Princeton University and its President, Shirley Tilghman, have decided, without proper discussion and compromise with Princeton community members, students, faculty, and University workers, that it would move Princeton Station and the Dinky train 450-500 feet to the south (distance of one and a half football fields). This has been decided in order to build an arts complex; current plans do not even encroach on the station or tracks, except for a small part of the adjacent parking lot. The Dinky is currently one of the busier lines on the NJ Transit system, and the move may reduce its viability, eventually destroying it entirely.
We call on President Tilghman and the tax-exempt, non-profit status holding University to halt the plans to move the Dinky, and to engage in a transparent discussion with all affected parties, on equal footing.
Did you know?
The Dinky used to run all the way up to Blair Arch, conveniently providing access to the center of campus and Nassau St.
1. Princeton Station is one of the busier, more viable stations on the entire NJ Transit system, serving over 1000 patrons a day (this is without meeting every train coming into Princeton Junction).
2. According to the Survey of Ridership on the Dinky from October 2006, 45% of riders walk to the station (70% on Saturdays) and over 60% walk from the station instead of driving. The move could result in a substantial reduction in Dinky ridership as these commuters switch to driving and seek alternative ways to access the Main Line, increasing air pollution.
3. Because of the topography, the new plan also includes the use of numerous steps to the disadvantage of the physically disabled.
4. Already located at the edge of campus, placing the Dinky farther south would disconnect it entirely from the center of campus and Nassau St, making it ineffective for students, faculty, University workers, community members, and visitors to the University. Small businesses in and around Princeton would suffer a blow as well.
5. The Wawa would also be relocated as part of the plan, to the disadvantage of University members who already do not have affordable and easily accessible grocery shopping options.
6. The University's plan includes moving the crosswalk from Forbes College further down south on Alexander Road to the inconvenience of Forbes students and staff.
7. Princeton Station was officially nominated in 1984 to be a Historic Site.
8. The University argues that the station needs to be moved in order to create access to Lot #7 Garage, which is already full.
9. A sweetheart deal? NJ Governor Chris Christie, who has the authority to make the final decisions on matters of public transportation in NJ, is on the Board of Trustees at Princeton University.
Visit savethedinky.org for more information.
If you are a student or alum, please sign with your class year!