Online Survey Seeks Transit Users’ Input on Bicycle Accessibility

Friday, November 2 by silvia

This quick survey, from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, is your chance to speak up about biking conditions getting to the Princeton Junction train station (and other transit stops you use):

Do you use your bike to get to a transit station? Would you be more likely to bike to the transit station you use if it was more easily accessible for bicyclists or had better bike parking? DVRPC wants your input!

DVRPC, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, SEPTA, NJ Transit, PATCO, and Open Plans are collaborating to determine where investments in bicycle accessibility are most needed. Available online, a new map-based survey allows commuters to select the transit station they use and share their ideas on how transit stations can better accommodate bicyclists.

The survey, available at biketotransit.shareabouts.org, will continue accepting public input until December 1, 2012. The results of the survey will help to shape recommendations for investment in bike improvements at our region’s transit stations. For more information on DVRPC’s Office of Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning, click here.

 

 

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More Bike Racks and Lockers at the Train Station

Thursday, July 26 by silvia

The Princeton Junction train station now has more bike parking for our many bike commuters.

A new eight-locker unit has been added to the east side, near the first set of steps in the daily parking lot (with room to add more as needed), and four new bike racks have been added to the west side between the Trenton-bound tracks and the Dinky.

The WWBPA coordinated the project, which involved six entities, and managed the installation of the new concrete pads, which was contracted to Trenton’s Capital City Contracting Co. The lockers and racks were supplied by New Jersey Transit, and West Windsor Public Works handled the installations of both the lockers and racks. All of this was made possible through a four-way cost-sharing among the West Windsor Parking Authority, West Windsor Bike Fest, Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association (GMTMA), and the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance through its membership dues. Thanks, all, for helping make West Windsor a more bicycle-friendly community!

The racks were filled the day after they were installed, and the new lockers will help shrink the existing waiting list. Anyone wishing to rent a bike locker should contact GMTMA at 609-452-1491 x224. The cost is $7.50 per month for six months ($90 per year). Contracts are automatically renewable.

We are seeing more people biking to the train station. If you’d like to try it but need some help selecting a route, email us at wwbikeped@gmail.com

 

 

 

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New Bike Racks At Trader Joe’s

Monday, April 2 by JerryFoster

As part of the store’s expansion, bike racks were recently installed in front of Trader Joe’s grocery store. Now it’s even easier to bike to the grocery store! If you’re heading to Trader Joe’s from east of Route 1, there’s a nice short cut from New Meadow Road along the old roadway alignment that’s traffic-free until you get to the apartment complex. It even saves you a traffic light and the short hill.

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New Bike Lockers for Princeton Junction Train Station

Saturday, February 25 by JerryFoster

The WWBPA is partnering with New Jersey Transit, West Windsor Township, West Windsor Parking Authority, West Windsor BikeFest and the Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association to add bike lockers to the Princeton Junction train station.

The lockers, which were unused at  the Maplewood train station, were recently disassembled and brought to storage by township employees, and will be reassembled when the concrete pad is poured on the New York-bound side of the tracks at Princeton Junction station.

Thanks to all our partners for helping to make this happen!

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Finishing Touches to Arts Center Bike Racks

Tuesday, November 29 by JerryFoster

Thanks to the township for putting the finishing touches to the bike racks at the West Windsor Arts Center. New concrete and flagstone borders were recently installed, and look very classy indeed. Now nobody needs to worry about getting their bike dirty when attending an event at the arts center. Oh yeah, or your shoes, either!

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New Bike Racks at the Arts Center

Thursday, August 25 by JerryFoster

The next time you visit the Arts Center, check out the colorful new bike racks on the side of the new building! A big thank you to the township, Arts Center board, and especially to BikeFest, which kindly paid for them. Nice!

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Plainsboro Attracts Student Bicyclists

Monday, February 28 by JerryFoster

The big melt was on, temperatures were rising into the 60s, school was out for teachers’ professional development, and student bicyclists flocked to Plainsboro’s Village Center.

During a short stop on a bike for coffee and a muffin on that day just over a week ago, a very interesting phenomenon was observed: the numerous bike racks in the back parking lots were completely deserted. Not to worry, the benches in front had bikes locked to them, and the bike rack next to the entrance of the new library was packed!

Nice job, Plainsboro! We in West Windsor look forward to our revitalized Main Street Route 571 being able to attract our fair share of bicyclists out for a nice ride.

