Welcome to National Bike Month

Friday, April 30 by silvia

May is National Bike Month, and the WWBPA urges you to take part by getting out on your bike (or, if you don’t bike or don’t currently have a bike, to get out and walk).

We are planning a number of events, including our annual mileage tally for bicycle commuters. Last year, members and friends rode 2,466 miles. E-mail us your weekly tallies (we can remind you too!) and include stories and photos. You can post on our Facebook page too.

We’re starting the month on Saturday with a group walk from Maurice Hawk Elementary School to the West Windsor Community Farmers’ Market to mark the opening of the 2010 market season. The walk begins at 10 a.m. from the playground behind the school. Get a ticket there for a drawing featuring all kinds of goodies at the market itself. We’ll also have a table at the Farmers’ Market to talk about bicycle and pedestrian matters in West Windsor and beyond.

On May 8, the WWBPA will participate in Princeton United Methodist Church‘s bike drive and safe cycle event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m at the church, 7 Vandeventer Avenue.  Bikes will be collected for the Boys & Girls Club Bike Exchange and the WWBPA will have an information table there.

On May 15, we’re back at the Farmers’ Market. Ride your bike, lock it at the racks located at the edge of the parking lot that were installed last year by the WWBPA and BikeFest with the help of West Windsor Public Works and stop by for a chat. If you’re up in North Jersey, check out the South Orange/Maplewood Bicycle Coalition’s three-mile Tweed Ride. It’s free; just get in the mood by wearing a bit of tweed! (It coincides with The Montrose Park Historic District Association “Montrose In May” house tour.)

National Bike to Work Week is May 17-21. Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association invites to register for a drawing of bike goodies that will be held May 24 and to stop by the Princeton Junction train station on May 18 for a free bikers’ breakfast of coffee and doughnut holes. The WWBPA is contributing bicycle and pedestrian maps of West Windsor. Also on May 18, GMTMA, the WWBPA, BikeFest, the West Windsor Parking Authority, New Jersey Transit and West Windsor are hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:30 a.m. for the new bike racks and lockers that are being added to the station. You’ll find us by the racks between the southbound Northeast Corridor line and the Dinky. Want a locker? Sign up with GMTMA.

A final opportunity to tune up for BikeFest is the Trenton Bike Tour on May 22. The 15-mile ride, promoted by Trenton Cycling Revolution, starts at 8:30 a.m. in Cadwalader Park.

The month ends with BikeFest on May 29. Sign up your family for one of several rides around West Windsor.

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Bike/Ped Path for Scudder Falls Bridge

Thursday, April 29 by JerryFoster

Map of Scudder Falls Bridge

Great News! A bicycle and pedestrian path will be added to Scudders Falls Bridge on I-95 as part of the road widening, according to an article in the Trenton Times Tuesday, April 27.

Congratulations to everyone for contacting the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission with your  support, and especially to John Boyle of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia for leading the advocacy effort! The WWBPA posted an article asking for support on February 4 this year.

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“No Phone Zone” Day

Tuesday, April 27 by sandy

No Phone Zone

Friday, April 30, 2010

Oprah Winfrey and Harpo Studios, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA), and others, are launching a campaign, “No Phone Zone,” to curb distracted driving.

The NHTSA estimates that distracted driving habits cause the death of nearly 6,000 Americans each year and injuries to 515,000 (22% of all injured people) in 2008.

“A call or text isn’t worth taking a life,” said Winfrey. “We must not allow more mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, sisters and brothers to die before we take action against distracted driving. Let’s put a stop to it now, by joining together on April 30 for national ‘No Phone Zone Day’, and by making our cars a ‘No Phone Zone.'”

Watch Oprah’s Putting Distracted Drivers to the Test Video
Does text messaging effect your driving skills? Meet three people who believe they can text while driving without putting themselves or others in danger. We put them to test. Watch as they complete an autobahn driving test to measure their driving skills while they are text messaging.’

Read “Dnt Txt N Drv,” Oprah Winfrey’s OpEd in the New York Times, April 24, 2010.

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Walk with the WWBPA to the Farmers’ Market

Monday, April 26 by silvia

West Windsor Farmers' Market

Saturday is opening day for the West Windsor Community Farmers’ Market on Vaughn Drive. Join the WWBPA for a leisurely walk of less than 1 ½ miles from Maurice Hawk Elementary School  to the market.  The walk starts at 10 a.m. at the playground behind the school, and the WWBPA will have giveaways for participants.

