Monday, September 01, 2014

Mapping the Bicycle Level of Traffic Stress in Your Community

In 2011 the Mineta Transportation Institute released the report "Low-Stress Bicycling and
Network Connectivity". It examined the practicality of a bicycling network being defined as "a set of streets and paths that people consider acceptably safe for bicycling". These streets already exist and in urbanized areas actually comprise the majority of streets. The problems lies in the lack of connectivity of these mostly local streets.

The resulting model is called Level of Traffic Stress (LTS) and it categorizes all streets, and intersections into 4 levels of bicyclists comfort :
LTS 1 suitable for children
LTS 2 acceptable to traffic intolerant adult (interested but concerned)
LTS 3 OK for experienced bicyclists (enthused and confident).
LTS 4 Highest Stress (strong and fearless)

After the jump find out how you can create a simplified LTS assessment for your own community on Google Maps

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

WalkBikeJersey releases super-accurate, interactive New Jersey campground map for your summer bike tour

Looking to do some bike touring this summer around New Jersey?  Want a cheap place to stay?  Like to go camping?  Take a look at the VERY detailed interactive NJ Campground Map that we put together for the NJ Bike Map a few years ago.  Both publicly (National, State & County Parks) and privately operated campgrounds have been included here. Click on the campground icons for detailed info about that campground including contact info, number of sites and amenities.  Only campgrounds that one could use for cycling touring have been included.  Members and RV only campgrounds have not been included (ones that appeared to be defacto trailer parks have also been avoided).  Each icon is VERY accurately placed on the map, usually placed either on the campground office or in the center of campground.  Have fun exploring New Jersey on your bike this summer! 

View New Jersey Campgrounds in a larger map

Really cool is the NEW campground on Sandy Hook! Opened by the National Park Service two years ago, this is the only place you can camp on the Jersey Shore AND it's right off the really nice Sandy Hook Bike Path.

Also note, unlike most State and National Parks in the American West, New Jersey Park Campgrounds do not have special "Hiker / Biker" sites for the "passing through" bike tourist (Hint, hint, NJ Parks and Forests!) and rangers will turn you away at nightfall even after a long day on the bike (yes, this actually happened to me).  Advanced reservations for State Park sites require a two day minimum stay which is not useful for the passing cycle tourist and VERY expensive at $50 for two nights ($60 for non-residents)!  NJ State Parks used to hold open a number of campsites for day-of arrivals.  One used to be able to call that morning and make a reservation for a campsite the same night.  We are not sure if that is still the case so do your own research and call ahead. 

Overall, weekends will likely be booked out, weekdays less likely. Some campgrounds might be worth two nights stay like those near rivers, lakes and beaches where one can take a break from the road.

While I've made some updates, please note that this map dates back a few years. Last we checked, the very popular campground at Bulls Island on the Delaware River, north of Labertville has been permanently close (updated on map). Some other campgrounds may have also closed since this map was put together. Call ahead!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend Car-nage in South Jersey Kills 6

Its been a brutal week for traffic violence in South Jersey communities the past few days. 6 people aged 14 to 85 died between Friday and Tuesday. This weekend we took the time to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and mourned the victims of the of the 2nd Isla Vista Massacre (The first one was a vehicular assault in 2001), So please take a moment out of your day to remember these innocent victims as well.

May 24th in Delran 10:30 AM 61 Year Old Emine Osdemir was killed by a 60 Year old driver at Fairview St and Yansick Dr. The driver Maureen Conner Andre was charged with DWI.
Fairview St has no sidewalks. Just 3 months ago Delran approved funds for the construction of sidewalks along this deadly stretch of road.

May 26th at 2PM In Pleasantville  - A car carrying 5 teenagers struck a NJ Transit bus head on killing 3 in the car and injuring 10. The victims were Tevin Campbell, 18, Kira Strider 14 and Amber Fernandez 16. The crash occurred at Franklin Blvd just north of Old Turnpike Rd. Witnesses reported that 18 year old Melissa Rodriguez was traveling northbound at a high rate of speed when her car crossed the centerline and struck the southbound bus. The bus was pushed to the sidewalk where it just missed a pedestrian. Franklin Blvd starts off as a very wide street (42 ft) with very few parked cars but narrows to 32 feet where it struck the bus. With the exception of the centerline the street lacks pavement markings.

May 26th at 7:00 In Camden - 58 year old Lawrence Stark of Clementon was killed by a hit and run driver on the 1500 Block of Pershing St. The driver is described as an Hispanic male with a Goat Tee in his 20's or 30's and was driving a black or dark blue 4 door SUV or Truck with a taped mirror.

May 27th 12:40PM in Winslow Township Rudolph Liberto age 85 was killed by an 18 year old driver from Mount Laurel while crossing Route 73 at East Charter Ave. As of this writing no charges have been filed. Last August 29 an  unidentified 16 year old female was critically injured crossing at the same location.

I can't imagine crossing this - Route 73 at East Charter Ave where Rudolph Liberto was killed.
View in Google Street View
There is only one acceptable number for traffic deaths and that number is Zero. We must take a data driven approach to eliminate the factors that cause these unnecessary deaths.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Holiday Reminder - No Bikes on NJ TRANSIT Trains for Memorial Day

In case you haven't memorized the rules:

Bicycles are not permitted on trains (with the exception of the Atlantic City Line) on New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, day after Thanksgiving, Sunday after Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Bicycles are not permitted on the day before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but are permitted on the holidays themselves.

So if you didn't read this in time and you wind up stranded somewhere remember that you can take your bike on most buses, ferries, PATH, NJT light rail. Bolt Bus will accept bicycles if space is availabe but Megabus will not carry your bike. And if all else fails then you can summon the UBER car service which has just expanded service to all 4 Jersey Shore Counties .

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Central Bergen Bike Ped Plan Seeks Public Input

If you live, work or bike in these communities then you should weigh in on the Central Bergen Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.

The website includes an interactive map that allows you to draw a desired route, known hazard, missing sidewalk etc.

A public open house which will allow you to talk with the project managers will take place on:
Thursday June 5, 2014, 4 - 7p.m.
Rochelle Park Senior Center
151 West Passaic St , Rochelle Park, NJ 07662

Friday, May 02, 2014

Meanwhile that Strava Map is Awfully Interesting

While CyclePhilly is just starting to measure bicycle trips, Strava's worldwide heat map of cycling and running routes has generated an incredible amount of interest.

Click on the arrow under the Facebook icon to view the map

It's important to note that this data is a small subset of all bike trips, generally Strava app users tend to be enthusiasts. Zoom in on the map and you will see data gaps in low income and working class neighborhoods. And some of the popular suburban and rural roads highlighted may intimidate casual riders. Still with absolutely no bike traffic data available statewide, this map can be useful for those planning a route and to some degree a tool in bike improvement planning. Even Six Flags Great Adventure, one of the most auto centric destinations in the state has Strava waypoints.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

CyclePhilly App Will Help Planners Prioritize Bike Improvements In the South Jersey Suburbs

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission in cooperation with CodeForPhilly have developed CyclePhilly, a regionally based, route choice smartphone app that is now available for download in the App Store and on Google Play.

According to the press release "The app records cyclist biking habits such as route and time traveled, as well as the purpose of the trip. The data received provides an additional resource for local planners and agencies in an effort to understand bicycle trends, routes, and trip purposes, implement better bicycle facilities, and connect the region’s trail network, known as The Circuit."