Help make West Windsor more accessible and safe for walking, running and biking to Conover Fields, Mercer Lake, PNRA Rowing Center and Mercer Park by showing support for the Conover Rd multi-purpose paved trail project. It will connect the trail at S Post Rd, Conover Fields, and all of the neighborhoods until Galston Dr.
In our 5th annual survey, WWBPA volunteers counted 360 bicyclists and pedestrians at 5 locations around the train station on Wednesday September 16, 2015 between 5-8pm. Last year the count was 343, but the numbers are not directly comparable, since we counted at only 3 locations last year. Comparing the same locations at the same time slots, biking and walking decreased 5% over last year. At least we had beautiful fall weather again this year.
Cranbury/Wallace/571 (Rite Aid) – 25 bike, 112 walk
Scott/Alexander (Arts Center) – 26 bike, 90 walk
Vaughn/Alexander (bus stop) – 19 bike, 39 walk
Station/571 (Rep. Holt Headquarters) – 5 bike, 6 walk
Wallace/Alexander (WW lot) – 11 bike, 27 walk
Total: 360 people, 86 who bike, 274 who walk
Thanks to our volunteers!
Traffic along 571 in downtown West Windsor flowed freely throughout the observation time, except for 3 minutes at 5:30pm – this is consistent with last year, which congested for 4 minutes at 6:00pm. Honks were also consistent at 11 this and last year, while the number of semi trucks rose by 2 to 7 this year. One of the honks was to encourage a right turn on red from Wallace to 571, which both the honker and honkee proceeded to do, illegally – an additional sign at the corner would aid in getting the message out. I was honked at from behind a few weeks ago while waiting on my bike at Wallace, but just pointed up at the No Turn On Red sign overhead.
midblock crossings of 571 at Rite Aid driveway – 10
male – 261, female – 99
walkers – 274, cyclists – 86
walkers – 187 male, 87 female
cyclists – 74 male, 10 female
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I’ve been commuting to work in the Plainsboro and West Windsor area on and off for 8 years, and bikes were always a central focus of my life. Post-college, the bike was replaced with the car, shuttling from one commitment to the next. With increasing work responsibilities, I lost sight of what matters most. I started focusing on convenience over happiness and status over health. After a few years the longer car commutes, office lunches, and stress started taking a mental and physical toll. Gym memberships collected dust, and bigger pants couldn’t solve the problems any longer. Suddenly I didn’t recognize myself. A year ago I had an “awakening” and realized it was time for a number of changes, including a commitment to consistently commute by bike no matter what.
Today, it’s going well. As it turns out, this area is actually amazing for biking to work, to the store, or just for fun. Often it’s actually EASIER than driving. You have your choice of bike lanes, bike paths, or even roads, and it’s getting even better thanks to the hard work of many people. More importantly, there is a growing tolerance on the roads, and most drivers are also closet bicyclists just waiting to start bike commuting as well. You can even expand your biking with a simple bus or train excursion.
My commute brings me past the beautiful fields of Stult’s Farm, down the boulevard-esque bike lanes of Southfield Road, and even through Mercer County Park, where I routinely pass dozens of deer. I’ve also rode in rain, floods, and snow, and enjoyed every minute. I take in the beautiful scenery and admire the changing seasons, all from the seat of my bike.
Riding a bike is more than just exercise or cost savings; it’s fun too. It’s the high gear to happiness!
It’s great to get a view from last century, to see what has improved, and what hasn’t. Steve’s article mentions road conditions, policies, motorists both considerate and not, and several planned improvements to the area.
Steve noted that “New Jersey does not spring to mind as an especially bicycle-friendly place.” Is that still true? Maybe, but NJ DOT adopted a Complete Streets policy in 2009, so future improvements should include accommodations for biking and walking, transit users and those covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act. As our readers know, the state has jurisdiction over only the federal highways and interstates and a few other major arteries. Fortunately for today’s Princeton to Plainsboro bike commuters, Mercer and Middlesex counties, as well as Princeton and Plainsboro have all adopted Complete Streets policies – click here to see everyone in New Jersey who’ve adopted Complete Streets.
