New Sidewalk for Rt 571 Bridge Over Tracks

Thursday, November 4 by JerryFoster

Crews Installing Sidewalk on Bridge over TracksCrews began installing new sidewalks on the bridge over the Northeast Corridor train tracks this week! When complete, this new section of sidewalk will greatly facilitate pedestrian access between Main Street Princeton Junction and the offices and neighborhoods west of the tracks. The WWBPA wishes to thank all the responsible parties for helping to make our community more pedestrian friendly.

Please join us at the intersection of Rt 571 and Cranbury/Wallace Roads on Monday, November 8 from 6:45am – 7:15am, to help educate morning commuters about the new law to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks. Hope to see you there!

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Lessons from the Dutch

Friday, October 29 by sandy

BIke and Car/Sandra Shapiro Jay Walljasper reports in?Yes! Magazine on his September fact-finding trip with San Francisco traffic engineers, elected officials, businessmen to the Netherlands to see how American cities might encourage more bicycle use. He concludes that we can do it, but it will take a very serious effort.

We’ve got to start early, with bicycle education and use in the early school years.

We also need to make cyclists feel safe: “physical separation from motorized traffic on busy streets is the single most effective policy for getting more people to bike.”

Walljasper was encouraged to see progress in Rotterdam, where bicycling accounts for 22 percent of trips on the American-looking streets (created after World War II’s destruction).?Simply adding color to bike lanes was, in some cases, helpful. (Cycling is even more popular in other big cities, such as Amsterdam.)

He notes that “it took the Dutch 35 years to construct the ambitious bicycle system we were enjoying. … While the country?s wealth, population, and levels of car ownership have continued to grow through the decades, the share of trips made by cars has not. We could accomplish something similar in the United States by enacting new plans to make urban cycling safer, easier, and more convenient? and ultimately, mainstream.”

Read the whole article and watch the trailer below for Riding Bikes With the Dutch, in which filmmaker Michael W. Bauch chronicles his family?s adventure swapping homes with a family in Amsterdam.

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Virtual Walk Down West Windsor’s Main Street

Saturday, October 23 by JerryFoster


Join us as we take a videoed walk down Main Street in West Windsor, Rt 571, from the arboretum opposite the high school at Clarksville Road to the gateway to the Princeton Junction train station at Wallace Road. We’ll see just how close we are to having a sidewalk along the entire 0.7 mile stretch! It should be noted that we’re walking along the south side of 571, since the north side has almost no sidewalks. Only a few gaps exist, at:

  1. a house just before the Professional Center
  2. the Valero gas station
  3. the Schlumberger building
  4. Coldwell Banker building
  5. Sovereign Bank building

A crosswalk and pedestrian signal is missing across Alexander Road between the Valero and Shell gas stations. The curb ramp is too steep at the Sunoco station, but they’re missing at:

  1. the arboretum crossing 571 and Clarksville
  2. Windsor Plaza (ex-Acme) shopping center, crossing 571 at Sherbrooke

Sidewalk repair is needed for broken or raised slabs at:

  1. a house near Clarksville
  2. Windsor Plaza (ex-Acme) shopping center

And that’s all! Please join the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance in encouraging the township to work with the responsible parties to complete our Main Street, making us a more pedestrian friendly community.

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Joyride: Pedaling Toward A Healthier Planet

Friday, October 15 by sandy

Saving The Planet… And Ourselves Is As Easy As Riding A Bike

Two thirds of America’s energy needs are tied up in transportation. How we get around shapes our communities, our health, and our future.

Americans dream big, but those dreams have gotten out of hand. The results: expanding waistlines, sprawling communities, vehicles so large and thirsty that wars are fought to keep them running, oil disasters, and an energy plan that heats everything up to maintain a way of life. Beyond the blame, America needs real solutions: lean, clean, game-changing answers that put people on the road to health and energy independence.

America needs to go for a bike ride. With Joyride: Pedaling Toward A Healthier Planet, author and transportation expert Mia Birk helps them out the door.

Joyride: Pedaling Toward A Healthier Planet follows pioneering transportation leader Birk’s 20-year crusade to integrate bicycling into daily life. With just a table scrap of funding, Birk led a revolution that grew Portland, Oregon into a city where bicycling is a significant part of their transportation system. Birk then hit the road, helping make communities across the nation healthier, safer and more livable. While many books bemoan the pain of the world’s problems, Joyride offers hope and a blueprint for changing our world for the better.

