West Windsor’s new walking and bicycling goals

Thursday, January 6 by silvia

Bicyclists on the Trolley Line Trail

West Windsor’s Planning Board recently approved the new Circulation Element of the Master Plan. Quite a mouthful, we know! But it sets some great goals and policies to help make our township even better for walking and bicycling.

A big goal: “Create a pedestrian and bikeway system that makes walking and cycling a viable alternative to driving, and which optimizes bicyclist and pedestrian safety.”

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Can you find this secret spot in West Windsor?

Wednesday, December 29 by silvia

I went walking in the woods in West Windsor and spotted this fellow asleep in his hammock.

Then I spotted one ready to get a party started. And another gnome. Then a dozen or so more, tucked amid the tree trunks and leaves along the path. Did others scamper into hiding places before I arrived? Through that door at the bottom of a tree? That Rutgers one, though – did he get beaten up playing football? Or get the worse end of a quarrel with a deer?

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The Trolley Line Trail just got almost a half-mile longer

Wednesday, December 22 by silvia

Thanks to PSE&G (which owns the land) and a nudge from the township, the Trolley Line Trail — the trail under the power lines — now extends to Village Road West instead of ending at Penn-Lyle Road. That means you can walk, jog, scoot or bike more than 3 miles from the northern end at Rabbit Hill Road without ever needing to be on the road (except when crossing at intersections, of course).

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The WWBPA needs you: Renew your membership (or become a member!)

Sunday, December 19 by silvia

Your membership in the all-volunteer West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance (WWBPA) helps promote more sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, and other improvements that make it safer for everyone to walk and bicycle in West Windsor. Thank you for your past support!

Renew your membership for 2022 or join for the first time and show our elected officials that you want to see improvements continue around our town.

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West Windsor is again named a bicycle-friendly community

Wednesday, December 8 by silvia

The WWBPA is thrilled that the League of American Bicyclists has renewed West Windsor’s bronze-level status as a bicycle-friendly community – one of 497 communities across the U.S. that have earned a bicycle-friendly designation.

The League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly America program sets the standard for how communities benchmark progress toward making biking better. While the award process considers very visible elements such as bike infrastructure, other essential elements include efforts around adult and youth bike education, encouragement through events like Bike to Work Day, evaluation mechanisms, and enforcement all through the lens of equity.

West Windsor was the first New Jersey municipality to be named a bicycle-friendly community back in 2011, and we thank past and present mayors, township council members as well as county and state officials for their support. We also thank our members, who have demonstrated that they value a bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly community.

West Windsor will receive more feedback from the League in the coming weeks, and the WWBPA will share those recommendations with you. Together, we hope we can achieve silver status in the coming years.

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Do your part to stay safe at dusk

Tuesday, September 28 by silvia

The days are getting shorter, but that’s no reason to be outside less. Just make sure you’re still visible, whether walking, jogging or biking at night or whenever the light is poor. Even wearing white may not be enough, as this poster shows.

The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance has plenty of ways to help, with great deals on lights, reflective gear … even an LED leash for your dog. Items cost between $2 and $14.

Stop by our table at the West Windsor Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 2, Oct. 16 and Oct. 30.

Motorists, please be extra vigilant while driving when visibility is poor.

Plus: We’ll once again be offering bike check-ups at the farmers market, also on Oct. 2, 16 and 30.

While our volunteers will do quick adjustments to get your bike back on the road, we do not do extensive repairs. Nor do we stock parts. This includes inner tubes and tires. Please bring a new inner tube if you need a flat tire fixed.

If the check-up shows your bike needs more than a quick adjustment, you’ll need to go to a local bike shop.

Yes, we do the work for free, but please consider showing your thanks by becoming a member of the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance.

Don’t forget: The WWBPA will be collecting bike donations for the Trenton Bike Exchange on Oct. 16.

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Rate West Windsor as a place to ride your bike

Tuesday, September 21 by silvia

West Windsor is seeking to renew its status as a bicycle-friendly community with the League of American Bicyclists. As part of the application process, the League wants feedback from anyone who has biked in West Windsor. (We are currently a bronze-level community and are proud to be the first New Jersey community to have earned this status.)

If you’ve ever biked here, please take a minute to complete this survey and share your input: www.surveymonkey.com/r/app_BFC_Fall21

The comment period ends on Monday Oct. 11. Award results are expected to be made public in December.

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2 easy ways to donate unwanted bicycles

Tuesday, September 14 by silvia

Bike Exchange in Trenton

If it’s time to get rid of some bicycles you no longer need, consider donating them to Bike Exchange of Trenton. Volunteers will fix up the bikes for resale, with the proceeds benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Mercer County.

You can drop off bikes during West Windsor’s Dumpster Drop-Off Day on Sept. 18 (8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Public Works facility on Southfield Road) or at the WWBPA’s table at the West Windsor Farmers Market on Oct. 16 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.). Donations are tax-deductible.

