Charity Ride In Honor of Joe McBride

Tuesday, November 9 by JerryFoster

American Diabetes Association LogoOn Saturday, November 13 at 9:00 am, a charity ride will be held in honor of Joe McBride, a member of the Princeton Free Wheelers bicycle club, who was killed in a motor vehicle collision last week while riding his bike near Washington Crossing, PA.

Join the Hill Slugs on Saturday, November 13, as we ride one of Joe McBride’s favorite routes along the Delaware River and the ridge above Frenchtown.  The ride will be C+/B difficulty, 13 – 16mph average speed, for about 50 miles. Joe didn’t like big hills, so we’ll stay away from the nasty ones.  There will be one rest stop in Upper Black Eddy, PA, and an additional, optional, stop in Sergeantsville.

Meet in the CVS parking lot off of Route 29 in Lambertville, and please arrive about 20 minutes early, to be ready to leave at 9am.  Wet roads cancel the ride.

Please bring a check made out to the American Diabetes Association or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Leaders:  Laura Lynch and Joe Miller.  Contact Laura Lynch (perpetualheadwinds@gmail.com) if you have any questions.

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AARP Supports Safety Bills

Tuesday, November 9 by sandy

senior crossing a street in Miami Beach

www.pedbikeimages.org / Dan Burden

A letter in The Princeton Packet from Douglas Johnston of the AARP urges passage of  two Congressional transportation safety bills: HR 1443, The Complete Street Act, and  HR 3355, The Older Driver and Pedestrian Safety Act.

Johnston notes, “In 2008, the 65-plus population comprised 18% of all car-related pedestrian fatalities, which they made up only 13% of the population.” The bills will fund proven road-design improvements, including the installation of
countdown timers at crosswalks and making traffic signals and markings more visible — improvements that benefit all of us.

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Bike-Share Programs Take Off

Monday, November 8 by silvia

Velib, ParisThe Vélib system in Paris and now London’s bike-share program get lots of attention, but all sorts of European cities have similar programs. The German newsweekly Der Spiegel says the number has hit 100.

Does it get more people on bikes and reduce congestion? Nearly half of Vélib users say they drive less due to getting on a Vélib more. It’s easy for tourists to use too, with bikes and racks seemingly everywhere you look. There aren’t many such systems in the U.S., although Washington D.C. recently expanded and relaunched its program.

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Pedestrian Safety

Sunday, November 7 by sandy

pedestrian crosswalk in Boston

www.pedbikeimages.org / Laura Sandt

Along with our letter of  thanks to members, we’ve been enclosing bookmarks with the ABC’s Quick Check for bicycles and A Kid’s Guide to Safe Walking. Member Dick Snedeker reminds us that safe walking skills are for everyone.

The card you enclosed giving safety tips for crossing the street was addressed to kids, but there are many adults who could profit from the same tips. Over the last few years, I have noticed that when driving in Princeton, many pedestrians have become arrogant enough to assume that once they’re in a crosswalk, there’s no need to look out for traffic. Some people don’t even bother to look to see if cars are coming or have a reasonable chance to stop even before they enter the crosswalk. It’s like they’re playing Russian roulette: “If I get hit it’s your fault”–no matter that I’m badly injured, or worse, or that my carelessness was the real cause of the accident.

Case in point: A couple of days ago I was going south on Harrison Street near Southern Way at about the speed limit (25 mph) when I noticed a woman with a stroller in front of her waiting to cross from the other side. She was at a crosswalk, but I was only about 15 yards or so from it (a little more than one second at 25 mph), so I assumed she would wait to start crossing until I had passed. No such luck. Without even looking up for possible oncoming traffic–none was coming in the other direction–she started across, and I had to make a very sudden stop. Even then, she never looked up or seemed to notice my car. Then I saw that the stroller was empty and that she was carrying an infant in a sling around her neck. Her right hand was pushing the stroller and her left hand–you guessed it–was clutching her cellphone tight against her left ear. So much for being a responsible pedestrian. Bah, humbug!!

Since I grew up in the city (Brooklyn) and played in the street a lot, I learned very early that cars are much larger, faster, and harder than you are, and to stay out of their way–even if you’re in a crosswalk.

Dick Snedeker

Dick, thanks very much for the reminder! We’ll create a new bookmark and, in the meantime, please see our Walk Smart Stay Smart page for a list of suggestions and links to more resources about safe walking practices.

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Turn Off The Lights

Saturday, November 6 by silvia

Imagine what would happen if traffic lights were turned off. How would traffic and motorists’ behavior change? The results in this English town surprised everyone.

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Roadways Designed for Speeding?

Friday, November 5 by JerryFoster

Cars Don't Want to Stop from 40mphAccording to NJDOT’s Smart Transportation Guidebook, many different factors come into play when choosing a desired operating speed for a roadway. From the discussion of speed:

“Desired operating speed is best explained by its relationship to three other concepts of speed: operating speed, posted speed, and design speed.

Operating speed is the speed at which a typical vehicle operates, commonly measured as the 85th percentile speed of all vehicles.

Posted speed is the legal speed limit on a roadway. It is often set without any means of self enforcement, and drivers tend to travel at what they perceive as a safe speed regardless of the posted speed. Fewer than a third of drivers go the speed limit on urban and suburban arterials.

