The WWBPA is once again accepting applications from high school seniors in the West Windsor-Plainsboro school district or who live in West Windsor. Up to $1,000 in scholarship money (no more than $500 to one student) is available. Applicants are required to write a short essay on a topic relating to bicycle and pedestrian safety.
This year’s scholarships will be awarded in memory of Edward C. Boye, an East Windsor resident who relied on his bicycle for transportation and who was killed by a motorist in February.
Paul Kiczek, a Morristown resident, is among those organizing The Big Walk, a 50-mile trek from the Metropark Station in Iselin to Penn Station in New York on Sunday, May 23. It is expected to take 17 hours beginning at 5 a.m. and concluding at 10 p.m. The route will go near Liberty State Park and use PATH to get from Exchange Place to World Trade Center, but the final seven miles to Penn Station will again be on foot.
Walkers are invited to join in, even for just part of the route, which will use part of the East Coast Greenway. The event is free. Register at NJ2NY50. Sponsor a walker here.
Why 50 miles? The idea of 50-mile walks dates back in the 1963 when President Kennedy challenged people to actively pursue a better, healthier lifestyle. Mr. Kiczek, for one, has tried twice–back in 1963 and last year. He didn’t make it either time but is determined to succeed this time.
Please join us for the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance’s annual meeting on April 8. We will be discussing ways we can make our community safer for bicyclists and pedestrians in 2010 and beyond. Tell us your concerns and ideas!
We also will vote on trustees. There is an opening on the board; if you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a bit about yourself and what you’d like to see accomplished.
The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the West Windsor Municipal Center, 271 Clarksville Road. Feel free to bring friends/non-members.
Please note: This meeting had been scheduled for Feb. 25 but was postponed due to inclement weather. At that time, Andy Clarke, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists, was to be our guest speaker, but he can’t make it on April 8. We are working with Andy to find another date.
What keeps women and girls from bicycling more? Take part take in a survey about bicycle use (or non-use) and barriers to getting on bikes.
In addition to this survey, the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) is presenting a FREE Webinar March 31: “Writing Women Back into Bicycling: Changing Transportation Culture to Encourage More Women to Cycle More Places More Often.”
This free webinar is open to the public. March 31, 2010 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Register at www.apbp.org.
Women, a recent article in Scientific American said, are considered an indicator for bicycle-friendly cities because they, more than men, tend to want safe bike infrastructure and routes that go to practical places.
And that cycling survey for women? Interim results will be reported during the webinar, and final results will released after May 15 as part of National Bike Month.
The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) is conducting a quick online survey of bicyclists and non-bicyclists in our region.
Shifting Gears is an outreach program run by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) to help determine bicycle issues and priorities for our region. Shifting Gears seeks input from bicyclists and non-bicyclists through an online survey at www.dvrpc.org/shiftinggears.
The online survey only takes about 5-10 minutes and asks questions about bicycle use, facilities, policy, and information on what would best enhance the cycling environment.
Please go to www.dvrpc.org/shiftinggears and tell them what is on your mind. If you’ve already taken the survey, then tell your friends– don’t keep it to yourself. Bicyclists of any level, as well as non-bicyclists are invited to participate.
Kudos to BikeFest, which paid for badly needed bike racks at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, and West Windsor Division of Recreation and Parks for handling the installation earlier this month. Funding came from proceeds from the 2009 BikeFest (and registration is open for BikeFest 2010 on May 29).
The two new racks, in Pirate green and located to protect bikes from the elements, can hold up to 22 bikes at a time. Read more about the racks in the WW-P News.
Great news for making our communities friendlier for bicyclists and pedestrians!
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood unveiled the Department of Transportation’s Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation, with Regulations and Recommendations that he said marks “the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.”
DOT Policy Statement:
“The DOT policy is to incorporate safe and convenient walking and bicycling facilities into transportation projects. Every transportation agency, including DOT, has the responsibility to improve conditions and opportunities for walking and bicycling and to integrate walking and bicycling into their transportation systems. Because of the numerous individual and community benefits that walking and bicycling provide — including health, safety, environmental, transportation, and quality of life — transportation agencies are encouraged to go beyond minimum standards to provide safe and convenient facilities for these modes.”
