Trolley Line Trail Link Completed

Thursday, January 5 by JerryFoster

The missing link between the South Mill Road crossing of the Trolley Line Trail and the section bordering the Dataram property was finished just before Christmas – what a busy year for bicycle and pedestrian improvements! Thanks to the township and county for all their great work in 2011.

The subject of a previous post a few weeks ago, the crossing features a rapid flashing beacon (flashing strobe lights), high visibility crosswalk paint (the thickness of the stripes makes it easy to see) and a pedestrian-activated signal button for easy crossing.

One thing bicyclists in the bike lanes on South Mill Rd should keep in mind: If someone is crossing, the bicyclist must stop before the crosswalk, just as the cars must stop.? Enjoy the new trail;? now it’s easier than ever to get between Rabbit Hill Road and Penn Lyle Road on the Trolley Line Trail, including access to Community Park.

 

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Penn Lyle Road Improvements Completed

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.

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Alexander Road S-Curve Completed

Wednesday, December 7 by JerryFoster

Among the amazing number of recent achievements, the Alexander S-Curve ranks high.? Starting at the Delaware and Raritan Canal, the new roadway includes bike lanes on both sides and a sidewalk on the south side of the road. The road was the site of a fatality several years ago, and the construction was delayed to avoid concurrence with the Meadow Road project. Thanks to the township for their very busy year and all the great results!

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Discovering Historic West Windsor By Bike

Sunday, November 27 by silvia

Riders learn more about "War of the Worlds"Eagle Scout Paul Ligeti sent us this report on our Nov. 13 ride along the route through town that he developed, mapped and marked. About 15 people participated–a perfect size given the stops along the way for explanations of the sites.

The rescheduled inaugural ride of the West Windsor Interpretive Historic Bike Trail took place on Nov. 13. Unlike the wintry weather of the original date, we were met with a mild, pleasant fall afternoon.? I was happy to see the riders enjoy the trail, which is the result of my Eagle Scout project in West Windsor?s Troop 66 and two years of work.? The 11 mile-long trail, which I designed with historical and traffic considerations in mind, winds through much of the town. My troop and I laid red plaques in front of many historically significant sites, including the Dutch Neck Presbyterian Church, the Schenck Farmstead and Grovers Mill.

The highlight of Sunday?s ride was a stop near? Grovers Mill to hear a local resident regale us with a vivid description of the days in his youth during the infamous October 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast. He also recounted subsequent commemorations of the event attended by the likes of governors and the writer of the original broadcast.

Anyone interested in riding the trail, or just learning more about the history of West Windsor, is invited to check out the website http://wwhistoricbiker.weebly.com/.? As an online companion to the trail, it provides a map of the route and historical background on the sites with the markers and dozens of others, as well.

Thank you WWBPA for arranging the inaugural ride.

And thank you, Paul, for creating it!

Riders meet at the kiosk in Dutch Neck that explains the trail

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South Post Road Multi-Use Trail Arrives

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.

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Help Clear the Millstone Trails

Friday, September 16 by silvia

The WWBPA needs your help to clear the Millstone trails of the damage done by Irene.

Join us at 1 p.m. Sunday Sept. 25 in the Millstone Preserve parking lot (Millstone Road). Bring loppers, rakes, and (if you have one) a gas chain saw or trimmer. Don’t forget gloves and bug spray!

Consider it an extension of National Public Lands Day, which is Saturday, Sept. 24. Entrance fees at all national parks across the country will be waived that day. For list of national parks in New Jersey, click here. The day is also a huge nationwide volunteer event; help clean up and maintain our public lands (and that’s more than just the national parks. Several volunteer events are planned for our area; the list is here.

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Benches Wanted — Where?

Monday, September 12 by silvia

Where would you put public benches in West Windsor?

The WWBPA wants to install some benches around West Windsor.? Are there any places you wish you could have? a contemplative rest or? ease your weary feet before walking just that bit further?? Be it the Trolley Line Trail, one of our many wooded preserves, or somewhere else, we welcome your suggestions.

All ideas will be discussed by the WWBPA and with other interested parties.? We will keep you informed on progress. Suggestions welcomed on the style of benches too.

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Rogers Preserve Trail Work

Sunday, August 7 by silvia

Part of the Rogers Preserve (a former Christmas Tree farm, with entrances on Clarksville Road, Landing Lane and Berkshire Drive) was down to a single track until the WWBPA and some neighborhood volunteers took on the weeds. (Other parts had been recently mowed by the township.) Now there’s room to run!

Rogers Preserve volunteers

Some of our volunteers

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Help Needed for Trail Work

Friday, July 29 by silvia

Whacking the weeds on the Millstone Trail

Millstone Trail work

We’re tackling the Rogers Preserve trails on Sunday (July 31) and could use your help. Yes, your kids’ help too.

To beat the heat, we’ll start at 9 a.m., meeting across from 17 Landing Lane. Plenty of street parking.

Bring loppers, weed-whackers and anything else that will help cut back overgrowth and weeds. There will be plenty of shade, but still, don’t forget water!

These trails were developed by the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance and Friends of West Windsor Open Space. Don’t know the trails? This is a great way to discover them.

Are you involved with a scout troop? This is a great group activity. Let us know if you’d like to co-organize another trail day.

