Saturday, December 25, 2010
I bring this up today because I picked up my local weekly paper and read about an 86 year old man who was killed crossing US 1 at an intersection in North Brunswick I often use to cross the highway when riding my bike around town. Wanting to see if I could find out more about what happened to this poor gentleman I did a quick search for the term "pedestrian" in the local New Jersey news. Unfortunately the number of pedestrian crashes I came across was very disheartening. On top of that, I noticed that a vast majority of the victims were either over the age of 60 or children.
However, what is the equally disturbing is continued tone, in many of the stories, that seem to blame the victim, along with forum comments that do so outright. Yes! Many times pedestrians can make foolish moves. We've all seen people that seem to willfully dare us to hit them while we are behind the wheel. And we've all have come close to making big mistakes on the road whether on foot, on a bike or in a car. However, being a pedestrian wearing dark clothing is not a crime nor should it ever be a a quick and easy excuse for a driver in a crash (admittedly, crosswalks with lighting to maximize a driver's ability to see pedestrians are far and few). And merely trying to cross a certain street at a certain location during a certain time is also not a crime but actual comments like, "Only a fool would attempt to cross the highway at the time of day" (source) continue in the on-line forums.
Only thing that we can do is to keep trying to make New Jersey a safer place for those who get about without a car. Hopefully the New Year will prove better then the last.
The story links are below:
Elderly pedestrian is struck, killed on Route 1 in North Brunswick
The Star-Ledger • Monday, December 13, 2010
Pedestrian fatally struck by carjacked vehicle in East Orange during police chase is identified
The Star-Ledger • Friday, December 17, 2010
After being hit by car, Bayonne woman on the mend
The Jersey Journal • Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Sadly, another death on the road
Daily Record • Monday, December 20, 2010
Dover, NJ: Pedestrian struck crossing Route 46
Daily Record • Monday, December 13, 2010
Manchester pedestrian dies from injuries suffered in accident
Asbury Park Press • Monday, December 20, 2010
Marlton woman, 42, hit by car on Route 70
Courier Post • Thursday, December 23, 2010
Pedestrian struck outside Hillsborough Municipal Complex
Courier News • Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Hillsborough accident seriously injures pedestrian, 46, on Route 206
Courier News • Saturday, December 18, 2010
Ewing pedestrian suffers broken leg; pinned under car after icy collision
The Times of Trenton Thursday, December 2, 2010
Pedestrian hit by car remains hospitalized
The Record • Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Pedestrian struck by car dies from injuries
Wayne Today • Thursday, December 16, 2010
"Pedestrian hit by alleged drunk driver"
Belleville Times • Friday, December 17, 2010
East Rutherford resident killed over the weekend
South Bergenite • Tuesday, December 21, 2010
"West Milford boy, 12 injured crossing road"
Suburban Trends • Sunday, December 19, 2010
Lakeland student remains at trauma center
Suburban Trends • Wednesday, December 15, 2010
(approximate crash site)
Pedestrian struck in Fair Lawn
The Record • Saturday, December 4, 2010
2 teen pedestrians struck by car in Fair Lawn
The Record • Thursday, December 2, 2010
Three teens hit by vehicles in Ridgewood on Friday afternoon
The Ridgewood News • Friday, December 3, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
We were so close.
Remember that rosy blog post proudly declaring "Mission Accomplished" for the construction of a bicycle and pedestrian ramp on the Ben Franklin Bridge walkway?
Not so fast.
The Delaware River Port Authority Board of Directors, who were caught between a suspicious Wall Street and a populist revolt, ordered DRPA staff to trim the 2011 Capital Budget of any project "that does not relate to public safety." As a result, DRPA trimmed back about 9% of the $164 Million budget. Within that amount was $50,000 allotted for the design of the Bridge Bicycle and Pedestrian path. At just 0.03% of the Capital Budget, $50K amounts to about 6 hours worth of Ben Franklin Bridge toll revenue.
The project is included in the 5 year Capital Program with all of the design happening in 2012 and construction beginning in 2013. A call to the Engineering Office indicated that the project will now start in early 2012 instead of late fall of 2011. The two or three month delay might have little effect on the proposed timeline to open up the ramp in the late Spring of 2013.
But will it remain in the Capital program? 2012's post toll hike budget may come under the same scrutiny. One of the top complaints of DRPA critics is that the Authority is spending money on projects that are not part of the core mission "moving people and goods across the Delaware River". Most of the criticism is aimed at economic development funds but recent Board discussions indicate a desire by some to narrow the Authority's mission. Proposal's have included shedding operations for PATCO and the Riverlink Ferry. When all is said and done the new mission may change to "moving cars and trucks over the four DRPA bridges". How progressive!