In the meantime, there’s a lesson for all: if bike racks are visible (so generally, near entrances), they’ll be used much more than if they are hidden away.

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Freehold’s Bike and Pedestrian Plan

Tuesday, December 28 by sandy

Freehold Freehold residents and shop owners this month discussed a plan  to make the borough’s downtown friendlier for bicyclists and pedestrians. Issues included adding a traffic signal, where to place bicycle racks, building more sidewalks, and police enforcement.

There’s still some apprehension among some people about some of the ideas put forth by some consultants, and the biking and walking community may be called on again to show their support. The borough will draft its own bicycle and pedestrian plan, due for release early in 2011. Councilman John Newman also noted the need for a Complete Streets policy.

Read more on the WalkBikeJersey blog.

Here’s some of what WalkBikeJersey had to say:

  • The plan presented by the consultants from Michael Baker Jr. was well thought out and clearly showed an understanding of the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians…Similar to the plan they put together for Morristown, the suggestions for Freehold also included a liberal use of bicycle lanes and sharrows on major streets where appropriate, accompanied by a reduction in motor vehicle lane width and limited elimination of on-street parking (the one street that they recommended this last action, they never observed cars parked on the street). They also suggested extending the Henry Hudson Trail further into town using the old railroad right-of-way, which is currently not used.
  • Despite general opposition from many downtown merchants, the proposed plan does call for bicycle parking be placed in select curbside locations on Main Street, which follows the bike parking standards detailed by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. However, if a curbside parking plan cannot be ratified by the Borough Council, the consultants did provide a “Plan B” bike parking proposal that would provide better parking options if bicycle parking is still not allowed along the Main Street storefronts.
  • Probably the most unique part of the plan (and undoubtedly the coolest) was the bicycle map of the Borough that included a Bruce Springsteen bicycle tour. Freehold Borough has many historic sights due to its 300+ years of history and its close proximity to the Revolutionary War Battle of Monmouth… Still, Freehold is known the world over for being the birthplace of Bruce and there are many sights around town associated with “The Boss.” While there are eight other historic sights and places of interest in the Borough, there are nine sights uniquely associated with Springsteen and the proposed bike map points them all out.

Read our previous post about Freehold.

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Freehold, Springsteen and Bikes

Sunday, December 12 by silvia

Metz Bicycle MuseumFreehold is about to release a study by the New Jersey Department of Transportation about how to make the borough friendlier for bicyclists. But turning the study into reality is hardly a slam-dunk. Its supporters need our vocal support to help businesses overcome fears about cyclists on the sidewalk and bikes that aren’t locked to bike racks, among other things. (We say cyclists can bring in extra business, particularly if downtown is on a safe route to the Shore.) The key meeting is Monday, Dec. 20.

Read this email that the WWBPA received from John F. Newman, a Freehold councilman for the Springsteen connection and more:

About one year ago, I was elected as a councilman in Freehold Borough.  One issue that immediately reared its head was an ordinance that was passed (before I was sworn in) which required bikes to be parked at bike racks in town, despite a dearth of bike racks.

I railed against this issue, and soon thereafter secured a NJ DOT grant to have a bike-ped study of the town.  That study is about to be unveiled to the public for their review and comment, but I am learning of some opposition to the study, namely how it could affect the downtown.

I am reaching out to bicycle advocates so that they can assist me in garnering support to ATTEND the meeting and bring their views of the benefits of a bike-friendly community. Being in Freehold Borough, some items in the DOT study were to link the Henry Hudson Trail to the downtown, link the rest of the 1.9 square mile borough to the downtown, and linking the borough to points outside its boundaries, such as the Monmouth Battlefield and other nearby parks. Also, within town is proposed a bike path/trail. This will map out places of historic interest and a tour of Springsteen’s Freehold. Of course, the study also takes into account safety of bicyclists and pedestrians.

As noted, there is some resistance. I would appreciate it if you and your friends could help me by attending the December 20, 2010 meeting. The public portion starts at Freehold Borough Hall at 4:00 until 6:30; then the council meeting starts at 7:00 where a presentation will be made directly to the mayor and council.

Your support and input will be greatly appreciated as well as your comments on the beneficial aspects bike-friendly communities – the concept still has to be sold.

You can read more about what Freehold has been doing on WalkBikeJersey. The state also has mapped a route that goes through Monmouth Battlefield.

