Bikes and Ice Cream

Friday, June 29 by silvia

The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance kicked off its series of casual summer bike rides with an easy ride for ice cream at Rite Aid with 25 people cycling through West Windsor neighborhoods (and no Route 571) on Saturday.

The riders, who included a five-year-old on a tag-along with his dad, a seven-year-old with a new bike and an eight-year-old new to town, left Community Park and went past the tennis courts on Hendrickson, through the arboretum and across Clarksville at the Norchester crosswalk. The stream of cyclists on Norchester shocked a pair of teens in a car! A little-known cut-though brought them to Ride Aid and ice cream — 1 1/2 miles from their starting point. A bonus: now some families know how to reach Community Park from the station (using the path by Schlumberger to reach the corner of Route 571 and Wallace Road).

The next ride will be an 11-mile loop of historic West Windsor on Saturday, July 28. We’ll meet at 9 a.m. at the kiosk that describes the route at the corner of South Mill Road and Village Road East, next to the World War II memorial. The ride will be led by Paul Ligeti, who designed and signposted the route for his Eagle Scout project.

You may know that the Martians “landed” in Grover’s Mill, but did you know West Windsor has two stops on the Underground Railroad? Or that Woodrow Wilson would bike from Princeton to walk around Grover’s Mill Pond? Join us!

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More New Cyclists

Tuesday, June 26 by silvia

About 22 kids attended the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance’s “learn to bike” class at the farmers’ market this month, and we are delighted that most learned to ride without training wheels that day.

This was our third class for kids since we began holding sessions last spring, and we once again thank Bike New York for teaching us this simple method: remove training wheels and pedals, get kids scooting and lifting their feet off the ground until they master balance, reintroduce the pedals, show them how to start and stop, and let them start riding.

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Support Our Bike Drive (And the Boys & Girls Club)

Sunday, June 24 by silvia

Do you have bikes you no longer need cluttering up your garage or basement? Bring them to West Windsor Farmers’ Market (Vaughn Drive parking lot, off Alexander Road) between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 30 for the WWBPA’s bike drive to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Trenton.

Bicycles of all sizes and condition are gratefully accepted, and donations are tax-deductible. Last year, we collected more than 50 bikes, and this year, we’ve already worked with the West Windsor Police Department to donate about 30 abandoned/confiscated bikes.

The bikes are refurbished by the volunteers of Bike Exchange and sold at their store in Ewing. Proceeds fund the Boys and Girls Club’s after-school programs. As of mid-June, this amazing group had already sold 937 bikes THIS YEAR and raised $27,000 for the Boys & Girls Club. (Watch this video about Bike Exchange and Boys & Girls Club.)

Bike Exchange also supports the WWBPA’s “learn to bike” classes by lending us a few bikes just in case a participant needs a slightly different size. Sometimes that makes all the difference!

If you miss the bike drive, several area bike shops serve as drop-off sites.

If you’re looking for a bike for your child that you know will be outgrown pretty quickly, this is a great place to consider. It’s also a great place to find authentic retro bikes, among other kinds, for adults. (It’s not a replacement for a bike shop, just a nice addition).

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Loosen the Weekend Rules for Bikes on Trains

Wednesday, June 20 by silvia

New Jersey Transit is allowing cyclists to get on and off at low-level train stations (think Jersey Avenue, not Princeton Junction) but is adding restrictions on bikes on any train during weekend mornings and evenings. Beginning July 1, bikes no longer will be allowed on trains going into Manhattan from 9 a.m. to noon and outbound from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on both Saturdays and Sundays. There is no distinction made between those going from, say, Princeton Junction to New Brunswick and those going all the way into Manhattan. Nor was it clear how many people are bringing bikes on trains and why the restrictions were needed.

If you agree with us that the new rules are a bad idea, you can tell New Jersey Transit in the comment section of their quarterly customer satisfaction survey (the latest survey is available through June 28), their online feedback form OR you can speak with leaders directly TODAY (June 20) between 4:30p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Seventh Avenue Concourse at Penn Station.

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Ride For Ice Cream

Monday, June 18 by silvia

The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance is launching its series of casual summer bike rides around the community with an easy ride for ice cream at Rite Aid through West Windsor neighborhoods (and no Route 571) on Saturday, June 23.