If you really love the bridge walkway then why not take some time to write a brief friendly note to DRPA Customer Service or ask to speak at a DRPA Board Meeting and declare your support for a bicycle and ramp. You need to call DRPA ahead of time (877-567-DRPA) to request time to speak at board meetings; transparency at One Port Center is an evolving practice.
Overall, the plan presented by the consultants from Michael Baker Jr. was well thought out and clearly showed an understanding of the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians. Freehold Borough is a small, older town roughly 1.5 miles square that is the County Seat for Monmouth and is the crossroads of many old highways that still bring a great deal of traffic into town. Similar to the plan they put together for Morristown, the suggestions for Freehold also included a liberal use of bicycle lanes and sharrows on major streets where appropriate, accompanied by a reduction in motor vehicle lane width and limited elimination of on-street parking (the one street that they recommended this last action, they never observed cars parked on the street). They also suggested extending the Henry Hudson Trail further into town using the old railroad right-of-way, which is currently not used and has been the sight of rampant dumping.
For pedestrians suggestions included construction of sidewalks in places without them, particularly in areas that have significant evidence of pedestrian use as seen from direct observation and the existence of desire paths on the side of the roadways. Also suggested was the construction of one or two additional crosswalks on a section of downtown Main Street that had no crosswalks over a stretch of approximately 800 feet.
Bicycle parking oddly enough has been probably been the most contentious issue in Freehold. As WalkBikeJersey has reported in the past, Borough ordinance requires bicycle to be parked only to official bicycle racks, however almost all of those are located in the parking lots behind buildings and in other areas not readily apparent to bicyclist. Most locals feel that these racks are not located in safe places to lock a bike. Despite general opposition from many downtown merchants, the proposed plan does call for bicycle parking be placed in select curbside locations on Main Street, which follows the bike parking standards detailed by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. However, if a curbside parking plan cannot be ratified by the Borough Council, the consultants did provide a “Plan B” bike parking proposal that would provide better parking options if bicycle parking is still not allowed along the Main Street storefronts.
Also of note was that this plan looked at important destinations beyond the Borough boundaries. With cooperation from Freehold Township that surrounds the Borough, the consultants considered the needs of bicyclists and pedestrian that would like to visit sights like Monmouth Battlefield State Park and other nearby county parks. Also investigated were the needs of people who would need to travel back and forth to a select number of commercial establishments that lay just beyond the Borough.
During public comment everyone who spoke showed support for the plan, including all the local residents many of whom use their bikes as a regular means of transportation around the town. When Mike Kruimer of the ECGW spoke, he applauded the proposed plan and reminded the Council that there are many great amenities in their town to attract bicyclists such as the Henry Hudson Trail and the world-class Metz Bicycle Museum. Mike also reminded the Council that when he comes to town on his bike he doesn’t bring loud music or a loud car but he does bring his wallet, as he pulled it out of his pocket and waved it before all in attendance. Other bicycle advocates from outside the Borough, including myself, praised the plan for being well thought out and a great opportunity for Freehold.
Unfortunately, I needed to leave before the Council saw the presentation for themselves and could begin debate on the bicycle plan. A reporter from the Asbury Park Press was there to cover the story and you can read her coverage here.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Use right arrow to access walk and transit data
- 0.31% Biked (US 0.5%),
- 3.35% Walked (US 2.9%)
- 10.75% took transit (US 4.95%)
Thursday, December 16, 2010
For those of you that don’t know, ever 3 months state, county, and local government officials, consultants as well as advocates and members of the general public come together at the Bloustein School at Rutgers University for the NJ BPAC meeting. Here the latest happenings and other news concerning bicycle and pedestrian are discussed and shared. All are welcomed.
Items discussed and announcements include:
- NJDOT announced the completion of the updated New Jersey Bicycling Manual. It was done with the assistance of the NJ BPAC Policy Subcommittee and the consultants at the RBA Group and funded with a grant from the Federal Highway Administration (or so I believe). This new manual is geared to all age groups, unlike that last version that focused only on children and includes advice on everything from lane positioning, hand signals, how to properly lock and secure one’s bicycle, commuter tips, advantages of the different types of bicycles, essential repair tools for the road, lights, wet weather gear and even bicycle touring. This is a quality product produced by people who are highly experienced bicyclists. The Manual will only be available on-line and will be released before Christmas. When it is, WalkBikeJersey will have a complete review with a direct link.
