Thursday, August 11 by joegorun
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.
Submit your comments online by Friday, August 19 at:http://www.westwindsornj.org/conover-road.html and select ContactUs Form.
Comments Off on Support Conover Rd Bikeway Multi-Purpose Trail Project
Friday, October 2 by JerryFoster
Let’s re-visit the great war between the executive branch (NJDOT) and the legislative (NJ Title 39) and judiciary (NJ Supreme Court Polzo v Essex County ruling) branches with regard to bicycling on the shoulder. Everybody does it, but is it legal?
NJDOT’s excellent 2011 Bicycling Manual recommends “riding on the right side of the road or on the shoulder.” NJDOT’s circa-1996 Introduction to Bicycle Facilities notes, “Advanced bicyclists are best served by bicycle compatible streets and highways which have been designed to accommodate shared use by bicycles and motor vehicles.” Paved shoulders are considered one form of bicycle compatible roadway.
So NJDOT encourages it, but does that make it legal? NJ Title 39:4-14.1 states: “Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.”
Wait a minute, isn’t a bicycle a vehicle? Not in NJ – human-powered devices are specifically excluded from the legal definition of vehicle in 39:1-1: “”Vehicle” means every device in, upon or by which a person or property is or may be transported upon a highway, excepting devices moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks or motorized bicycles.”
So what, it’s the same thing while riding in the shoulder, right? Not really, as the shoulder is specifically excluded from the “roadway” legal definition in 39:1-1: “”Roadway” means that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the berm or shoulder.” So a cyclist riding in the shoulder would not be granted all the rights and responsibilities as the driver of a vehicle.
Aren’t we nitpicking? Motorists can’t legally drive in the shoulder anyway – cyclists can’t very well have the same rights and responsibilities as the driver of a vehicle while riding in the shoulder, as it would also be illegal.
Exactly! If a cyclist has the same rights/responsibilities to follow the rules of the road, s/he should only ride in the travel lane, not in the shoulder.
NJDOT’s lawyers, presuming to encourage only legal cycling behavior, may well point to the sentence structure of 39:4-14.1. It implies that every person riding a bicycle *outside* the roadway (e.g. on the shoulder) would not have the same rights/responsibilities as the driver of a vehicle, but that doesn’t make it illegal, since it’s not explicitly prohibited, like it is for drivers of a vehicle in 39:4-82.
Under this interpretation, it’s a cyclist’s choice whether to ride in the roadway, and be legally bound to follow all the rules of the road, or live free on the shoulder. Just think, no rules, no responsibilities – bike against traffic, blow the wrong way through stop signs, it’s all legal if you’re a cyclist on the shoulder. Under this interpretation, cyclists have an implicitly legal option to ride on the shoulder that isn’t offered to drivers of vehicles.
So which is it? Illegal or legally available w no rights/responsibilities? According to the NJ Supreme Court in Polzo v Essex County, “Bicyclists do not have special privileges on a roadway’s shoulder. Indeed, a bicycle rider is directed to ride on the furthest right hand side of the roadway, not on the roadway’s shoulder. The Motor Vehicle Code does not designate the roadway’s shoulder as a bicycle lane.”
So, as far as the law with regard to cyclists is concerned, the NJ Supremes ruled that a cyclist “is directed” to the roadway, “not on the roadway’s shoulder.”
The Polzo ruling was in 2012 – why is NJDOT still encouraging cyclists to ride on the shoulder? Shouldn’t shoulders with sufficient space be designated as bike lanes? What ever happened to the Complete Streets policy?
4 Comments »
Saturday, January 10 by JerryFoster
Five years after Montclair and NJDOT adopted New Jersey’s leading Complete Streets policies, this week Mercer County became the first to have all roads covered – state, county and every municipality. Congratulations to Mercer County for reaching this very important milestone toward making our communities more bicycle and pedestrian friendly!
Complete Streets policies require road improvements to support biking, walking and transit for users of all ages and abilities as the rule rather than the exception, and provide for incremental improvements without mandating retrofits.
Complete Streets benefit everyone, e.g. better safety (not just for cyclists and pedestrians, but mainly for motorists), higher property values (see walkscore.com) and improved security (more eyes on the street). Those who walk or bike feel better, are healthier and live longer – students who bike or walk to school score better on standardized tests.
