Cyclists and Walkers Count

Tuesday, September 17 by JerryFoster

Rite Aid on Counting DayWWBPA volunteers counted 334 bicyclists and pedestrians at 5 locations around the train station on Wednesday September 11, 2013 between 5-8pm. Last year the count was 355, but the numbers are not directly comparable, since we counted for an hour longer at 2 locations this year. Comparing the same locations at the same time slots, biking and walking decreased 15% over last year. In contrast to the past 2 years’ beautiful fall weather, this year the day was hot and humid, near 90 degrees, as well as falling on the anniversary of 9/11.

Once again we participated in the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project, an effort to accurately and consistently measure usage and demand for bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure.

Our 2013 findings:

  1. Cranbury/Wallace/571 (Rite Aid) – 19 bike, 81 walk
  2. Scott/Alexander (Arts Center) – 30 bike, 72 walk, 2 others
  3. Vaughn/Alexander (bus stop) –  18 bike, 55 walk
  4. Station/571 (Rep. Holt Headquarters) – 10 bike, 9 walk
  5. Wallace/Alexander (WW lot) – 12 bike, 23 walk, 3 other

Total: 334 people, 89 who bike, 240 who walk, 5 on wheelchairs, skates or scooters

Thanks to our volunteers!

Traffic along 571 in downtown West Windsor flowed freely throughout the observation time. This is consistent with the comment made recently by the township’s consulting traffic engineer, that volume along CR571 has been flat for a decade. In addition, the retiming of the lights at US1 and CR571, together with the reopening of the jughandles, ensures that not many cars can make it through 571 at the circle, so motorists find other routes.

Other observations:

  • midblock crossings of 571 at Rite Aid driveway – 12
  • male – 222, female – 107 (“Other” gender data not collected)
  • walkers – 240, cyclists – 89

One scary anecdote – traffic turning from Wallace onto CR571 was polite to the pedestrian crossing in the crosswalk, waiting until she had walked far enough so they could turn behind her into the right lane. Traffic turning left onto CR571 from Cranbury Rd was not so polite, seeing an opening to turn into the left lane but not seeing the pedestrian. Fortunately, the 2nd car making the left did see the pedestrian and stopped, as she had stopped in the middle to barely avoid being hit by the first left-turning car. It is exactly this sort of danger that leads many to cross at the driveways of PNC Bank and RiteAid, where the road narrows.

This sort of conflict should not be possible, and several alternate solutions are available – a left turn only phase at the light, a pedestrian only phase, or closing the right lane at 571, making one through lane, effectively narrowing the pedestrian crossing distance in addition to reducing the left-turning conflict. What do you think?

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