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Trails Cleaned

Wednesday, June 29 by silvia

Nearly a dozen WWBPA volunteers came out to clear the Millstone Preserve trails, where weeds and bushes have been shrinking the path. Mostly, the work was picking up twigs and cutting back plants on the path a bit. We moved a few big branches, and in less than two hours, the main and lower trails were cleared, with the exception of a fallen tree on the lower trail that the township is being asked to remove.

The trails are in great shape for runners and walkers. Please let us know of any problem spots on these or other trails, and join us next time! The Rogers Preserve is on our list for July. You can see more photos from the day here.

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Join Us for Trail Maintenance

Sunday, June 19 by silvia

Millstone River Trail

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.

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Help Clean Up the D&R Canal

Tuesday, March 29 by silvia

Trenton Cycling Revolution, a bicycle advocacy group,?is coordinating a community clean-up along the D&R Canal in Trenton on Saturday, April 2. Volunteers will meet at the Mulberry Street entrance to the recently?completed section at 9 am and work for approximately two hours. Coffee and gloves will be provided. More information here.

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New Trail Crossing Signs in Plainsboro

Monday, March 21 by JerryFoster

Rt1 NB ramp to Scudders Mill WB signBig thanks go out to NJ DOT, who recently installed new warning signs for the multi-use trail along Scudders Mill Road, where it crosses the ramps onto and off of Rt 1 northbound.

The signs are extremely important for the ramp from Rt 1 northbound onto Scudders Mill Rd westbound, since that crossing is a high speed cloverleaf merge with very short sight lines. Additional warning signs are in place around the midpoint of the cloverleaf.

Rt1 NB ramp to Scudders Mill WB sToday this ramp doesn’t see that much traffic, mainly serving U-turns to southbound Rt 1. In the future, however, there is potential for a lot of traffic, if the proposal to restrict westbound turns from northbound Rt 1 at Washington Rd and Harrison Street is adopted.

Thanks, NJDOT!

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Walk Across New Jersey

Monday, February 14 by silvia

Here’s a challenge for those who love to walk: Walk the length of the East Coast Greenway in New Jersey — 100 miles — this year.

The challenge comes from Freewalkers.org, the group that started last year with the NJ2NY50 walk, 50 miles from Metropark to Penn Station. Participants can walk the Greenway at any time during the year or take part in some or all of the three walks the group is organizing: the Great Canal Walk (Trenton to New Brunswick along the D&R) on April 9; the Tween Walk (New Brunswick to Metropark) on April 16; and The Big Walk (Metropark to New York City) on May 21.

More information and registration is at Cross-Jersey Walk.

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Take a Hike–Or Maybe Go X-C Skiing

Wednesday, January 12 by silvia

xc skiing in Institute Woods

The WWBPA lists many places to go for a walk (or ski) in the woods (look under Resources) and helps develop and maintain trails in West Windsor. For those looking for ideas farther afield, the Philadelphia Inquirer offers a list of several destinations in South Jersey.

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A Big Walk Along the Towpath

Tuesday, January 4 by silvia

Some of the participants in the NJ2NY50 Walk

The East Coast Greenway is planning two long walks in New Jersey in 2011.

On April 9, walkers will head from Trenton to New Brunswick following the East Coast Greenway, which uses the D&R Canal towpath for that stretch. Participants can walk all or part of the route, which is about 35 miles.

There also will be? a repeat of the 50-mile walk from Metropark to New York Penn Station on May 21. This walk, called NJ2NY50,? was a huge success in 2010 and is scheduled this time for May 21st.

Take part in both and you could essentially walk across New Jersey! More information will be on the East Coast Greenway’s website closer to the events. But it’s not too early to start training.

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Hightstown’s Rail Trail

Sunday, January 2 by silvia

Hightstown HeronHightstown’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.

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Why an Accessible Trail

Wednesday, December 29 by silvia

Michael at Municipal ComplexThe 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.

West Windsor WoodsBut 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.

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More Room for Trails

Saturday, December 4 by silvia

Birch FungusWest Windsor’s latest acquisition of open space fits in with a strategy of developing a network of trails linking natural areas.? The latest purchase is 27.59 acres along Clarksville Road next to a nesting area for? blue herons.? The trail will run from Clarksville Road to parking lot (or nearest walking path) at the rear of Duck Pond Park, which fronts on Meadow Road, and will be developed in partnership with Friends of West Windsor Open Space (FOWWOS).

Because the path would cross Duck Pond Run and go through rather thick woods protected by wetlands restrictions, permits from the State Department of Environmental Protection will be needed.

FOWWOS was instrumental in developing the trails in the Millstone and Zaitz Preserves with help from the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance.

This latest acquisition will be paid for by funds from the township’s dedicated open space fund, Mercer County’s open space fund, and FOWWOS.

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Progress on Path Along South Post Road

Friday, December 3 by silvia

South Post RoadThe township continues to work toward a multi-use trail along South Post Road from Village Road to Mercer Lake alongside the Mercer Oaks golf course. Permits and contracts are expected to be awarded in time for work to begin in the spring of 2011.

This trail, which was suggested by the WWBPA, will provide a safe route to the Conover Road ballfields and to the Rowing Center, which received six bike racks this year from the WWBPA. It is being funded by a $120,000 NJDOT grant awarded in 2009.

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Monthly meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month via Zoom due to Covid. We will eventually resume meeting in the West Windsor Municipal Building. Email us at wwbikeped@gmail.com if you would like the Zoom code.

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