Realizing these benefits will take time, as responsibility for our roads is divided between the state (for federal and state roads), counties and municipalities. Even a short trip can include roads and/or bridges under the care of many jurisdictions – for example, biking around Princeton’s Carnegie Lake involves traversing 3 counties and 5 municipalities, plus a state and maybe even a federal road.
What does a Complete Street look like? It depends – Complete Streets are not cookie-cutter. All of these pictures might be considered examples in some sense, while each may have additional possibilities to make them even more complete.
See if you can pick out which picture shows which Mercer County municipality – Trenton, Hamilton, Ewing, Hopewell Township, Pennington, Hopewell Boro, Princeton, Lawrence, West Windsor, East Windsor, Hightstown and Robbinsville.
Comments Off on Mercer First to Complete Streets (Policies)
Monday, November 24 by JerryFoster
What would you do? You’re walking at night, from the station to home north of Clarksville – up Scott Ave, through school grounds and the parking lot to the intersection of Clarksville and Hawk Drive.
There’s no marked crosswalk, but there is a streetlight. Or, you could go to the painted crosswalk at the opposite edge of school grounds, but there is no street light and no way to manually activate the blinking crosswalk lights that are set on a timer for the students.
Also, you’d then have to walk back to Hawk Drive to continue home.
What would you do? Cross under the street light without a painted crosswalk or at the painted crosswalk without light? See the picture for an approximation of the differences.
Please join us at the Twp Council meeting tonight, Monday November 24, 2014, to ask for an improved painted crossing with a streetlight, pedestrian-activated warning lights and turning on the existing speed display signs at all times, not just during school times.
Comments Off on Safer Pedestrian Crossing of Clarksville at Hawk
Wednesday, December 4 by JerryFoster
To learn to love our traffic engineers, we must understand why they prioritize cost least when designing roadway improvements. Cost varies a lot – $1M / lane mile is a general rule of thumb, but the NJ Turnpike’s current expansion costs $14.7M / lane mile and Boston’s Big Dig cost $136.2M / lane mile.
Standard engineering practice is to build for more speed, which means more and wider lanes, plus expanded roadside sight distances, which may require purchasing right-of-way, etc., all adding to the cost. Also, engineers are required to forecast volume 20 years into the future and build for anticipated increases.
But other factors are at work – e.g. a 1961 bridge in Washington State cost $159M in today’s dollars, but the replacement is projected to cost $4.6B, including 2 additional lanes.
This dramatic $4B increase over inflation points to issues on the process, financial and political sides, including the revolving door between government and private industry, politicians’ dependence on corporate contributions to get re-elected, government dependence on borrowing to finance road projects, even “commonplace” corruption, according to a New York State report.
If nobody has an incentive and/or is held accountable for cost containment, neither politicians nor engineers, it’s easy to see why it’s not a priority.
We’ve finished examining how citizens prioritize safety, cost, volume and speed differently than traffic engineers, so our next installment will look at one reason engineers use to convince us that they know best – because of the standards.
Comments Off on Learning to Love Your Traffic Engineer – Cost
Wednesday, November 13 by JerryFoster
It’s hard to learn to love our traffic engineers – they don’t see the same world we do, and don’t want to talk about it. Why not? Have you been to a public meeting?
The public has issues – many residents have not learned to disengage knee-jerk thinking, do their homework or propose constructive suggestions. Some are hostile to any government action, including road projects.
We choose to live in West Windsor because of the promise of safety, good schools, open space and convenient train commuting. We love our cars, but don’t want traffic in our neighborhoods.
Charles Marohn, an engineer and planner, identifies the different values of residents and engineers. In order, residents prioritize safety, low cost, traffic volume and speed, while engineers prioritize speed, volume, safety and cost.
Value divergence shows in the effort to improve walking and biking along Cranbury Road. Despite WWBPA recommendations, residents’ public comments and numerous yard signs asking motorists to Drive 25, traffic calming was rejected as a project goal.
We’re determined to learn to love our engineers, so in our next installment we’ll focus on the most divergent values – speed and volume.
Comments Off on Learning to Love Your Traffic Engineer – What the Public Wants
Wednesday, November 6 by JerryFoster
New Jersey traffic engineers don’t see suburbs, destroy downtowns with arterials and have refused to adopt road designs for neighborhoods. How will we learn to love them?
