Thursday, December 15 by JerryFoster
It’s a challenge to keep up with all the improvements that have been completed this year, including the long-planned Penn Lyle Road project, which includes repaving, bike lanes and sidewalk connections. Thanks to the township for getting this done, even including porous pavement for the sidewalks!
Penn Lyle Road is a key connector between WW-P High School South and the bike lanes on Woodmere Way and Village Road, as well as to the Trolley Line Trail, a multi-use path that connects to Community Park and on to the bike lanes on Rabbit Hill Road, Bennington Drive and Southfield Road.
Including the new multi-use path along South Post Road, you can now bike from Mercer County Park, at either the Mercer Oaks Golf Course or at the Caspersen Rowing Center, to Village Elementary School or Grover Middle School, and on to McCaffrey’s grocery store, all via bike lanes or multi-use paths. There are few gaps left in the biking or sidewalk network in the eastern part of the township.
Naturally, experienced bicyclists don’t regard these improvements as necessary, since they (we, actually) are comfortable driving our bikes in traffic, following the laws like anyone else on the road. For casual bicyclists, however, the bike lanes and paths provide the extra perception of safety that enables them to bike places they would not feel comfortable reaching without those facilities.
Please keep in mind that there are some things to watch out for when biking in a bike lane or on a path. Whenever there’s an intersection or driveway, many drivers pay attention to the middle of the road to look for a car approaching, but may not look to the edge where the bike lane is, and so may not notice a bicyclist entering the intersection or driveway. Also, if cars are backed up, someone turning through a gap in the cars may not see an approaching bicyclist (or a pedestrian on the sidewalk at a driveway), since the driver is paying attention to the gap in cars but not yet to the space beyond. Just keep an eye out for these common causes of crashes, and you’ll be able to avoid them.
Wednesday, November 23 by JerryFoster
This past week saw the pavement laid on the new trail along South Post Road from Village Road to Conover Road. This trail will see heavy use by the rowers at Caspersen Rowing Center, who do their warmup runs along this stretch of road, which borders the Mercer Oaks golf course. We also hope to see families use it as they head to the ballfields at the corner of Conover Road. Thanks to the township and county for working together on a grant for this trail!
Caspersen Rowing Center is run by the Princeton National Rowing Association (PNRA), which was recently named 2011 USRowing Club of the Year by USRowing, the United States’ governing organization for Olympic and World Cup rowing. Located on Mercer Lake in Mercer County Park, Caspersen Rowing Center is an Olympic and U.S. Women’s National Team Training Center, home to the Mercer Junior Rowing Club for high school students and the Mercer Master’s Rowing Program for adults, as well as to area private school rowing programs. Mercer’s programs have many members in common with the WWBPA, including this author’s spouse and daughter. More information can be found at rowpnra.org.
Wednesday, October 5 by silvia
Part of the Dinky Line Trail
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.
Help us show we want these improvements!
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Sunday, June 19 by silvia
Millstone River Trail
Help the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance and Friends of West Windsor Open Space do some maintenance on the Millstone trails.
We will meet at 10 a.m. on Sunday June 26 in the Millstone Preserve parking lot on Millstone Road. We will be clearing trails of brush, weeds and downed trees. If there are enough people, we will tackle Rogers Preserve as well. Otherwise we will do that in late July.
Bring clippers/loppers, rakes and weed-whackers or something else to take out the weeds. You may want to wear gloves and carry a bottle of water. We’ll be done by noon.
Email with any questions, and feel free to bring some friends.
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.
Friday, April 15 by sandy
Join us for a bike ride along part of the Henry Hudson Trail, beginning and ending in Marlboro, with a stop in Freehold for lunch and a tour of the unique Metz Bike Museum, housing more than 2,000 items, including 125 of the rarest bicycles, childrens’ antique toys, gadgets, and mousetraps! If there’s time, we may check out some Springsteen sites in town.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
11 a.m. to about 3 p.m.
