Our nation’s capital joins Paris, London and Montreal, among others, with bike-sharing programs. Dubbed Capital Bikeshare, the program has more than 1,100 bikes available at more than 110 stations in DC and Arlington. A 24-hour membership costs $5 (you can also buy 30-day and one-year memberships) and you can get a bike as often as you’d like. Like elsewhere, the first 30 minutes of each ride is free. It’s a great way to see the sights or explore a new neighborhood, use the city’s extensive trails or get to the ballpark. Just don’t forget to bring your helmet!
We hope to see government officials using the distinctive red bikes to get around and learn the joys of cycling!
After 15 years of work, the Stony Brook Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Pathway and Bridge Project in Princeton is completed! Critical links were added this year, and bicycle/pedestrian bridges and pathways now connect the Princeton Battlefield and Institute Woods area to Mountain Lakes Preserve and Woodfield Reservation in Princeton.
The new pathways and bridges can be accessed from Rosedale Road at Greenway Meadows Park or from Route 206 at Hutchinson Drive, north of the service entrance to TPC Jasna Polana.
A dedication ceremony is planned for Sunday, October 3. The celebration will take place at 4 p.m. at the 125-foot bridge across the Stony Brook. Parking for the celebration is also available at the Hun School Athletic Complex parking lot off Winant Road.
Those wishing to walk the new trail or ride the bike route to the celebration should meet in the Greenway Meadows Park parking lot across from Johnson Park School at 3 p.m. Steve Hiltner, naturalist for Friends of Princeton Open Space, will lead a 30-minute walk. Members of the Princeton Joint Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee will lead the ride along the bike route, also at 3 p.m.
These are photos from our pop-up campaign to call attention to the new law that requires motorists to stop and stay stopped as long as a pedestrian is in the crosswalk.
Did you catch us for the 30 minutes we were at Route 571 and Sherbrooke Drive on Thursday, September 23 or the 30 minutes at Wallace Road and Scott Avenue on Saturday, September 25 as the new Arts Center was being inaugurated? We got some smiles and thumbs-up, but also some scowls and some drivers who ignored the law — and pedestrians seeking to cross Route 571.
There are three more opportunities to give us a wave as you drive by or — better yet — take part:
7:15 a .m. Wednesday, October 6 at 7:15 a.m. at Clarksville Road and Route 571, by High School South;
5:30 p.m. Thursday, October 21 at Canal Pointe Boulevard by MarketFair; and
6:45 a.m. Monday, November 8 at Cranbury/Wallace Roads and Route 571.
Help us show West Windsor cares about pedestrian safety!
Cyclist stops for pedestrian (walking his bike) in Sherbrooke/571 crosswalk.
The WWBPA applauds this opinion piece that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer that calls on bicyclists to be more courteous toward pedestrians. The author is Robert M. Kelley, and Inquirer editor.
If you walk much in Center City, this will sound familiar: You wait for the light to change, start crossing with the walk signal. Then – at the last second – you see a bicycle bearing down on you against the light. You stop just before it hits you – even though you had the right-of-way.
A close call for you, but here’s the bicyclists’ side: They are trying to keep up with the fast flow of motor-vehicle traffic – often not by their own choosing but because of the shortage of bicycle lanes – yet they do not feel bound to observe lights or crossings.
Taking the long view, if half the drivers switched to bicycles, the city would be a nicer place with less pollution and noise. If this happened in other cities, the nation could slash its use of fossil fuels. But let’s not pave the road to energy independence with injured pedestrians.
I see both sides of the issue, having spent years navigating heavy traffic on a bicycle. Now, because of a visual disability, I’m mostly a pedestrian.
If anyone should be sympathetic to the bicyclists’ perspective, it’s me. In my teens, I used a bike as my main transportation and covered considerable distances in the Baltimore area. At one point, I was hit by a car that came out of a side street without stopping and was thrown into the middle of York Road, which is the main commercial artery into the city, roughly similar to Broad Street. The driver didn’t stop, but I got the tag number. I had to walk the bike home while holding the front wheel off the ground because the forks were destroyed. When I went to the police station with the tag number, they told me to get lost.
In another episode, I assembled a touring bike from a basic kit and once got thrown over the handlebars after too much experimentation with the gear-shifting derailleur.
More recently, I have been riding motorcycles and have been cut off in traffic more than once.
I understand how it feels to be outmatched and bullied out there, so my default position has long been to see the bicyclists’ point of view.
But some things are too much.