We have to understand that traffic engineers love solving problems, just not social problems. They’ll design how to move cars through an intersection, but not how to preserve or create a downtown, increase property values or reduce pollution – yet the intersection design can affect all these other goals, positively or negatively.
Although we’ve been building roads for millennia, we’re just realizing how motor vehicle traffic affects society. Using a computer analogy, traffic engineering is moving from the green screen to the graphical user interface – people want a richer experience, including multiple ways to get where we’re going.
Traffic engineers must learn to see themselves as social scientists, concerned with how people in addition to motorists interact with the roadways – residents, runners, dog-walkers, cyclists, etc.
People are puzzling – we love our cars, but hate traffic – how can engineers solve the dilemma? Find out in the next installment of Learning to Love Your Traffic Engineer – What the Public Wants.
2 Comments »
Wednesday, October 30 by JerryFoster
In our previous posts, we’ve seen that traffic engineers see urban where we see suburban or rural, and destroy downtowns by putting fast and wide arterials through them. As a result, conversations between residents and engineers are fraught with possible misunderstandings, making it very difficult to find the love.
Fortunately, this problem is well known, so the traffic engineering profession (Federal Highway Administration) developed Context Sensitive Solutions, to “develop a transportation facility that fits its physical setting and preserves scenic, aesthetic, historic and environmental resources, while maintaining safety and mobility.” In other words, it encourages engineers to see farms and neighborhoods where we already see them, and to build appropriate roads for those places.
NJDOT and PennDOT even published the Smart Transportation Guidebook in 2008, which provides flexible roadway designs, e.g. for a community collector through a suburban neighborhood, 100% compatible with existing design standards (the flexibility was already there, who knew).
Problem solved? Not quite – NJDOT didn’t adopt the principles and practices in the Smart Transportation Guidebook. Why not, and how can we learn to love our traffic engineers if we can’t even agree on neighborhoods? Stay tuned for the next installment – Social Scientist.
1 Comment »
Wednesday, October 16 by JerryFoster
Don’t we live in the suburbs? Wouldn’t it be nice if there were Complete Streets designs that could make suburban living even better – for motorists, cyclists, walkers, runners, children and seniors?
Consider the suburbs from the point of view of the traffic engineer. After all, the invention of the automobile made the suburbs available to so many people over the last half century, so traffic engineers are largely responsible for how we suburbanites live so much of our lives.
As it turns out, traffic engineers don’t see suburbs, sort of like Stephen Colbert doesn’t see race. The traffic engineering world is governed by urban or rural designs only, and what we think of as suburban is by definition urban.
What about our farms, like all along Windsor Road – rural, right? Sorry, the region’s population, not just the adjacent properties’, determine that all our roads are urban, since we’re in an urban area as defined by the Census Bureau (generally, over 5000 people).
So the first step in learning to love your traffic engineer is to see West Windsor from their big picture point of view – urban.
Stay tuned for our next installment of Learning to Love Your Traffic Engineer – Collect Local Arterials.
3 Comments »
Wednesday, July 31 by ezeitler
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.
Comments Off on Update: Sidewalks on Cranbury Rd making progress due to community pressure
Sunday, July 21 by ezeitler
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.
What: West Windsor Township Council Meeting with discussion of Cranbury Rd sidewalks
When: Monday, July 22nd, 2013, 7 PM
Where: West Windsor Municipal Building, 271 Clarksville Road, West Windsor, NJ
Hope to see many community members continuing to advocate for a safer Cranbury Rd for all users.
1 Comment »
Tuesday, June 25 by ezeitler
WWBPA advocates for safer streets for all users: pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers alike. A critical need in our community is to improve safety and accessibility on Cranbury Road, a major connection between the train station and points west. Current infrastructure does not protect the most vulnerable users – pedestrians – who have no designated place on the road. A sidewalk, multi-use trail or pedestrian friendly shoulder would improve safety for those who must walk or choose to walk even given current unsafe conditions. Safer conditions would also encourage and allow more people to commute and travel without a car to our major transportation hub, especially those with special needs such as older adults and families.