And did you know this about Freehold’s role in bicycling history?  Cycling champion Arthur Augustus Zimmerman resided in the town during his racing career in the 1880s and 1890s, and from 1896-1899 operated the Zimmerman Bicycle Co.; the company’s bicycles were known as the “Zimmy.” Today, Freehold Borough is home to the Metz Bicycle Museum, where the only extant “Zimmy” can be seen.

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Report from Massachusetts

Wednesday, October 13 by sandy

Ken CarslsonDevoted member, past president, and correspondent Ken Carlson reports that his current hometown, Somerville, Massachusetts, has doubled the number of street-miles marked with bike lanes. An article in boston.com quotes a May 2010 study finding 5,000 bicyclists over a three-day period at 35 locations around Somerville. Counts will again be done this month to see if the added bike lanes lead to an increase in bicycle usage.

As well, an additional 100 bike racks have been installed around Somerville and the city plans to extend an off-road, paved multi-use path. Somerville’s mayor told boston.com that this is in part a public-safety issue: making sure that cyclists aren’t in danger as they bike through town.

Ken, thanks for sending us this inspiring report! Way to go, Somerville, MA!

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WWBPA Provides Bike Racks for Rowing Center

Thursday, October 7 by silvia

rowing centerOn September 29, West Windsor Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh joined West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance President Jerry Foster and Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA) Executive Director Kristopher Grudt to open the area’s newest bicycle racks at the Caspersen Rowing Center.

Six bicycle racks were provided by  the WWBPA, and  Carr & Duff Contractors donated the labor and materials to install the racks next to the boathouse.  The Caspersen Rowing Center is the mid-Atlantic states’ only official U.S. Olympic Training Site and is located on the north side of Lake Mercer in Mercer County Park.

“This is a great addition to our facilities here at the Caspersen Rowing Center,” said Mr. Grudt.  “In addition to Olympic and National team athletes training out of the facility, we have between 200 and 400 area high school athletes out here six days a week participating in rowing.  A number of them were already riding bikes to practice, but I have seen that number increase since the bicycle racks were installed.  Despite the rain on the first day the racks were open, they were already mostly full. PNRA is very appreciative of the work the WWBPA is doing in our community and thanks WWBPA and Carr & Duff for their valuable contributions to our facility.”

The WWBPA is committed to encouraging bicycling in our community. The organization previously provided bicycle racks for the West Windsor Community Farmers’ Market (together with BikeFest) and organized efforts to add more bicycle racks and lockers at the Princeton Junction train station. It also encourages businesses to add bicycle racks outside their stores. Many trips are two miles or less — a perfect distance to do by bicycle.

rowers

Some of the many rowers (and prospective cyclists)

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Bicycle Thefts

Friday, July 2 by sandy

Bicycle LockSummer brings out bicyclists as well as bicycle thieves. Remember to lock your bikes securely.

The New York Times reports an increase in bicycle thefts, but the article also notes ways to track bikes and thieves.

For more ways to keep your bicycle safe and tips on what makes for a good (or bad) technique when locking your bike, see our Bike Racks and Lockers page.

Remember to register your bike online with the West Windsor Police Department. If it is stolen, having the serial number on file makes identification easier if it is recovered.

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Progress on Train Station Bike Racks and Lockers

Saturday, April 24 by silvia

These bike lockers are getting a new home

We are moving closer to adding more bicycle racks and lockers at the Princeton Junction train station.

Employees of West Windsor Public Works took down bike lockers that were going unused at the Howell bus station and will install them in the coming weeks at the Princeton Junction train station, where there is a waiting list of people wanting to rent them. They also have bike racks from New Jersey Transit that will be installed on both sides of the Northeast Corridor tracks.

Join the WWBPA, WW Public Works, New Jersey Transit and the other partners on this project — Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association, BikeFest and the West Windsor Parking Authority — for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at 8:30 a.m. on May 18. GMTMA is sponsoring a (grab and go) bikers’ breakfast beforehand. Mark National Bike to Work Week May 17-21 by riding your bike to the train station!

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Online Bicycling Survey

Monday, March 22 by sandy

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) is conducting a quick online survey of bicyclists and non-bicyclists in our region.

shifting gears logoShifting Gears is an outreach program run by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) to help determine bicycle issues and priorities for our region. Shifting Gears seeks input from bicyclists and non-bicyclists through an online survey at www.dvrpc.org/shiftinggears.