Significant improvements have also been made to onstreet bike lanes in West Windsor, which are beginning to form a network. Steve mentioned staying out of the “door zone” of onstreet parked cars on Harrison – Princeton’s shared lane pavement markings (“sharrows”), including on Harrison, guide cyclists (and notify motorists) to the safe lane position away from cars. Plainsboro continues to extend it’s network of paved multi-use paths. The League of American Bicyclists have designated West Windsor and Princeton Bronze level Bicycle Friendly Communities, and Princeton University earned New Jersey’s first Bicycle Friendly University award.
As you read Steve’s article, what do you notice has changed? What has not?
Please welcome another guest commuter this week, Don Pillsbury – if you’d like to share your commuter experiences, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How far is your commute? For me it is almost a trick question. The first half of my commute is 35 miles – snaking through Trenton, Bordentown, Mt. Holly and eventually to my office in Mt Laurel. For the trip home I “cheat” and use the RiverLine train for half the journey. The ride from my office to Riverside Station is 8 miles and then there is another 8 miles home from the Trenton Transit Station. The round trip is 50 miles.
Except for this winter, I typically do this twice a week. I’ve come to cherish each piece of the route for what it is. The early morning ride on car-free roads that I would not normally be brave enough to travel. The smell of the Guatemalan bakery preparing the day’s treats. Watching the sun rise over Burlington County farmland. The trip home is the antithesis. Passing schools and playgrounds bustling with activity. Pausing for 40 minutes to read on the train and enjoy the camaraderie of regulars. And finally, riding through the City of Trenton with all of its urban vitality.
It was Ernest Hemingway that said: “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and can coast down them.” Perhaps my route is too flat to fully appreciate Mr. Hemingway’s point. But then I think his observation misses the nuances of life that can be witnessed and appreciated by riding a bike.
Please welcome Whit Anderson, our guest commuter this week – if you’d like to share your commuter experiences, contact us at email@example.com.
I love my commute. Rarely a weekday goes by when I am not appreciative of how lucky I am to have it. I bike commute from Hopewell Borough to Princeton University’s Forrestal campus, four or five times a week, all the year round. For the most part, my route is quite idyllic – lovely bike lanes on most of CR518 (I am working on Mercer County to address the parts lacking), scenic bike path on the Kingston Branch Loop Trail and a quick turn up to Mapleton where I give the bald eagles a nod if they happen to be nesting. When I get to my lab, a suite of bike lockers and racks are waiting for me, and inside we have showers and changing facilities. Yep, it is a pretty sweet deal.
Even after describing my commute to people I still get the “you are crazy” comments. Most of the time I laugh and shrug it off – too bad for them, they will never know what they are missing. “Me crazy? They are crazy” – that’s what I would always say to myself.
Then this winter happened. A few times this winter I caught myself agreeing with them – even with the multiple layers of wool and synthetics, the studded winter tires and a large thermos of steaming coffee I found myself thinking, “I am crazy”. But the thought never lasts long. As soon as I get to my destination the feeling of accomplishment washes away any lingering negativity. That, and the hope that spring is just around the corner. Come on spring.
Let’s talk commuter accessories – those extra bits that let you enjoy your work life on the bike. At only two miles, it’s easy for me to bike in work clothes without overheating, especially in winter. Pictured hanging from the handlebar is helmet, safety glasses with rearview mirror, plus a reflective velcro leg band.
A handlebar bag is held with a quick release system, and is large enough for planner and personal effects, along with a small first aid kit and snacks – it has a shoulder strap and functions as a briefcase. We won’t talk about all the extra “stuff” that ends up rattling around in there. The same quick release system is on all my bikes, with several compatible bags and backpacks that can be attached.
