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
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.
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.
Join the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance for its sixth annual Community Bike Ride on Oct. 6 (rain date Oct 7) as we head down the D&R Canal towpath to discover how it connects to other bicycling and walking routes.
Our eight-mile ride will leave from Turning Basin Park (Alexander Road and the canal) and head to Brearley House in Lawrence (located on the 20-mile Lawrence Hopewell Trail). We’ll stop there for refreshments and some give-aways, plus hear about the Lawrence Hopewell Trail and the East Coast Greenway before turning back.
This is the last in our series of free family-friendly bike rides for 2012. Meet at the park at 2:15 p.m.; the ride leaves at 2:30 p.m. No preregistration is necessary; just bring a bike in good working order and a helmet. Children under 13 should be accompanied by an adult.
This year, we are adding a walking option, from Port Mercer Canal House. Gather at the parking lot at 2:15 p.m. (departure time is 2:30 p.m.) for the 1.3-mile walk to Brearley House. Because of road construction, the parking lot is only accessible from Route 1, not Princeton.
The ride is so-sponsored by the Lawrence Hopewell Trail, Sustainable Lawrence and the Princeton Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee.
About two dozen people, many of them new faces, joined us on Sept. 15 for a five-mile loop from Community Park down the Trolley Line Trail to Penn-Lyle Road and past High School South back to the park. Thanks for coming along for the ride!
Comments Off on Our Trail-to-Trail Community Bike Ride (and Walk)
About two dozen riders, plus our West Windsor police escort and a funeral hearse from Mather-Hodge, made up our solemn Ride of Silence procession through West Windsor. We certainly got attention, particularly by the Conover Road ballfields! (Notice how well reflective gear works!)
We kicked off the farmers’ market season with a walk to the market and promoted bicycling and walking on two market days, Princeton’s Communiversity at the end the April and West Windsor’s own BikeFest extravaganza. We also held a class for adults who wanted to learn to bike.
Unfortunately, our plans for a bikers breakfast at the Princeton Junction train station with Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association were rained out.
Communiversity and our new bike safety wheel
Walking to the first day of the farmers' market
Comments Off on Share Our Memories of National Bike Month
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.
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.
The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance is organizing its third annual Walk to the Farmers’ Market on Saturday May 5 to mark the opening of the market for the season.
This free family-friendly walk is open to people of all ages, and those in wheelchairs and strollers as well. We will meet in the Maurice Hawk School parking lot at the back of the school, and start strolling at 9 a.m.; please arrive by 8:50 a.m. so we can leave on time. Our mile-long route will take us to Berrien Avenue on the school path, and then down Berrien to Alexander Road. We will then cross Alexander Road by the Arts Center and turn left onto the new sidewalk constructed last summer with the help of a Safe Routes to Transit grant obtained by West Windsor Township. We will cross Wallace Road and continue up over the roundabout and along more of the sidewalk along Alexander Road, including a key portion installed last year, to Vaughn Drive, where we will turn right and proceed to the Farmers’ Market.
Children of all ages will be challenged by a game of “I Spy” along the way.
We’ll follow a different route back to the Hawk parking lot for those who are interested.
Comments Off on Walk With Us To The Farmers’ Market
Once again, the FreeWalkers are planning a long walk along the D&R Canal towpath past West Windsor as part of their Cross-Jersey Walking Challenge.
The Great Canal Walk, or TR2NB40, is a 40-mile one-day long-distance walk on April 7 that starts at the Delaware River. Do some or all of it, tracing the footsteps of this 175-year old waterway. This is a superb physical and mental challenge and the first event in a series of four walking events aiming to walk across New Jersey following the East Coast Greenway. The event is free and open to the public, and you can join at any point along the route.
Two other walks are planned: the NB2MP10 – The Tween Walk on April 14, a 10-mile walk from New Brunswick to Metropark, and NJ2NY50 – The Big Walk on May 19, a one-day, 50-mile walk from Metropark to New York Penn Station.
Those interested in taking the Cross-Jersey Challenge have to walk the entire 100-mile New Jersey portion of the East Coast Greenway within the next 12 months and record their efforts on crossjerseywalk.org.You don’t need to participate in any of the three walks.
In addition, the FreeWalkers are planning a grand walk of about 30 miles all along the Hudson River on June 9. Did you know that the entire Hudson River Walkway from Jersey City to the George Washington Bridge is nearly complete and very walkable? Imagine walking all that way and across the GWB then down the Hudson River Greenway along the West Side Highway. Details will be available on freewalkers.org.
