A Friendlier Hamilton?

Saturday, December 18 by silvia

Walking at the Grounds for SculptureHamilton is in the middle of a review of its master plan, a long-term vision for planning and development. One goal is to add more bicycle and pedestrian paths.

The workshops on the master plan are continuing; this is the time for residents to make their views known. You can read more about what’s happened so far here.

It’s encouraging to see more New Jersey communities (Newark, Hoboken, Freehold …) are looking at infrastructure improvements for bicyclists. Here’s the latest on what we’ve read about Hoboken (and Jersey City).

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Shared Space: Safe or Dangerous?

Wednesday, December 15 by JerryFoster

from Shared Space: Safe or Dangerous?Township Council recently adopted the shared space concept as fundamental to the lawsuit settlement with InterCap over the new Princeton Junction Transit Village. Under this concept, motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians share the roadway as peers. But is it safe?

Four European experts reported results of their studies of the shared space experience in the Netherlands in 2007 at the Walk21 Conference held in Toronto. Shared space was implemented several locations between 1998 and 2001, with studies published between 2003 and 2007.

Overall, “reported accidents have decreased substantially.” In one location, however, minor injury collisions persisted, and “bicyclists were overrepresented”.? Significantly, “police report only a (minor) part of the accidents. Particularly bicycle and pedestrian accidents are often not reported to the police. This means that reliable and valid conclusions regarding the safety of cyclists and pedestrians cannot be made.”

What makes shared space work? “At low speeds people have more time for communication and the interpretation of verbal and non-verbal utterances.”

What keeps it from working? “Children and people with a visual or mental handicap cannot be expected to comply. Also, the elderly are not always able to anticipate and react in time, especially not when it is crowded and many things happen in a short period. This group (in total 25% percent of the population!) runs a substantially raised risk.”

How do people feel about shared space? “Most respondents do not think the situations are safe. Both car drivers and bicyclists and pedestrians are critical about it. In Haren remarkably many people (90%) demand a clear choice regarding the position of the bicycle: either on a bicycle lane or on the carriageway. The experts prefer the bicyclist on the carriageway; the public prefers a separate recognizable lane.”

The WWBPA supports the shared space concept, but recognizes that to work, all roadway users must be provided with subtle guidance as to the preferred positioning within the space. Bicyclists must be encouraged to stay out of the way of opening car doors (the “door zone”), such as through the use of a special color or pattern of pavement to guide where they ride.

The current (pre-settlement) language in the redevelopment ordinance calls for buffered bike lanes to achieve this goal. This goal can be achieved in the shared space concept, but the language regarding bike lanes is proposed to be removed. Please contact our public officials with your questions or concerns regarding the safety of our proposed new shared space.

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Wanted: A Trail Through the Acme Woods

Tuesday, December 14 by silvia

wooded pathThe revitalization of the Acme shopping center (really called Windsor Plaza) is crucial to the health of Downtown Princeton Junction. And all plans that call for a town center or village center there and have been endorsed by over the past couple of decades have included a path through the woods to serve as a safe, off-road route to the train station for pedestrians and bicyclists. The current plan for the path, contained in the Redevelopment Plan, is from the back of the shopping center to Borosko Place.

The new owner of site, Irv Cyzner, and the current Planning Board, don’t seem to want that path (read the Princeton Packet article, “Planners stay ruling on Czyner). But many residents support a trail.

Mr. Cyzner’s plans remain before the planning board, and a fourth public hearing on his proposals, this time to discuss a variance on the size of the shopping-center sign, is scheduled for 7 p.m.? Wednesday, January 12 at the Municipal Center.

This is our last chance before the planning board vote to voice our support for this vital bicycle and pedestrian link. Please come show your support.

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Freehold, Springsteen and Bikes

Sunday, December 12 by silvia

Metz Bicycle MuseumFreehold is about to release a study by the New Jersey Department of Transportation about how to make the borough friendlier for bicyclists. But turning the study into reality is hardly a slam-dunk. Its supporters need our vocal support to help businesses overcome fears about cyclists on the sidewalk and bikes that aren’t locked to bike racks, among other things. (We say cyclists can bring in extra business, particularly if downtown is on a safe route to the Shore.) The key meeting is Monday, Dec. 20.

Read this email that the WWBPA received from John F. Newman, a Freehold councilman for the Springsteen connection and more:

About one year ago,?I was elected as a councilman in Freehold Borough.? One issue that immediately reared its head was an ordinance that was passed (before I was sworn in) which required bikes to be parked at bike racks in town, despite a dearth of bike racks.

