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.
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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.
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Tuesday, September 17 by JerryFoster
WWBPA volunteers counted 334 bicyclists and pedestrians at 5 locations around the train station on Wednesday September 11, 2013 between 5-8pm. Last year the count was 355, but the numbers are not directly comparable, since we counted for an hour longer at 2 locations this year. Comparing the same locations at the same time slots, biking and walking decreased 15% over last year. In contrast to the past 2 years’ beautiful fall weather, this year the day was hot and humid, near 90 degrees, as well as falling on the anniversary of 9/11.
Once again we participated in the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project, an effort to accurately and consistently measure usage and demand for bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure.
Our 2013 findings:
- Cranbury/Wallace/571 (Rite Aid) – 19 bike, 81 walk
- Scott/Alexander (Arts Center) – 30 bike, 72 walk, 2 others
- Vaughn/Alexander (bus stop) – 18 bike, 55 walk
- Station/571 (Rep. Holt Headquarters) – 10 bike, 9 walk
- Wallace/Alexander (WW lot) – 12 bike, 23 walk, 3 other
Total: 334 people, 89 who bike, 240 who walk, 5 on wheelchairs, skates or scooters
Thanks to our volunteers!
Traffic along 571 in downtown West Windsor flowed freely throughout the observation time. This is consistent with the comment made recently by the township’s consulting traffic engineer, that volume along CR571 has been flat for a decade. In addition, the retiming of the lights at US1 and CR571, together with the reopening of the jughandles, ensures that not many cars can make it through 571 at the circle, so motorists find other routes.
- midblock crossings of 571 at Rite Aid driveway – 12
- male – 222, female – 107 (“Other” gender data not collected)
- walkers – 240, cyclists – 89
One scary anecdote – traffic turning from Wallace onto CR571 was polite to the pedestrian crossing in the crosswalk, waiting until she had walked far enough so they could turn behind her into the right lane. Traffic turning left onto CR571 from Cranbury Rd was not so polite, seeing an opening to turn into the left lane but not seeing the pedestrian. Fortunately, the 2nd car making the left did see the pedestrian and stopped, as she had stopped in the middle to barely avoid being hit by the first left-turning car. It is exactly this sort of danger that leads many to cross at the driveways of PNC Bank and RiteAid, where the road narrows.
This sort of conflict should not be possible, and several alternate solutions are available – a left turn only phase at the light, a pedestrian only phase, or closing the right lane at 571, making one through lane, effectively narrowing the pedestrian crossing distance in addition to reducing the left-turning conflict. What do you think?
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Monday, November 26 by silvia
Nine eager young bicyclists and their bikes, mostly second-grade scouts from Pack 66, joined the WWBPA for a lesson on bicycle safety on a beautiful Saturday in November.
We shared lots of valuable lessons, from pre-ride checks, known as the ABC Quick Check, and proper fits for helmets (flat on the head, and snug) to being courteous and watching for others, whether riding on the sidewalk or in the street. We hope they always signal!
But these kids really just wanted to ride, so we headed out to test their skills. The branches left over from Sandy that were scattered on the sidewalks behind Maurice Hawk Elementary School became our obstacle course, and the group also got a taste of riding in the street. All did great, and we hope to see them on a bike ride next summer!
This was our second session for scouts in which we talked about bicycling basics. If your group would like something similar, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Wednesday, October 24 by silvia
Dressed up for the market in 2011
Trick-or-treating is fun, but it’s not just spooky out there — it’s dark! We challenge you to incorporate some reflective material in your kids’ costumes or even goody bag, so you don’t have to worry that they won’t be seen by motorists as they dart across the street for more treats.
Plus, the WWBPA has a treat for those who do and take part in the farmers’ market Halloween parade (10 a.m. this Saturday): a glow-in-the-dark bracelet. Treats also for those who decorate their bikes! Just stop by our booth to show off your trick.
Three more safety reason to come to the farmers’ market: the Princeton Junction Fire Department will be there with a truck, the Twin W squad will bring an ambulance and rescue squad rig, and the West Windsor Police Department will be there too.
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Tuesday, October 23 by silvia
Two dens of 8 and 9-year-old scouts from Pack 66 got a 90-minute lesson in bike safety led by Les Leatham, a West Windsor resident who is a bicycling instructor certified by the League of American Bicyclists, and some volunteers from the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance.