See old friends, make new ones and get the first local goodies of the season. Then make your own way home, or join the return walk at noon.

The walk is free and no advance sign-up is needed. All children must be accompanied by a parent or other adult for the walk, and all minors must have Walk Waiver, which are available in advance on the WWBPA Web site or on the day of the walk at the school. Walkers are responsible for their own safety and the WWBPA is not liable for any injuries.

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Reading about Biking for RFB&D

Sunday, April 25 by sandy

Tom HammellLooking for a good bike route in New Jersey? Road Biking New Jersey: A Guide to the State’s Best Bike Rides author Tom Hammell, born and raised in New Jersey, has explored most of the state’s roads by bike. He is an avid cyclist and a ride leader with the Princeton Freewheelers, logging thousands of miles a year leading other riders over beautiful back roads.

Tom  is a longtime volunteer at the New Jersey studio of Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D); he read from his book on Monday, April 19, 2010 at RFB&D’s Record-A-Thon.

RFB&D is the nation’s largest audio textbook and literature library, serving students with print and learning disabilities. Volunteers read and record its extensive collection, with thousands of new titles added each year in every subject and grade level.
Road Biking New Jersey
Road Biking New Jersey contains 35 rides of varying length, terrain, and difficulty; Hammell designed the routes for the average recreational rider.

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Progress on Train Station Bike Racks and Lockers

Saturday, April 24 by silvia

These bike lockers are getting a new home

We are moving closer to adding more bicycle racks and lockers at the Princeton Junction train station.

Employees of West Windsor Public Works took down bike lockers that were going unused at the Howell bus station and will install them in the coming weeks at the Princeton Junction train station, where there is a waiting list of people wanting to rent them. They also have bike racks from New Jersey Transit that will be installed on both sides of the Northeast Corridor tracks.

Join the WWBPA, WW Public Works, New Jersey Transit and the other partners on this project — Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association, BikeFest and the West Windsor Parking Authority — for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at 8:30 a.m. on May 18. GMTMA is sponsoring a (grab and go) bikers’ breakfast beforehand. Mark National Bike to Work Week May 17-21 by riding your bike to the train station!

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Driver Sentenced in DUI Death

Friday, April 23 by sandy

Marijuana and driving do not mix.Twenty-year old Joseph Genovese, Jr. was sentenced in Philadelphia in April 2010 to seven to 14 years in prison after driving under the influence of marijuana and killing 53-year-old Cindy Grassi and disabling 36-year-old Sandra Wacker in 2008. Philly.com reports that Genovese had pleaded guilty in February to vehicular homicide and aggravated assault. Police report “Genovese was stopped at the red light behind two cars when he swerved around the stopped cars, drove through the light, and hit the two women at high speed as they were in the crosswalk.”

Click here for the entire Philly.com article.

Marijuana: Facts for Teens, from the National Institute on Drug Abuse

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Designing Cars to Protect Pedestrians

Wednesday, April 21 by sandy

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), “in 2007, 70,000 pedestrians were injured in motor vehicle crashes in this country, and 4,654 pedestrians were killed. Pedestrians comprise about 11 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths each year.”

The IIHS notes that pedestrian crashes can be reduced by

  • Changes in roadway design, including sidewalks, refuge islands, signal phasing, lower vehicle speeds
  • Improvements in vehicle design, including improved bumper design, changing fender/hood design, addition of special detection systems
  • Education programs, especially for children
  • Daylight Savings Time: Adding an hour of light in the evening increases visibility of both pedestrians and vehicles
Volvo S60 stops for pedestrian

The new Volvo S60 automatically detects pedestrians. Photo by Lars Ardarve/Volvo

In an attempt to reduce pedestrian injuries, Volvo developed a car that stops automatically when it senses a pedestrian in its path. Volvo unveiled its newest S60 sedan at the 2010 New York Auto Show.

More about the Volvo system >>

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Earth Day Challenge

Tuesday, April 20 by silvia

This challenge comes courtesy of Bike & Walk Montclair and is endorsed by the WWBPA:

“This year marks the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day and Bike&Walk Montclair challenges you to go CAR FREE FOR A DAY.

Motor vehicle emissions from short car trips (distances easily walked to cycled) are much more polluting than longer trips on a per-mile basis because 60% of polluting emissions is released during the first few minutes of vehicle operation.

On Thursday, April 22, 2010, make a commitment to reduce your carbon footprint by walking, biking and taking public transportation.”

What will you do to mark Earth Day? Let us know! And watch for the WWBPA’s annual National Bike Month challenge in May.

