Monday, April 1 by ezeitler
At our Annual Meeting, Paul Kiczek compelled us with the story of Bobby Kennedy’s 50 mile walk in 1963 which inspired him to start the Freewalkers – a group advocating fitness, adventure and community by organizing epic hikes for everyone. Paul mentioned an NPR story on the 50th anniversary hike that his group undertook in honor of that original adventure. Luckily for us, Paul is located right here in New Jersey so it’s easy and extra fun for us to participate. Several folks from the WWBPA took part in a Trenton to Princeton hike on March 24th. The next event is The Great Canal Walk – Trenton to New Brunswick – on April 6th. Check out the Freewalker’s website for more details on upcoming walks as well as the history of long hikes.
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Wednesday, July 18 by silvia
The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance is sponsoring a free 11-mile bike ride of historic West Windsor on Saturday, July 28. Meet at 9 a.m. at the kiosk that describes the route at the corner of South Mill Road and Village Road East, next to the World War II memorial. The ride will be led by Paul Ligeti, who designed and signposted the route for his Eagle Scout project.
You may know that the Martians “landed” in Grover’s Mill, but did you know West Windsor has two stops on the Underground Railroad? Or that Woodrow Wilson would bike from Princeton to walk around Grover’s Mill Pond? Join us to hear about these and more fun facts.
Helmets are required. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.
The ride is the second in our series of casual summer rides. Our third is planned for mid-August and will offer something for both bikers and walkers.
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Saturday, August 20 by JerryFoster
East Aurora, NY is a pleasant town outside Buffalo with a Main Street that might offer West Windsor a few pointers. See the photos and color commentary, and let us know if you think these design elements might work for our Route 571 Main Street!
Main Street, also US 20A, is a busy road on a Friday just past 5pm, but the roundabout seems to keep the cars moving. From this western end, Main Street extends east a little over a mile, similar to West Windsor’s Rt 571 from the tracks to about South Mill Rd. The roundabout has stores and driveways, including fast food outlets.
Looking east from the roundabout, notice the center two-way left turn lane, a key feature of the Route 571 design. Also notice that the bike lanes are maroon-colored pavement, to make them stand out, and that there is on-street parking on both sides. A new Rite Aid is on the left (familiar?) and just off camera on the right is the Sunoco station (might feel like home already!), below.
Note the nice street sign for the Sunoco station. East Aurora is known for a number of things, including being the home town of Millard Fillmore (he was a U.S. President, if you were wondering), the birthplace of Fisher-Price toys and a center of the 19th-century Arts and Crafts design movement. They take their signage pretty seriously as a result, though they apparently couldn’t get Sunoco to redesign their sign to fit the Arts and Crafts style font that graces many other signs around town, as well as their town’s web site.
Moving east, notice this building, currently a bistro (it’s been a number of other things in the 7 years we’ve been visiting regularly – our daughter’s camp is nearby). They have taken away parking spaces in front of their building to put in an outside dining area. Nice! There are also a number of bikes parked in front of the dining area. I noticed a lot of bicyclists around town, including a spandex-clad road warrior in the bike lane and more casual bicyclists riding on the sidewalks.
Moving east, the road narrows to 2 lanes, but still includes colorized bike lanes and on-street parking. This shot is in front of the post office, so you’ll notice the drive-up mailbox, but also the attractive sidewalk and lamppost planters. Hidden behind the sidewalk planter is an artsy bike rack and a bench is just visible behind. Perhaps the road sign gives us an indication of what it takes to get a main street like this?
Still moving east, this picture shows the railroad underpass. Notice the bicyclist on the sidewalk, and the people in the car waving to him; people are very friendly in East Aurora. The bicyclist and I had a nice chat, since he was very interested in why I was taking so many pictures. He alluded to some of the controversies that the town went through to get their main street, including a big debate about the number of on-street parking spaces (the snide comment about the street signs wasn’t just my editorializing). He couldn’t entirely grasp why I liked it so much. Please leave a comment below with your opinion!