Cost: $10 adult (children under 12, $5) for admission to the museum. We’ll collect cash on the day.
RSVP: email@example.com. We must know how many people will join us, as the Metz Bicycle Museum tour requires at least six people and can only handle a maximum of 30 people at a time.
Meet at 11 a.m. at the Bicycle Hub bike shop in Marlboro, where you can park you car. We estimate the route is about 8 miles each way.
239 Route 79
Marlboro, NJ 07765
Henry Hudson Trail
from Marlboro to Freehold
The Bicycle Hub of Marlboro is located on State Highway 79, one mile north of County Road 520 (toward Matawan) in Marlboro township. When using a GPS type navigation system use “239 State Highway 79, Morganville, NJ 07751.
Freehold Bike Brochure
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Thursday, January 27 by JerryFoster
Buffered Bike Lanes Work for Kids
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.
Saturday, January 8 by sandy
The U.S. Department of Transportation posted its 2010 Record of Accomplishment, and the WWBPA sees some good things in it. Highlights include anti-distracted driving regulations and encouragement for more transportation opportunities. In particular, it helped level the playing field for bicyclists and pedestrians. This is a big accomplishment, particularly as some think bicyclists and pedestrians could lose out in some of the new Congress’s budget battles (see this analysis from the League of American Bicyclists).
Here’s some of what DOT did, in its own words:
In March 2010, DOT formulated key recommendations for state DOTs and communities to integrate the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians in federally-funded road projects. DOT discouraged transportation investments that negatively affect cyclists and pedestrians and encouraged investments that go beyond the minimum requirements and provide facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities. Such recommendations include treating walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes, ensuring convenient access for people of all ages and abilities, and protecting sidewalks and shared-use paths the same way roadways are protected. Through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grants program, DOT funded major projects across the country that allow Americans to safely and conveniently get where they need to go on a bike or on foot.
One of the TIGER grants “will repair, reconstruct and improve 16.3 miles of pedestrian and bicycle facilities that will complete a 128-mile regional network in six counties around Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey,” including the Schuylkill Trail, with artist’s rendering above.
Sunday, January 2 by silvia
Hightstown’s Roger C. Cook Greenway is featured in the winter issue of the Rails to Trails Conservancy‘s magazine. The trail uses part of the old Camden & Amboy rail corridor and, the article notes, is at the heart of an effort to rejuvenate and reinvigorate the borough. It’s used by pedestrians, cyclists and inline skaters.
Three sections of the Greenway are now open, including the Heritage Trail that includes the old rail corridor and a refurbished whistle-stop. Future plans call for extending it to surrounding communities, such as East Windsor.
Wednesday, December 29 by silvia
The WWBPA is slowly making progress on improving the accessibility of sidewalks and crosswalks. Some work has already started or is in the capital budget and should be completed this fiscal year, so by June 30. Such improvements, particularly those affecting access between township properties, such as the Municipal Complex and parks, transportation and businesses, are not only obvious but in many cases are required under the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA. These improvements make a huge difference not only to people like Michael Ogg, a WWBPA trustee and a wheelchair user for several years, and other people with disabilities, but also to the general public: those pushing strollers, the elderly, young children on bicycles.
But what about a trail that goes nowhere? A trail whose purpose is simply to allow its users to enjoy the outdoors or to explore the woods? Yes, there are trails around Community Park and the Ron Rogers Arboretum, certainly the Trolley Line Trail, but not in the woods. West Windsor is fortunate to have so much open space, but shouldn’t people who use wheelchairs also be able to enjoy it? The WWBPA thinks so and is exploring with Friends of West Windsor Open Space the possibility of creating an accessible trail. A good candidate location is in the woods adjacent to the Ron Rogers Arboretum with a trailhead at the “hat” memorial.
A suitable surface is boardwalk or crushed stone: solid enough for wheels but still permeable and environmentally appropriate. Tell us what you think about this.