Spring 2012 Newsletter
Complete Streets for Mercer County
Mercer County joins Monmouth and Essex counties as the first in New Jersey to adopt a “Complete Streets” policy that requires roadway projects, whether a repaving, a reconfiguration or new construction, to take all users into account, including bicyclists and pedestrians, by default rather than by exception or as an afterthought. This national movement is gaining strength as citizens everywhere push for streets that are safer, more livable, and welcoming to everyone, and a number of Mercer County communities, including West Windsor, are among the early adopters.
The inclusion of Mercer County is big news, given how many of our key roads, even just in West Windsor, are county roads. While we have had some success in making some county roads friendlier for bicyclists and pedestrians without this policy, the job will now be somewhat easier. There are exceptions to the policy, so not every stretch of roadway may get a bike lane, for example. But with consistent and persistent application, we should see results after several years, though a complete transformation may take decades.
The WWBPA was a big part of the push to get Mercer County on board, but we also had support from 24 area groups, including the Princeton Joint Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee, Sustainable Lawrence, Trenton Cycling Revolution and the Princeton Free Wheelers. You can learn more about Complete Streets at a “lunch and learn” with Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association on Friday, May 18 at the Princeton Public Library.
Celebrate National Bike Month With the WWBPA
May is National Bike Month, and the week of May 13 is Bike to Work Week. A number of events are planned in West Windsor and neighboring communities; one (or more) is sure to be right for you. We’ve also included a few for walkers. (Note that not all events listed below are organized by the WWBPA)
May 5: West Windsor Walks to the opening day of the farmers’ market. Join us at 8:50 a.m. in the parking lot at the back of Maurice Hawk Elementary school for a leisurely stroll of just over a mile. We’ll start walking at 9 a.m. and are excited that the route this year will take us along some stretches of sidewalk that weren’t there last year. Kids will be challenged by a game of “I Spy.” People in wheelchairs and kids in strollers are welcome.
May 6: Bring your child (up to age 10) and bike to a free bike skills class at Plainsboro’s Founders Day. Princeton’s police department is sponsoring a separate bike skills class that includes a bike obstacle course on May 19; call 921-2100, ext. 1848 for details.
May 11-12: Adults aren’t being left out. This skills class, offered through the West Windsor Recreation Department, is for those who want to boost their confidence when riding on the road. Cost is $50, but the WWBPA will reimburse $25 of the cost for members. Plus we’ll cover the other $25 for the first five members who write a review of the class that we can use on our website.
May 12: Buy a bike at Bike Exchange in Ewing and get a free helmet from Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association. Learn more about this and other GMTMA events during National Bike Month here.
May 14-18: National Bike to Work Week. Register for a free T-shirt and a raffle with GMTMA.
May 15: Bikers Breakfast at the Princeton Junction train station, sponsored by the WWBPA and Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association, starting at 6 a.m. Grab a drink and a snack on us. Want a bike locker? We’ll tell you how to get one.
May 16: The WWBPA is supporting one of three area Ride of Silence events to honor cyclists killed or injured on the roads. Meet at 6:45 p.m. in the Municipal Center parking lot; the silent one-hour ride will leave at 7 p.m. We will have a West Windsor police escort and a funeral hearse courtesy of Mather Hodge. We suggest you wear a black armband and turn on your front and rear lights. We will stick together for the entire 10-12 mile route. Last year, more than 12,000 cyclists took part in events around the world.
May 19: Tour historic Trenton with the Trenton Cycling Revolution. More information about this 15-mile ride and registration at www.trentoncycling.org.
May 26: BikeFest, West Windsor’s bicycling extravaganza, with rides for people of all abilities, from 1.5 miles to 40 miles. Register at www.westwindsorbikefest.com. Say “hi” to the WWBPA after your ride!
June 16: The WWBPA holds a free “learn to bike” class for kids who want to get off training wheels at the West Windsor Farmers’ Market. Watch the video of last year’s class. Note: This is a members-only event.
A Friendlier Canal Pointe?
The WWBPA would like to see Canal Pointe Boulevard go on a diet. A three-lane roadway, with a center turn lane, would slow traffic and create room for bike lanes yet have a minimal impact on the road’s capacity. Read more in the Trenton Times and contact our elected officials with your comments.
Scholarship Application Deadline Is May 6
The WWBPA awards scholarships of up to $500 per student to graduating seniors for their commitment to the community and their efforts to help make the area more bicycle and pedestrian friendly. This year’s application deadline is May 6.Applicants must be seniors and residents of West Windsor or Plainsboro and attend West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North or South, or be West Windsor residents who attend another area private school or are home-schooled, and must complete their high school education by June 2012.
Where to Find the WWBPA
Come to our monthly meetings, held on the second Thursday of every month at the West Windsor Municipal Center. Meetings start at 7 p.m. The next one is May 10. Come with your concerns and ideas.
We’ll also be at the West Windsor Farmers Market every other Saturday beginning May 5 and into October.
Our Bigger Board
We expanded the board and added several new trustees: Juan Cárdenas, Sonia Gawas and Mike Ruderman. Michael Ogg and, more recently, Mark Shallcross have stepped down. Read more about our board.
Our seven student advisors are back for another year: Brandon Ling, Greg Ling, Sanjana Saksena, Alisha Kanitkar, Elissa Lomakova, Laura Foster, and Rachel Karp.
West Windsor is New Jersey’s first (and so far only) bicycle-friendly community. The WWBPA is honored that the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia described us as “one of the most successful bicycle and pedestrian advocacy groups in the country” on a per-capita basis and “a model community for the many built-out suburbs in the region.”
Want a speaker for your local organization? Email us at email@example.com.
You’re missing a lot of news if you wait for the newsletter. Keep up with WWBPA activities and learn about other bicycle and pedestrian topics by subscribing to our website, wwbpa.org. It is generally updated several times a week. We’re also on Facebook. The two sites have similar — but not identical — information. Leave us a comment!
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