WWBPA supports the Cranbury Road neighborhood in their efforts to create a safer Cranbury Road for everyone. Please join in on June 28th (see info below) and show your support to have a sidewalk/multi-use trail or pedestrian-friendly shoulder lanes installed on the Cranbury Road from Route 571 to Millstone Road making Cranbury Rd accessible for all residents.
“As a group of West Windsor residents living on or near Cranbury Road, we invite you to join us for a walk along our street, north of Princeton-Hightstown Road, on Friday, June 28. Or try to. We live in a beautiful area but, unfortunately, there are no sidewalks, nor even a shoulder. We–and our children–face the danger of speeding cars as we walk to see our neighbors next door or to nearby stores. A stroll to the Princeton Junction train station or our local restaurants can become a perilous adventure.
Slowing traffic is important, but we are also asking our local and county officials to install a sidewalk/multi-use trail or pedestrian-friendly shoulder lanes on the road from Route 571 to Millstone Road. Cranbury Road has an unused right-of-way along this stretch, so this could be done without compromising any private property.
We invite all to join us at 109 Cranbury Road at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 28 as we walk along Cranbury Road to demonstrate the need for a safe route for us, our kids and the motorists and bicyclists who travel it daily. Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh will join us.
We hope to see you then.”
-Sarah & John Thomson, 113 Cranbury Road
-Samirah & Yasser Rezvi, 109 Cranbury Road
1 Comment »
Sunday, May 19 by ezeitler
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.
Everyone can receive health benefits from biking to work from fitnessforweightloss.com: Infographic that reports health benefits from bike commuting, like 50% reduction in heart disease risk from 3 hours of biking per week. Also suggests ways to get started.
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.
Any interesting stories we missed?
Comments Off on Sunday links
Saturday, March 30 by JerryFoster
The WWBPA has long been concerned about safety along Clarksville Rd, especially after a pedestrian was seriously injured while walking his dog at the intersection of North Post Road, near the municipal complex. Mercer County’s proposed changes (pictured) partly address and partly heighten these concerns, and should be remedied to make all legs of the intersection safer.
Following up on our letter to the county supporting the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s recommendations contained in their corridor study, Taming Traffic, we recently followed up with the following letter to the Mercer County Freeholders:
I am writing regarding the upcoming ordinance on the intersection of Clarksville and North Post Roads in West Windsor. As a citizen living very close to this intersection I observe the daily interactions of vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles. As a trustee of The West Windsor Pedestrian and Bicycle Alliance I am concerned with all aspects of safe streets for pedestrians and bicyclists and want the County as well as the Township to remain committed to Complete Streets planning for safe bicycle routes everywhere.
The plans for North Post Road are very troubling. Heading south towards Conover, unlike all the other intersection approaches, there are three lanes of vehicle traffic instead of two.
My concern is safety for children and adults crossing this portion of the intersection heading to the Mercer County Library, Municipal Building, Senior Center and Post Office. This crosswalk is heavily used by pedestrians and the increase of vehicle lanes to four across is extremely unsafe for pedestrians, and there is no safe lane for bikes.
The second area of concern is the north side of the intersection on North Post Road. The plan shows a 17 foot lane with no provision for a separate bicycle lane, or even a shoulder. There is more than enough room for a vehicle lane as well as a bicycle lane, and this heavily used part of our town needs to have that bicycle lane marked. North Post Road is a popular route to and from the Municipal Complex and County Library and to and from the train station as well as the very popular Farmers Market.
The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance sent a letter in September 2012, supporting changes to this intersection as described in the 2007 report from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (“Taming Traffic” p.38; diagram p.37). We strongly request you follow through with improving the safety here by following that plan (which does not include any separate right turn only lane).
Clarksville Road divides our community in two if traffic taming measures are not implemented. We need safe complete streets especially around our schools and libraries.
Unfortunately, I will be out of town for the March 28th meeting or would be there for the public hearing. I am asking for you to approve an ordinance with the safety of pedestrians in mind. A four lane road is not a safe road to cross.
Thank you in advance for your consideration in this matter.
Please contact our officials with your support for making the Clarksville and North Post intersection safer for everyone – motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Comments Off on Proposed Changes to Clarksville / North Post Intersection
Saturday, March 9 by JerryFoster
Many people regularly bicycle between West Windsor and Princeton, and the WWBPA is frequently asked at the Farmers Market for the safest route to Princeton, which involves crossing Route 1.
