Walkability Answers From Princeton Council Candidate Kelly DiTosto

Kelly DiTosto, who is challenging for a seat on Princeton Council (click to expand).

Kelly DiTosto, 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 Kelly DiTosto. Responses from Heather Howard are available here. Lance Liverman’s responses are available here. Lynne Lu Irving’s responsees are here. 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?

Princeton is a work destination for many who live too far away to consider bicycling or walking to work. As such, there will always be commuter traffic. That being said, shuttles from the train station, together with parking outside of town center with adequate public transportation, would help to alleviate some of the in town congestion. Many people are unfamiliar with the Princeton free B bus services and, accordingly, this is an under-utilized service. Educating residents about this service as well as expanding it to other parts of Princeton would be a huge help. In addition the tour buses that come through on a regular basis need to be regulated more stringently to avoid exacerbating the in town congestion.

  1. How can Princeton ‘entice people out of their cars’, as envisaged by the Princeton Circulation Plan?

Bicycling is a real alternative to cars for many Princeton residents. But parents need to be assured that their children are traveling to school and friends’ houses on safe roads. Properly maintaining our roads and making them more bicycle friendly would help alleviate some of these parental concerns. Providing more adequate and convenient places for bicyclists to secure their bikes would certainly “entice more people out of their cars”, especially in the center of town and the train station. The grant for the new bike master plan will, hopefully, enable Princeton to make the changes necessary to ensure the safety of bicyclist on Princeton roads.

  1. 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 local region?

Allowing increased density of housing in Princeton is only useful if the feel of Princeton as a “small town” community is not compromised. That is what makes Princeton so unique and such a desirable place to live and raise families. There must be a careful balance between maintaining that small town feel, affordable housing and green space. Princeton has to determine what it’s responsibility is to provide additional affordable and Senior housing without losing what makes Princeton so special.

(Note: ‘Walkable Princeton’ is not making an endorsement of any candidate. Responses from other candidates will be published this week.)

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