy group dedicated to calling for zoning reform that will allow more members of our community to enjoy a walkable lifestyle.” One year on, Walkable Princeton is still going, and it’sbeen an absolute pleasure to make a case for walkable urbanism, and we stand by David’s original contention, that planning based on compact walkable development is 100% the best policy for the town.
It has been a delight to meet other advocates for rational development and planning in Princeton. There is a patient community in this town, who recognize the benefits of placemaking, efficient land use, and maintaining a socially diverse population. We are thankful to them for pushing back against policies that cause sprawl across local green spaces, increased dependency on the automobile, and led to greater social exclusion.
We are excited to announce some changes around Walkable Princeton! First, we have a new domain name: walkableprinceton.com. Old links should still work, but we can move forward without a snappier web address (thanks to WordPress all the same for hosting our site for free!). If you find any broken links, please let us know!
Second, with the appointment of members of the Walkable Princeton team to Princeton municipal committees, we’ll be scaling back on blogging at the Walkable Princeton site. Don’t worry, we’re not going away!! We fully intend to keep making the case for compact walkable development that allows car-free living in Princeton and the local area. But we need to make room to commit to new responsibilities. It’s easy and fun to be on the outside writing about how everyone involved in running Princeton is doing a terrible job. But it’s far more important to step up and make things happen in terms of transit and pedestrian and bicycling provision. These are key elements of the car-free lifestyle, and we are proud to contribute to municipal policy, in addition to our work at Walkable Princeton.
For the future, if you want to read more about bicycling and pedestrian initiatives in Princeton, you should absolutely, definitely, 100% sign up for email updates from the Princeton Bicyclist and Pedestrian Advisory Committee at pjpbac.blogspot.com. It’s a great blog. You might even like it more than Walkable Princeton! (no……!) Look in the menu bar on the left hand side- right at the bottom, and add your email address to get an automatic email with all new PBAC content. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask to join the list. That way, you can be sure to stay up-to-date about all about the exciting initiatives that are taking place right now to make Princeton a better place to move around without a car! Starting with the Pi Day Fireflies Bike Ride on March 14! Come join Princeton’s attempt to mix cycling with art and science!
So on we go to our second year. Thank YOU for reading. We are glad you take an interest in our content. We don’t expect you to agree with it all, but please, please, be brave and leave some comments! You don’t have to use your real name, you don’t have to use your real email address. We have never turned down a comment because we don’t agree with it. In fact, we love it when people don’t agree with us! Walkable Princeton is best when it’s a conversation!
Finally, to celebrate our birthday, we wanted to share again some of our favorite posts from our first year. Enjoy!
The madness of Princeton’s land use policies exposed. Princeton refuses to add walkable homes for our workforce, because people think it will cause traffic. The result: people can’t find a place to live in Princeton, so instead live in a nearby township and drive into Princeton every day, causing traffic.
Princeton could ease development pressure on local farmland by promoting walkable, transit-accessible housing on infill sites. But people worry that it might ‘change the character’ of the town. Meanwhile, the ‘character’ of local farmland gets changed forever as hundreds of acres of green space gets paved over to build car-dependent faux-‘Princeton’ developments.
Mixed-use developments with retail and apartments would provide new tax revenues, ease the housing crisis and provide amenities to local residents. But people claim that apartments would over-stress local schools. We don’t hate kids so much that we think there ought to be limits on the number of children in Princeton. But even setting that aside- the overall premise about apartments straining schools isn’t true. People with kids usually don’t live in apartments.
In the summer of 2013, Princeton had a minor panic about a bear that was sleeping in a tree downtown. But bears are not much of a risk. What is the biggest risk facing our towns?? Cars. Click the link to find out why.
Despite the fact that 3 in 4 people who work in Princeton can’t make their home here, certain Princeton residents insist that Princeton shouldn’t accept any more families because we’re ‘full up’. Princeton has been so good at excluding new residents that it has gone from being the biggest town in the local area to not even in the top 5! At what point do we think it might be reasonable to accept a few new residents?
Princeton’s land use masterplan is out-of-date. But some local towns have embraced compact, walkable development with great success. Ewing, NJ approved the mixed-use ‘Campus Town’ development, which will provide the municipality with millions of dollars of new revenues, enable walkable living, and provide new stores for residents. Can we get some more of that in Princeton, please? (This was our most popular post of the year!)
Let us know your favorite ‘Walkable Princeton’ posts and content that you have most enjoyed reading! Looking forward to staying with you for a second year, and a third, a fourth and all the way until we make a walkable Princeton that is worthy of our history and a gift to the future!