Permanently attached to the back rack is a lockable plastic trunk box – both the handlebar bag and trunk box are dry in a rainstorm, and the box is large enough to hold dress shoes and the helmet. Inside the trunk box is a saddle bag (off my road bike), with spare tube, foldable tire and multi-tool, which lives in the box along with a tire pump and bike lock. The pump can move to the handlebar bag if it’s rattling around too much in back.
The platform pedals don’t require special bike shoes, and this very cold and snowy winter I’ve enjoyed nice warm dry feet, thanks to rubber-covered neoprene shoes. If it’s dry and not too cold the dress shoes are OK to bike in.
Layers are key to commuting comfort – single digit temperatures or wet conditions bring out the rain pants, while a weather-proof shell parka and fleece mid-layer keeps the cold at bay. You can fine tune your comfort by having a variety of knit caps of different thicknesses (for under the helmet), as well as a waterproof helmet cover for rain. For your hands, the running companies make fleece liners and stretchy shell fabric mittens, which can then be used inside a larger waterproof mitten shell for very cold conditions. Bright colors and reflective trim add visibility on the road, a plus for outer layers.
This post marks the debut of a new series for our blog, based on bicycle commuting. As a longtime cyclist but a newbie bike commuter, I’ll look at the issues faced by those who want to explore bike commuting as a fun, healthy and sustainable lifestyle choice.
Let’s assume for the moment that you know why you want to bike commute, but want to know what bike is right for commuting? The great news is that any bike will do, especially for short distances over relatively flat terrain.
Some vital components necessary for commuting safety and comfort may be missing though on typical recreational bikes; such as a kickstand, fenders, bell and lights. Fortunately, reasonably priced after-market choices are readily available from your local bike shop or online.
Since I’ve enjoyed my various bikes for many years, however, I bought a new, full-featured commuter bike (pictured). The bike features a relatively light and stiff aluminum frame, fixed fenders, a light capacity rear rack, disc brakes and gearing for hills, and includes a sturdy kickstand and a bell. Most of all, I wanted the electricity-generating front hub that powers permanently mounted front and rear LED lights.
The lights are key to enhancing visibility on the road, since most motorists don’t expect cyclists, and as a commuter I don’t have the advantage of riding in a group, as on a club ride. The front light is powerful enough to see the road at night, and I won’t need to worry about battery life.
And don’t underestimate the utility of fenders…just one ride in the rain or snow and you will understand their benefit!
In the next post I’ll address some additions to the bike, but in the meantime please feel free to comment!
Residents of Cranbury Rd and others concerned about safe streets for children, pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers came to the West Windsor Township council meeting on July 22nd to show support for sidewalks on Cranbury Rd. Organizing the group has been Sarah Thomson and Samirah Akhlaq-Rezvi, two residents of Cranbury Rd. At the meeting, a number of residents shared stories of unsafe conditions on the road and their call for sidewalks to build a safer, healthier and more community oriented street. Members of the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance were on hand to support the residents.
The concerns of the residents were heard by the Council. All five council members voiced support for sidewalks on Cranbury Rd and for funding an engineering study to see what options are available. The Township is also interested in applying for a competitive state grant to fund the sidewalks. Some council members agreed that due to the urgency of the issue, there is sufficient funding in the capital budget to build sidewalks even before a grant from the state is approved. Mark Shallcross was present to photograph all the folks speaking as well as the great signs they brought! The meeting and organizing have been covered by the West Windsor Plainsboro News in this past weekend’s paper.
Do you support sidewalks on Cranbury Rd? There are a number of ways you can help to make sidewalks happen.
Attend: There will be a public meeting with Mayor Hsueh to discuss Township and community plans for sidewalks at 10 AM on Saturday, Aug 10th at the Municipal Building at the corner of Clarksville and North Post Roads. All are encouraged to come to the meeting to show their support and maintain the momentum for action.
