Please join us Wednesday, May 15 at 7pm at the West Windsor Municipal Center for the Ride of Silence, to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Please arrive early enough to be ready to leave at 7pm. The ride is a free national event that features slow riding, helmeted bicycists on public roads, see: http://rideofsilence.org/main.php
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
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.
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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The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance is launching its series of casual summer bike rides around the community with an easy ride for ice cream at Rite Aid through West Windsor neighborhoods (and no Route 571) on Saturday, June 23.
We will gather by the tennis courts at Community Park (near the North Mill Road entrance) at 2:45 p.m. and begin our ride at 3 p.m. We’ll go past the tennis courts on Hendrickson and use the crosswalk to Norchester on Clarksville. Then we’ll show you a little-known cut-though; just remember to yield to any walkers we meet.
The route is less than 1 ½ miles each way, so perfect for younger riders. (Too short? Ride to the ride!)
Helmets are required and children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Remember to ride safely and follow the rules of the road.
The ride is free, but bring money for ice cream or other snack. The rain date is Sunday, June 24. There is no need to preregister.
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.
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.
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.
Help us promote nighttime visibility among “invisible” cyclists and others.
We will be at St. Anthony’s of Padua in Hightstown at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20 and at St. Paul’s in Princeton at 7 p.m. Monday Nov. 28. At each event, we will give a short presentation in Spanish (and English) that also includes some basic “rules of the road.” We’ll then offer visibility and safety items such as reflective vests, lights and helmets for half price, funded in part by a generous donation from the West Windsor Policemen’s Benevolent Association. We need people who can help with the presentation as well as Spanish and non-Spanish speakers to help fit helmets, model vests and otherwise encourage “invisible” cyclists to be more visible to motorists at night.
Interested in helping? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Would your place of worship be interested in a safety presentation? Or have another suggestion? Email us!
photo courtesy of www.pedbikeimages.org / Diana Redwood
It’s no longer light when many of us head off or come home from work, or go jogging or walking, and it will soon be darker for many more of us. The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance strongly urges pedestrians, joggers and bicyclists to be bright at night.
The dark coats and jackets most of us favor make it hard for motorists to see us; the Federal Highway Administration says a driver will first see someone wearing blue 55 feet away and someone in white from 180 feet – but won’t be able to stop in time for either if he’s going 40 mph.
Even when walking in our neighborhoods, where traffic is slower, being visible helps everyone stay safe.
The WWBPA will demonstrate and sell a wide range of items at the West Windsor Farmers’ Market on Sat., Oct. 1 that will make you more visible: vests, belts and briefcase straps with reflective materials, small lights to hang off the end of purses and backpacks and of course lights and reflective tape for bikes. Come see us between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Vaughn Drive commuter parking lot off Alexander Road.
You can’t be too visible.
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The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance will be at West Windsor’s National Night Out event on Tuesday, Aug. 2. This will be from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Community Park, rain or shine, and is being put on by the West Windsor Police Department. The WWBPA will be talking bike and pedestrian safety and will have a drawing with plenty of bike and pedestrian-related goodies for those who take our bike safety quiz.
The police are promising music, inflatable bounce houses, a dunk tank, food, dance performances, a magician, a face painter and a pony ride. Many other community groups, including police, fire, K-9 and rescue services, will be represented.
Bicycle and pedestrian friendliness doesn’t have to be a win-lose battle between competing interests, but can be a win-win for everyone. The right design balances safety, capacity and livability for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians in a way that makes all groups comfortable sharing the space.
Notably, the roadway design should make motorists comfortable traveling at the posted speed limit, which should be 35mph or less so drivers will stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk.
One nearby example of pedestrian friendliness sometimes discussed is Mercer County Rt 526 in Robbinsville, where recent development included all the design items to make a pedestrian friendly area.
Does it work? Check these pictures – they apparently need a lighted sign board to remind drivers re: the speed limit, and to watch for pedestrians. Why might the roadway design not support the speed limit?
From our friends at the League of American Bicyclists:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s new Walk and Bike Safely beginning-level curriculum is designed for adult English language learners and is a useful tool for teachers or volunteers working with adult immigrants who are learning English. The product is in English and uses a more pictorial approach than the previously posted Intermediate level curriculum on the same subject matter. Walk and Bike Safely consists of six lessons each covering a different safety message. Both the beginning-level and intermediate-level curriculum can be accessed from either NHTSA’s pedestrian or bicycle Web sites.