- A representative from the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance announce that they are putting together a Complete Streets petition that they will present to Mercer County. They hope that Mercer County will follow the lead of Monmouth County and adopt their own Complete Streets Policy.
- Ranjit Walia of the Voorhees Transportation Center gave a quick review and rundown of the Complete Streets Summit held this past October at Rutgers University. The official attendance was 160 but there were many more there, up to as many as 200. 27 municipalities and 14 counties sent representatives. There were also 12 elected officials, 42 consultants and 19 people representing non-profits (for more details see the CS Summit Report or the official BPAC minutes - both not available at press time).
- Ranjit Walia and Peter Bilton of the Voorhees Transportation Center will be leaving the center by years end to start their own private venture. Along with a third partner, their new company will do custom bicycle and pedestrian as well as community visionings using multimedia, video, etc. Their hope is to provide a product that is as visually compelling as Streetfilms but with the years of planning expertise that both Ranjit and Peter bring to their project. During a few minutes of extra time at the end of the meeting Ranjit even showed a few examples of their work. It should be also noted that Peter and Ranjit’s leaving does not mean the end of their relationship with VTC and NJDOT. Both parties already plan to work with Ranjit and Peter on future projects that will help advance walking and bicycling issues here in New Jersey.
The feature presentation at this BPAC meeting was given by Ian Sacs, the Director of Transportation and Parking for the City of Hoboken. If you are regular reader of WalkBikeJersey you are already aware of some of the innovative (Ed - if less than ideally executed) bicycle and pedestrian amenities found in Hoboken. Most of what Ian talked about in his presentation on this day however was more on how he, with the backing of the City Council, has been creating incentives for residents to leave their cars at home or to get rid of them all together and not so much on the finer details of Hoboken’s bicycle and pedestrian amenities.
Ian comes from an engineering background and calls himself a transportation engineer, not a traffic engineer and this is evident in the way that he approaches transportation and traffic problems in Hoboken. For many decades prior to his arrival, the only proactive approach to transportation and parking that the city undertook was to accommodate cars by increasing to supply of parking through the construction of expensive parking garages. Instead of continuing down this ever more costly and futile path of an ever-increasing parking supply, Ian’s approach is that it is better and much cheaper to reduce parking demand.
Ian admits that much of what he has been able to accomplish in Hoboken is the direct result of how the city was planned and laid out many years ago, when walking and transit was the only way that people got around and commuted to work. The residual pedestrian friendly layout, dense urban residential infrastructure and transit amenities, new (Hudson-Bergen Light Rail) and old (NJ Transit’s Lackawana Terminal and PATH), has made it rather easy for him to get residents to leave their cars at home and in some cases get rid of them all together. The two new major initiatives that city has implemented with Ian’s guidance to reduce private motor vehicle mode share and parking demand has been the “HOP” bus shuttle and the new and highly visible car-share program called “Corner Cars.”
While Hoboken has great transit amenities to help take residents to destinations outside of the city, transit options to destinations within Hoboken were actually rather limited. The HOP Shuttle, with its three different routes servicing major destinations only in Hoboken looks to remedy this oversight and eliminate much of the need for expensive paratransit services that provides door-to-door transportation for the elderly and disabled. While the service has yet to break even financially (typical of transit BTW), Ian continues to find additional revenue streams and riders for the system, while expanding service, keeping regular fairs low and free for the cities elderly and poor.
Corner Cars is a much more innovative and controversial (at least for some in the city) approach to reducing parking demand and car ownership in the city. While Hoboken has long been a site of a successful car-share program, this new program brings to visibility of Hoboken car-share out onto the streets. Like the name implies, Corner Cars are literally parked in reserved spots on the streets at select and even spaced corners throughout Hoboken. What has made this program controversial to some has been the elimination on on-street parking spaces to make room for the Corner Cars. To help silence critics who lament the loss of “precious” parking spaces, the city has also implemented a program called “Surrender Your Permit” which provides additional financial initiatives for residents with a parking permit to get rid of it if they sign up to become a member of the Corner Cars program. So far around 50 people have done just that, which about makes up for the lost on-street parking taken by the Corner Cars (did not remember the exact numeric details but this is roughly correct).
