Keep Bike and Walk Federal Funding in New Jersey

Wednesday, October 31 by JerryFoster

The WWBPA, the Princeton Free Wheelers and the New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition recently sent letters encouraging Governor Christie to spend federal money for biking and walking on biking and walking projects.

Here’s a snip from the WWBPA letter:

“New Jersey’s continued economic development strongly depends on becoming the most livable state, to attract skilled professionals to live and locate their businesses here. As the most densely populated state, we  must look beyond roadway expansion to implement an efficient multimodal infrastructure that is fast, convenient and inexpensive.

Biking and walking is key to increasing livability and transportation efficiency. Those who bike or walk not only have fun and stay healthier, those who bike or walk to work or school reduce congestion and pollution for the entire community.

With relatively modest investments by infrastructure standards, biking and walking, especially to and from transit, can provide a viable alternative to driving a car. The return on these investments will save New Jerseyans over $8,000 per year per car. No other investment can have such a positive impact, and few other states can capitalize on this  opportunity as easily, giving New Jersey a competitive advantage for years to come.

Under the new federal transportation bill, called MAP-21, states have flexibility in the use of funds. We strongly urge you to utilize all MAP-21 funding programs – including HSIP, CMAQ, and STP – to include biking and walking in all transportation projects.

West Windsor Township, New Jersey’s first Bicycle Friendly Community, has been fortunate to enjoy the benefits of federal funds, for example by building sidewalks near the Princeton Junction train station under a Safe Routes to Transit grant. More needs to be done – please make biking and walking investments a top priority.”

You can join us to encourage our officials to spend biking and walking money on biking and walking by contacting our public officials.

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Bike and Walk To Reduce Congestion

Saturday, October 27 by JerryFoster

We recently sent a letter to the editor to the various local papers thanking NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson for reopening the Route 1 jughandles in West Windsor, and encouraging our officials to implement Complete Streets to reduce local congestion and build livable, bicycle and pedestrian friendly communities, rather than encouraging further sprawl.

In case you didn’t read it in the Trenton Times or on PlanetPrinceton.com, here’s the letter:

The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance thanks New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner James Simpson for re-opening the Route 1 jughandles last week. We applaud NJDOT’s leadership in recognizing the need to maintain a balance between local and long-distance congestion.

Transportation policy favoring long-distance traffic creates sprawl, which is not desirable for economic, environmental, public health and safety reasons. In contrast, Complete Streets policies encourage sustainable development by creating livable communities. NJDOT’s Complete Streets policy leads the nation, according to Smart Growth America, requiring roads to be designed and built for all users, including bicyclists and pedestrians. Mercer County and West Windsor Township have also adopted Complete Streets for roads under their jurisdictions. Implementation will create viable alternatives to driving that mitigate local congestion.

Implementing Complete Streets in West Windsor, including crosswalks, connecting sidewalks and bike lanes around the train station, has already reduced congestion. We recently counted 355 people biking and walking near the station during evening peak hours, up 18% over last year.

We encourage everyone to reduce congestion and stay healthy by biking and walking for short trips – we even think it’s fun. Although congestion is here to stay, Commissioner Simpson improved livability by reopening the jughandles – let’s do our part by biking or walking to school and work whenever possible.

 

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Our Halloween Treat

Wednesday, October 24 by silvia

Dressed up for the market in 2011

Trick-or-treating is fun, but it’s not just spooky out there — it’s dark! We challenge you to incorporate some reflective material in your kids’ costumes or even goody bag, so you don’t have to worry that they won’t be seen by motorists as they dart across the street for more treats.

Plus, the WWBPA has a treat for those who do and take part in the farmers’ market Halloween parade (10 a.m. this Saturday): a glow-in-the-dark bracelet. Treats also for those who decorate their bikes! Just stop by our booth to show off your trick.

Three more safety reason to come to the farmers’ market: the Princeton Junction Fire Department will be there with a truck, the Twin W squad will bring an ambulance and rescue squad rig, and the West Windsor Police Department will be there too.

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Scouts Get a Bike Safety Lesson

Tuesday, October 23 by silvia

Two dens of 8 and 9-year-old scouts from Pack 66 got a 90-minute lesson in bike safety led by Les Leatham, a West Windsor resident who is a bicycling instructor certified by the League of American Bicyclists, and some volunteers from the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance.

The group went through helmet fitting, the ABC Quick Check (Air, Brakes, Cranks, Chain and Cassette, Quick Release and a final check) that should be performed before heading out on a ride, talked about what they already knew about bike riding and some things they didn’t, including that bikes on the road must follow the same rules of the road as cars.

Then the group took a ride through Mercer County Park, and finished with a different sort of race: how slow can you go, without stopping, turning around or putting your feet on the ground. This tests their balance skills and ability to handle their bike in a fun way. The last one to reach the finish line was the winner.

Would your group, no matter the age, like a short lesson on bike safety and bike skills? Contact the WWBPA at wwbikeped@gmail.com

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A Safer Penn-Lyle Road

Saturday, October 20 by silvia

The Penn-Lyle Road improvement project near High School South is complete, and its neighbors love it.  No longer do school buses block one lane of traffic every afternoon as they line up waiting for students to transport home.  At every other time of day, clearly marked bicycle lanes are a pleasure for bicyclists. After the improvements made last year to another stretch of this heavily traveled road, we now have bike lanes down the entire length, improving the bikeability of our community.

In addition, the reconfigured right turn lane, suggested by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (which also has suggested dedicated left-turn lanes in all directions at Clarksville and North Post Roads) improves visibility of approaching traffic from Clarksville Road for cars wanting to turn onto Clarksville Road from Penn Lyle Road, which traffic engineers are sure will cut down on accidents there.

This project, supported by the WWBPA, is another example of Complete Streets that take all users into account, and the traffic improvements have really made a difference.  Thanks, West Windsor Township.

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A True Community Bike Ride

Wednesday, October 10 by silvia

Our final family bike ride of the season was a big hit: five dozen bicyclists of all ages stretched along the D&R Canal towpath from Turning Basin Park at Alexander Road to Brearley House in Lawrence, plus seven walkers who joined at Port Mercer Canal House. We may have caught one of the last days of summer to boot!

Many thanks to all who took part in our eight-mile ride — residents of West Windsor, Princeton, Lawrence and beyond — and to Terhune Orchards for providing apple cider and apples to quench our thirst at Brearley House.

With the help of our trio of number pickers, the WWBPA gave away a number of items in a drawing, from tools for repairing flat tires to safety gear such as lights, reflective tape and a reflective vest. Plus we all learned about the almost-finished 20-mile Lawrence Hopewell Trail, Brearley House and its New Year’s Eve bonfire night, Princeton’s sharrows and the Princeton Freewheelers. How exciting to learn that there will eventually be bike access from the D&R Canal towpath to the Princeton battlefield — another destination to explore!

This truly was a community bike ride!

We’ve enjoyed sharing new routes with all who came on our rides this year and inspiring them to head out on their own. Our other rides this year have taken us on a trip for ice cream, around historic West Windsor, to the Plainsboro Preserve and down the Trolley Line Trail.

We’d love your feedback and in particular suggestions for another summer’s worth of family rides.

 

 

 

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Upcoming Events

March 9   ******* Annual Membership Meeting ******* 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Main Mtg Rm A). Guest Speaker TBA.

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

March 12  WWBPA participating at the St Anthony’s Health Fair 1:30-2:30pm in the gym at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Hightstown.

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

April 15     Scholarship applications due for Graduating High School Seniors

May          Look for opening Season of WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

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

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

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

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