Americans Prefer Walkable Communities

Monday, January 30 by JerryFoster

The National Association of Realtors published the 2011 Community Preference Survey last year – no surprise to us, Americans prefer walkable communities! According to the survey:

“When selecting a community, nearly half of the public (47%) would prefer to live in a city (19%) or a suburban neighborhood with a mix of houses, shops, and businesses (28%). Another four in ten (40%) would prefer a rural area (22%) or a small town (18%). Only one in ten (12%) say they would prefer a suburban neighborhood with houses only.

The public’s attitudes toward traffic solutions have remained consistent over the last seven years. Improving public transportation is viewed as the best answer to traffic congestion by half of the country (50%). Three in ten (30%) prefer building communities where fewer people need to drive long distances to work and shop. Far fewer want to see more roads (18%).

Top Community Characteristics:

  • Privacy from neighbors (87%, important; 45%, very);
  • Being within a 30-minute commute to work (78%; 36%);
  • Sidewalks and places to take walks (77%; 31%); and
  • High quality public schools (75%; 44%).

Americans are particularly interested in being within an easy walk of grocery stores (75%, important), pharmacies (65%), hospitals (61%), restaurants (60%), and cultural resources like libraries or theaters (59%). At least half of the public also considers being able to walk to schools (55%), doctors’ offices (55%), and public transportation by bus (50%) important in deciding where to live. Walking to recreational facilities (47%), places of worship (47%), or public transportation by rail (42%) are slightly less important.”

What can we do to make West Windsor more walkable, and therefore more desirable? A grocery store to replace the former Acme would be a huge improvement, as well as the planned sidewalks along Rt 571, as well as the planned rapid flashing beacon will be installed at the crosswalk at Sherbrooke Drive. Slower travel speed and additional pedestrian-friendly crossings will help realize our redevelopment plan’s vision to make Rt 571 “a desirable mix of pedestrian-friendly, village scale development.”

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Join Us to See “Ride the Divide”

Wednesday, January 25 by JerryFoster

Please join us Saturday, February 25 at the West Windsor Arts Center to see an exciting documentary of an informal mountain-bike race from Canada to Mexico along the Continental Divide trail. The film, Ride the Divide, weaves the story of three characters’ experiences with immense mountain beauty and small-town culture as they attempt to pedal from Banff, Canada to a small, dusty crossing on the Mexican border.

Tickets are free for members, $5 for nonmembers, and admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. Members can help with set up starting at 6:30pm, and the box office opens at  7 p.m. The film starts at 7:30 p.m. Free parking is available a short walk away at the Wallace Road lot by the station.

Please join us for discussion and light refreshments afterward. And yeah, we’d really appreciate your help cleaning up.

The West Windsor Arts Center is located in the historic Princeton Junction Fire House at 952 Alexander Road, at Scott Avenue.

This is a great time to renew your membership, if you haven’t done so already. Hope to see you there!

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Join Us in Plainsboro

Tuesday, January 17 by silvia

When Trenton Times columnist Mea Kaemmerlen wrote about West Windsor being designated New Jersey’s first bicycle-friendly community, she threw out a challenge to her town of Plainsboro: Catch up.

We heard it, as did some Plainsboro residents. So please join us and your neighbors at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 1 at the Plainsboro Library to discuss your ideas for better biking and walking in the community.

Where do you and your family want to ride or bike, and what would make it easier? The WWBPA wants to partner with people who live, work, or even go to school in Plainsboro. Together we’ll explore some ways to make Plainsboro a more bicycle and pedestrian friendly community.

Please help us spread the word to your friends and neighbors. Hope to see you there!

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Improved Crossings to the Train Station at Scott Avenue

Thursday, January 12 by JerryFoster

Thanks to the township for improving the crossings to the train station from Scott Avenue. New high visibility striping and pedestrian-activated rapid flashing beacons were  installed late last year, making it much easier to cross safely with the flashing lights. This is another in the long list of improvements made last year.

This intersection is particularly important, since it may be the most heavily used route by pedestrians and bicyclists going to and from the train station. On September 14, 2011 from 5-7pm, we counted 87 bicyclists and pedestrians passing nearby Scott and Alexander, all of whom must have crossed this intersection at Wallace first.

Thanks again for all the work that went into making these improvements!

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Trolley Line Trail Link Completed

Thursday, January 5 by JerryFoster

The missing link between the South Mill Road crossing of the Trolley Line Trail and the section bordering the Dataram property was finished just before Christmas – what a busy year for bicycle and pedestrian improvements! Thanks to the township and county for all their great work in 2011.

The subject of a previous post a few weeks ago, the crossing features a rapid flashing beacon (flashing strobe lights), high visibility crosswalk paint (the thickness of the stripes makes it easy to see) and a pedestrian-activated signal button for easy crossing.

One thing bicyclists in the bike lanes on South Mill Rd should keep in mind: If someone is crossing, the bicyclist must stop before the crosswalk, just as the cars must stop.  Enjoy the new trail;  now it’s easier than ever to get between Rabbit Hill Road and Penn Lyle Road on the Trolley Line Trail, including access to Community Park.

 

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Got the Bike, Now to Maintain It

Sunday, January 1 by silvia

Bike Clinic

Jerry teaches a cyclist how to true his wheels.

Whether you’ve just  received (or given) a bike or have resolved to ride the one you already have more frequently, proper maintenance will help make cycling more enjoyable.

Here are two area classes that will help you learn to do just that:

Mercer County Community College’s continuing education program offers a three-session class starting Jan. 18 at Bernie’s Bicycle Shop in Hamilton. Cost is $59, plus a repair manual (approximately $20). You’ll learn how to clean, lubricate and adjust/repair major components. Look here, then turn to page 54.

If you just want a 45-minute class on how to fix a flat tire and lubricate it, Knapps has a class every month for $10.

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Upcoming Events

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

Apr 29  WWBPA to participate in Community Day at Duck Pond Park (11am-4pm)

May 1     Scholarship applications due for Graduating High School Seniors

May 6     Opening day for WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market & Walk from Hawk Elementary School

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

May 20   WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market & Kids Learn to Bike

June 3    WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market  & Adult Learn to Bike (9am-12pm)

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

June 17   WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market & Bike Repair Clinic

July 8     WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

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

July 22    WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

Aug  5     WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

Aug 10    Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Aug 19    WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

Sept 9     WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

Sept 14   Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Sept 23   WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market – Bike Drive (Donations)

Oct 7       WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

Oct 12     Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Oct 28     WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market – Halloween

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

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Now Accepting Applications for WWBPA Student Advisory Board

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