I saw a line of pedestrians on Market Street wait until well after the light had changed to cross. But then a racing-type bicycle with a highly elevated seat came tearing through the light, which had turned red several seconds earlier, doing what appeared to be more than 30 m.p.h. The pedestrians saw the rider just in time to stop, but at that speed, he probably couldn’t have swerved to avoid them, and stopping would have been out of the question.
From behind the wheel of a car, I once came upon a couple riding side by side, taking up a whole lane where there was only one lane in each direction. They meandered along at less than 15 m.p.h. They looked back and noticed the car but refused to drop back to single file to let it pass.
Pedestrians can be annoying, even to other pedestrians, when they don’t move efficiently, but they’re on relatively equal terms.
But when it comes to bicyclists or motor vehicles, we’re not all able to react as quickly as we’d like. In my case, I lost much of my peripheral vision and all of my depth perception because of a head injury, and I can’t drive at night. When I cross Center City on foot to my night job, I can see cars but must try hard to read the flow of other pedestrians. And I will often miss bicyclists running against the light.
So bicyclists, remember that as much as you’d rather not have all those people in your way, many of them are not there by choice. And while it’s possible that some drivers are out to get you, that’s no reason to take it out on the foot traffic.
A little more civility all around would go a long way toward fostering better relations among us non-motorists. It’s not like we don’t have a common enemy or two out there stalking us on four wheels.
This news comes courtesy of WalkBikeJersey, one of our favorite blogs:
The towpath's new look, from WalkBikeJersey
At some point this past summer, a portion of the Delaware and Raritan Canal Towpath was resurfaced and the width standardized using a crushed red shale aggregate. The installation of the new surface has been confirmed from Landing Lane in New Brunswick, all the way down to the Griggstown Causeway but could extend further south than that.
The new surface is a real pleasure to ride on and is even stable enough for cyclists using narrow road tires. With the new smooth surface, riding the canal towpath can now be done at faster speeds and is wide enough for two riders to comfortably ride abreast of one another.
Also, red shale is native to the Piedmont Region that the canal passes through so it looks natural and not out of place like some of the other materials used on the path in the past.
Join us for a fun community bike ride at 2 p.m. Saturday, October 2 (rain date is October 3) from Chamberlin Park (Slayback Drive and Woodmere Way, off South Mill Road) to Mercer County Park (east entrance, on Edinburg Road).
Individuals and families are welcome to participate. The ride is free, but helmets are required and will be available for purchase at the start of the ride. The ride is an easy six miles (round trip).
Enjoy a cool drink and light refreshments at Mercer County Park and take part in our free drawing of bicycle and safety gear before heading back to Chamberlin Park.
From Chamberlin Park, we will take Woodmere Way to South Mill Road, continuing on Edinburg Road, which will take us directly to the park. Bike lanes exist for almost the entire route. There are gaps in the sidewalks along the route and the roads will NOT be closed to traffic. Participants must be comfortable riding on the road and must follow the rules of the road. Children under fourteen must be accompanied by an adult. Please complete and sign the linked waiver form.
Making West Windsor more walkable isn’t just good for pedestrians, it’s good for all of us!
A 2009 study of over 90,000 home sales in 15 metropolitan regions nationwide concluded “the walkability of cities translates directly into increases in home values. Homes located in more walkable neighborhoods—those with a mix of common daily shopping and social destinations within a short distance—command a price premium over otherwise similar homes in less walkable areas.”
Real estate agents are taking notice – Lani Rosales notes, in her article Why Pedestrian Safety Rankings Matter to Real Estate Agents , “The reason pedestrian safety rankings matter to real estate agents is because mainstream, common buyers are now making decisions as to where to live based on factors that used to be seen as liberal hippie nonsense.”
See the new Streetfilm that shows buffered bike lanes implemented near Prospect Park, Brooklyn. These lanes are between the curb and the onstreet parked cars, just like those called for in the Princeton Junction Redevelopment plan, as advocated by the WWBPA.
Buffered bike lanes are so named because there is a striped buffer painted on the pavement that allows people to get in and out of their car without encroaching on the bike lanes or “dooring” a passing bicyclist (hitting the bicyclist with the door).
New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the U.S. and has one of the highest pedestrian accident rates. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death among children, and accidents involving school crossing guards have increased 65% in the last 10 years. A new video from the NJ Division of Highway Safety highlights the dangers around school zones.
Pam Fischer, Director, NJ Division of Highway Safety, notes that the number one killer of children and teenagers is motor vehicle crashes. She says. “Anytime you drive into or out of a school zone, there’s a lot going on. You’ve got pedestrians, school buses, crossing guards, and police officers directing traffic, … teachers outside … you really [have] to be attuned to your environment.”
Review and always follow your school’s student drop off plan.