Mia Birk is the award-winning CEO and co-owner of Alta Planning + Design, a 72-person international firm dedicated to creating active communities where bicycling and walking are safe, healthy, fun, and normal daily activities. She has been involved across North America in hundreds of bicycle, pedestrian, trail, and Safe Routes to School plans, projects, and programs. Birk is also Adjunct Professor at Portland State University, where she co-founded the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation. She is a co-founder of the Cities for Cycling project of the National Association for City Transportation Officials and the Association for Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. She was the Portland Bicycle Program Manager from 1993-1999, Transportation Program Manager at the International Institute for Energy Conservation from 1990-1993, and has a Master?s Degree in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

Birk lives in Portland, OR, with her two children, ages 11 and 8. Bicycling is her main means of transportation, and a winning strategy for maintaining her family?s health, safety, budget, and community connection.

Book sales will support non-profit organizations working to creating a healthier, more sustainable world.

Joyride: Pedaling Toward A Healthier Planet
By Mia Birk
With Joe “Metal Cowboy” Kurmaskie
Cadence Press
www.miabirk.com

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Safe Pedestrians and a Walkable America

Saturday, July 31 by sandy

stroller at crosswalk, stroller at crosswalkThe Federal Highway Safety Administration (FHWA) has published its Summer 2010 newsletter, including links to the 15-year status report on walking and bicycling, resources for Safe Routes to Schools programs for law enforcement officers, grants for livable communities, and web-based courses about designing for pedestrian safety.

?Livability means being able to take your kids to school, go to work, see a doctor, drop by the grocery or Post Office, go out to dinner and a movie, and play with your kids at the park?all without having to get into your car.? -USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood

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Praise for West Windsor and the WWBPA

Thursday, July 29 by silvia

Community Walk 2010

The Bicycle Coalition of? Philadelphia has this to say about West Windsor:

“On July 19th, West Windsor Township, NJ home of Princeton Junction and Orson Wells’ Grovers Mill became the first suburban community in the DVRPC region to adopt a complete streets resolution. In some ways West Windsor Township seems to have been invaded by Martians. That would explain the miles of bike lanes and the success of the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance…. On a per-capita basis the organization is one of the most successful bicycle and pedestrian advocacy groups in the country, not too far off the pace of the San Francisco Bike Coalition. It is truly a model community for the many built-out suburbs in the region.”

You can read the entire item here.

The state’s Department of Transportation said:

“On July 19th, West Windsor Township became the second municipality?in New Jersey, after Montclair,?to adopt a Complete Streets Policy. In addition, Monmouth County became the first county in?the state to adopt a Complete Streets Policy?as the Board of Chosen Freeholders?passed Resolution 10-592 at their meeting on July 22nd.
Congratulations and a big thank you from all of us at the NJDOT Office of Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs to all of?you who worked so hard to make this happen!”

The WWBPA thanks all our members for their support and encourages friends to become members and swell the ranks. Our thanks as well to the West Windsor Council and administration for supporting Complete Streets.

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West Windsor Believes in ‘Complete Streets’

Wednesday, July 21 by silvia

West Windsor adopted a “Complete Streets” resolution on Monday that calls for designing new and reconstructed streets so that they can “safely accommodate travel by pedestrians, bicyclists, public transit, and motorized vehicles and their passengers, with special priority given to bicyclist and pedestrian safety.”

Complete Streets policies have been adopted by the U.S. and New Jersey governments, but West Windsor is one of the first New Jersey municipalities to do so. The WWBPA believes that designing streets with ALL users in mind from the start will save money because we won’t have to do costly retrofits and will make our community more liveable — which benefits all of us (and our property values).

What do Complete Streets look like? Watch this animation to see the transformation of a fairly barren multiple-lane road becomes a bustling shopping area.

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Road Diets: Still a Good Idea

Tuesday, July 20 by sandy

We’ve been advocating putting some of West Windsor’s roads on diets, principally Canal Pointe Boulevard and Alexander Road (see our post from May 2010). ?A “road diet” means reducing travel lanes, for example, from four to two with a center turning lane, thus allowing room? for bike lanes and sidewalks. This leads to ?fewer changes in lane by cars and fewer accidents.

A June 2010 study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Transportation shows that road diets still allow for the same number of cars on the roads, with from 19% to 47% fewer crashes (percentages vary depending on whether the road diet is in an urban or suburban area).

Road Diet, before lane reduction

Four-lane configuration before road diet

road diet after lane reduction

Three-lane configuration after road diet

Source for both photos: Pedestrian Bike Information Center, “Road Diets” training module, 2009.

Click here for a summary report in HTML or PDF.

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WWBPA Joins Groups to Thank LaHood

Friday, June 4 by sandy

WWBPA joined hundreds of groups from around the country in signing a letter of thanks to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood for helping to make bicycling and walking an important part of the department’s policy. Many bicyclists and pedestrians joined Secretary LaHood at DOT headquarters in Washington, D.C. at the start of ?the Memorial Day weekend to present the letter.

