More Bike, Pedestrian Improvements Planned

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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Fabulous Day in Freehold

Saturday, June 18 by silvia

About 20 people from West Windsor and neighboring communities headed earlier this month to Freehold and the Metz Bicycle Museum, a museum filled with what must be more than 100 bicycles collected over 60 years by a former Cranbury resident who, we learned, came up with the idea for those scalloped cement blocks to edge gardens.

Most of us used part of the Henry Hudson Trail, a well-used, shaded and paved path on what was once a freight railroad line. We were accompanied from Marlboro High School by a number of local residents who gave us some extra local flavor: Freehold High School, Bruce Springsteen’s alma mater (we heard a few stories about him!); the Battle of Monmouth monument; and lunch on Main Street.

A smaller  group of hardy cyclists peddled from West Windsor to Freehold (about 22 miles). They had the bright idea to stop for ice cream on the way home!

Our youngest cyclist, 9-year-old Ashley, hitched her bike to Dad’s some of the time. We learned she’s a budding fashionista with real affinity for shoes. So guess what her favorite bike had?

See more of our pictures here.

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Plainsboro to Extend Bike Path

Monday, May 16 by silvia

Plainsboro has awarded a contract to construct a bike path on Plainboro Road from Maple Avenue (by the railroad bridge) to Prospect Avenue, one block east. That will fill in a key gap in the township’s bike network.

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Secretary Ray LaHood on bikes and the budget

Sunday, March 6 by sandy

Sean Mellor of BicycleRadio.com interviewed U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Tuesday, March 1. Listen to the interview on the secretary’s blog, fastlane.dot.gov.

LaHood discusses the 2012 budget, with a proposed increase in the transportation portion of the budget. LaHood emphasizes livability issues, multi-modal transportation, livable communities, walking and bike paths. He also discusses his campaign to end distracted driving.

On March 3, LaHood spoke before the Senate Budget Committee about President Obama’s 2012 budget proposals.

LaHood’s message was clear: “It’s essential to America’s economy that we find a way to repair our national infrastructure where we must and build for the future where we can.”

He said that “to spur new business and produce new jobs, we must … invest in .. .bike paths that make our streets more livable.” We heartily agree.

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Clear Away That Snow!

Saturday, January 29 by silvia

bicycle snow plow

An idea born of desperation, a bicycle snowplow in the Chicago area

The WWBPA gives a shout-out to the Forrestal Campus Bike Commuters, a newly formed advocacy group for cyclists who commute daily to Princeton University’s Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro.  The group, which boasts more than 30 members, was formed in response to a lack of snow removal  from bike paths in Plainsboro — especially through the critical corridor along Scudders Mill  Road.  Despite a Plainsboro Township ordinance requiring the removal of snow and ice from bicycle paths and sidewalks within 24 hours of a snowfall, several sections of the two-mile path between  Dey Road and Route 1 weren’t being plowed by their owners.  And snow plowed from  the roadway was blocking the road shoulder–so cyclists, runners and pedestrians were being forced to use car lanes, posing risks both to themselves and to motorists.

Andrew Wittenberg, the Plainsboro resident who formed the advocacy group, bike-commutes daily and year-round to the Forrestal Campus.  “Unlike previous winters where new snow has melted away within days, this winter we’ve had persistent snow cover for over a month, making plowing of these bike paths essential,” he says.

He has written to the Plainsboro Police Department asking for strict  enforcement of Township Code 79-10, which requires that owners clear the bike paths and sidewalks abutting their property within 24 hours, or face fines of up to $500 per offense.  The law also empowers the Township to remove the snow without notice, at cost to the owner.

“Bristol Meyers Squibb has been wonderfully prompt about clearing their section of the path,” says Wittenberg.  “But other owners — including Middlesex County — have repeatedly violated the Township Code.  We’re hopeful that Police enforcement will encourage the owners of these paths to promptly clear them of snow in the future.  If those owners remain unresponsive, we plan to  organize a letter-writing campaign to Mayor Cantu and the local papers, to underscore the importance of our local snow-clearing laws.”

The WWBPA couldn’t agree more and reminds property owners in West Windsor that our ordinances also require sidewalks to be cleared. Those who rely on a cleared sidewalk to head out for a walk,  to visit with a neighbor down the street or to get to the train station, school, library, store or other destination appreciate your courtesy. Motorists who don’t want to find pedestrians in the street do too.

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NJDOT New Bicycling Manual

Sunday, January 16 by sandy

NJ Bicycle Manual CoverThe NJDOT just published (only online) the New Jersey Bicycle Manual. It’s not just for kids, either. Here’s a list of the covered topics, from the table of contents:

  • Selecting, Fitting & Equipping Your Bike
  • Quick Maintenance Checks
  • Off to a Good Start
  • Traffic Basics
  • Sharing the Road
  • Parking Your Bike
  • Difficult Situations
  • Riding at Night & in Rain and Snow
  • Riding with Others
  • Riding on Shared-Use Paths
  • NJ Bicycling Law & Roadway Restrictions
  • Traffic Signals, Signs and Road Markings

The manual includes lots of clear diagrams and photos to help cyclists navigate in a variety of situations (even how to share the road with pedestrians and horseback riders).