I railed against this issue, and soon thereafter secured a NJ DOT grant to have a bike-ped study of the town.? That study is about to be unveiled to the public for their review and comment, but I am learning of some opposition to the study, namely how it could affect the downtown.

I am reaching out to bicycle advocates so that they can assist me in garnering support to ATTEND the meeting and bring their views of the benefits of a bike-friendly community. Being in Freehold Borough, some items in the DOT study were to link the Henry Hudson Trail to the downtown, link the rest of the 1.9 square mile borough to the downtown, and linking the borough to points outside its boundaries, such as the Monmouth Battlefield and other nearby parks. Also, within town is proposed a bike path/trail. This will?map out places of historic interest and a tour of Springsteen’s Freehold. Of course, the study also takes into account safety of bicyclists and pedestrians.

As noted, there is some resistance. I would appreciate it if you and your friends could help me by attending the December 20, 2010 meeting. The public portion starts at Freehold Borough Hall at 4:00 until 6:30; then the council meeting starts at 7:00 where a presentation will be made directly to the mayor and council.

Your support and input will be greatly appreciated as well as your comments on the beneficial aspects bike-friendly communities – the concept still has to be sold.

You can read more about what Freehold has been doing on WalkBikeJersey. The state also has mapped a route that goes through Monmouth Battlefield.

And did you know this about Freehold’s role in bicycling history?? Cycling champion Arthur Augustus Zimmerman resided in the town during his racing career in the 1880s and 1890s, and from 1896-1899 operated the Zimmerman Bicycle Co.; the company’s bicycles were known as the “Zimmy.” Today, Freehold Borough is home to the Metz Bicycle Museum, where the only extant “Zimmy” can be seen.

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Sustainable Jersey

Thursday, December 9 by sandy

Sustainable Jersey logoWest Windsor Township has been awarded a Silver Certificate by Sustainable Jersey.?SUSTAINABLE JERSEY ? is a certification program for municipalities in New Jersey that want to go green, save money, and take steps to sustain their quality of life over the long term. So far, 67 New Jersey municipalities have been certified.

As part of the Sustainability Actions, West Windsor Township Council passed?Resolution 2009-R060 and the Township created a Green Team on which WWBPA President Jerry Foster serves as an advisor. Read the complete Sustainable Jersey West Windsor Profile.

We think it’s also time for West Windsor to apply for Bicycle Friendly Community status from the League of American Bicyclists (LAB). Hoboken and Montclair were recently awarded honorable mentions.

And we’d like to see West Windsor work toward becoming a Walk Friendly Community, a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. Just applying can be helpful in making West Windsor more pedestrian-friendly:

“By applying for a Walk Friendly Community designation, your community will receive specific suggestions and resources on how to make needed changes for pedestrian safety. Through the questions in the assessment tool, your communities will be able to identify the areas of needed improvements that can form the framework for your comprehensive pedestrian improvement plan.” (from Walk-Friendly FAQs)

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Give Pedestrians a Head Start

Sunday, December 5 by sandy

New York City and Washington, D.C. have begun changing the timing of traffic lights to increase pedestrian safety. The Leading Pedestrian Interval (LPI), or Pedestrian Head Start, gives pedestrians a few?seconds to begin crossing the street before drivers have the green light.

This has been demonstrated to work well in large cities, but we believe it could also be useful in West Windsor, particularly at the Route 571/Wallace Road/Cranbury Road intersection (this intersection is currently under construction) and possibly at the Alexander Road/Vaughn Drive intersection (see our previous recommendations for this intersection after a 2008 West Windsor Walk).

See how they work.

LPI ? Leading Pedestrian Interval from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

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Tale of Two Engineers ? One Visionary, One Recovering

Thursday, December 2 by JerryFoster

A revolution is underway in how towns are being redesigned for livability, and it’s playing out right here in West Windsor. The late Hans Monderman launched a movement for better safety without signs and signals, while in the Confessions of a Recovering Engineer, another engineer realizes that “Wider, faster, treeless roads not only ruin our public places, they kill people.”

Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), recounts the work of the late Hans Monderman, a Dutch traffic engineer who held to a maxim: ?When you treat people like idiots, they?ll behave like idiots.? In appropriate settings, he removed the signs and signals that tell drivers what to do. His goal? ?I don?t want traffic behavior, I want social behavior.? His work underlies the design for the promenade in the new transit village west of the train tracks.

