Congratulations To Our Scholarship Winners

Tuesday, August 28 by silvia

Paul Ligeti and Alice Eltvedt are this year’s winners of the WWBPA’s scholarship to graduating high school seniors.

Paul, who graduated from North and is headed to the University of Michigan, impressed us with his Eagle Scout project: an 11-mile bike route of historic West Windsor sites, with a well-researched website that describes the story of each site and red markings at each spot. Paul has led two rides of his route for the WWBPA, and all have been impressed with his work.

Paul Ligeti

Paul Ligeti

Alice, who is going to Princeton after graduating from South, led by example as she rode her bicycle to the West Windsor pool. The racks have been overflowing!

Alice Eltvedt

The scholarships are one of two sets of annual awards from the WWBPA to honor those who share our vision of a bicycle and pedestrian-friendy community. We also selected three winners of our community service awards and presented them at our annual meeting in March.

Mike Viscardi, a project development  planner, has been a fantastic contact for the WWBPA at New Jersey Transit. It has only been with Mike’s help that we have been able to add bike racks and lockers on two occasions.

Michael Ogg, a former trustee, has raised our awareness of the needs of the disabled when making improvements to our sidewalk network. We thank Michael for all his contributions.

And West Windsor Township, beginning with Francis Guzik, the township’s engineer, has added so many bike lanes, filled in many gaps in the sidewalk network and added safe pedestrian crossings in the past few years. Thank you!

 

 

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Sharrows Are Coming to Princeton

Saturday, July 30 by silvia

From Friday’s Princeton Packet:

Sharrows, or shared lane markings, will be installed next month on roadways in the two Princetons.

The thermoplastic markings will allow cyclists and drivers to safely “share the road” along the area’s streets that are too narrow for separate bike lanes.

Nassau Street will be marked from Route 206 to Snowden Lane. Markings will also be placed on Wiggins Street and Hamilton Avenue in the borough. In the township, the markings will be placed on Harrison Street to Mount Lucas Road.

Harrison and Witherspoon Street will be marked their entire lengths.    A maximum of 87 symbols will be installed in the borough; and the State Department of Transportation will install additional 60 on Nassau Street. Approximately 72 will be installed on the township roadways.

The borough’s share of the installation costs is $14,800. The township is paying the remainder of the $29,920, or $14,400. Each symbol costs about $170. The actual number of symbols that end up being installed will determine final cost.

Traffic Lines Inc. of Farmingdale will be doing the work for the two municipalities.

Installation will begin mid-August.

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Cycle Tracks Safer than Shared Roadway

Friday, February 11 by JerryFoster

Photo: Pierre Obendrauf, Montreal Gazzette

A recent study of Montreal cycle tracks showed they attract 2.5 times more bicyclists and have a 28% lower risk of injury, compared to similar roadways with no bicycle facilities.

Cycle tracks, also known as buffered bike lanes, are placed between the curb and on-street parked cars, sometimes with a physical barrier and other times with a painted buffer area. These lanes are a key feature of the Princeton Junction Redevelopment Area plan, but were removed from the Transit Village area in favor of the shared space concept.

The Montreal study, published in Injury Prevention Journal, is consistent with a recent New York City study, which showed 21% fewer injuries, a near tripling of bicyclists, and a reduction of bicyclists using the sidewalk from 46% to 4%. Click to read more coverage of the New York City study.

We have to confess to wishing these studies were available at the time Township Council was deciding to accept the proposed  lawsuit settlement with Intercap against the township.

Is it too late for West Windsor’s transit village?

Click here for the Montreal Gazette’s coverage of the Montreal study.

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Shared Space: Safe or Dangerous?

Wednesday, December 15 by JerryFoster

from Shared Space: Safe or Dangerous?Township Council recently adopted the shared space concept as fundamental to the lawsuit settlement with InterCap over the new Princeton Junction Transit Village. Under this concept, motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians share the roadway as peers. But is it safe?