Drop your child off on the school side of the street, next to the curb.
Follow instructions provided by school crossing guards.
Slow down and comply with the posted speed limit not only in school zones, but where children are walking or biking along the road.
Resist the urge to “drop off and dash.”
Eliminate all distractions ‐‐ particularly cell phones and other electronic devices that reduce your ability to react quickly in driving situations involving young children and their spontaneous actions.
Teach your child to look all ways before crossing and to cross only in crosswalks or at corners.
Make sure that everyone in your vehicle is properly restrained in the appropriate child safety seat or booster seat or seat belt.
Moscow has come up with a clever way to call attention to pedestrians in the crosswalk: zebras (well, horses painted to look like zebras) using what’s known there as zebra crossings. According to an Associated Press article, motorists there routinely run red lights and see the sidewalk as an extension of the road. Pedestrians don’t help their cause by often darting into the road without looking. Even so, many die or are injured in the crosswalk.
The sign on the “zebra,” by the way, says “careful, children are on their way to school.”
With the days getting shorter, it’s time to make sure you’re visible to motorists, whether you’re walking (including walking the dog), jogging or cycling. The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance is selling a limited number of front-and-rear bicycle lights for $5 per set. These are entry-level lights aimed at making cyclists more visible at dawn and dusk, not just at night. (Go to a bike shop for more powerful lights, but be prepared to spend much, much more.)
The WWBPA also sells safety vests with reflective stripes for $10 apiece and ankle bands with reflective stripes for $2.50 apiece. We also offer the best deal on bicycle helmets — just $10 apiece.
What’s your tip on being visible? We listed a few here last year.
We will be at the West Windsor Farmers’ Market on Sept. 18 and Oct. 2 and at Hightstown Harvest Fair on Oct. 9 with all our safety gear.
Join the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance in a series of half-hour “West Windsor Walks” to educate drivers and pedestrians about the new law that requires motorists to stop and stay stopped when a pedestrian is in a crosswalk. Show that West Windsor cares about pedestrian safety!
Thursday, September 23, 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., by the crosswalk at Sherbrooke Drive and Route 571
Saturday, September 25, 10:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., to help celebrate Arts Center Opening Day, by the crosswalk at Alexander Road and Scott Avenue
Wednesday, October 6, 7:15 a.m. to 7:45 a.m., to help celebrate National Walk to School Day, by the crosswalk at Clarksville Road and Route 571, by WW-P High School South.
Thursday, October 21, 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., by the crosswalk to MarketFair at Canal Pointe Boulevard & Mayfair Drive
Monday, November 8, 6:45 am. to 7:15 a.m., by the crosswalk at Cranbury/Wallace Roads & Route 571
Participants will wear yellow vests to attract attention and point drivers to signs reminding them of the new law.
The New Jersey Bike & Walk coalition has won a grant from REI to fund NJBikeSchool, a free, comprehensive bicycle safety program that educates children about sharing the road safely with motorists and pedestrians. Read more here. Where in Mercer County do you think would benefit from a program like this?
A driver backing down a street to a parking spot in New York City struck a child in a crosswalk, nearly killing her. The penalty? A traffic ticket. The police said they couldn’t do more against this sober driver.
The child’s outraged mother channeled her anger into changing a New York law, as the New York Times recounts. Now those who flout the law and injure pedestrians can lose their licenses for six months (a year for repeat offenders). Watch for a series of public service announcements this month on NYC buses and bus stations aimed at educating motorists about local traffic laws.
Slow down and watch for pedestrians and bicyclists in West Windsor, too! The tiny bit of time gained isn’t worth the pain from an accident.
The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance is giving a televised presentation to the West Windsor Council and Mayor Shing-Fu Hseuh about why a bicycle and pedestrian-friendly community makes sense. Among our points: Tough times demand smart choices for our roadways, and biking and walking saves everyone money. Plus, a more liveable community is good for property values. We’ll also debunk some common myths, such as only motorists pay for roads and that adding traffic lanes solves congestion.
Come to the Council meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday Sept. 7 and join us for the WWBPA monthly meeting immediately after the presentation. (The meeting date has been changed from Thursday Sept. 9 because of Rosh Hashanah.) Or catch it on public access television. The WWBPA thanks the West Windsor Council for the opportunity to make this presentation.
Also on the Council agenda: a grant application for a path between seven office buildings along Alexander Road/Route 1 and the Princeton Junction train station; an engineering contract for sidewalks along North Post Road and Alexander Road; and an engineering contract for the reconstruction of the Alexander Road S-curve between Canal Pointe Boulevard and the D&R Canal.
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