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Walk, run, bicycle or ride a horse on this nearby trail

Monday, September 6 by silvia

I like this fun fact about the Union Transportation Trail: It lets you brag that you’ve travelled across Monmouth County, from Mercer County to Ocean County. Yet because it’s in the western corner of the county, it’s only 9 miles long.
 
The UTT is a crushed-stone rail trail that starts south of Hightstown and takes you through woods, past farms and fields and near the Cream Ridge Golf Course. Once part of the Pemberton & Hightstown Railroad, it’s now a great place for walkers, joggers, cyclists and even those on horseback.

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This new law helps keep cyclists and others safe on the road

Tuesday, August 10 by silvia

Governor Murphy has signed a law that requires motorists to give cyclists and other non-motorists a wide berth when passing.

The Safe Passing Law informs motorists when and how to safely pass a cyclist, pedestrian and other vulnerable road users (such as skaters and people on scooters or in wheelchairs).

If you’re driving and need to pass one of these non-motorists on the road, here’s what to do:

  1. Move over one lane from the cyclist, pedestrian or other road user IF it is possible AND SAFE to do so.
  2. If no additional lane is available, pass when there is at least 4 feet between your vehicle and the cyclist, pedestrian or other user.
  3. If neither is a safe option, reduce your vehicle speed to 25 mph. Reduce your vehicle’s speed even further if the posted speed limit is less than 25 mph.

Please don’t try to squeeze by a cyclist or other vulnerable road user, especially if you can’t see oncoming traffic.

Remember that cyclists ride as far to the right as practicable – that does not mean they hug the curb or white line. They (and others) need room to navigate around glass, yard waste and other debris in the road, bike lane or shoulder, and they hate potholes and bumps at least as much as you do.

Slowing down and passing safely likely will cost you just seconds, but your actions can prevent accidents, injuries and fatalities.

The law takes effect early next year, but please start following it now. New Jersey joins 42 other states with similar laws, so take these habits with you when you leave the Garden State.

A reminder to cyclists: bike in the same direction as traffic. It’s not only the law, it’s safer. Remember to be visible and be predictable. Pedestrians, you should walk in the direction of oncoming traffic as much as possible when in the road.

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Free bike repair at the WW farmers market

Friday, August 6 by silvia

If you missed out on a free bicycle tune-up at National Night Out, visit the West Windsor Bicycle & Pedestrian Alliance table this Saturday at the West Windsor Farmers Market. We’ll be there during market hours: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Anything squeaking or rubbing on your bicycle? Need the seat raised or a flat tire repaired? Our volunteers will check if a quick adjustment is what you need to get your bike back on the road again. (Please bring a new inner tube to replace a flat tire.)

Speaking of flat tires, REI is hosting a one-hour virtual event about bike tire repairs on Thursday, Aug. 12 starting at 4 p.m. Registration is required — go here: Let’s Talk Tires

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A quick way to keep your bicycle humming

Friday, July 16 by silvia

Let’s keep your bike humming between annual tune-ups at your local bike shop. It’s all too easy to quickly give your steed the once-over and let your excitement of being in the great outdoors get the better of you.

Follow these quick pre-ride tips that will keep you safe while still keeping you … um…pumped up! Every time you ride, don’t forget the ABCs of bike safety. If something doesn’t seem right and you’re not sure what to do, have a bike mechanic look it over.

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Explore the Lawrence Hopewell Trail

Thursday, July 1 by silvia

The Lawrence Hopewell Trail – a 20ish-mile loop connecting Lawrenceville and Hopewell – is one of WWBPA board member Silvia Ascarelli’s favorite local trails. She loves to combine it with the D&R Canal towpath to help get her where she wants to go by bike (they meet near the historic Brearley House).

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Great bike rides using the D&R Canal towpath along the Delaware River

Thursday, May 20 by silvia

WWBPA board member Steve Hagen’s favorite spot to bike is traffic-free.

You may be familiar with the D&R Canal towpath that marks the border between West Windsor and Princeton – but did you know that it goes for 34 miles, all the way to New Brunswick and Trenton? And that there is a second section along the Delaware River, with a sister canal path on the Pennsylvania side? (Click here for a map.)

WWBPA board member Steve Hagen shares why he spends many summer weekends on leisurely bike rides along the Delaware River.

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Seeking Student Advisors

Wednesday, December 19 by silvia

The WWBPA is once again seeking student advisors interested in working to make our community even friendlier for bicyclists and pedestrians. Applicants must attend West Windsor-Plainsboro schools or live in West Windsor and attend other schools in the area or be home-schooled. The deadline for applications is February 18 (Presidents’ Day), and terms are for one year (and are renewable).

Serving as a student advisor is an excellent way for students to make a difference in their community while developing organizational skills, helping to plan and publicize events, and learning to advocate before local government for improvements. The WWBPA’s activities this year included numerous bike rides and walks, a bike drive and a ?learn to bike? class. Students have considerable freedom to come up with a project that interests them. This is also a great way for any student considering a college major in environmental sciences, engineering or political science, among other areas, to gain some hands-on experience in their general area of interest.