We generally recommend Washington Road (CR571) because the traffic circle slows down traffic and lets cyclists make themselves visible to motorists – unlike, for example, the high-speed ramps off Route 1 at Alexander, Meadow or Quaker Bridge roads.
West Windsor Township Council supports this, and adopted a resolution calling on Mercer County to designate a bicycle route along CR571 (West Windsor Twp Council Resolution 2010-R174).
Since West Windsor, Mercer County and NJDOT have all adopted Complete Streets policies, we were disappointed that no bicycle or pedestrian safety accommodations were evident in the jughandle concept design.
We recommend the following safety improvements to benefit both bicyclists and pedestrians who wish to use or cross Route 1:
1. Add a multi-use path at least on the east side of Route 1 from Alexander Road to Plainsboro, to connect the Dinky Line multi-use path behind the Alexander Road offices to the Penns Neck neighborhood and on to the hospital (and wellness center) in Plainsboro. Improved pedestrian and bicyclist accommodation for Penns Neck will prevent this stretch of Route 1 from becoming as deadly as further north in Middlesex County.
2. Create a safe bicycle route crossing Route 1 using Washington Rd/CR571, for example by reducing the design speed of the jughandle linking southbound Route 1 traffic to CR 571/Washington Road, or by creating a stop from the jughandle before turning right on CR571, to allow drivers an opportunity to look for bicyclists. The current highspeed jughandle merge design will create a dangerous condition for bicyclists traveling the bicycle route between Princeton and Princeton Junction train station.
3. Add marked crosswalks to all legs of the intersections.
4. Add bicycle lanes or sharrows to the improved intersections to guide bicyclists and alert motorists to the safest lane positioning while using the intersections.
5. Add a westbound bicycle crossing at Harrison even though there is no motorized vehicle crossing in that direction.
6. Add an off-road multi-use trail crossing Route 1 to connecting trails adjacent to the Dinky tracks, as described in the West Windsor Twp Circulation Element of the Master Plan.
Please contact our officials to support these recommendations.
4 Comments »
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.
Comments Off on Bike and Walk To Reduce Congestion
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.
Comments Off on A Safer Penn-Lyle Road
Friday, May 18 by sandy
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.
Comments Off on Ken Carlson Loses A Race!
Friday, April 27 by JerryFoster
Mercer County’s Board of Chosen Freeholders, the legislative branch of Mercer County, adopted a resolution supporting a Complete Streets policy on Thursday, April 26, 2012. Mercer now joins Monmouth County as the only two counties in the state to adopt Complete Streets, which requires roadway projects to support all users, including bicyclists and pedestrians, by default rather than by exception. We thank the Freeholders for their support, and look forward to our county roads becoming more bicycle and pedestrian friendly!
Realistically, infrastructure projects are very long term in their planning and implementation, so with consistent and persistent application, we should see results after several years, while a complete transformation may take decades. We look forward to working with the county planners and engineers to make our county the best place in the state to live and work.
Essex County also ad0ppted a Complete Streets policy, but we’re glad to say that Mercer was only 2 days behind!
2 Comments »
Thursday, April 12 by JerryFoster
Mercer County Freeholders discussed adopting a Complete Streets policy April 10, supported by over 15 residents from across the county. Freeholder Andrew Koontz of Princeton drafted a resolution for consideration, and a lively discussion ensued. Please join us at the April 24 Freeholders meeting to support Complete Streets!
WWBPA trustees Jerry Foster, Alison Miller and Daryl McMillan spoke during public comments, as did Jeff Laurenti (pictured) of the Trenton Cycling Revolution, Patricia Van Hise of Hamilton and President of the Princeton Free Wheelers bike club, John Stevenson of Hopewell Township and Diane Ciccone, former West Windsor Township Council and current WWBPA member. We were supported by other WWBPA trustees, members and residents from Trenton, Lawrence, Princeton and West Windsor. Thanks to everyone who showed up!
Please join us Tuesday April 24 at 6:30pm at the McDade County Building in Trenton to witness Mercer County becoming the 2nd county in New Jersey to adopt Complete Streets. Essex County is also considering a Complete Streets policy, so with luck we can be first.
Please contact our officials to show your support if you can’t make it to the meeting!
4 Comments »