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Here’s a case of when it pays off to be stopped by the police:
Police departments in several Middlesex County municipalities, including Plainsboro and Cranbury, are giving a “summons” to any kid spotted wearing a helmet while biking (or doing another wheeled activity) between June 21 and Sept. 30. Each summons can be redeemed for free items, such as a scoop of ice cream or slice of pizza, and enters the child in a raffle drawing for a new helmet and bicycle at the end of the campaign.
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s Safe Kids Middlesex County is once again partnering with county and local governments to make this program happen. You can read more about it here.
Wearing a helmet isn’t just the law for kids under 17; it makes sense for cyclists of all ages. You only have one brain, and even an seemingly innocent fall the wrong way can do serious damage.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 190,000 children sustain head injuries each year while participating in wheeled activities. Brain injuries often have lifelong effects, such as problems with thought processes, mobility and emotions. There is no cure for brain injury so prevention is extremely important.
Talk to the WWBPA about how to fit your helmet properly so it doesn’t slide around. There’s a science to it!
Join us April 9 from 10 a.m. to noon, when Bike New York comes to Train the Trainers for our West Windsor Bikes: “Lose the Training Wheels” session at the Farmers’ Market on May 21, when we’ll teach children to ride bikes without training wheels.
We’ll start our training session at the West Windsor Library and then head outside. Please email us at email@example.com so we can know to expect you and contact you if plans change because of bad weather.
Click here to read about the Balancing First Method.
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The guide, created through a contract from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is intended to give Safe Routes to School practitioners, teachers, school administrators and others the necessary background information to fully understand the positive benefits of teaching bicycle and pedestrian education in the classroom, and to provide these audiences with easy access to currently available curricula. The guide and its accompanying inventory are organized into descriptive categories that will help in choosing the right curriculum for specific classroom needs.
What happens when a motorist hits cyclists? This video looks back at the impressive media and public response to a road incident in the Netherlands between a reckless driver and the three cyclists he struck while they were stopped waiting for a traffic light. The motorist was arrested and temporarily lost his driving license. He would have lost it permanently had he not passed an expensive exam to retain it. It was in the news for months. Even though no one died. It’s certainly not the sort of public (or media) response we see here.
We’ve spotted a couple of Mercer County Community College summer programs with biking and hiking themes:
Among the 2011 Summer Sports Camps is Mountain Biking Camp (co-ed, ages 8-16)
July 25-29 / August 8-12 This camp focuses on some of the fundamental skills required in cross country mountain bike racing as well as the mechanics and general maintenance of bicycles. Campers will learn skills associated with mountain bike racing such as proper body position for maximum balance and control while navigating through narrow trails and terrain. How to properly go over obstacles such as small log climbs. Along with these skills campers will also learn proper racing etiquette as well as how to take care of their bike with some basic maintenance.
For more information, go to Mercer County Community College Youth Summer Sports Camps or call 609-570-3779.
For those interested in more traditional bicycling and in hiking, there’s Camp College, which offers Friday Fun Days, with this one: Bike & Hike (AGES 9-13)
July 29, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Enjoy a day trip to Mercer County Park where we will ride the trails and experience the beauty of the area on two wheels. We’ll explore the red, blue, and yellow trails then find a shady spot for our picnic lunch. Before we hit the dirt we will have a brief overview of bicycle safety, trail riding, and bike maintenance. You must provide your own bike, lock and helmet (No open toe shoes). Tuition and fees: $60
For more information and registration, go to Camp College or call 609-570-3311.
The data is in! Implementing buffered bike lanes in New York City resulted in a 190% increase (nearly tripled!) in bicycling based on before and after counts. More significantly for pedestrians, the percentage of bicyclists on the sidewalk fell from 46% to 4%, and 32% of these cyclists riding in the bike lanes were children legally allowed to ride on the sidewalk!
Buffered bike lanes, which are placed between the sidewalk and the on-street parked cars, are a key feature of the Princeton Junction Redeveloment Plan, although they are replaced in the Transit Village area by the Shared Space concept, which mix bicycle and motor vehicle travel lanes.
According to a recent report, these dramatic results were for weekday counts between 7am-7pm. Weekend counts more than doubled (125% increase), and cyclists riding on the sidewalk fell from 20% to 4%, 43% of whom were children legally allowed to ride on the sidewalk.
Want to have fewer people biking on the sidewalk? Implement buffered bike lanes – they work for bicyclists of all ages and abilities.
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