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Garden Tour

Monday, April 19 by silvia

GroWW (Greening of West Windsor) is planning a tour of West Windsor gardens for Saturday, June 26, and the WWBPA will help map out suggested walking and biking routes. The organizers are looking for gardens of all kinds: large or small, full of flowers, vegetables or a mix, using everyday or exotic plants. They also are interested in those showcasing environmentally sustainable practices or that encourage wildlife habitation.

Want to suggest some (or volunteer your own)? E-mail growwgardentour@gmail.com

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America’s Most Bicycle-Friendly Cities

Saturday, April 17 by silvia

These are America’s 50 most bicycle-friendly cities, according to Bicycling magazine. Yes, New York and Philadelphia make the cut.

How did cities get on the list? In the words of the magazine: “There are many important things a city can do to gain our consideration for this list: segregated bike lanes, municipal bike racks and bike boulevards, to name a few. If you have those things in your town, cyclists probably have the ear of the local government—another key factor. To make our Top 50, a city must also support a vibrant and diverse bike culture, and it must have smart, savvy bike shops.”

Bicycling also came up with a list of the top five bike cities with fewer than 100,000 people. No West Windsor–yet.

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Why Do You Ride?

Thursday, April 15 by silvia

We all have our reasons for riding our bikes. Tell us yours.

And enjoy this video!

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A To-Do List, From Your Neighbors

Wednesday, April 14 by silvia

Daryl displays members' suggestion

Daryl McMillan displays members' suggestions

West Windsor residents who attended the annual meeting came up with plenty of suggestions for making our community safer for walkers and bicyclists. The list included:
  • more education in the schools, including in drivers’ education classes, about the rights of bicyclists and pedestrians;
  • bike lanes on Clarksville Road;
  • sidewalks in a number of areas and curb cuts at the entrance and exit of the parking lot at WW-P High School South;
  • better bicycle and pedestrian access to both Princeton and Plainsboro;
  • expanding the Trolley Line Trail; and
  • pairing up with West Windsor Little League for a bike promotion, such as free drinks one day for those players who ride their bikes to Ward Field.

Click here for the full list of suggestions.

In addition, we heard by e-mail from some residents prior to the meeting who want to see new traffic-calming measures.

What would be on your list?

The WWBPA will be discussing all the ideas at the next regular monthly meeting–7 p.m. May 13 at the West Windsor Municipal Center, 271 Clarksville Road. We can’t make all this happen on our own. Help make your idea a reality–and help build a more bicycle and pedestrian-friendly community.

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Whirr of the Wheels

Monday, April 12 by silvia

BikeFest 2010 logoTake the WWBPA’s challenge for the seventh annual BikeFest on May 29: Get a group together to make the day even more fun! Let’s see how many groups we can get and how big they can be. Plus, share your BikeFest stories and photos on the WWBPA’s Facebook page.

Get in your application and join hundreds of others cycling on West Windsor streets.

Need a warm-up ride? Bike&Walk Montclair is co-hosting the eighth annual Tour de Montclair on May 16.

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Welcome!

Saturday, April 10 by silvia

Rachel Karp, Emma Rosen, Kim Meersma and Jason Chin. Emma and Jason are 2009-2010 student advisors who are graduating in June.

Rachel Karp joins Kim Meersma as a student advisor for the next year.  Rachel, a freshman at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North, began helping with WWBPA trail work three years ago through her Girl Scout troop. Kim, a junior at South, is starting her third year as an advisor.

At Thursday’s annual meeting, members voted Dave Robinson as the newest trustee, replacing Susan Conlon.

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Spring Community Walk

Friday, April 9 by sandy

crossing at a crosswalkSaturday, May 1, 2010 at 10 a.m.

Come out to connect with friends and to meet new people, too!

The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance (WWBPA) invites you to participate in a Spring Community Walk on Saturday, May 1, 2010. The walk will start at 10:00 a.m. at the playground behind Maurice Hawk School on Clarksville Road and continue to the West Windsor Community Farmers’ Market on Vaughn Drive, where refreshments will be served, and then return at noon to the school. The total distance is less than 3 miles.

The walk is free and no advance sign-up is needed. All children must be accompanied by a parent or other adult for the walk, and all minors must have Walk Waiver, which are available in advance on the WWBPA Web site or on the day of the walk at the school. Walkers are responsible for their own safety and the WWBPA is not liable for any injuries.