Just under the railroad tracks and past an intersection, a two-block traditional downtown area has stamped pavement colored to look like bricks. This space includes the center left-turn lane even though there are no driveways to turn into, and maintains the bike lane (nary a bike symbol, sigh). But what is really interesting is the ADA compliant on-street parking on the right and across the street, where the sidewalk is ramped up at the two ends to meet the curbed sidewalk area. There were several of these facilities along the roadway. Of course West Windsor’s main street is not planned to have on-street parking, so this type of ADA parking would not be applicable. What is significant is how they solved the issue of making an extremely wide roadway pedestrian-friendly by using the stamped pavement. It’s not exactly the same, but a little similar to using these sorts of treatments in the shared spaces of West Windsor’s transit village: The message of pedestrian-priority space is conveyed.
Just past the bricked area, the roadway changes back to two lanes plus on-street parking again, and the CVS pharmacy anchors the eastern end of Main Street. Note the speed limit sign: 30mph, much more pedestrian-friendly than the proposed 40mph in West Windsor’s design.
What might be improved in this design? There is a lack of tree canopy, but that’s likely because the trees are all newly planted. It would be interesting to know the history of why the two-block bricked section is so wide. Google Street View shows it with asphalt still during construction, but perhaps there used to be angle parking, or way back perhaps even a trolley line from Buffalo.
Another issue is the bike lanes. No casual bicyclists seemed to be using them: The group of teenagers, the dad pulling a kid-trailer, the various others were all bicycling on the sidewalk. This is likely because the bike lanes aren’t very wide, and place bicyclists between the heavy traffic and the parked cars, right in the way of opening doors (the “door zone”), which is dangerous.
Hope you enjoyed the tour. Let us know what you think!
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Thursday, August 4 by silvia
Enjoy a few photos from Saturday’s ribbon-cutting for the West Windsor Historic Bike Trail, a project by West Windsor resident Paul Ligeti, with a supporting cast of his Scout Troop 66. The kiosk that explains this 11-mile loop is next to the World War II memorial in Dutch Neck. Read the article in the Trenton Times too.
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Sunday, April 24 by sandy
The History Press has recently published the book The Golden Age of Bicycle Racing in New Jersey by journalist and Clifton resident Michael Gabriele. A book-launch reception, open to the public, will be held
Wednesday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m.
The Nutley Museum
65 Church St., Nutley, NJ 07110
The book (128 pages; 70 photos) provides an extensive narrative on the history of cycling in the Garden State–beginning with the formation of clubs in the 1880s; to regional cycling activity in Trenton, Asbury Park and Plainfield; to the era of grand velodromes in Newark and Nutley; and concluding with the current Tour of Somerville. It also features details on the careers of golden-age cycling heroes such as Frank Kramer, Alf Goullet, A.A. Zimmerman and Willie Honeman.
For more bicycling history, join us for a ride along the Henry Hudson Trail, with a stop at the Metz Bicycle Museum on Sunday, June 5. For more information and to RSVP, click here.
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Sunday, August 15 by sandy
D&R CANAL WATCH BIKE RIDE HISTORY TOUR
Saturday, September 4 – 10:00 a.m. – Griggstown
History bike rides on the D&R
Join canal enthusiast Bob Barth for a leisurely bike ride on the historic Delaware & Raritan Canal towpath. We will stop at historic villages and canal structures, such as locks and swing bridges, and talk about why the D&R was one of the most successful canals in the United States.
Helmets required. Bring water and snack. The ride will last approximately three hours.
Meet at the Griggstown Causeway parking lot.
Questions? Call Bob at 201-401-3121.
For independent rides along the towpath in the Millstone Valley,
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see the National Scenic Byways suggested route:
Bicycle Ramble along the D&R Canal Towpath.
Friday, May 1 by sandy
For blogs before May 2009, please visit http://wwbpa.blogspot.com/
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