Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pedestrian Safety Tips for Halloween

Pedestrian Safety Tips for Halloween

CHAPEL HILL, NC — The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center offers the following tips for safety-related and general interest stories surrounding the upcoming Halloween holiday weekend.

Guidelines for safe walking at Halloween

Young children need a parent or other adult to go trick or treating with them. There is no magic age when children are old enough to walk alone. Parents need to judge when their children are mature enough to go without an adult.

Choose the safest routes to walk.

  • Pick places where there are sidewalks or paths separated from traffic if possible.
  • Look for well-lit streets with slow traffic.
  • Remind children to watch for cars turning or pulling out of driveways.

Limit the number of street crossings. Avoid crossing busy or high-speed roads.

Review crossing safety rules with children. Tell them to:

  • Even when adults are looking, always look for cars for yourself.
  • Stop at the curb and look left, right and left again for traffic.
    Wait until no traffic is coming and begin crossing. Keep looking for traffic until you have finished crossing.
  • When crossing the street at an intersection, obey traffic signs and signals and look for yourself to see if cars are coming. Look left, right and left and then behind you and in front of you for turning cars.
  • Walk, don’t run across the street.

Think visibility. Wear bright colors, use retro reflective materials. Carry flashlights. In bad weather, visibility is even more important.

Choose homes that welcome Halloween visitors. Look for well lit driveways, walkways or paths to the front door.

Do a costume check. Can the children walk easily in the outfit? Make sure the masks or head gear allow the children to see clearly what is around them. Be sure they can safely negotiate steps on dimly lit walkways.

When taking a group of kids trick or treating:

Have a good ratio of parents/adults to children. For young children, consider 1 adult for every 3 children.

Arrange the adults so that there is an adult in the front and one in the back. This is to prevent children from getting ahead or lagging behind the group.

Plan how to cross streets:

  • Avoid busy, high-speed or multi-lane roads.
  • Give children exiting the street room to enter the sidewalk area.

Remember children are not miniature adults.

  • They often act before thinking.
  • They have one-third narrower side vision.
  • They can’t judge speed.
  • They are shorter than adults and can’t see over cars and bushes.

Make sure the children understand what is expected of them. Have a plan for dealing with disruptive kids.

Messages for Motorists

Drive slowly through residential streets and areas where pedestrians trick-or-treating could be expected.

Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.

Watch for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs.

Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.

At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Streetfilms presents - Alewife Station’s Bike Cage: Cambridge, Mass.

So how much did this cost? At most $100,000 - Maybe?

With the average cost of a parking space in a structure going for $40,000 this type of project would be pocket change!

A couple of years ago I proposed a bikestation type facility in my hometown of New Brunswick in an empty storefront directly across from the train station (something like the Bikestation in Seattle pictured below). The store front has been empty for over 4 years. The bike parking currently at the station is a mob scene! Nearly 100 bikes parked to every available rack and a waiting list of many years for the 12 bike lockers.

The local TMA, Keep Middlesex Moving, to their credit loved my idea and tried to move it along. Unfortunately the powers that be beyond the TMA just don't seem to get it. Instead of using this empty storefront directly across from the station for secure bike parking on at least a trial basis, it was proposed that a primitive bike room would be provided in a building that won't be built for another 4 years. This building by the way will have a parking deck for over 400 cars!! (400 x $40,000 = $16,000,000!!)

In the meantime the storefront remains empty. The owner of the build with the empty storefront? The New Brunswick Parking Authority!

Tri State Transportation Campaign Lists Most Dangerous Roads For Pedestrians

Suburban routes top the list and point to need for redesigning roads with pedestrians in mind

New Jersey’s most dangerous roads for pedestrians are Whitehorse Pike (Rt 30) in Atlantic County and Route 130 in Burlington County, according to a new analysis by Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a policy watchdog organization.

Between 2005 and 2007, 9 pedestrians were killed on each of those two routes, with most of the fatalities occurring where the highways pass through relatively busy suburban areas such as Pomona and Cinnaminson. “In New Jersey, the most dangerous roads are major suburban roadways dotted with retail destinations but designed exclusively for fast-moving car traffic,” said Michelle Ernst, staff analyst with the Campaign. “Roads like Whitehorse Pike and Route 130 are perfect examples of that type of road.”

The analysis found the state’s most dangerous roads for walking over the three-year period were:



Pedestrian Fatalities (2005-2007)


Whitehorse Pike (Route 30), Atlantic County



Route 130, Burlington County



US 1, Middlesex County



US 9, Ocean County



US 40, Atlantic County



US 9, Middlesex County



Route 507, Bergen County



US 9, Monmouth County



Route 549, Ocean County



US 1, Union County


The group hopes that this new analysis will help state and local leaders determine where improvements are most needed.