Write: Sarah and Samirah are seeking volunteers to write letters describing concerns about safety on Cranbury Rd and support for sidewalks to accompany the Township’s grant application to the state. These can be emailed to the WWBPA and we will pass them along to Sarah and Samirah for inclusion in the Township’s application. We can also pass along your info to Sarah and Samirah if you’d like to get more involved with the community group organizing for sidewalks on Cranbury Rd.
Photos by Mark Shallcross.
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More than 40 West Windsor residents of all ages walked up a narrow stretch of Cranbury Road during the afternoon of Friday, June 28, calling for sidewalks from Millstone Road to Princeton-Hightstown Road (County Road 571). Cranbury Road is a heavily traveled road that lacks a proper shoulder – often a shoulder of any sort. Yet the right of way for the roadway is at least 33 feet – leaving 11 feet or more for sidewalks without the taking of any private property. The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance supports community efforts to implement a complete, family friendly, commuter friendly street for this important travel corridor in our community.
Residents of Cranbury Rd were joined by Mayor Shing-fu Hsueh as well as Council members Linda Geevers and Kristina Samonte for the walk. While some stayed at the gathering point, unwilling to walk with small children along the as-now unsafe road, most of the community members and officials walked the road single file, slowing rush-hour traffic. Some motorists stopped to voice support. In addition to the signs that residents carried as they walked, many also planted them in their yards, with messages such as “Let us walk without fear.”
Residents have been asking for sidewalks for at least 20 years and told local officials they want to be able to walk safely to downtown Princeton Junction and to the train station as well as to let their kids visit neighbors. They also called for better enforcement of the 25 mph speed limit, and several immediately volunteered their driveways when the mayor said the police would need a place to park.
The group walked from 109 Cranbury past Stobbe Lane, over Bear Brook and toward Sunnydale, stopping at the home of a mother and son who are in wheelchairs. There, the mayor made comments and took questions from residents. Mayor Hsueh said a grant application from the township last year to study a possible project was rejected by the state and that the county doesn’t have money either. He promised that if the state can’t provide funds, he would look at what the township could budget and approach the county for help. He also promised residents that he would arrange a group meeting with the township engineer to explain the township’s idea for the roadway, speak to the police chief about enforcement and to give residents regular updates. Councilwoman Geevers urged residents to remain organized.
Do you walk, bike or drive along Cranbury Road? Do you want safe streets for families, commuters, the elderly, and all other road users in West Windsor? Do you want your lawmakers to know that you support sidewalks on Cranbury Rd? Consider attending the West Windsor Township council meeting with other community members this Monday, July 22nd so representatives as well as members of the community can hear about these concerns. Public comment is available for those who wish to speak.
Do you bike in West Windsor? Want to prevent your bicycle from being stolen, especially at the train station and other public parking locations? Want to increase the chance of recovering your bike if it is stolen? Consider participating in the free bicycle registration program being offered by WWBPA and the West Windsor Police Department. WWBPA and WWPD are launching the free program this month as a service to everyone who bikes in West Windsor. It’s similar to the program offered at Princeton University for riders on campus and commuters at the Princeton Dinky Station.
How does it work? Simply download a form, fill it out with your bike’s description and serial number and return the form to the police department or the WWBPA to get your bike registration tag.
The self-adhesive aluminum tags attach easily to your bike frame (instructions), are very difficult to remove and make your bicycle less desirable to thieves. Each tag has a unique number and your registration provides the West Windsor Police with contact information that makes it easier to ID and return stolen bicycles to their rightful owners.
Bike ID registration forms are available on the WWBPA website, West Windsor Police Department, 271 Clarksville Rd, or at police website and at various events where WWBPA appears, e.g. WW Farmers Market and other announced events.
After you fill out the registration form, deliver it to the WW Police Dept. or WWBPA at the Farmers Market on alternate Saturdays to pick up your self-adhesive numbered ID tag(s) and have the tag numbers added to the registration form.