The Statement concludes:
“Increased commitment to and investment in bicycle facilities and walking networks can help meet goals for cleaner, healthier air; less congested roadways; and more livable, safe, cost-efficient communities. Walking and bicycling provide low-cost mobility options that place fewer demands on local roads and highways. DOT recognizes that safe and convenient walking and bicycling facilities may look different depending on the context — appropriate facilities in a rural community may be different from a dense, urban area. However, regardless of regional, climate, and population density differences, it is important that pedestrian and bicycle facilities be integrated into transportation systems. While DOT leads the effort to provide safe and convenient accommodations for pedestrians and bicyclists, success will ultimately depend on transportation agencies across the country embracing and implementing this policy.”
One sign of DOT’s new thinking came as it awarded $1.5 billion to projects using stimulus funding. Read more.
The crosswalk-free intersection of Meadow Road and Canal Pointe Boulevard
A resident of Canal Pointe has written to the mayor requesting that traffic lights be added to Canal Pointe Boulevard to counter the heavy traffic and speed of motorists so pedestrians can get to MarketFair and to and from the bus stop. In her letter, Sherri Bobish also noted that it can even be difficult for motorists to exit the development at times because of the traffic.
The WWBPA, which received a copy of her letter, couldn’t agree more and followed up with a letter of its own, calling on the mayor to publicize a study of Canal Pointe Boulevard last year to look at ways to calm traffic that was commissioned by the township government and to implement the recommendations.
WWBPA's Canal Pointe Walk, April 2007
Unfortunately, the problems are not new. The WWBPA in its letter cited a study done six years ago that recommended a “road diet” for Canal Pointe, which could calm traffic without sacrificing road capacity. This solution was endorsed by the WWBPA during a walk with area residents in 2007 to highlight safety problems for bicyclists and pedestrians in the neighborhood. Read the original blog post.
As planning continues for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in the Route 1 corridor, interest (both pro and con) grows in the fate of the Dinky, the unique connector train from Princeton to Princeton Junction that has been around for 145 years.
If a BRT replaced the Dinky, current plans include a bicycle and pedestrian lane as well. This would create a good bike/ped route from Princeton Junction to Princeton. Read more about the debate here: Princeton Packet Dinky/BRT Article
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The addition of a new bike/ped bridge, near Jasna Polana and the Hun School, completes a missing link in the Stony Brook Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Pathway, allowing users to travel off-road or on lightly-traveled roads from the Princeton Battlefield to Princeton Day School and on to Hopewell.
The first pedestrians on the Stony Brook Bridge: Princeton Township Open Space Manager and Arborist Greg O'Neil, Township Engineer Robert Kiser, Project Engineer Deanna Stockton, President of Friends of Princeton Open Space (FOPOS) Wendy Mager, FOPOS Trustee Emeritus Helmut Schwab, Engineering Assistant Anthony Soriano, and Engineering Intern Phill King
Read more about the trail and the bridge installation in Town Topics.
Are you trying to find the best way to bike to work or to the beach? Google Maps now provides routes by car, public transit, walking, and bicycling.
The Google team hasn’t been to all of the United States, but has gathered data and recommended routes from people around the country. In fact, they’re still gathering data and would be happy to have you add suggestions and report problems to the team.
Here’s the Google warning: Google Bicycling directions are in beta.
Use caution and please report unmapped bike routes, streets that aren’t suited for cycling, and other problems on the Google Maps site.
Google Walking directions are also in beta.
Use caution – The routes may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths.
Analyzing data from the 2009 National Household Travel Survey (Federal Highway Administration), the Tri-State Transportation Campaign shows a 4.4% decrease in driving since 2001. Walking and bicycling are up more than 25% and the use of mass transit is up more than 23%.
