Celebrate Bicycling on Car-Free Philadelphia Streets
Sunday, September 12 at 8:00 am
Would you like to bike through the heart of Philadelphia surrounded by bicyclists instead of cars?
Join others for a family-friendly bike tour celebrating the freedom of car-free Philadelphia streets. Ride through historic neighborhoods and explore hidden corners of Fairmount Park. Bicyclists of all skill levels are welcome. Bike Philly rolls rain or shine.
Early-bird Registration ends June 30th and includes a free t-shirt ($10 after).
The proposed bicycle component of Mercer County’s master plan will be discussed at an “open house” from 4 pm to 7 pm on Wednesday July 14 at the main branch of the Mercer County Library, Business Route 1 and Darrah Lane in Lawrence. This will give all those interested a chance to learn about this part of the master plan and how it could make the county safer for bicyclists as well as to offer comments on what is being developed.
Bicyclists have already been asked to provide input on the bikeability of roads in the county. A key step now is to define key links and intersections in need of improvement. By adding a bicycle element to the Mercer County Master Plan, it should help ensure that bicyclists are taken into account when road improvements are made.
Spend part of Saturday June 26 on West Windsor’s self-guided garden tour. About two dozen public spaces and private gardens are featured on the tour, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Some gardens showcase environmentally sustainable practices, one is all about container gardens and the others are a mix of flowers, herbs and vegetables. Maps are available online or at the West Windsor Farmers’ Market .
Three guided nature walks are planned: 10 a.m. at the Millstone River Preserve on Millstone Road, 11:30 a.m. at the Ron Rogers Arboretum on Clarksville Road just north of Route 571 and at 1 p.m. at Zaitz Preserve on Southfield Road.
The tour has been organized by Greening West Windsor, or GroWW. The WWBPA, which has helped to create and maintain trails in the Millstone River Preserve and at Zaitz Preserve, is a sponsor and encourages all to consider walking or bicycling to some of the gardens.
Need a rental bike for yourself or visiting friends? Want to try an off-road bike before buying one? Or feel like taking a spin around the park? We hear that bike rentals may be coming soon to Mercer County Park and will keep you posted as we hear more.
The good news is that people are biking and walking more–we’re making more than twice as many trips by foot or bike than we did in 1990. We’re not quite where we’d hoped yet–11.9% of all trips are by bike or foot, though transportation planners had hoped for 15.8%. And too many cyclists and pedestrians are still injured or killed on roadways. (No numbers on walking and biking trips in West Windsor, but it feels like there are more people out on their bikes.)
We are slowly making progress toward a healthier and safer environment. The Obama administration has doubled the funding for walking and bicycling programs, from less than $600 million in 2008 to $1.2 billion in 2009 (Joan Lowy, Associated Press, June 16, 2010).
“Americans want and need safe alternatives to driving,” LaHood said in a statement. “By making biking and walking safer and more accessible, we’ll be able to provide Americans with more choices and help foster more active, livable communities.”
Thanks to everyone who donated bikes at the WWBPA Bike Drive at the West Windsor Farmers’ Market on Saturday, June 12!
Eleven bikes were donated to the Boys and Girls Club Bike Exchange and will be refurbished and sold to fund programs at the Boys and Girls Club of Trenton. The Boys and Girls Club Bike Exchange opened in May 2009, and has resold more than 1,000 bicycles. In 2009, the effort raised more than $43,000 for Boys and Girls Club programming.
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Mercer County is repaving Washington Road/Route 571 between Route 1 in West Windsor and Faculty Road in Princeton beginning Monday, June 21. The work will take about 10 days and during that time, only westbound traffic will be permitted between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. (Traffic will flow in both directions at other times).
Mercer County notes that the entire roadway will be milled first, which creates a rough surface. Cyclists may want to seek alternate routes.
A decision has not yet been made whether the restriping will include a bike lane or just shoulders. Watch for updates.
“The driver of a vehicle must stop and stay stopped for a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except at crosswalks when the movement of traffic is being regulated by police officers or traffic control signals, or where otherwise prohibited by municipal, county, or State regulation, and except where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided, but no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield. Nothing contained herein shall relieve a pedestrian from using due care for his safety.”
Author Susan Charkes will speak about her book, Day Hikes Near Philadelphia, at the Princeton Public Library on Thursday, June 17 at 7:30 p.m.
The publisher, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), notes:
“This easy-to-use guide will help you explore Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware year-round, from lesser-known excursions to area favorites, including several hikes on the Appalachian Trail. Each trip includes useful information such as a detailed map showing parking areas and natural highlights, and a summary of trip characteristics.”
Susan Charkes’ writing is featured on SustainableLawrence. org; she was an environmental planner for the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association.
Congratulations to this year’s scholarship winners:
Emma Rosen of WW-P HS South and Jason Chin of WW-P HS North.
Both were student advisors to the WWBPA and participated in a number of events (not always tied to the WWBPA) to raise awareness of bicyclists and pedestrians. Each will receive $500 toward their college expenses.
The WWBPA has an annual scholarship budget of $1,000. Applicants must be seniors in the WW-P schools or live in West Windsor. Winners should explain what they have done to make the community better for bicyclists and pedestrians or otherwise relate their experiences on bikes and on foot.