In Confessions of a Recovering Engineer, Charles Marohn relates his professional experience “convincing people that, when it came to their road, I knew more than they did.” Why? “I had books and books of standards to follow.” Finally, “In retrospect I understand that this was utter insanity. Wider, faster, treeless roads not only ruin our public places, they kill people.”

This realization is slow in coming to our Rt 571 Main Street design, where the state guidelines are in place but the design hasn’t taken them into consideration.

Please help the county engineers learn from the transit village engineers by supporting the WWBPA’s recommendations for Rt 571 Main Street – slower speed, medians with pedestrian refuges and a pedestrian-activated signal that stops traffic at the crossing at Sherbrooke Drive.

This redesign is our chance to make drivers comfortable with the slower speed – just posting a lower speed limit will not effectively slow traffic. Our tale of two West Windsors might have the happy ending of a pedestrian-friendly Main Street and transit village promenade, leading to higher property values for us all.

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New Path on Clarksville Road

Wednesday, December 1 by silvia

Princeton Terrace PathA multi-use trail has been built along the new apartment complex under construction just south of the railroad bridge. This is another step in making Clarksville Road friendlier for both cyclists and pedestrians, on top of the wider shoulders created along parts of Clarksville north of the Municipal Center this summer. This trail should expand as land parcels are developed. West Windsor’s master plan calls for an off-road path along Clarksville (and turning the road into four lanes) all the way to Quaker Bridge Mall, about a mile away. This is something many WWBPA members and friends have asked about and a safe route to the? mall for cyclists, walkers and joggers is something the WWBPA supports.

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Pedestrians and Bicycles in Roundabouts

Sunday, November 28 by sandy

Washington State’s Department of Transportation has created five videos to explain how a roundabout works. The third one shows how pedestrians and bicycles should use them.

1. What they are and what they aren’t

2. How do I drive a roundabout?

3. Pedestrians and cyclists

4. Safety benefits

5. What does this mean for me?

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Filling in Sidewalk Gaps

Thursday, November 25 by silvia

RR sidewalk: one of West Windsor's newest sidewalk connections

one of West Windsor's newest sidewalk connections

West Windsor is planning to fill in several gaps in the sidewalk network near the Princeton Junction train station.

The Township has acquired an easement along the Alexander Road frontage of Princeton Polygraph, the building between the old compost and mulch site and the U.S. Trust building at the corner of Vaughn Drive. As a result, a contract has been awarded to install sidewalks on the missing link on that side of the road from the roundabout to Vaughn Drive.

In addition, sidewalks will be installed on sections of Wallace and Alexander roads near the Arts Center, including the missing link across from the Arts Center, so that there is a complete connection between Scott and Wallace roads.

Improvements near the train station are being funded by a state Safe Routes to Transit grant.

Sidewalks are going in as part of the first phase of the Penn-Lyle improvements. One section will be from Old Village Road on the same side as the Trolley Line Trail to the point where the sidewalk now begins. Another addition will bridge the gap where the road crosses Duck Pond Run. This will create a continuous sidewalk from Village Road to High School South and Clarksville Road. (Bike lanes also will be added from Westwinds Drive to New Village Road.)

The township also has acquired an easement along the Alexander Road S-curve from Princeton University and has awarded a contract for sidewalks there.

Weather permitting, some work on all these projects will be done this year; otherwise, work will start once the weather warms up in the spring.

The township is still working on acquiring an easement for a sidewalk on the curve of North Post Road so that there can be a sidewalk link from the Municipal Center and library to the train station.

The WWBPA thanks the township for these improvements and others this year. They will go a long way toward making it safer for high school students to walk to school and for anyone wanting to walk to the train station.

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West Windsor’s New Woonerf

Wednesday, November 24 by JerryFoster

PJ Promenade as Shared SpaceTownship Council adopted a new concept Monday night for shared streets, also called a woonerf, for the Princeton Junction Transit Village. What’s a woonerf, and how does it work?

Developed by Dutch traffic engineer Hans Monderman, a woonerf is a street where pedestrians and bicyclists share the roadway with motorists as equals.? This concept goes by a number of other names, such as Living Streets, Home Zones or shared space.

The safety of such spaces depends on extremely slow speeds and one-on-one human eye contact to negotiate movement through the space. Read about one town’s experience with removing traffic lights.