This is an excellent resource for both novice and experienced cyclists.

Read the WalkBikeJersey Blog review, but be sure to read the whole manual, too.

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A Friendlier Hamilton?

Saturday, December 18 by silvia

Walking at the Grounds for SculptureHamilton is in the middle of a review of its master plan, a long-term vision for planning and development. One goal is to add more bicycle and pedestrian paths.

The workshops on the master plan are continuing; this is the time for residents to make their views known. You can read more about what’s happened so far here.

It’s encouraging to see more New Jersey communities (Newark, Hoboken, Freehold …) are looking at infrastructure improvements for bicyclists. Here’s the latest on what we’ve read about Hoboken (and Jersey City).

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Progress on Path Along South Post Road

Friday, December 3 by silvia

South Post RoadThe township continues to work toward a multi-use trail along South Post Road from Village Road to Mercer Lake alongside the Mercer Oaks golf course. Permits and contracts are expected to be awarded in time for work to begin in the spring of 2011.

This trail, which was suggested by the WWBPA, will provide a safe route to the Conover Road ballfields and to the Rowing Center, which received six bike racks this year from the WWBPA. It is being funded by a $120,000 NJDOT grant awarded in 2009.

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A Bridge With Room For Bikes and Pedestrians

Saturday, November 20 by silvia

From the Atlantic City Press

A bridge (really two two-lane spans) being built to connect Ocean City with Somers Point (near Atlantic City) includes space for both bicyclists and pedestrians as it connects Atlantic and Cape May counties and eliminates some traffic bottlenecks. As an article in the Atlantic City Press notes, bicyclists and pedestrians were forbidden to cross the old causeway, which has virtually no shoulder and no sidewalks. The new bridge will have a 10-foot-wide bike path.

Construction has begun, and the new causeway, which replaces four low bridges on Route 52, should be open in December 2012.

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Biking to Quaker Bridge Mall

Friday, November 19 by silvia

Quakerbridge Mall mapCycling shoppers can look forward to Quaker Bridge Mall’s expansion and renovation, which will include improved bicycle and pedestrian access to the mall. The plan is to provide trail links to both the Avalon Run community southeast of the mall and to Yorkshire Village on the other side of Route 1, behind Mercer Mall, as well as a path along the southern portion of the mall’s loop road.

A macadam path is to be added from Grover’s Mill Rd on the southeast side of the property to the Route 1 access bridge on the southwest corner of the parcel. The path will continue over Route 1 via a new bike/pedestrian lane to be added to the bridge that now connects the mall to Route 1 near Patio World Fireplace & Hearth and Toys R Us. Lawrence Township is working with the Yorkshire Village homeowner’s association to extend that path to Canal View Drive. From that point it is relatively easy to access the D&R Canal towpath (and then the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail and the East Coast Greenway) via the existing residential street and path leading to the neighborhood’s community center.

The size and shape of the new path over Route 1 is still to be determined, as is the timeline for the whole project. The mall’s expansion, which was originally expected to be completed by now, has been delayed by the recession. The mall’s legal counsel was recently before the Lawrence Township planning board seeking a 20-year extension in their overall plan. The township granted an eight-year extension and underscored the importance of bike/pedestrian access over Route 1.

The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance supports Lawrence’s efforts to improve bicycle and pedestrian access over Route 1, which will improve connections for West Windsor residents as well. The current bridge over Route 1 on Quaker Bridge Road isn’t suitable for bicyclists and pedestrians. The WWBPA also wants to see the off-road path along Clarksville Road that is in West Windsor’s master plan become reality at some point and is pleased to see that a multi-use trail along Clarksville is part of the new apartment complex now under construction near the railroad bridge.

Our thanks to Lawrence Township’s bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group, the Sustainable Transportation Committee, for this report.

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Apr 29  WWBPA to participate in Community Day at Duck Pond Park (11am-4pm)

May 1     Scholarship applications due for Graduating High School Seniors

May 6     Opening day for WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market & Walk from Hawk Elementary School

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

May 20   WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market & Kids Learn to Bike

June 3    WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market  & Adult Learn to Bike (9am-12pm)

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

June 17   WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market & Bike Repair Clinic

July 8     WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

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

July 22    WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

Aug  5     WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

Aug 10    Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Aug 19    WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

Sept 9     WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

Sept 14   Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Sept 23   WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market – Bike Drive (Donations)

Oct 7       WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

Oct 12     Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Oct 28     WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market – Halloween

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