We’re hoping to get as many bikes as possible registered so share widely with your friends, coworkers and family members. We’ll be offering bike registration at the Farmer’s Market this Saturday, July 13th and at any event in which we host a table this summer, so feel free to drop by and check it out.
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Here’s what’s been shooting around the ped/bike blogs this week.
Inequality in pedestrian death victims from Streetsblog Capitol Hill: The elderly, people of color and men are more likely to be killed by cars while walking than other segments of our population, reported by the CDC.
Bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure increased economic growth from America Bikes: New York City has been implementing new pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure and found, among other benefits, that local businesses grew around the new facilities. Where the protected bike lane was present, business sales increased by 49% compared to 3% in the borough as a whole. Businesses around a Brooklyn pedestrian plaza saw 172% growth relative to 18% in the borough as a whole.
Comment on regional transportation policy priorities from WalkBikeJersey: The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission has released its annual transportation priorities, including a clickable map to make it easier to see what’s planned for our area. You can send them comments via the map or via email. It’s also interesting to see how much they plan to spend on projects. there’s a lot of zeros in those numbers, so let’s make sure that some of those millions go to bicycle and pedestrian improvements, as required by our state, county and municipal Complete Streets policies.
On this last day of National Bike Month, we want to share an inspiring story from David Porsche, a bike commuter we met at the Princeton Junction train station and who says thanks for being such a bike-friendly community. His route takes him along Clarksville Road from the southern end of town and he has found that almost all motorists are courteous–yes, during rush hour.
“I started bicycle commuting to the Princeton Junction train station a few years back. I ride between five and 12 miles each way (to and from) Monday through Friday. I ride all year round and in all types of weather. The accessibility to safe roads and plentiful bicycle resources at the train station has made the transition from gas guzzler to cyclist incredibly easy.
Since I have started bicycle commuting I have lost over 80 pounds and feel like I have been given a fresh lease on life. I have even joined one of the local area Fire Departments as a volunteer firefighter, something that was physically not possible before I decided to saddle up.”
David says he wanted to save money on parking and tried the bus, but he kept missing it and having to wait a long time for the next one. (All of us New York commuters know about train delays!) When he saw someone hop on a bike, he knew he’d found his solution. So thanks to the anonymous cyclists who inspired David, and we hope he will inspire you to try biking, whether to work, the station or for your next errand around town.
Want some more inspiration? A bike commuter on average loses 13 pounds in the first year. (David is clearly above average!) A 140-pound cyclist burns 508 calories while pedaling 14 miles in an hour. And just three hours of bicycling per week can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by 50%. (All this comes from Trek’s 1 world 2 wheels booklet, available from the WWBPA.)
And thanks, David, for your “before” and “after” photo! Also inspiring!
But that was a good thing. WWBPA Advisor and Past President Ken Carlson organized a bike advocacy event in his new hometown of Somerville, Massachusetts. The challenge was for a cyclist, a T-rider (subway), and an auto to race from Davis Square in Somerville to Kendall Square in Cambridge. Ken drove the car.
The cyclist finished first, in 20 minutes. The T-rider came in second, in 29 minutes. Ken drove the course in 32 minutes. (And yes, Ken usually bikes to work.)
New York City did the same contest this week (after all, it is National Bike to Work Week) and once again the bike won. The cyclist traveled from Williamsburg to SoHo in morning rush hour in 15 minutes. The subway took 26 minutes and driving, 41 minutes.
As for West Windsor? Think how long it takes you to drive all the way around the station to the Vaughn Drive lot (unless you’ve been commuting so long that you have a Wallace Road permit) and to walk to the platform in the morning, and then to get out of the Vaughn Drive lot and over the roundabout on the way home. Your bike would be right by the tracks and probably would get you home in a similar amount of time, no sweating involved. And let’s not even think about the time you spend (or intend to spend) at the gym doing cardio. Then the bike will surely win!