The group went through helmet fitting, the ABC Quick Check (Air, Brakes, Cranks, Chain and Cassette, Quick Release and a final check) that should be performed before heading out on a ride, talked about what they already knew about bike riding and some things they didn’t, including that bikes on the road must follow the same rules of the road as cars.
Then the group took a ride through Mercer County Park, and finished with a different sort of race: how slow can you go, without stopping, turning around or putting your feet on the ground. This tests their balance skills and ability to handle their bike in a fun way. The last one to reach the finish line was the winner.
Would your group, no matter the age, like a short lesson on bike safety and bike skills? Contact the WWBPA at email@example.com
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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.
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Sunday, September 23 by silvia
More than 2 1/2 years ago, Edward Boye was killed by a motorist while riding his bicycle on Dutch Neck Road in East Windsor, not far from the border with West Windsor. This month, the driver, Margaret Corrigan, was sentenced to three years in jail (and more here). Mr. Boye was disabled and used a special tricycle to get around. Ms. Corrigan was under the influence of medication when she struck Mr. Boye. She pleaded guilty to third-degree assault with an automobile and driving under the influence of narcotics in May after initially being charged with vehicular homicide.
Motorists, please share the road with cyclists, give them plenty of room while overtaking and refrain from passing on a curve when you can’t see oncoming traffic. Cyclists, follow the rules of the road, including riding the same direction as traffic, and be predictable and visible. With daylight hours shrinking, make sure your lights work, and consider adding a reflective vest to your safety gear. We sell them for just $10 at the farmers’ market.
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Monday, June 4 by silvia
West Windsor residents will continue to see improvements in bicycle and pedestrian safety around the township over the next year, thanks to continuing Capital Budget Programs.
Money has been allocated to extend bike lanes on Edinburg Road between Village Road East and the east entrance to Mercer County Park. Cyclists, remember that when the bridge over the Assumpink (and a stretch of Old Trenton Road) is closed for replacement later this year, you can take a shortcut through Mercer County Park and continue through West Windsor on Edinburg. Just yield to pedestrians on the path!
Funds also have been budgeted for to build the missing links in the path running parallel to the Dinky tracks on the Alexander Road side between Vaughn Drive and Route 1. This will be a great help for those wanting to bike-commute to work but not wanting to be on Alexander Road. One day we hope it will link to a bike and pedestrian bridge over Route 1.
There will be improvements in the timing of traffic signals along Alexander Road, which should make crossing safer for pedestrians. The township will also continue with its crosswalk improvements, signage and striping enhancements, and sidewalk repair where street trees have caused damage.
The final phase of the Meadow Road improvements will be started, including a sidewalk from Clarksville Road to Duck Pond Park, making the park accessible from the new apartments on Clarksville Road and the Jewish Community Center accessible from the Estates at Princeton Junction.
And finally, this year will see the conceptual design for resurfacing of Canal Pointe Boulevard. The WWBPA is hopeful that the township will follow the suggestions made by Orth Rodgers and enthusiastically supported by the WWBPA to put Canal Pointe on a road diet — giving it one travel lane in each direction, center turning lanes for left turns, decelleration lanes for right turns, and bike lanes.
These planned improvements show that West Windsor truly deserves its Bicycle Friendly Community designation. The WWBPA thanks township officials and the township council for these projects.
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Wednesday, May 30 by silvia
Sidewalks are being installed along Route 1 between Nassau Park (home to Target, Wegman’s and other stores) and Windsor Green (Whole Foods and others), connecting Nassau Park to Canal Pointe and the rest of West Windsor for pedestrians (and bicyclists, we’d wager). The WWBPA wasn’t involved with this project, but the worn path through the grass is evidence that plenty of people were walking this route even without a sidewalk. We also heard several compliments about it, from both sides of Route 1. Here’s one; thank you, Beth Zeitler!
One of the great things about living in Princeton is that I can get around on my bike or by walking in addition to using my car. It’s easy to get around the Boro on a bike or on foot, and even to get across Route 1 to Plainsboro to run errands, but often I’d like to head south along Route 1, including to the shopping centers off Meadow Road and Nassau Park Boulevard. I know a lot of other folks do the same, for shopping, dining and entertainment as well as for work. The D&R Canal trail can be used to get to the shopping centers, however because it is removed from the street, it is difficult to visit multiple locations, and hard to use at night or in poor weather conditions.
