Wednesday, June 29 by silvia
Nearly a dozen WWBPA volunteers came out to clear the Millstone Preserve trails, where weeds and bushes have been shrinking the path. Mostly, the work was picking up twigs and cutting back plants on the path a bit. We moved a few big branches, and in less than two hours, the main and lower trails were cleared, with the exception of a fallen tree on the lower trail that the township is being asked to remove.
The trails are in great shape for runners and walkers. Please let us know of any problem spots on these or other trails, and join us next time! The Rogers Preserve is on our list for July. You can see more photos from the day here.
Monday, June 27 by sandy
It seems counterintuitive. You’d think that riding your own bike would be safer than riding a shared bike. But that’s not the case. In Paris, London, and Washington, D.C., fewer people are injured when they use the new bike-sharing systems.
In London, no one was seriously injured or killed on the first 4.5 million trips on what the locals call Boris Bikes (Barclays Cycle Hire system), while about 12 people are injured for every 4.5 million trips on personal bikes.
And in D.C., the same thing happens: “While only seven bike-sharing riders were injured in 330,000 trips, on average, 13 people riding personal bikes are injured over the same number of trips. And bike-sharing riders suffered no serious injuries, while riders using their own bikes suffered injuries that were sometimes serious or even fatal.”
So why does this happen? Professor Norman Garrick of the University of Connecticut speculates that it could be shorter trips on shared bikes. Professor Ian Walker of the University of Bath (England) suggests bike-sharers might be less experienced and “stick to safer cycling behavior,” or they “could be more dedicated cyclists with an above-average skill level.” Garrick adds that the shared bikes themselves might be a factor, since they’re more visible (often bright red or yellow) and slower.
Read more on StreetBlog.org.
Saturday, June 25 by silvia
Here’s a case of when it pays off to be stopped by the police:
Police departments in several Middlesex County municipalities, including Plainsboro and Cranbury, are giving a “summons” to any kid spotted wearing a helmet while biking (or doing another wheeled activity) between June 21 and Sept. 30. Each summons can be redeemed for free items, such as a scoop of ice cream or slice of pizza, and enters the child in a raffle drawing for a new helmet and bicycle at the end of the campaign.
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s Safe Kids Middlesex County is once again partnering with county and local governments to make this program happen. You can read more about it here.
Wearing a helmet isn’t just the law for kids under 17; it makes sense for cyclists of all ages. You only have one brain, and even an seemingly innocent fall the wrong way can do serious damage.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 190,000 children sustain head injuries each year while participating in wheeled activities. Brain injuries often have lifelong effects, such as problems with thought processes, mobility and emotions. There is no cure for brain injury so prevention is extremely important.
Talk to the WWBPA about how to fit your helmet properly so it doesn’t slide around. There’s a science to it!
Wednesday, June 22 by JerryFoster
The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) is putting out the New Jersey federal transportation improvement projects for comment, including the Route 571 project between Clarksville and Cranbury roads. You can find details here:
The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance’s recommendations for the project are here:
The current design calls for adding a center left turn lane, sidewalks and a bicycle-compatible shoulder, maintaining the existing design speed (45mph).
The problem is that the combination of same design speed, the additional center turn lane and roadway widening, but no pedestrian refuges halfway across the road will make it harder, not easier, to cross the street.
Essentially, there will be 30% more cars to dodge when crossing, which will be going faster than today, since they wouldn’t have to slow down for left-turning vehicles (which will be in the new center turn lane).
In our view, Route 571 is already too hard to cross, and this design will make it worse. Please join us in adding your comments to the DVRPC by following the instructions on their web page.
The stated goals are for a bicycle and pedestrian friendly main street, but the design details do not support the goals, according to the NJDOT Smart Transportation Guidebook. On the plus side, the recommended changes will save money and most importantly give us a Main Street we can be proud of, while still increasing capacity.
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Monday, June 20 by sandy
Three Chinese citizens are cycling across the country, from New York City to San Francisco, to highlight the plight of artist and activist Ai Weiwei and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Liu Xiaobo, both imprisoned by the Chinese government.
The cyclists stopped in Princeton on Friday evening, June 17, and spoke with people on the corner of Nassau and Witherspoon Streets.