Read more about Ken’s race at Metro.US and Boston.com, and tell us about your bike commute.
The WWBPA’s mission is “To promote bicycling and walking in West Windsor Township and neighboring communities,” and this past week we’ve worked with residents of Plainsboro and Hopewell Boro to encourage them to become more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.
On February 1, WWBPA trustees met with Plainsboro residents, a township official and interested WWBPA members at the Plainsboro Library to discuss the issues. Topics included biking on the road vs. paths, the upcoming closings of the Rt 1 circle at Washington and the jughandle at Harrison, bike commuters to the Forrestal campus, biking and walking connections to West Windsor on the PSE&G right of way and Cranbury Road, biking and walking to school and many others. Various ideas were presented on how best to encourage biking and walking, including a having a bike rodeo at the annual Founders Day event and organizing a community bike ride.
On February 6 at the Hopewell Borough Council meeting, a resident advocate invited bicyclists from the area to support bike lanes on CR 518. A dozen bicyclists, including a WWBPA trustee and 2 members, showed up to support the bike lanes as well as a Complete Streets resolution for the borough and for Mercer County. Representatives from New Jersey Bike Walk Coalition, Princeton Free Wheelers, Lawrence Hopewell Trail, New Jersey Bike Exchange and the Battle Against Hunger Ride also spoke in support. We hope to see Hopewell Borough adopt the next Complete Streets resolution in Mercer County!
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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WZBN reporter Rose Eiklor interviewed Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh and WWBPA President Jerry Foster and 2nd Vice President Alison Miller. The broadcast was on December 6, 2011.
Jerry made the case for a revised plan: “While the new plans will allow pedestrians to walk along Route 571 much more easily due to the new sidewalks, they won’t be able to cross as easily. And it’s not enough, in our view, to be able to just walk along a road; we’ve got to be able to cross it safely as well. Any median or refuge island that goes in the middle would be a huge improvement to being able to cross the road safely. The other main thing that we’re looking for is less speed through this section of our ‘Main Street.'”
There also are many, many commuters who will cross right here [the intersection of Route 571 with Wallace/Cranbury], because this is the way to the train station, and it’s expensive to buy a parking space, especially when you can walk. And commuters are always in a hurry, and we’re very concerned about commuter safety.”
Mayor Hsueh worries that any changes in the design at this point will require the Township and County “to go back to square one again…I have reservations about [their design], because they didn’t know that we’d already discussed with County about those concerns. But County…also has certain kinds of ground rules regarding a county roadway, and we have to compromise with them.”
The mayor continued: “The speed limit is decided by the state DOT, so my feeling is, once we have this design done and once we have people riding bicycles around, [there will be] opportunities we can request for reevaluation of the speed limits, and there are technical standards–it’s not even political negotiations, it’s all based on statistical analysis.”
Commenting on the YouTube site, WWBPA trustee Chris Scherer notes, “It is not financially or socially responsible to implement a ‘ solution’ that requires rework to be considered safe and effective.”
A new rapid flashing beacon was installed recently at the new crossing between Schlumberger and the Princeton Junction train station. The crossing, which is only accessible via a new sidewalk connecting to Route 571, flashes yellow strobes when a pedestrian presses the crossing button. Thanks to the township for including this crossing and sidewalk in the extensive set of new sidewalks installed over the past few months, with funding from a Safe Routes to Transit grant.
These pedestrian-activated beacons have been very successful in getting cars to stop for crossing pedestrians in studies, and have a significant cost advantage over other treatments, since they are solar-powered. A similar beacon was installed at the Trolley Line Trail crossing of South Mill Road.
Since it’s new, it remains to be seen if commuters will cross at this location once they discover it. Most have been crossing at or east of the Schlumberger driveway across from the Amtrak driveway and then walking through the station parking lot, which is more direct. When I walked it, one commuter was doing that while another pedestrian who was walking her dog used the crossing with the flashing beacon.