The online survey only takes about 5-10 minutes and asks questions about bicycle use, facilities, policy, and information on what would best enhance the cycling environment.

Please go to www.dvrpc.org/shiftinggears and tell them what is on your mind. If you’ve already taken the survey, then tell your friends– don’t keep it to yourself. Bicyclists of any level, as well as non-bicyclists are invited to participate.

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New Bike Racks at WW-P HS South

Sunday, March 21 by sandy

Kudos to BikeFest, which paid for badly needed bike racks at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, and West Windsor Division of Recreation and Parks for handling the installation earlier this month. Funding came from proceeds from the 2009 BikeFest (and registration is open for BikeFest 2010 on May 29).

The two new racks, in Pirate green and located to protect bikes from the elements, can hold up to 22 bikes at a time. Read more about the racks in the WW-P News.

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More bike racks and lockers

Tuesday, December 22 by silvia

Work on a concrete pad for eight bike racks

Work on a concrete pad for eight bike racks

A number of groups, led by the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance, are funding the installation of additional bike racks and lockers at the Princeton Junction train station to alleviate the overcrowding there. Eight bike racks (room for 16 bikes) will be installed on a concrete pad in the triangle between the Trenton-bound and Dinky tracks, where two concrete pads for racks already exist. Another concrete pad, also for eight racks (16 bikes), will be added to the northbound side along the walkway to the Wallace Road parking lot (and next to bike lockers). Individual lockers for 10 bikes (in five gray containers) will be added along the Dinky tracks where a similar number of lockers already have placed. These should essentially eliminate a two-year waiting list.

The concrete pads were poured just before the snow came this weekend. New Jersey Transit is providing the racks and lockers. West Windsor Public Works is handling the installation, which will happen in early 2010.

The cost for the concrete pads, at just over $6,000, is being shared equally by the WBBPA, BikeFest, the West Windsor Parking Authority and Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association, which among other things manages the locker rentals. Those interested in renting a locker should call GMTMA at (609) 452-8988.

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Cool reads

Saturday, November 7 by silvia

Here are some of the articles and videos we’ve enjoyed over the past month.

Who’d have thought that Columbia, Missouri, is becoming one of America’s bike-friendly communities? But this university town of 100,000 is one of four communities that is benefiting from a federal government pilot program that is creating “bike boulevards” and making it easier for residents to walk to local destinations. Its mayor says: “If we could get people to use their bikes or walk on 20% of their short trips, I’d be delighted.” Read more.

But let’s be realistic: Change can take years. On the other hand, it has a way of feeding on itself. Watch this video about Boulder, one of America’s most bike-friendly cities, and how it got to be that way.

communitybikerideFor those who want to do more reading on creating bike-friendly communities, the West Windsor library has a copy of Jeff Mapes’ Pedaling Revolution. Read rock icon and cyclist David Byrne’s review.

Several members pointed out the NPR interview with David Byrne, who has a book of his own out. In Bicycle Diaries, he shares the thoughts, adventures and observations he’s experienced while cycling through some of the world’s major cities.

Finally, read about a heavy-duty bike ride from Queens to Princeton.

Send us your reading, listening and viewing suggestions!

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Locking Your Bike

Wednesday, September 16 by silvia

northboundAbout a dozen bicycles were stolen from the Princeton Junction train station this summer. That’s a small fraction of the 100 or so bikes locked there every day, but still very frustrating for the victims.

How to fight back:

  • Use a good lock. Or two. Even the most expensive lock can’t guarantee that your bike won’t be stolen, but thieves prefer easier targets and are less likely to have two types of tools to tackle two types of locks. Cable locks are easier to cut. Combination locks are easy to open.
  • Lock your front and rear wheels. Make sure your U-lock is on tight and that the space within it is filled with your frame, spokes and security post, leaving no room for a bottle jack to get in and break it.
  • Think about where you lock your bike. A thief can lift your locked bike over a short pole. Use bike racks!

There are many videos online with tips on what makes for a good (or bad) technique when locking your bike. Here are two:
Hal (and Kerri) Grade Your Bike Locking
How to Stop Your Bike from Being Stolen

Remember to register your bike online with the West Windsor Police Department. If it is stolen, having the serial number on file makes identification easier if it is recovered.

Finally, the WWBPA is working with New Jersey Transit and others to add 10 lockers at the station as well as extra bike racks. Let us know your ideas of how to make the train station and other areas around town safer.

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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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