Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Friday, September 21, 2018
T O W N T O P I C S "Outdoor Living" special supplement - Spring, 1973.
MR. BIKE: Henry Arnold poses symbolically before a map of Princeton's
proposed bike-paths. Mr. Arnold, a landscape architect, has become the town's
foremost proponent of the two-wheeler.
Climb on a Bike and Wheel Into the Future
Bike! By riding a bicycle, you take a dramatic individual stand against damaging the
environment, and besides. . . .
Henry Arnold, the dynamic young landscape architect who has become Mr. Bike in
Princeton, doesn't even own a car. (But he admits he cheats a little: his wife owns one.)
When you cycle, he points out, you release your own frustrations, reap the benefits of
physical exercise and enjoy the pleasant feeling of doing something healthy and healthful
to help the environment.
"The most fun is riding in the rain," smiles Mr. Arnold, "and in hot weather, dressed
lightly, you air-condition yourself as you ride. Also, it's so much quicker for short
distances than a car, especially in Princeton, and you are closer to nature."
"In fact," be continues with a sly smile in his eye. "I have listed 16 ways in which
automobiles can damage the environment. Although I'm not against cars: only
against their USE.
— Cars reduce the land to islands, cutting them off with roads. This means fewer
plants and animals.
— Cars bring about changes in the ground water because there is erosion during the
construction of highways,
— Cars mean highways, and highways generate the need for more highways.
— Cars mean noise pollution.
And so on.
"Cars and the development patterns are linked," he says seriously, "and this is the
frustration because all problems must really be solved together."
Basically, he thinks, we are faced with a social problem requiring us to change the
ways we live (bikes, not cars). This means, of course, that change won't come quickly.
Mr Arnold is best known, aside from his advocacy of the bicycle, for saying that all
cars should be removed from Nassau Street. He also has said, loudly and In public,
that the temporary closing of Palmer Square simply isn't radical enough: if you're
going to do it, DO IT, with a grand and imaginative plan. Spend a million, he said once,
and the benefit would be reaped ten times over.
Abandoning the city and "escaping" into suburbia is very negative, Mr. Arnold
believes, by destroying the quality of the landscape, reducing the number of
species of plants and animals. We are, in his words, "stealing from the future"
and causing effects that may not truly be felt until the next generation.
Nine Years In Vermont
An ex-paratrooper Mr. Arnold holds his degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He
has studied under lan McHarg, well known In Princeton for his unorthodox environmental
pronouncements, and spent nine years working in Vermont with landscape architect Dan Kiley.
Work on city parks in Singapore, Nigeria and Chicago: on a master plan for the campus
of the University of Vermont and on proposals for permanent housing In the ski area
of Grouse Mountain in Vancouver, are projects which have given Henry Arnold a
broad outlook on the world.
He got involved in bicycles in Princeton, he says, because he's had experience "in getting
things done — you must be a practical visionary, and if you haven't had experience, you
don't know how to bypass the obstacles...."
"The bicycle," and the sly smile comes into his eye again, "the bicycle is more a step into the
future than a moon vehicle!".
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Thursday, September 13, 2018
Friday, June 1, 2018
Car drivers have a choice to either (a) crawl behind the bike rider or (b) illegally cross the double yellow line in order to pass the bike rider at the proper distance. Many bike riders don't feel safe sharing the road with cars, so some (c) take to the sidewalk, but are then (d) a danger to pedestrians, especially those with small children.
All these frustrations are alleviated by the creation of two bike lanes. For the duration of the Beta Bike Lane, everyone has their own place: pedestrians on the sidewalk, bike riders on the bike lanes, and cars in the car lanes. It's a Complete Street!
Yes, 36 parking places had to be removed to make way for the temporary bike lanes. But we need to keep in mind that the downtown area, the subject of the recent parking study, has more than 7,000 parking spaces for cars. Of the public spaces, more than 40% were available during the study period. The town is working on making it easier for drivers to find those open spaces, but the reality is that there is no shortage of parking in Princeton.
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Thursday, May 24, 2018
Hamilton-Wiggins is a corridor with high car-on-bike crash rate (and the rate would likely be higher but for the presence of our excellent crossing guards on school days). The blue line indicates the Beta Bike Lane.