Four European experts reported results of their studies of the shared space experience in the Netherlands in 2007 at the Walk21 Conference held in Toronto. Shared space was implemented several locations between 1998 and 2001, with studies published between 2003 and 2007.

Overall, “reported accidents have decreased substantially.” In one location, however, minor injury collisions persisted, and “bicyclists were overrepresented”.  Significantly, “police report only a (minor) part of the accidents. Particularly bicycle and pedestrian accidents are often not reported to the police. This means that reliable and valid conclusions regarding the safety of cyclists and pedestrians cannot be made.”

What makes shared space work? “At low speeds people have more time for communication and the interpretation of verbal and non-verbal utterances.”

What keeps it from working? “Children and people with a visual or mental handicap cannot be expected to comply. Also, the elderly are not always able to anticipate and react in time, especially not when it is crowded and many things happen in a short period. This group (in total 25% percent of the population!) runs a substantially raised risk.”

How do people feel about shared space? “Most respondents do not think the situations are safe. Both car drivers and bicyclists and pedestrians are critical about it. In Haren remarkably many people (90%) demand a clear choice regarding the position of the bicycle: either on a bicycle lane or on the carriageway. The experts prefer the bicyclist on the carriageway; the public prefers a separate recognizable lane.”

The WWBPA supports the shared space concept, but recognizes that to work, all roadway users must be provided with subtle guidance as to the preferred positioning within the space. Bicyclists must be encouraged to stay out of the way of opening car doors (the “door zone”), such as through the use of a special color or pattern of pavement to guide where they ride.

The current (pre-settlement) language in the redevelopment ordinance calls for buffered bike lanes to achieve this goal. This goal can be achieved in the shared space concept, but the language regarding bike lanes is proposed to be removed. Please contact our public officials with your questions or concerns regarding the safety of our proposed new shared space.

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Tale of Two Engineers – One Visionary, One Recovering

Thursday, December 2 by JerryFoster

A revolution is underway in how towns are being redesigned for livability, and it’s playing out right here in West Windsor. The late Hans Monderman launched a movement for better safety without signs and signals, while in the Confessions of a Recovering Engineer, another engineer realizes that “Wider, faster, treeless roads not only ruin our public places, they kill people.”

Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), recounts the work of the late Hans Monderman, a Dutch traffic engineer who held to a maxim: “When you treat people like idiots, they’ll behave like idiots.” In appropriate settings, he removed the signs and signals that tell drivers what to do. His goal? “I don’t want traffic behavior, I want social behavior.” His work underlies the design for the promenade in the new transit village west of the train tracks.

In Confessions of a Recovering Engineer, Charles Marohn relates his professional experience “convincing people that, when it came to their road, I knew more than they did.” Why? “I had books and books of standards to follow.” Finally, “In retrospect I understand that this was utter insanity. Wider, faster, treeless roads not only ruin our public places, they kill people.”

This realization is slow in coming to our Rt 571 Main Street design, where the state guidelines are in place but the design hasn’t taken them into consideration.

Please help the county engineers learn from the transit village engineers by supporting the WWBPA’s recommendations for Rt 571 Main Street – slower speed, medians with pedestrian refuges and a pedestrian-activated signal that stops traffic at the crossing at Sherbrooke Drive.

This redesign is our chance to make drivers comfortable with the slower speed – just posting a lower speed limit will not effectively slow traffic. Our tale of two West Windsors might have the happy ending of a pedestrian-friendly Main Street and transit village promenade, leading to higher property values for us all.

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Upcoming Events

March 9   ******* Annual Membership Meeting ******* 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Main Mtg Rm A). Guest Speaker TBA.

March      Membership Drive. Become a member/Renew your membership today and support our local community.

March 12  WWBPA participating at the St Anthony’s Health Fair 1:30-2:30pm in the gym at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Hightstown.

April 13     Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

April 15     Scholarship applications due for Graduating High School Seniors

May          Look for opening Season of WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

May 11     Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Jun 8       Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

July 13     Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

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