We will gather by the tennis courts at Community Park (near the North Mill Road entrance) at 2:45 p.m. and begin our ride at 3 p.m. We’ll go past the tennis courts on Hendrickson and use the crosswalk to Norchester on Clarksville. Then we’ll show you a little-known cut-though; just remember to yield to any walkers we meet.

The route is less than 1 ½ miles each way, so perfect for younger riders. (Too short? Ride to the ride!)

Helmets are required and children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Remember to ride safely and follow the rules of the road.

The ride is free, but bring money for ice cream or other snack. The rain date is Sunday, June 24. There is no need to preregister.

Watch for details about more rides!

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An Upgrade to Mercer County Park

Sunday, June 17 by silvia

Thank you,  James Jenkins, for this report:

As a frequent bicycle commuter through Mercer County Park, I was recently surprised to find significant road construction taking place on the main park road.

The appearance of road construction crews was an indicator of some great news for users of the park.  The once-gravel shoulder of the main park road is now paved and lined as a bicycle lane.  Previously, bicyclists using the main park road had to contend with a very narrow lane for traffic and bicycles.  In addition, the transition between paved road and gravel posed a potential safety hazard.  The problem no longer exists.

Kevin Bannon, Mercer County Park Commission’s executive director, is obviously thrilled with the completion of the project, too.  He pointed out that the road situation was one of the more common complaints heard from park users.  He requested the funding for the project in 2010 and received approval from the Freeholder Board and County Execute Brian Hughes (who, I’m told, is also a huge fan of the project).

The cost of the project is $601,614, which includes all logos, striping, signs, crosswalks and turnarounds.

Thank you, Mercer County! We know the park is already popular with bicyclists, and this will make it safer and even more appealing for a wider range of cyclists. The WWBPA hopes we can one day see a bike route or multi-use trail through the park to Mercer County Community College.

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Share Our Memories of National Bike Month

Wednesday, June 6 by silvia

About two dozen riders, plus our West Windsor police escort and a funeral hearse from Mather-Hodge, made up our solemn Ride of Silence procession through West Windsor. We certainly got attention, particularly by the Conover Road ballfields! (Notice how well reflective gear works!)

We kicked off the farmers’ market season with a walk to the market and promoted bicycling and walking on two market days, Princeton’s Communiversity at the end the April and West Windsor’s own BikeFest extravaganza. We also held a class for adults who wanted to learn to bike.

Unfortunately, our plans for a bikers breakfast at the Princeton Junction train station with Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association were rained out.

Communiversity and our new bike safety wheel

Walking to the first day of the farmers' market

 

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More Bike, Pedestrian Improvements Planned

Monday, June 4 by silvia

West Windsor residents will continue to see improvements in bicycle and pedestrian safety around the township over the next year, thanks to continuing Capital Budget Programs.

Money has been allocated to extend bike lanes on Edinburg Road between Village Road East and the east entrance to Mercer County Park.  Cyclists, remember that when the bridge over the Assumpink (and a stretch of Old Trenton Road) is closed for replacement later this year, you can take a shortcut through Mercer County Park and continue through West Windsor on Edinburg. Just yield to pedestrians on the path!

Funds also have been budgeted for to build the missing links in the path running parallel to the Dinky tracks on the Alexander Road side between Vaughn Drive and Route 1. This will be a great help for those wanting to bike-commute to work but not wanting to be on Alexander Road. One day we hope it will link to a bike and pedestrian bridge over Route 1.

There will be improvements in the timing of traffic signals along Alexander Road, which should make crossing safer for pedestrians. The township will also continue with its crosswalk improvements, signage and striping enhancements, and sidewalk repair where street trees have caused damage.

The final phase of the Meadow Road improvements will be started, including a sidewalk from Clarksville Road to Duck Pond Park, making the park accessible from the new apartments on Clarksville Road and the Jewish Community Center accessible from the Estates at Princeton Junction.

And finally, this year will see the conceptual design for resurfacing of Canal Pointe Boulevard.  The WWBPA is hopeful that the township will follow the suggestions made by Orth Rodgers and enthusiastically supported by the WWBPA to put Canal Pointe on a road diet — giving it one travel lane in each direction, center turning lanes for left turns, decelleration lanes for right turns, and bike lanes.

These planned improvements show that West Windsor truly deserves its Bicycle Friendly Community designation. The WWBPA thanks township officials and the township council for these projects.

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