Learn more about what’s expected here: 2013 WWBPA Student Advisor Requirements

The application is here: 2013 Student Application for Advisory Board

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Volunteers Clear More Trails

Saturday, December 8 by silvia

Thanks to 20 volunteers who came with handsaws, loppers, chainsaws and more on Saturday, Dec. 1, the Millstone Preserve trails, the Millstone West trails and the last of the Rogers Preserve trails are now cleared of fallen trees and other Sandy damage. Our group ranged from a kindergartener armed with small loppers who attacked those invasive thorny green vines to a longtime resident in his 80s who helped cut branches with his handsaw. The group also included two other elementary school students and two high schoolers. Three volunteers with chainsaws allowed us to clear the biggest trees, and our own ?lumberjack? even got Santa to deliver his Christmas chainsaw early.

It is amazing what such a group can do in less than two hours!

We also are thankful for some neighborhood ?trail elves? who cleared some trees in Millstone Preserve before we arrived and the five volunteers who stayed for an extra two hours to remove more downed trees.

We left most of the leaves on the ground to fight against mud and soil erosion, so please let us know if you find some trails difficult.

Trails in the Rogers Arboretum and Zaitz Preserve still need to be cleared. We plan to tackle Rogers Arboretum at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, weather permitting. Join us in the arboretum parking lot on Clarksville Road. Once again, we will aim to finish by 12:30 p.m.

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Help Clear the Millstone Trail

Friday, November 30 by silvia

As West Windsor’s public works department concentrates on clearing our roads of Sandy’s debris, members of the all-volunteer West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance are tackling the many trails in town, which also suffered heavy damage. Volunteers have already cleared the popular dog-run trail at Community Park and much of the Rogers Preserve trails, where countless large trees were toppled by the winds.
This Saturday, Dec. 1, we will be at Millstone Preserve. Join us at the Millstone Preserve parking lot on Millstone Road at 10:30 a.m. with loppers, chain saws, hand saws, gloves and whatever other equipment you think might help. Children are welcome with an adult and can help pick up smaller branches.

We will finish by 12:30 p.m. If we have enough people and time permits, we may also start on the Millstone West trail off Joanne Street.

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Another Bike Lesson for Cub Scouts

Monday, November 26 by silvia

Nine eager young bicyclists and their bikes, mostly second-grade scouts from Pack 66, joined the WWBPA for a lesson on bicycle safety on a beautiful Saturday in November.

We shared lots of valuable lessons, from pre-ride checks, known as the ABC Quick Check, and proper fits for helmets (flat on the head, and snug) to being courteous and watching for others, whether riding on the sidewalk or in the street. We hope they always signal!

But these kids really just wanted to ride, so we headed out to test their skills. The branches left over from Sandy that were scattered on the sidewalks behind Maurice Hawk Elementary School became our obstacle course, and the group also got a taste of riding in the street. All did great, and we hope to see them on a bike ride next summer!

This was our second session for scouts in which we talked about bicycling basics. If your group would like something similar, email us at wwbikeped@gmail.com.

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Our Trails Are Slowly Being Cleared

Friday, November 23 by silvia

We’re making progress in clearing our trails of fallen trees after Sandy.

Three WWBPA volunteers cleared the fallen trees off the dog run trail in Community Park. There were several trees blocking the popular blacktop trail and a great deal of debris and leaves on the pathway. It is now clear for all to use.
One day later, a large crew of volunteers tackled the down trees in the Rogers Preserve trails. One section was so bad that we had to re-route the trail around a large fallen tree. Even so, most of the Preserve is now cleared, with only a couple of very large trees yet to be cut. These will be tackled soon, but they are passable with a little effort. Many thanks to all who helped, particularly to Phil, the “Minnesota lumberjack” who impressed us with his chainsaw skills. Some of us had never seen a giant rootball and stump settle back into place oh-so-slowly when cut right.
We will keep you updated as we clear more of the open space trails in West Windsor. If anyone wishes to join us on our next “work day”, please send an email to wwbikeped@gmail.com. We’ll also send out an email to our members. Feel free to bring a friend. The more people who help, the faster we can get our trails back to normal.

A trail is cleared

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The Wrath of Sandy

Thursday, November 15 by silvia

Sandy’s damage in West Windsor extended to our trails. Take a look:

Help make it possible for friends, family and neighbors to enjoy an after-Thanksgiving walk through the woods by joining us this Saturday to help clear part of Rogers Preserve. We will meet at the Clarksville Road entrance at 10:30 a.m. Please bring gloves and tools: rake, loppers, hand saw, gas-powered chain saw — whatever you have.

All are welcome, and all help is appreciated.

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Upcoming Events

Monthly meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month in the West Windsor Municipal Building, room D (lower level) or via Zoom due to Covid.

Find us at the West Windsor Farmers Market (Vaughn Drive parking lot) from 9 am to 1 pm every other Saturday from May through Halloween.

Jan. 20 – monthly meeting (rescheduled from Jan. 13)

Feb. 10 – monthly meeting

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