The WW-P News reports on a suggestion to extend the Trolley Line Trail, which would enable WW-PHS South and North students to safely walk or cycle between the two high schools, as well as providing a convenient and safe link for residents of both townships. This isn’t a new idea, and is one the WWBPA supports, but there are several obstacles that would need to be worked out. Read more:
We ended National Bike Month with 1,369.4 commuting and errand miles, plus countless more for BikeFest and other fun trips, as well as for the Ride of Silence. Thanks to all who sent in their tallies! The total can be updated with late entries, so don’t be shy about e-mailing.
I, for one, am noticing many more cyclists on the roads, whether heading to work or on the weekends. Hopefully, the WWBPA’s work is encouraging more people to get around by bike some of the time.
www.pedbikeimages.org / Laura Sandt
Having just spent two weeks in London, I was amazed at how many more cyclists there were than when I left in 2005—and how many wear helmets and safety vests. London has been working for many years to improve cycling infrastructure, has a mayor who bikes to work and wants to develop bicycle ‘superhighways,’ and will be launching its version of the Paris Velib program in July. Of course, it isn’t Copenhagen or Amsterdam, where many more people walk, take public transportation, or drive to get around. But there is no denying that cyclists are much more visible in the heart of the city than they were five years ago.
Closer to home, WWBPA advisor Ken Carlson reports on the differences between West Windsor and his new home in the Boston area:
“Better infrastructure. There is a significant number of streets with bike lanes or sharrows, as well as bike paths along the Charles. Not to say that there isn’t more work to be done. There are always improvements to be made!
Much greater presence of bike commuters. There is a very significant presence of bike commuters, and there is certainly a safety in numbers vibe here. At red lights on a nice day, there commonly is a traffic jam of cyclists waiting for the light to change. There is a wide variety of styles of commuters, from the lycra-clad commuters who are coming in from the suburbs, to the hipster bike commuters with their kryptonite locks stuffed in the back pocket of their jeans, to the average person dressed for work riding an old beater, to everything in between.
Increased awareness by drivers. Most drivers know to expect cyclists- looking in their rear view mirrors before making a right turn, drivers (and passengers) looking behind them before opening their car door. Not to say that there aren’t conflicts and drivers who don’t pay attention to cyclists. But for the most part, there’s a considerable awareness level.
A wide range of cyclist behavior: cyclists who stop for red lights, who don’t stop for red lights, cyclists who bike in bike lanes, on sidewalks, with traffic, against traffic, with and without helmets, with lights, no lights, etc.”
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Planning for an improved intersection, June 9, 2010
From the West Windsor Township Web site:
Construction begins on the Cranbury Road/ Wallace Road/ CR 571/ NJ Route 64 intersection improvements
Construction has begun on improvements to the intersection of Cranbury Road/ Wallace Road/ CR 571/ and NJ Route 64. The project includes new pedestrian crossings in every direction, countdown timers on traffic lights, and a dedicated left turn lane coming off of the bridge (eastbound) turning onto Cranbury Road. In addition, the State has approved using the eastbound side of the bridge as a pedestrian crossing with a sidewalk on the south side of the bridge leading to Station Drive and a crosswalk to get to the sidewalk on the south side of Washington Road.
If you have any questions concerning this project, please contact the West Windsor Township Engineering Division at (609) 799-9396.
WWBPA joined hundreds of groups from around the country in signing a letter of thanks to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood for helping to make bicycling and walking an important part of the department’s policy. Many bicyclists and pedestrians joined Secretary LaHood at DOT headquarters in Washington, D.C. at the start of the Memorial Day weekend to present the letter.
Secretary LaHood noted, “… making walking and biking safer and more accessible is relatively inexpensive. For example, we could upgrade the entire 2,250 mile East Coast Greenway, a network of bike routes stretching all the way from Key West to Maine, for only one-fifth the cost of a single recent I-95 bridge over the Potomac.”
Bicyclists of all ages and abilities attended the seventh annual West Windsor BikeFest on Sunday, May 30 (postponed a day because of the weather) over Memorial Day weekend. The weather on Sunday couldn’t have been better! A bike rodeo helped to educate young riders about the rules of the road and safe riding practices.
BikeFest focuses on bringing awareness of safe cycling and enables families to experience bicycling at various skill levels. Participants discover that West Windsor has many roads that will accommodate all levels of cyclists.
BikeFest is run by a small committee led by Dan Gerstenhaber and supported by Ken Jacobs of the West Windsor Division of Recreation and Parks. Local businesses support the event and many volunteers support registration, rest stops, sweeping, and feeding the event participants. Volunteers are always welcome. For more information go to West Windsor BikeFest.
Funding from BikeFest
The BikeFest committee focuses on safe cycling in West Windsor; funds raised by the event are used to support designated community bicycling improvements. Along with the installation of bike racks in various parts of the township, the BikeFest committee has donated money to help with some of the WWBPA initiatives, most notably the printing of the WWBPA map, Share the Road signs, bicycle racks for theWest Windsor Community Farmers’ Market and the soon-to-be-completed bicycle parking facilities at the Princeton Junction Train Station.
The WWBPA isn’t a sponsor of BikeFest but thanks the BikeFest committee for its continued support for safer cycling in West Windsor.