I’m glad they are putting a sidewalk between the shopping centers along Route 1 to make the trip easier and more convenient for folks like me who’d rather get out of the car and use a bike or my feet to run my errands. I’m even happier for the people who will now have a safer commute to work, especially folks who are traveling on bikes out of necessity rather than choice. Infrastructure improvements like this help keep our community moving forward.
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Monday, April 23 by silvia
So your child knows to how to bike but needs some extra safety skills? As part of Plainsboro’s Founders Day celebration, the township’s recreation department is sponsoring a free “bicycling skills 123” class on Sunday, May 6 for kids up to age 10. Instructors certified by the League of American Bicyclists will teach them about cycling safety and responsible riding.
Participants will learn about and practice stopping, proper signaling, and other aspects of basic traffic safety. They will also ride in a “chaos box” to demonstrate the importance of following the rules of the road.
Come with a bike and helmet to the municipal grounds between 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.
The WWBPA is delighted to support the event.
Can’t make it? BikeFest will include a “bike rodeo” where kids can practice their skills.
Adults can take a more intensive traffic skills class through the West Windsor Recreation Department.
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Monday, April 16 by silvia
The WWBPA is once again supporting a “Ride of Silence” in West Windsor as part of our National Bike Month activities. This is an annual international event to honor those cyclists killed or injured on the roads and to raise awareness among motorists that we are on the road. We will leave the West Windsor Municipal Center at 7 pm on Wednesday, May 16 for a slow, silent, one-hour, 10-12-mile ride through town. We will remain as a group, slowing down as needed.
You must wear a helmet! Think about ways to make yourself visible to motorists.
The ride is free; please bring a friend. (Also bring water, ID, spare tube and anything else you think you might need).
Please arrive for the ride at least 15 minutes early.
At least two other Rides of Silence are being planned in our area: in Princeton and in Montgomery.
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Wednesday, April 4 by silvia
Students building the mock roadway
The WWBPA is pleased to support a free road safety class for kids, put on by West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South’s Red Cross Club.
“Red Light Green Light” is a fun event for kids grades K-3 that will teach them that pedestrian safety is more than just a quick look left and right before stepping into the road. A mock roadway is just one of the ways kids will get hands-on experience!
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The class will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, April 10–a perfect activity for the middle of spring break. The class is limited to the first 35 kids, and parents must register their child by April 7 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, February 16 by JerryFoster
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) chose New Jersey as one of 13 states which “experienced pedestrian fatalities above 150 per year and above the national rate of 2.5 per 100,000 population.” These states receive extra attention in the effort to reduce pedestrian fatalities on our roadways. According to the article “Spotlight on Pedestrian Safety” in the current issue of Public Roads, “FHWA’s aggressive approach to reducing the fatality rate in 13 States and 5 municipalities is showing promising results.“
The multi-year focus on pedestrian safety produced a plan called “Pedestrian Safety Management In New Jersey: A Strategic Assessment,” which “examines the strengths and weaknesses of current approaches and recommends improvements that would provide for a more systematic approach.”
So what specific recommendations will best improve pedestrian safety? The New Jersey report covers over 100 recommendations, but 3 have been chosen as the top priorities for improving pedestrian safety, according to a recent memorandum, “Promoting the Implementation of Proven Safety Countermeasures“:
- Medians and Pedestrian Crossing Islands in Urban and Suburban Areas
- Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon (HAWK light, a pedestrian-activated traffic signal that stops traffic)
- “Road Diet” (Roadway Reconfiguration)
How can these proven safety features help West Windsor? The WWBPA recommends medians and/or pedestrian crossing islands for the new CR 571 design, along with a lower design speed and other measures, like a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon (HAWK signal) at Sherbrooke Drive and 571.
A Rapid Flash Beacon, another type of pedestrian-activated signal, is planned for Sherbrooke and 571 – we hope it will greatly improve the safety of that crossing. Examples are at the trail crossing on South Mill and near the train station at Scott and Wallace. Studies of the Rapid Flash Beacon are promising, but of the 22 roadways in one study, only 1 had a posted speed limit as high as CR571’s 40mph, and only 2 had about the same volume (17K-18K average daily traffic), and only 1 had more volume. So we’ll hope for the best.