They hope to collect more than 10,000 signatures asking for the release of the two imprisoned men. The letter will ask United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to address “the Chinese government’s serious and on-going human rights violations against its own people.”
To read more about the “Cycling Tour for Human Rights of China,” go to the Initiatives for China website.
Sunday, June 19 by silvia
Millstone River Trail
Help the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance and Friends of West Windsor Open Space do some maintenance on the Millstone trails.
We will meet at 10 a.m. on Sunday June 26 in the Millstone Preserve parking lot on Millstone Road. We will be clearing trails of brush, weeds and downed trees. If there are enough people, we will tackle Rogers Preserve as well. Otherwise we will do that in late July.
Bring clippers/loppers, rakes and weed-whackers or something else to take out the weeds. You may want to wear gloves and carry a bottle of water. We’ll be done by noon.
Email with any questions, and feel free to bring some friends.
Saturday, June 18 by silvia
About 20 people from West Windsor and neighboring communities headed earlier this month to Freehold and the Metz Bicycle Museum, a museum filled with what must be more than 100 bicycles collected over 60 years by a former Cranbury resident who, we learned, came up with the idea for those scalloped cement blocks to edge gardens.
Most of us used part of the Henry Hudson Trail, a well-used, shaded and paved path on what was once a freight railroad line. We were accompanied from Marlboro High School by a number of local residents who gave us some extra local flavor: Freehold High School, Bruce Springsteen’s alma mater (we heard a few stories about him!); the Battle of Monmouth monument; and lunch on Main Street.
A smaller group of hardy cyclists peddled from West Windsor to Freehold (about 22 miles). They had the bright idea to stop for ice cream on the way home!
Our youngest cyclist, 9-year-old Ashley, hitched her bike to Dad’s some of the time. We learned she’s a budding fashionista with real affinity for shoes. So guess what her favorite bike had?
See more of our pictures here.
Thursday, June 16 by silvia
What an incredible year for new sidewalks and bike lanes in West Windsor!
You’ve probably already seen the improvements around the train station, including better crossings, the sidewalk on the Schlumberger side and the striped shoulders that give cyclists some added comfort. There also are three key links in the sidewalk network that went in last month and finally allow people to walk to and from the Toll Brother developments, Windsor Haven and the farmers’ market over the railroad bridge on Alexander Road and to the library, Maurice Hawk and the Arts Center. Those parking at the Wallace Road lot for Arts Council events now have a much more direct walk as well.
Now work has started on Penn-Lyle Road that not only will repave the road surface but add sidewalks to the east side of the road between Village Road West and Stony Brook Way as well as bike lanes on both sides of the road. This will let more students walk or bike safely to High School South.
We also hear that work is progressing for the multi-use trail planned along South Post Road near the ballfields. If all goes smoothly, the project could soon go out to bid, with an aim of construction in September or October.
The WWBPA has long advocated for these improvements, and we thank township officials, including the mayor and council, for making them.
Monday, June 13 by silvia
Congratulations to Kim Meersma, a WWBPA student advisor since the end of 8th grade and the recipient of a $500 college scholarship from the WWBPA.
In her essay, she wrote:
“As I have learned through my five years of experience as a Student Advisor, the best way to convince people of the importance of building a bicycle and pedestrian friendly community is to have them experience a bicycle ride or a walk for themselves. Through events such as the Community Bike Ride, and the walk to the Farmers Market, cyclists and walkers of all ages and experience levels are able to see that given a safe route, they are able to reach places around the community without a car.”
Kim is graduating from WW-P High School South and is headed to UMass in Amherst, where we hope she will continue to promote biking and walking. We thank her for all she has done for the WWBPA and West Windsor.
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Thursday, June 9 by silvia
Here’s a new resource for cycling in Hunterdon County: www.bikehunterdon.org.
The site features maps of local bicycle tours, including the Delaware & Raritan Towpath, Last Covered Bridge and Round Valley Roundabout routes. An interactive Google map feature allows potential riders to view amenities along the routes including restaurants, bed and breakfast and other lodging, as well as points of interest. A full list of all local bicycle shops as well as where to rent a bicycle is also included. It even includes routes outside Hunterdon County.
Looking for other maps? Check the resources section of the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance’s website.
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