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We covered four locations around the train station, only missing the intersection of Wallace and Alexander roads. We also stopped before the end of the evening rush hour for New York commuters.
1. Cranbury/Wallace/571 (Rite Aid) – 20 bike, 38 walk
2. Scott/Alexander (Arts Center) – 31 bike, 56 walk
3. Vaughn/Alexander (bus stop) – 9 bike, 31 walk
4. Station/571 (Rep. Holt Headquarters) – 14 bike, 6 walk
Total: 205 people, 74 who bike and 131 who walk
Thanks to our volunteers!
I also noted at our Main Street Cranbury/Wallace/571 location:
8 car horn beepings, including 1 of a cab at a walker and a biker along Route 571 by Sovereign Bank, where there is no sidewalk. Another volunteer reported most of the beeps he witnessed were by cabs; this might need looking into.
3 tractor trailers – there were also some delivery trucks but nearly all cars.
2 runs of a shuttle bus – Stoudt’s East Windsor to Princeton Junction train station.
Eastbound congestion on Route 571 existed from a little after 5 p.m. until 5:20 p.m., to the extent that cars waited on the bridge and had no room to cross the intersection at Cranbury and Wallace roads. During this time, people turned left from westbound Route 571 onto Wallace Road in front of the waiting cars, and most of the beeps were because of this, since it took two lanes to agree to stop to let left-turning traffic go in front. It would be calmer if the eastbound Route 571 right lane was right turn only onto Wallace Road, and only the center lane was straight through.
1 pedestrian was verbally harassed by a motorist waiting to turn (I couldn’t make out the exact words) as the pedestrian crossed Route 571 from Wallace Road to Cranbury Road. He responded with a loud expletive.
17 people crossed Route 571 mid-block, most at the driveway intersection of PNC Bank and Rite Aid. Some were going to Rite Aid, but most were going to the neighborhood behind Rite Aid, where there is a connecting sidewalk.
How does this compare to past data? The township bicycle plan also studied some of these or nearby intersections at somewhat similar times:
Cranbury/Wallace/571 – Wed. July 21, 2004, 5-8pm – 9 bike, 43 walk
Scott/Alexander – Fri. Apr. 16, 2004, 3:15 – 4:30pm – 2 bike, 13 walk
Scott/Wallace – Fri. Apr. 16, 2004, 4:30 – 7pm – 5 bike, 63 walk
Wallace/Alexander – Wed. June 23, 2004, 5-8pm – 5 bike, 16 walk
We hope to do the count again on one of the nationally designated days. Maybe we’ll see you walking and biking to the station!
As daylight hours get shorter, a letter from a friend of the WWBPA couldn’t be more timely.
“I have been taking my husband to the station and picking him up five days a week for many years. We travel down Alexander Road to Scott Avenue, making a right on Wallace, then a left into the station driveway. I am on Scott Avenue four times per day. In recent years, it has become a challenge to weave around the pedestrians who prefer to walk in the street rather than use the sidewalk.
We believe the traffic — cars AND walkers/bicyclists — has increased significantly in recent years and, despite the pedestrian improvements such as painted walkways, the risk of a vehicle/pedestrian and/or bike accident is growing.
Please USE THE SIDEWALK on Scott Avenue — rather than walking (or running) on the paved street — and USE THE NEW CROSSWALKS instead of jay-walking diagonally across the streets to and from the station.
Follow common-sense rules of road-sharing and safety, such as “stop and look both ways before crossing” and “don’t assume the motorist sees you.” And don‘t wear all dark clothing when riding a bike at night.”
And a message from the WWBPA: One way to be more visible is to wear a reflective vest. The WWBPA sells them for just $10. Come see us at the farmers’ market.
Why might walkers on Scott Avenue prefer to walk in the road rather than on the sidewalk? Please comment with your views.