Walkability Answers From Princeton Council Candidate Lynn Lu Irving

Lynne Lu Irving, who is challenging for a seat on Princeton Council (click to expand).

Lynn Lu Irving, who is challenging for a seat on Princeton Council (click to expand).

On November 3, Princeton will elect two Council members. The candidates are incumbent Council Members Heather Howard and Lance Liverman (both Democrats), and challengers Kelly DiTosto and Lynn Lu Irving (Republican party). As in the last two election cycles, we asked the candidates some questions about walkable living in Princeton. Today, we are pleased to publish responses from Lynne Lu Irving. Responses from Heather Howard are available here and Lance Liverman’s responses are available here. Tomorrow, we will publish answers from Kelly DiTosto. We are very grateful to them for engaging in this discussion and for running for office!

(1) With 21,000 people driving into town each day to work, what should Princeton do to reduce vehicle-miles-traveled and enable local living?

“Vehicle-miles-traveled” is a function of distance from home to work and of commercial activity on our roads. If the distinctive character of our town is to be preserved while accommodating 21,000 alien workers every day, we’ll need convenient, attractive, and reasonably priced public transportation as well as some limits on access by large trucks at certain times of day. There is open space on the periphery for parking, and shuttles might ameliorate downtown congestion. Also, the town council is responsible for connecting us smoothly with state and regional infrastructure.

(2) How can Princeton ‘entice people out of their cars’, as envisaged by the Princeton Circulation Plan?

It is unlikely that we can entice Princetonians out of their cars without readily available and convenient alternatives. Walking and bicycles are only an answer for a fraction of the population. “The Princeton Circulation Plan” gives food for thought. The transportation media it suggests (eg., Bus Rapid Transit) are within our reach, fiscally and logistically. We need visionary leadership to find an appropriate solution.

(3) Do you agree that allowing increased density of housing in Princeton is a useful approach to easing development pressure on remaining green spaces in the the local region?

It seems inevitable that Princeton will gradually sacrifice some of the characteristics that contribute to its rural atmosphere. But, situating our affordable housing mandates carefully may preserve the small-town feeling. That process requires a detailed grasp of what our responsibilities are with respect to affordable housing. We must arrive at the lowest possible impact from welcoming diverse elements to the community.

(Note: ‘Walkable Princeton’ is not making an endorsement of any candidate.)

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