The WWBPA made several recommendations to improve the bikeability of the proposed area, including more bike parking at the Farmers Market and in residential parking structures, as well as requiring back-in diagonal parking for improved safety.

The WWBPA is confident that this plan, if built as shown in the pattern book, will be eminently walkable, and will provide those bicyclists who are comfortable in traffic with a wonderful place to stop and enjoy the amenities, like the Farmers Market. We are hopeful that motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians will embrace the new shared street and quickly learn to navigate without traditional traffic control.

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Lawrence Township Adopts Complete Streets Policy

Sunday, November 21 by JerryFoster

Lawrence Townhall

Lawrence Township Hall

On September 21, 2010 Lawrence’s Township Council passed a Complete Streets Resolution, which calls for “all public streets … to safely accommodate travel by pedestrians, bicyclists, public transit and motorized vehicles and their passengers, with special priority given to bicyclist and pedestrian safety”.

Lawrence is one of the leaders in adopting Complete Streets in New Jersey, joining the state, Monmouth County, Montclair, West Windsor, Hoboken, Red Bank and Netcong.

Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes “has directed his staff to consider context-sensitive solutions that enhance safety for all travel modes whenever the County implements an improvement”, according to a recent press release. Can a Mercer County Complete Streets Policy be far behind?

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Biking to Quaker Bridge Mall

Friday, November 19 by silvia

Quakerbridge Mall mapCycling shoppers can look forward to Quaker Bridge Mall?s expansion and renovation, which will include improved bicycle and pedestrian access to the mall. The plan is to provide trail links to both the Avalon Run community southeast of the mall and to Yorkshire Village on the other side of Route 1, behind Mercer Mall, as well as a path along the southern portion of the mall?s loop road.

A macadam path is to be added from Grover?s Mill Rd on the southeast side of the property to the Route 1 access bridge on the southwest corner of the parcel. The path will continue over Route 1 via a new bike/pedestrian lane to be added to the bridge that now connects the mall to Route 1 near Patio World Fireplace & Hearth and Toys R Us. Lawrence Township is working with the Yorkshire Village homeowner?s association to extend that path to Canal View Drive. From that point it is relatively easy to access the D&R Canal towpath (and then the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail and the East Coast Greenway) via the existing residential street and path leading to the neighborhood?s community center.

The size and shape of the new path over Route 1 is still to be determined, as is the timeline for the whole project. The?mall’s expansion, which was originally expected to be completed by now, has been delayed by the recession. The mall?s legal counsel was recently before the Lawrence Township planning board seeking a 20-year extension in their overall plan. The township granted an eight-year extension and underscored the importance of?bike/pedestrian access over Route 1.

The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance supports Lawrence’s efforts to improve bicycle and pedestrian access over Route 1, which will improve connections for West Windsor residents as well. The current bridge over Route 1 on Quaker Bridge Road isn’t suitable for bicyclists and pedestrians. The WWBPA also wants to see the off-road path along Clarksville Road that is in West Windsor’s master plan become reality at some point and is pleased to see that a multi-use trail along Clarksville is part of the new apartment complex now under construction near the railroad bridge.

Our thanks to Lawrence Township’s bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group, the Sustainable Transportation Committee, for this report.

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Completing Rural Roads

Wednesday, November 17 by sandy

Clarksville and Cranbury intersectionMany of the main roads in West Windsor were originally designed for an agricultural economy. Changing them to accommodate suburban design is a challenge.

Nadine Lemmon, writing for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, discusses this problem in The Challenges of “Completing” Rural Roads.

A sobering statistic is that even though most people live and work in cities, 28% of pedestrian and 30% of bicycle fatalities in 2009 occurred on rural roads.

Many times, Main Street doubles as the most direct connection to the next town, so the risk is that cars are moving faster in an area where people are on foot. Beyond Main Street, those different users, traveling at different speeds, share the road. Changing the road design, such as narrowing? the roadway or adding trees and other sight-improvements, can slow down traffic, making the road safer for all. Widening roads is not only costly but encourages faster speeds.

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Drivers, Cyclists, and Pedestrians

Sunday, November 14 by sandy

A StreetSmart demonstration urges drivers, riders,?and pedestrians to look out for each other.

Street Smart

For more, please go to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s blog, Fast Lane.