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Annual Meeting is Thursday

Wednesday, April 7 by silvia

Bring your suggestions for making West Windsor more bicycle and pedestrian friendly to the WWBPA’s annual meeting tomorrow night, Thursday April 8 at 7pm in the West Windsor Municipal Building, 271 Clarksville Road.

In addition to hearing Elise Bremer-Nei from NJDOT speak about Complete Streets and Safe Routes to School, the agenda features an optional interactive session where residents will let the WWBPA know which improvements are most important.

Join us and make your voice heard. Together we can make our community safer for walker and bicyclists.

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Delta Airlines – $200 / Flight to Check Bikes

Tuesday, April 6 by JerryFoster

Folding BIke in a BagBicycles are treated differently from other luggage when it comes time to check them for  your flight.  According to Delta Airlines luggage policy, a bicycle is charged $200 per flight – $400 for a typical round trip.

While this may be reasonable for full-sized bikes in large boxes that require special handling, Delta notes that the bicycle charge even applies to a folding bike, which fits into a non-oversize suitcase and weighs less than 50 lbs, in a recent email clarification to Dave Schlabowske, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

At this level of expense, bicyclists traveling for tourism have a good incentive to just buy bikes where they’re going an leave them on the street when they’re done.  An inexpensive mountain bike can be bought for $200 – $300 at a bike shop, with plenty of gears for hill climbing, or as low as under $100 at national big-box retailers.

Bicycle tourism is big business – a 2006 study found bicycle recreation and tourism added over $924 million per year to the Wisconsin economy, and a separate 2006 study found an economic impact of over $60 million annually to the North Carolina Outer Banks region. A 2000 study found bicyclists spent $166 million annually in the province of Quebec.

There would appear to be no additional handling necessary for folding bikes, but Delta is charging the fee anyway, presumably because they think they can.  If you consider this fee unreasonable, please contact Delta to ask them to reconsider this policy.

How have you been treated on other airlines?

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Yield to Pedestrians

Monday, April 5 by silvia

A West Windsor resident describes her recent experience trying to cross at a crosswalk this way:

“My daughter and I were walking at about 3:30 pm and crossed the road at the crosswalk on Clarksville and Norchester – sure enough, no drivers stopped, as though they were completely oblivious to the pedestrian crossing.   It’s even worse at the crossing at 571 and Sherbrooke .”

She noted a Packet Publications article, Police to Watch Pushy Drivers, about a state grant to Hillsborough  police for extra patrols to counter aggressive drivers and a stalker radar.

“I’d love to see stepped-up enforcement of drivers neglecting to stop at designated pedestrian crossings here in West Windsor,” she adds.

What do you think? Attend the WWBPA’s annual meeting on April 8 if you want to talk about ways to improve motorists’ awareness of pedestrians. None of us want to have a brake-squealing “oh no” moment.

The annual meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the West Windsor Municipal Center, 271 Clarksville Road.

A video from Ridgewood, NJ students on why you should drive 25 in residential areas:

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Port Authority Gets Bike-Friendly

Sunday, April 4 by silvia

George Washington Bridge

George Washington Bridge, courtest of PA NY/NJ

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has adopted a new bike policy so that it can ” provide its customers, tenants, visitors and employees with safe and convenient bicycle access and secure bicycle parking at its facilities, wherever operationally and financially feasible.” These are the people who run the airports, bridges and tunnels as well as the PATH system and bus terminals. Read more about this on WalkBikeJersey.

Better yet, the minutes of the February 25 meeting where the policy was adopted say:
“Costs of accommodating bicycle travel when expanding, upgrading, or constructing major new surface transportation facilities are to be included in specific project plans and in future budgets. To the extent that any of these actions requires significant additional investment, the Executive Director may seek further Board consideration and authorization.”

The minutes also noted that Port Authority facilities currently provide some accommodations for bicycle users, such as bicycle access for the George Washington and Bayonne Bridges, off-peak access to the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) rail system, and some bicycle routes and racks at other facilities.

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Upcoming Events

March 9   ******* Annual Membership Meeting ******* 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Main Mtg Rm A). Guest Speaker TBA.

March      Membership Drive. Become a member/Renew your membership today and support our local community.

March 12  WWBPA participating at the St Anthony’s Health Fair 1:30-2:30pm in the gym at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Hightstown.

April 13     Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

April 15     Scholarship applications due for Graduating High School Seniors

May          Look for opening Season of WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

May 11     Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Jun 8       Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

July 13     Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Ongoing – Register your bike with the WW Police Dept for Free

Volunteer Opportunities – Sign up to give back to the community

Now Accepting Applications for WWBPA Student Advisory Board

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