Secretary LaHood noted, “…?making walking and biking safer and more accessible is relatively inexpensive. For example, we could upgrade the entire 2,250 mile?East Coast Greenway, a network of bike routes stretching all the way from Key West to Maine, for only one-fifth the cost of a single recent I-95 bridge over the Potomac.”

Letter to Transportation Secretary LaHood
America Bikes

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Time for Road Diets

Sunday, May 30 by sandy

Alexander Road at rushhour

Alexander Road could benefit from a "road diet."

The WWBPA ?believes that Alexander Road and Canal Pointe Boulevard would benefit from road diets. A Seattle study of a road diet on one of its streets notes the following:

  • Speed has declined.
  • Collisions have declined.
  • Pedestrian Crossings are safer.
  • Bicycle volume has increased
  • Peak hour capacity has been maintained.

Read previous news items about Canal Pointe Boulevard.

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Complete Streets Policy for West Windsor

Wednesday, May 12 by JerryFoster

The WWBPA is advocating for a Complete Streets Policy, modeled after a policy adopted late last year by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. As part of Complete Streets, the WWBPA is also proposing an ordinance requiring bicycle and pedestrian facilities at future roundabouts.

According to the National Complete Streets Coalition:

“The streets of our cities and towns are an important part of the livability of our communities. They ought to be for everyone, whether young or old, motorist or bicyclist, walker or wheelchair user, bus rider or shopkeeper. But too many of our streets are designed only for speeding cars, or worse, creeping traffic jams.

Now, in communities across the country, a movement is growing to complete the streets. States, cities and towns are asking their planners and engineers to build road networks that are safer, more livable, and welcoming to everyone.

Instituting a complete streets policy ensures that transportation planners and engineers consistently design and operate the entire roadway with all users in mind – including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.”

The federal Department of Transportation recently adopted a policy to support “the development of fully integrated active transportation networks. The establishment of well-connected walking and bicycling networks is an important component for livable communities, and their design should be a part of Federal-aid project developments.”

Read the WWBPA’s letter to the mayor, proposed Master Plan changes,?and proposed Roundabout Ordinance, and contact our officials to express your support!

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CDC: Improve Health through Transportation Policy

Saturday, May 8 by sandy

children with teachers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued its “Recommendations for Improving Health through Transportation Policy.” These include promoting active transportation by:

  • Supporting active transportation infrastructure;
  • Increasing opportunities for physical activity;
  • Implementing active living environments that promote walking and bicycling;
  • Developing complete pedestrian and bicycle master plans;
  • Encouraging Healthy Community Design;
  • Supporting policies that protect pedestrians and bicyclists from motor vehicle crashes.

To read the complete text of the CDC’s recommendations, click here.

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AASHTO Recognizes Livable Communities

Wednesday, May 5 by JerryFoster

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials just published a guide to Livable Communities that included PennDOT’s use of the Smart Transportation Guidebook, which was developed with NJDOT and is a primary resource in the WWBPA’s recommendations for downtown Princeton Junction.

“Through a program called ?Smart Transportation,? Pennsylvania has been working to find innovative solutions to the challenges of constrained resources, aging highways and bridges, and congestion by reexamining the relationship between land use and transportation. One example is PennDOT?s U.S. Route 202 Parkway project in suburban Philadelphia. First envisioned as a new four-lane expressway between Doylestown and Montgomeryville, the project?s cost was simply not affordable. After an extensive consensus-building process, a lower-cost option to build a parkway-type design was approved at roughly half the original cost. The new Parkway included a 12-foot wide bicycle and walking path along its entire 8.4-mile length; concrete stamped , and painted to simulate the appearance of stone on all bridges, culverts, and retaining walls; and landscaped median strips and other aesthetic enhancements.

The Parkway will be built as four lanes for two miles and two lanes for six miles and speed limits will be lowered. Nine signalized intersections will replace three interchanges and slower speeds will help increase safety.”

There is also a section on Main Streets in the document, which can be found at:
http://downloads.transportation.org/LR-1.pdf

AASHTO is traditionally very motor-vehicle-oriented, so for them to recognize the role of context sensitive roadway design in making our communities more livable is a welcome sign of improvement.

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Bike/Ped Path for Scudder Falls Bridge

Thursday, April 29 by JerryFoster

Map of Scudder Falls Bridge

Great News! A bicycle and pedestrian path will be added to Scudders Falls Bridge on I-95 as part of the road widening, according to an article in the Trenton Times Tuesday, April 27.

Congratulations to everyone for contacting the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission with your? support, and especially to John Boyle of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia for leading the advocacy effort! The WWBPA posted an article asking for support on February 4 this year.

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