The National Association of Realtors published the 2011 Community Preference Survey last year – no surprise to us, Americans prefer walkable communities! According to the survey:
“When selecting a community, nearly half of the public (47%) would prefer to live in a city (19%) or a suburban neighborhood with a mix of houses, shops, and businesses (28%). Another four in ten (40%) would prefer a rural area (22%) or a small town (18%). Only one in ten (12%) say they would prefer a suburban neighborhood with houses only.
The public’s attitudes toward traffic solutions have remained consistent over the last seven years. Improving public transportation is viewed as the best answer to traffic congestion by half of the country (50%). Three in ten (30%) prefer building communities where fewer people need to drive long distances to work and shop. Far fewer want to see more roads (18%).
Top Community Characteristics:
Privacy from neighbors (87%, important; 45%, very);
Being within a 30-minute commute to work (78%; 36%);
Sidewalks and places to take walks (77%; 31%); and
High quality public schools (75%; 44%).
Americans are particularly interested in being within an easy walk of grocery stores (75%, important), pharmacies (65%), hospitals (61%), restaurants (60%), and cultural resources like libraries or theaters (59%). At least half of the public also considers being able to walk to schools (55%), doctors’ offices (55%), and public transportation by bus (50%) important in deciding where to live. Walking to recreational facilities (47%), places of worship (47%), or public transportation by rail (42%) are slightly less important.”
What can we do to make West Windsor more walkable, and therefore more desirable? A grocery store to replace the former Acme would be a huge improvement, as well as the planned sidewalks along Rt 571, as well as the planned rapid flashing beacon will be installed at the crosswalk at Sherbrooke Drive. Slower travel speed and additional pedestrian-friendly crossings will help realize our redevelopment plan’s vision to make Rt 571 “a desirable mix of pedestrian-friendly, village scale development.”
Comments Off on Americans Prefer Walkable Communities
We heard it, as did some Plainsboro residents. So please join us and your neighbors at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 1 at the Plainsboro Library to discuss your ideas for better biking and walking in the community.
Where do you and your family want to ride or bike, and what would make it easier? The WWBPA wants to partner with people who live, work, or even go to school in Plainsboro. Together we’ll explore some ways to make Plainsboro a more bicycle and pedestrian friendly community.
Please help us spread the word to your friends and neighbors. Hope to see you there!
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 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.
WZBN reporter Rose Eiklor interviewed Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh and WWBPA President Jerry Foster and 2nd Vice President Alison Miller. The broadcast was on December 6, 2011.
Jerry made the case for a revised plan: “While the new plans will allow pedestrians to walk along Route 571 much more easily due to the new sidewalks, they won’t be able to cross as easily. And it’s not enough, in our view, to be able to just walk along a road; we’ve got to be able to cross it safely as well. Any median or refuge island that goes in the middle would be a huge improvement to being able to cross the road safely. The other main thing that we’re looking for is less speed through this section of our ‘Main Street.'”
There also are many, many commuters who will cross right here [the intersection of Route 571 with Wallace/Cranbury], because this is the way to the train station, and it’s expensive to buy a parking space, especially when you can walk. And commuters are always in a hurry, and we’re very concerned about commuter safety.”
Mayor Hsueh worries that any changes in the design at this point will require the Township and County “to go back to square one again…I have reservations about [their design], because they didn’t know that we’d already discussed with County about those concerns. But County…also has certain kinds of ground rules regarding a county roadway, and we have to compromise with them.”
The mayor continued: “The speed limit is decided by the state DOT, so my feeling is, once we have this design done and once we have people riding bicycles around, [there will be] opportunities we can request for reevaluation of the speed limits, and there are technical standards–it’s not even political negotiations, it’s all based on statistical analysis.”
Commenting on the YouTube site, WWBPA trustee Chris Scherer notes, “It is not financially or socially responsible to implement a ‘ solution’ that requires rework to be considered safe and effective.”
Halloween this year was unusual for the early snowfall and the downed branches littering the curbs along with the leaves. West Windsor was fortunate to have power, compared to many New Jersey towns, and in my neighborhood the township removed 2 trees blocking roads Saturday night, so things were pretty much back to normal for the big night on Monday.
We had a pleasant Halloween night – lots of smaller children showed up, very cute in their costumes. It’s a nice change from a few years ago, when we got mostly older teenagers – the neighborhood is turning over, young families moving in.
