Keep Bike and Walk Federal Funding in New Jersey

Wednesday, October 31 by JerryFoster

The WWBPA, the Princeton Free Wheelers and the New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition recently sent letters encouraging Governor Christie to spend federal money for biking and walking on biking and walking projects.

Here’s a snip from the WWBPA letter:

“New Jersey?s continued economic development strongly depends on becoming the most livable state, to attract skilled professionals to live and locate their businesses here. As the most densely populated state, we? must look beyond roadway expansion to implement an efficient multimodal infrastructure that is fast, convenient and inexpensive.

Biking and walking is key to increasing livability and transportation efficiency. Those who bike or walk not only have fun and stay healthier, those who bike or walk to work or school reduce congestion and pollution for the entire community.

With relatively modest investments by infrastructure standards, biking and walking, especially to and from transit, can provide a viable alternative to driving a car. The return on these investments will save New Jerseyans over $8,000 per year per car. No other investment can have such a positive impact, and few other states can capitalize on this? opportunity as easily, giving New Jersey a competitive advantage for years to come.

Under the new federal transportation bill, called MAP-21, states have flexibility in the use of funds. We strongly urge you to utilize all MAP-21 funding programs ? including HSIP, CMAQ, and STP – to include biking and walking in all transportation projects.

West Windsor Township, New Jersey?s first Bicycle Friendly Community, has been fortunate to enjoy the benefits of federal funds, for example by building sidewalks near the Princeton Junction train station under a Safe Routes to Transit grant. More needs to be done ? please make biking and walking investments a top priority.”

You can join us to encourage our officials to spend biking and walking money on biking and walking by contacting our public officials.

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Bike and Walk To Reduce Congestion

Saturday, October 27 by JerryFoster

We recently sent a letter to the editor to the various local papers thanking NJDOT Commissioner James Simpson for reopening the Route 1 jughandles in West Windsor, and encouraging our officials to implement Complete Streets to reduce local congestion and build livable, bicycle and pedestrian friendly communities, rather than encouraging further sprawl.

In case you didn’t read it in the Trenton Times or on PlanetPrinceton.com, here’s the letter:

The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance thanks New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner James Simpson for re-opening the Route 1 jughandles last week. We applaud NJDOT’s leadership in recognizing the need to maintain a balance between local and long-distance congestion.

Transportation policy favoring long-distance traffic creates sprawl, which is not desirable for economic, environmental, public health and safety reasons. In contrast, Complete Streets policies encourage sustainable development by creating livable communities. NJDOT’s Complete Streets policy leads the nation, according to Smart Growth America, requiring roads to be designed and built for all users, including bicyclists and pedestrians. Mercer County and West Windsor Township have also adopted Complete Streets for roads under their jurisdictions. Implementation will create viable alternatives to driving that mitigate local congestion.

Implementing Complete Streets in West Windsor, including crosswalks, connecting sidewalks and bike lanes around the train station, has already reduced congestion. We recently counted 355 people biking and walking near the station during evening peak hours, up 18% over last year.

We encourage everyone to reduce congestion and stay healthy by biking and walking for short trips ? we even think it’s fun. Although congestion is here to stay, Commissioner Simpson improved livability by reopening the jughandles ? let’s do our part by biking or walking to school and work whenever possible.

 

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