“We hope that our analysis will serve as a resource to transportation planners, elected officials and community advocates.” said Zoe Baldwin, New Jersey Coordinator for the Campaign. “We need to do more to reduce these tragic deaths.”

The group applauded efforts that are already underway to improve safety in many of these corridors. The state of New Jersey has made reducing pedestrian fatalities a statewide goal and sets aside significant funding for pedestrian safety projects. NJDOT’s new Safe Corridors was established to improve pedestrian safety along especially dangerous roads. And the state recently revamped its methodology for awarding state and federal safety funds to target places with the greatest need.

“While we have made some progress, these numbers clearly show that we aren’t out of the woods yet. With more people looking for transportation choices, we have to step up efforts to design more balanced, walkable streets,” said Kate Slevin, the Campaign’s executive director.

The Campaign’s analysis was conducted by Ernst and Michael Benediktsson, a Princeton University PhD candidate in sociology. The two used recently released data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) to determine which routes within each county had the highest number of pedestrian fatalities over the three-year period from 2005 to 2007. The analysis excludes Interstates and other roads where pedestrians are prohibited. Data was not available for pedestrian injuries, many of which occur in urban areas like Newark, Trenton, and Camden.

County fact sheets showing the most dangerous routes for walking are also available. The fact sheets also include a map showing the locations of each pedestrian fatality, with descriptive details for each victim killed on the county’s most dangerous route or routes.

The full report, as well as county fact sheets can be found at

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning for the Somerset Regional Center

The Somerset County Planning Board undertaking an 18-month study to prepare a comprehensive bicycle, pedestrian and greenways plan for the three Regional Center towns of Raritan and Somerville Boroughs and portions of Bridgewater Township.

View Larger Map

Regional Center of Somerset County

A public design workshop for the Regional Center Bike, Greenway and Pedestrian Study scheduled for Wednesday, November 5 from 6-8:30 PM in the 1st floor Conference room at 27 Warren Street, Somerville, NJ. This new building is part of the county complex, is fully accessible located near bus and rail transit and is just one block south of the Somerset County Administration Building.

The participation by bicycle, pedestrian and greenway advocates is very important towards shaping and advancing this regional center vision for better biking, walking and greenway connections between the three towns. Everyone who lives, works or recreates within the Regional Center towns of Bridgewater, Raritan and Somerville should plan on attending this important public design workshop.

Friday, October 10, 2008

NJ Walks and Bikes Newsletter

In this Issue:

Increasing Pedestrian Safety and Mobility in Suburban Areas

Why Drive 25 MPH?

NJ Bicycle and Pedestrian Advocacy

Burlington County Bike Path Partnership

Click Here to view the Newsletter

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Milford Montague Bike Ped Shuttle to End

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission is ending it's bicycle and pedestrian shuttle service on the Milford Montague Bridge. Once again bicyclists and pedestrians will have no legal means to cross the bridge until construction is completed.

While the seasonal service was greatly appreciated it's clear that the Commission just doesn't seem to get it. It's not just about recreation, its about fair and equal access for all.

The Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices has established fundamental principals for traffic control through work zones.

"Pedestrians should be provided with access and safe passage through the temporary traffic control zone at all times."

This is $19 Million dollar project, how much would it really cost find a way to get bicyclists and pedestrians fair access across the river.

Bridge bike and pedestrian shuttle to end

MILFORD - Today is the last day of the free summer-season shuttle service for pedestrians and bicyclists at the Milford-Montague Toll Bridge. The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission launched the shuttle service in May 2008 to coincide with the start of the summer tourism season in the region.

With the onset of construction activities at the bridge in February, prudence and the safety of bicyclists and motorists dictated that the Commission suspend public access to the bridge's walkway -- where bicycles are normally allowed to be walked across the bridge - because it was part of an active construction zone.

The shuttle service was put in place during the summer months to accommodate bicycle traffic during the peak vacation and tourism season in the area. The Milford -Montague rehabilitation project is projected to cost $19.1 million and take until Memorial Day 2009 to reach substantial completion.

To facilitate the work, the Commission earlier this month announced the resumption of alternating lane closures on the bridge. The bridge rehabilitation contract also allows intermittent temporary closures of both traffic lanes on the bridge for maximum 15-minute durations between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and for maximum 30-minute durations between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Work crews are required to sufficiently clear traffic queues between bridge-closure periods. Motorists may encounter delays because of the lane shutdown and intermittent bridge closures.