NHTS data from from Tri-State Transportation Campaign
From the Federal Highway Administration:
“The NHTS serves as the nation’s inventory of personal travel. It is the only authoritative source of national data on personal travel behavior including purpose of the trip, means of transportation, trip length, day of week and month of the year, number of people on trip, and a host of other trip-making characteristics.”
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Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced the Active Community Transportation (ACT) Act of 2010 on March 2. ACT transportation grants to communities would help fund sidewalks and bicycle paths, improve health, and create jobs. Funds would be set aside from the Surface Transportation Program.
According to Representative Blumenauer’s fact sheet “Currently bike and pedestrian trips make up over 12% of all transportation trips, yet receive less than 2% of federal funding. Providing funding for a competitive grant program for active transportation programs reduces the need for earmarking and ensures that the programs that receive funding are comprehensive, consistently supported, and the best use of limited taxpayer resources.”
You can help promote this legislation by writing to your congressional representatives and asking that they sign on as co-sponsors of the legislation. Ask your senators to introduce similar legislation in the Senate.
Across all grades, the family car and school bus were the two most frequently used options for travel to/from school. Walking was a distant third. However, there are notable differences between how students in lower grades (K-5th) and higher grades (6th-8th) travel to school.
The percentage of students traveling to or from school by foot or bicycle peaked in fifth grade at 24%. One reason it may drop off in later grades is that schools are farther from home.
More students arrive at school in the family car than leave by car in the afternoon. The majority of those afternoon trips shifted to riding the school bus or walking.
Safety factors, like traffic speed and volume and street crossing safety, were frequently selected as barriers by parents who live within one half mile of school but do not allow their children to walk or bicycle to/from school.
Weather was only marginally related to students’ morning travel mode.
On July 10th 2010, 200+ riders and support crew members will depart for a grueling one-week, 500 mile marathon ride that begins in Charlottesville,VA and end at Quaker Bridge Mall.
To raise money necessary to keep open the doors of Trenton-based Anchor House. Your support will help to sustain its many programs available to the thousands of kids and their families whose lives that have been impacted by Anchor House for 32 years.
Anchor House, Inc. is a multi-service agency for runaway, homeless, abused, and at-risk youth and their families. For the past 30 years, Anchor House has committed its efforts to providing comprehensive, life-saving assistance to our most vulnerable population.
In 2009, several WWBPA members, including Ken Carlson, Jerry Foster, and Daryl McMillan, participated in the ride. You can read more about this year’s ride here.
To sign up (applications are due by March 5) or to sponsor the riders, go to anchorhouseride.org.
The following letter was sent to Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh and Township Council members:
This year on July 26th, we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Some time after passage of the ADA, on July 13, 1992, the Township of West Windsor adopted a resolution approving its ADA Transition Plan (the Plan), as required by federal law. The Plan documented the items of ADA non-compliance and undertook to rectify them all by January 26, 1995, also as required by federal law.
In the last month, some West Windsor residents did a partial audit to determine which items in the Plan had been rectified, which had not, and which items post-dating the Plan, and therefore also post-dating the passage of the ADA, were still not ADA-compliant. I present to you our report. I assume that you will not grant me time to go through the report item by item at this time, but I will summarize by saying that there are major violations with virtually all the sites inspected, including the very stepped platform upon which you are seated, and which the Township pledged to make wheelchair-accessible by January 26, 1995, over fifteen years ago.
I have the following questions:
When can we expect these and other non-compliant items to be rectified? Until they are rectified, the Township is in violation of federal law.
The Plan has never been updated. When does the Township intend to update its Plan, as required by the ADA? The law requires that “the plan should be updated periodically.” I suspect that 18 years is a rather greater interval than Congress had intended.
Will the Township create an independent Accessibility Committee, as several New Jersey Townships have done, to monitor its ADA compliance, ensure that such lapses do not reoccur, and promote the accessibility needs of its disabled residents and visitors? It would be appropriate for this committee to be formed and functioning well before the July 26th ADA anniversary date.
Will the Township and its officials, to show its commitment to the ADA, join with other local, state and federal government officials in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the signing of the ADA this July 26th, 2010?