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Morning Commute

Saturday, November 13 by sandy

The WWBPA conducted another in our series “West Windsor Walks” on Monday, November 8 from 6:45 to 7:15 a.m. at the intersection of Cranbury-Wallace Roads and Route 571. As we watch the construction of a sidewalk and new travel and turn lanes on the bridge over the railroad tracks and await the addition of marked crosswalks, we continue to see conflicts with pedestrian and cars.?Many people cross mid-block both across Route 571 and across Wallace Road as they look for the quickest and, what they perceive to be the safest, routes to the Princeton Junction Train Station.

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How Can We Tell a Main Street Roadway Design?

Thursday, November 11 by JerryFoster

571/Wallace-Cranbury morning commute 4What is a Main Street and how can we tell a Main Street design when we see it? For West Windsor, this question is important because the county reviewed a Concept Design for Rt 571 in December?2009. Is it a main street design?

The Princeton Junction Redevelopment Plan adopted in March 2009 has a goal to “create a ?Main Street? through incremental development that would transform the existing strip commercial form of development along Route 571 into a village form, with buildings close to the street. The objective is to achieve a desirable mix of pedestrian-friendly, village scale development with an emphasis on uses that service local needs. A village character would be created by encouraging pedestrian flow and stores and shops and personal service establishments on the ground floor of buildings and the use of upper floors for offices and residential dwelling units.?

Excellent so far, but what of the roadway itself? How do we know if the street supports these planned uses, or if it’s pedestrian-friendly?

Fortunately for West Windsor, many communities have faced these issues in the past, and based on that experience NJDOT and PennDOT compiled a comprehensive and flexible set of design standards in the Smart Transportation Guidebook, published March 2008. Following is a high level introduction, with extensive quotations.

Why Smart Transportation?

“NJDOT and PennDOT cannot always solve congestion by building more, wider and faster state roadways. There will never be enough financial resources to supply the endless demand for capacity. Further, both states realize that the ‘wider and faster’ approach to road construction cannot ultimately solve the problem. … The desire to go ‘through’ a place must be balanced with the desire to go ‘to’ a place.”

Context Sensitive Design

“Roadways should respect the character of the community,and its current and planned land uses.? If appropriately designed,? vehicular speeds should fit local context. The concept of desired operating speed? … is key to the context sensitive roadway.”

Design Elements

Three kinds of design elements are described:

“Desired Operating Speed: This is the speed at which it is intended that vehicles travel.

Roadway: The design team should select roadway elements and geometry with a clear understanding of surrounding land uses.

Roadside: The roadside primarily serves the pedestrian and the transit rider and provides a transition between public and private space.”

Land Use Context

Seven land use contexts are described – Rural, Suburban Neighborhood, Suburban Corridor, Suburban Center, Town/Village Neighborhood, Town Center, and Urban Core.

Roadway Categories

Overlaying traditional functional categories, the guidebook describes a typology “which better captures the role of the roadway within the community.” These categories are Regional Arterial, Community Arterial, Community Collector, Neighborhood Collector and Local.

Main Street

“Main Street is characterized by:
? Wide sidewalks and regular pedestrian activity;
? Street furniture and public art;
? Heavy use of on-street parking;
? Speeds of 30 mph or less;
? Preferably no more than two travel lanes, although three to four lanes are seen on occasion.

The Main Street would typically belong to the Community Arterial road type, or to the Collector road type. This is the case on Route 27 in New Jersey; this roadway hosts two Main Street segments between New Brunswick and Trenton, in the towns of Princeton and Kingston.”

Tables are provided which describe the appropriate roadway design standards for each type of roadway and land use context.

Based on the provided descriptions, the WWBPA believes Rt 571 is a Community Arterial in a Suburban Center, with the plan to become a Town Center over time. The table for a Community Arterial in a Suburban Center recommends the following (in part):
Lane Width: 10 – 12 ft
Shoulder Width: 4 – 6 ft
Bike Lane: 5 – 6 ft
Median: 12 – 18 ft for Left Turn, 6 – 8 ft for Pedestrian
Clear Sidewalk Width: 6 ft
Desired Operating Speed: 30 mph

The WWBPA reviewed the proposed Concept Design for Route 571 against these and other Smart Transportation Guidebook design standards – please read our recommendations published January 2010.

The WWBPA believes the county engineers should consider these design standards in developing a Route 571 roadway that supports our goal of a Main Street for West Windsor. Please support our call for the engineers to review the design against the Smart Transportation Guidebook by contacting our public officials.

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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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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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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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