Design speed (as defined in the AASHTO Green Book) is the speed used to determine various geometric design features, including horizontal curvature, gradient, superelevation, stopping sight distance, and, for rural highways only, lane width.

Historically, New Jersey has required the design speed to be 5 mph above posted speed for existing roadways, and 10 mph for new roads.

The greatest drawback to the existing design speed approach is that drivers usually drive as fast as they believe the road can safely accommodate.

Existing policy may thus encourage operating speeds higher than the posted speed limit and/or selected design speed in an area.

In the interest of highway safety, it is desirable to have a stronger relationship between the posted speed limit, design speed, and operating speed. Therefore, this guidebook recommends that the desired operating speed for most roadway types be the same as the design speed, and also the same as the posted speed.”

According to the Rt 571 Concept Design reviewed by county engineers in December 2009, the Main Street Princeton Junction design speed is 45mph, posted speed is 40mph, keeping the same values as exist currently.

Vehicle speed affects pedestrians’ safety in a number of different ways.

Likelihood of Collision

“Faster speeds increase the likelihood of a pedestrian being hit,” according to Federal Highway Administration’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center.

Severity of Collision

If a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle traveling at 40mph, he/she has a 15% chance of survival, but if the vehicle is going 30mph, chance of survival increases to 55%, according to the Federal Highway Administration’s Pedestrian Facilities Users Guide: Providing Safety and Mobility (2002).

Crosswalk Compliance

Last, motorist compliance with yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks is significantly improved by reducing vehicle speed to below 35mph, according to the federal report Improving Pedestrian Safety at Unsignalized Crossings.

The WWBPA has requested the township to work with the county to follow the new NJDOT approach (called Context Sensitive Design) to choosing a desired operating speed, to support our emerging Main Street. NJDOT guidelines for a Community Arterial in a Suburban Center or Town Center context call for a desired operating speed of 25 – 30mph. Please support the WWBPA by contacting our officials, or write us an email at wwbikeped@gmail.com.

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New Sidewalk for Rt 571 Bridge Over Tracks

Thursday, November 4 by JerryFoster

Crews Installing Sidewalk on Bridge over TracksCrews began installing new sidewalks on the bridge over the Northeast Corridor train tracks this week! When complete, this new section of sidewalk will greatly facilitate pedestrian access between Main Street Princeton Junction and the offices and neighborhoods west of the tracks. The WWBPA wishes to thank all the responsible parties for helping to make our community more pedestrian friendly.

Please join us at the intersection of Rt 571 and Cranbury/Wallace Roads on Monday, November 8 from 6:45am – 7:15am, to help educate morning commuters about the new law to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks. Hope to see you there!

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Slow Down in Plainsboro

Tuesday, November 2 by silvia

Wicoff School, PlainsboroResidents around Wicoff School in Plainsboro want police to strictly enforce the 35 mph speed limit and the 25 mph limit during school hours or that the speed limits be reduced, and both the police chief and mayor say they understand. Police have issued 59 tickets in the area over the past year, or a bit more than one a week.

But here’s some insight into how hard it can be to change a speed limit and how much we tolerate breaking the speed limit: According to an an article in The Packet, a police traffic survey done this summer found that about 90% of cars were traveling at 40 mph, with the remainder traveling above 40 mph. Under New Jersey Department of Transportation’s regulations, this isn’t a problem because at least 85% of cars are traveling within 5 mph of the speed limit.

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Be Safe, Be Seen

Monday, November 1 by silvia

reflective vestsIt’s that time of year again: Dark when you leave for work, dark when you get home — or both. And everyone seems to be wearing a dark coat.

Whether walking or bicycling, make sure you catch the attention of motorists well before they’re next to you. Where’s that blinking rear bicycle light? A front light? How about a reflective vest? You can’t overdo it (and lights are the law). The same goes if you’re walking. Wearing light colors (or having a bit of reflective material on your shoes) isn’t enough.

Don’t think you need to go that far? Notice how quickly (or not) you notice a cyclist or pedestrian when you’re in a car.

Not sure where to buy a safety vest? The WWBPA sells them for $10, and also has a great deal on entry-level front and rear lights. Drop us an email.

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Upcoming Events

May 09   Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

May 11  WW Community Day – Duck Pond Park

May 15  Ride of Silence (rain cancels – check WWBPA facebook page)

May 18  WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

May 18  WWBPA bike clinic Hightstown – 1st Presbyterian Church 10am-12pm

May 25  WWBPA volunteering at BikeFest – WW Community Park

June 01  WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market; Learn to bike

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

June 15  WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market; Bike tune up clinic – Bring your bike

June 29  WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

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

July 13  WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

July 27  WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

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

Aug 10  WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

Aug 24  WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

Sept 07 WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

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

Sept 21  WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market; Bike Drive – Collecting bikes to support Trenton Boys & Girls Club

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

Oct 12   WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

Oct 26  WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market; Halloween parade

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

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

Become a Member/Donate

Ongoing – Register your bike with the WW Police Dept for Free

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Now Accepting Applications for WWBPA Student Advisory Board

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