A Road Diet is when the road is reconfigured from 4 lanes down to 3, one travel lane in each direction and a center turn lane, plus bike lanes on each side. The WWBPA has long recommended road diets for Canal Pointe Boulevard and Alexander Road between Rt 1 and Vaughn Drive, and believes the treatment would be appropriate for Roszel Road and Carnegie Center Drive as well.
Why is the WWBPA for road diets in these areas but recommends medians and/or pedestrian crossing refuges for CR 571? The difference is in the number and density of driveways – our Rt 571 downtown area has too many compared to office park settings like Canal Pointe and Carnegie Center.
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Thursday, January 5 by JerryFoster
The missing link between the South Mill Road crossing of the Trolley Line Trail and the section bordering the Dataram property was finished just before Christmas – what a busy year for bicycle and pedestrian improvements! Thanks to the township and county for all their great work in 2011.
The subject of a previous post a few weeks ago, the crossing features a rapid flashing beacon (flashing strobe lights), high visibility crosswalk paint (the thickness of the stripes makes it easy to see) and a pedestrian-activated signal button for easy crossing.
One thing bicyclists in the bike lanes on South Mill Rd should keep in mind: If someone is crossing, the bicyclist must stop before the crosswalk, just as the cars must stop. Enjoy the new trail; now it’s easier than ever to get between Rabbit Hill Road and Penn Lyle Road on the Trolley Line Trail, including access to Community Park.
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Sunday, December 25 by JerryFoster
This post was published as a Letter to the Editor in the West Windsor Plainsboro News December 16, 2011. In response to Lucy Vandenberg’s letter in the West Windsor Plainsboro News December 2, 2011, WW Transit Village a Model for State. As I expect Ms. Vandenberg would agree, the Transit Village is a good start, but more needs to be done to achieve the benefits of Smart Growth.
It’s not enough that the Transit Village will “make it possible for people to get out of their cars and walk, bike, and take the train to their destinations.” We must be able to safely walk and bike to and from the Transit Village.
It’s not enough to have compact development – we need a grocery store within walking distance, like the Acme that used to be in downtown West Windsor. Land use law and/or policies must require diverse uses – we need more than banks and real estate offices downtown, so that people have a variety of walkable destinations.
It’s not enough that compact development could be environmentally beneficial – we need specific open space preservation tied to specific dense developments like the Transit Village. It’s irrelevant that other space in New Jersey is already preserved.
It’s not enough to have Smart Growth policies for land use – transportation policy must support land use policy, by implementing the flexible standards in the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s (NJDOT) Smart Transportation Guidebook.
It’s not enough that NJDOT and West Windsor Township adopted Complete Streets policies – Mercer County must also adopt the policy, which requires roadway improvements to support walking and biking. Otherwise major roads like CR 571 in downtown West Windsor are subject to expensive but counter-productive “improvements” that don’t meet the the township’s goal for “pedestrian-friendly, village scale development.” There’s nothing pedestrian-friendly about a wider road with 30% more cars going 45mph, with no place to safely wait in the middle when crossing.
The Rt 1 Regional Growth Strategy is not enough, since it doesn’t sufficiently support redevelopment in Trenton and New Brunswick, the two already-compact but underutilized “developments” anchoring the region. With the right policies, much of the region’s growth could fit into Trenton and New Brunswick with far less environmental and traffic impact. Without supporting our cities, the strategy’s Bus Rapid Transit system will effectively encourage sprawl in outlying areas, contrary to its stated goal.
Respectfully, it’s wrong to promise reduced congestion by implementing Smart Growth, even with Smart Transportation and the Bus Rapid Transit system. Like water, the transportation network balances itself as people choose to walk, bike, drive, or take the bus or train, depending on the cost and convenience of each. If there is less congestion, people will switch to driving until there is enough congestion to make it better to take another way.
The Transit Village is a good start, but doesn’t exist in a vacuum. We need complementary supporting policies to achieve the benefits of Smart Growth. If Smart Growth just means new and denser development, then it has already failed to achieve its goals.
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