Our new township LED sign by the high school advertised something called “Trunk or Treat.” Apparently this involves celebrating Halloween in a parking lot, where participants decorate their cars, and their children visit each car in the lot, getting their candy from fellow travelers.
We can see where this kind of event may be attractive for those who don’t live in a neighborhood, but hope it complements instead of supplants traditional Halloween – we’d hate to miss out on a chance to build a sense of community with our neighbors. Many communities also hold Halloween parades, to get a critical mass of people walking. An even more innovative idea might be to have a car-free neighborhood between certain hours on Halloween.
West Windsor is fortunate to have safe neighborhoods – we don’t have to wait for Halloween to take the opportunity to walk around and talk, or at least wave, to our neighbors .
By walking, not only will you feel healthier, you’ll help provide better neighborhood safety, acting as “eyes on the street.” With nearly ubiquitous cell phones with cameras, anyone can provide immediate assistance to law enforcement.
We live in a safe town, let’s help keep it that way – by taking a walk!
Comments Off on Keep Halloween in the Neighborhood
Maurice Hawk Elementary School Principal Denise Mengani, Assistant Principal Patricia Buell and the Hawk led students, their parents and WWBPA trustees for the Walk to Hawk event on October 18th, part of the International Walk to School month festivities.
We had a beautiful sunny day for the walk. About 45 students and their parents went on the walk, which started at the West Windsor municipal center and ended at Maurice Hawk Elementary School. WWBPA trustee Stacey Karp gave each child an “I walked to school today” sticker and everyone helped make sure all the students arrived safely at school.
We want to extend our thanks to the West Windsor police officers who stopped traffic at several crossings so that the group could stay together. Ms. Mengani allowed us to address the parents to we could share some of the improvements WWBPA has advocated for around town, as well as promote our upcoming events.
Comments Off on Hawk Elementary Celebrates Walk to School Month
West Windsor is applying for three bicycle and pedestrian-friendly grants from the New Jersey Department of Transportation. One will help pay for an extension of the Dinky Line Trail behind the office buildings along Alexander Road between Vaughn Drive and Route 1, giving bicyclists a safe alternative to Alexander Road and giving office workers a pleasant outdoor retreat. (See the map here: Dinky Line Trail Extension Map.) It falls under the Safe Streets to Transit program. Another, part of the Bikeways program, would help extend the bike lane on Edinburg Road to the eastern entrance of Mercer County Park, creating a family-friendly route to the park. The third, part of the Roadway Infrastructure Program, would allow for the repaving of New Village Road between Edinburg and Old Trenton Road, including the bike lanes and ensuring that ramps at the crosswalks are suitable for those on wheelchairs, pushing strollers and others. While at least the first two are in this year’s capital improvement budget, any state funding obviously means less local money (via property taxes) will be needed.
These grants are highly competitive, and state officials made clear at the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition‘s summit early this year that community support for the projects is an important consideration.
Of course, the WWBPA will write letters as an organization, but we’d also like to see some from individuals. Write a letter to the mayor (we are told they want original signed letters, not emails) this week for each project you want to show support. The Municipal Center address is 271 Clarksville Road, West Windsor NJ 08550. Apologies for the short notice, but the township wants the letters by Friday. The letter does not have to be long. Any personal experience with the area and why the improvement is needed would make it even better.
From our friends at Freeewalkers, a social group of long-distance walkers who were joined by some WWBPA supporters as they passed through West Windsor earlier this year:
Extend your summer into October with The Endless Summer Walk: bay2ocean30 a 30 mile walk along the fabulous Jersey shore. And, now you can also start the Fall season with our last walking challenge for the year the LENAPE34: The Origins Walk. A repeat of a tough but popular event for the second year in a row. Sign up for either or both. As usual they are FREE and open to the public.
The Endless Summer Walk: bay2ocean30
This walk starts in Matawan and ends in Asbury Park. We’ll walk the Henry Hudson Trail along the Raritan Bayshore area and then proceed along the ocean front from Sea Bright to Asbury Park. There’s a quiet natural trail, grand views and of course, the magnificent Atlantic Ocean for half the journey. Our support for this walk goes to the Friends of the Parks, a non-profit support organization that assists the Monmouth County Park System with programs that help the local communities. Visit http://bit.ly/bay2ocean30 for info or sign up here.
The Origins Walk: LENAPE34 (2011)
The LENAPE34 is a repeat of a 34-mile trek through woods, neighborhoods, and urban settings in the tradition of modern-day explorers. Our walk will start in Millburn and ends at Penn Station, Newark on Monday, October 10, 2011 – the official Columbus Day holiday. There’s three Essex County reservations to cross, some altitude to get over, towns, neighborhoods, a city and some of the best designed parks in the country. This walk has it all. But be forewarned, its not easy.
Visit http://lenape34.org for info or sign up here.
From the League of American Bicyclists: This year, around $700 million of Federal transportation funds, which in reality is less than 2% of total transportation dollars, will be spent on bicycling and walking. In 2012 that figure might be a big fat zero.
We expect that in the next few days, Senator Coburn (R-OK) will ask Congress to eliminate the federal Transportation Enhancements program – the primary funding source for the past 20 years for bike lanes, trails, bike racks on buses, bike education etc. This isn’t safe or smart; it’s not good for the economy or the environment; this is bad health policy and bad transportation policy. But they are going to try because they don’t think bicycling matters.
Even though bicycling projects create more jobs per dollar than highway-only projects and cutting enhancements won’t impact the deficit – the money just won’t be spent on bicycling – some Members of Congress want to force us backwards to a 1950s highway-only mindset: as if oil embargoes, congestion, smog, the obesity epidemic and climate change never happened.
Now is the time to Save Cycling, so we are asking you to contact your Senators and urge them to support continued funding for biking and walking. Don’t let them take away this vital investment program for smart, sustainable, safe transportation choices.
And as America Walks notes, the Transportation Enhancements program has also been the primary funding source for sidewalks, crosswalks, trails and more. If Sen. Coburn succeeds, it would mean an immediate end to funding for Transportation Enhancements. It would also mean that our chances of sustaining any funding for bicycling and walking (including for Safe Routes to School and Recreational Trails) in the long-term reauthorization bill would be more difficult.
West Windsor has gained numerous sidewalk extensions and bike lanes in recent years, and these projects haven’t been exclusively funded with local tax dollars. Let’s make America more bikeable and walkable. Let’s have complete streets — streets that work for all users.
Need an instant e- letter to send to our senators? Here’s one from People for Bikes.
The WWBPA responded to the county’s proposed CR 571 Main Street design recently, maintaining that it is unsafe for everyone: motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians alike. In the past 10 years, two pedestrians were killed on this stretch of roadway (2004 and 2005), while no motorists were killed. A 17-year-old motorist was killed in 2006, however, just west of downtown Princeton Junction, when she lost control of her car on the curve coming off the bridge over the train tracks.
The proposed wider-straighter-faster design does nothing to address these safety issues. Instead, it preserves the current 45mph design speed and 40mph posted speed limit. Drivers don’t respect crosswalks when they have to slow from high speed, and the proposed design does nothing to provide pedestrian refuges in the center of the roadway to promote safe crossing.
Rt 571 Concept Illustration
The design also features a new two-way center left turn lane (TWLTL) that studies have shown to be unsafe; AARP calls them “suicide lanes.” One study even showed that artificially lowering the posted speed limit, but not the design speed, caused an increase in crashes.
Here’s a picture of Hamilton’s SR 33 that most resembles what is planned. The 45mph design speed is simply not appropriate for the pedestrian friendly Main Street that our Redevelopment Plan envisions. A survey of other Mercer County towns shows that Princeton, Lawrenceville, Hightstown, Hopewell and Pennington all have 25 – 30mph speed limits on their Main Streets. Why not in West Windsor?
The current design shows why Mercer County should adopt a Complete Streets policy to complement the state and West Windsor township policies – our transportation network needs jurisdictions with consistent policies to benefit our taxpayers.
Thanks to everyone who has gotten involved to support our position! We appreciate all of you who have signed our petition at the Farmers’ Market, or who have contacted the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, which recently conducted public outreach on this and other federally-funded projects.
More help is needed. Please contact our public officials to support our position. With a lower design speed and pedestrian refuges, our senior residents can cross Route 571 safely to the new Rite Aid, and our children can cross Route 571 safely to the new ex-Acme shopping center, as well as to the high school. And our teenage drivers should be able to keep control of their vehicles when going more slowly. Everyone benefits.
Where would you put public benches in West Windsor?
The WWBPA wants to install some benches around West Windsor. Are there any places you wish you could have a contemplative rest or ease your weary feet before walking just that bit further? Be it the Trolley Line Trail, one of our many wooded preserves, or somewhere else, we welcome your suggestions.
All ideas will be discussed by the WWBPA and with other interested parties. We will keep you informed on progress. Suggestions welcomed on the style of benches too.