Reducing traffic and parking demand does benefit those who wish to walk and bike by helping to tame the streets. A more direct way to help the city’s cyclist and pedestrians has been to simply enforce current parking regulations more strictly. Not only does this clear up the streets and increase city revenues but also eliminates illegal parking at street corners that often blocks a driver’s view of pedestrians crossing at the intersections along with cyclists and other vehicle traffic. A more proactive way to keep street corners clear has been to install flexible bollards to block people from parking in the last 25 feet before a crosswalk which he termed “corner daylighting.” However, even this does not stop 100% of illegal parking at these locations.
to the curb but they aren't always enough to stop some drivers from parking illegally.
Finally Ian noted that the city’s efforts to make the streets more livable have increased the number of cyclists using a bike for simple local transportation. Scenes of bicycles with child carriers grocery baskets and fenders parked around the city are becoming evermore common. When asked by WalkBikeJersey about the parking at the train station he announced that the plan to develop the area around the train station would include what will probably be New Jersey’s first bicycle station.
That’s a rap on the December 2010 NJ BPAC rundown. Check back here to find out more when the next BPAC meeting likely scheduled for March 2011.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Cyclist killed in New Brunswick crash ID'd as California woman - Updated with photos of intersection
Since the Google Streetsview imagery was outdated for this newer intersection I went out and visited the location, took some pictures so I and our readers could get a better understanding of the place and what could have happened to Chelsea Traynot. I went through the crosswalk to cross the northbound local lanes of Rt 18. Going over to the riverside it took exactly one minute to get the walk signal. Upon my return in took only 20 seconds. It also appeared that when traffic turning left from George Stgot the green light, all traffic on the northbound local lanes also came to a halt. I did not observe the operation of the light well enough to say that this was the case with 100% certainty.
It was rather somber to go to a place where someone had lost their life not even a week earlier and I took these pictures and show them here with the greatest reverence to the deceased.
drivers seemed to bring all Rt 18 traffic to a halt seen in background.A view of the approach to the intersection with George St.
A view of the approach to the intersection but further south along the highway.
Note the posted speed limit.
Mr . Clark was scheduled to speak at last years WWBPA meeting which was scheduled a day or two before the New Jersey Bicycle Summit but had to cancel due to a horrendous snowstorm that nearly canceled the state summit as well.
WWBPA welcomes all bike/ped advocates to attend this meeting and will release more details as the event date draws nearer.
Greetings BPAC Members,
This is a reminder that the next BPAC meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, December 15th at 10am here in the Bloustein building. For directions to the Bloustein School, please refer to the following link:
Those of you who requested parking in the building will receive a parking permit by email.
(Ed - NOT) Attached you will find the meeting agenda and the member updates that were submitted by email. There will be an opportunity to share additional updates during the meeting.
I hope to see you there. As usual for the December meeting, we will be going out to lunch in New Brunswick immediately after the meeting to celebrate the holiday season and the end of a successful year. Everyone is welcome to come.
Senior Research Specialist
Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center
Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
33 Livingston Avenue
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901
New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition
December 13, 2010
From the NJBWC President:
We are less than two weeks from the shortest day of the year, which means that Spring is getting closer (I am a glass-half-full kind of guy). Nicer weather means getting outside - and why not get outside on a new bike? The new Trek 7.3 FX Disc bike you have a chance of winning by joining NJBWC, or renewing your membership. Full details here.
Also, don't forget that registration is now open for the BikeWalk2011 Summit in February, to be held in Trenton. More information here.
Come Out To Support Biking in Freehold, NJ
John Newman, councilman of Freehold Borough, is asking for our support in his bid to make Freehold, NJ, more bike friendly, by appearing at a public meeting on Monday, December 20. The public portion of this meeting is from 4:00pm until 6:00pm, followed by a discussion by the Borough council of a proposed bike plan for the Borough. There is opposition from the local business community and your support is needed to show that making Freehold a more bike and walk-friendly is in their best interests. For more information, read here...
The West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance is proposing that Mercer County adopt a Complete Streets policy similar to that recently adopted by Monmouth County. They are seeking organizations willing to sign on to the letter they will be presenting to the Mercer County Freeholders.
Last Wednesday, the House of Representatives approved, and sent to the Senate, a continuing resolution funding the federal govenment for the remainder of the US fiscal year. The measure also extends for nine months, January 1 through September 30, the funding under SAFETEA-LU. This appears to be a compromise between the six month extension favored by incoming Transportation Committee chairman John Mica, and the one-year extension favored by outgoing chairman James Oberstar. Read more...
This week saw the release of the Advocacy Advance Report - Bridging the Gaps in Bicycling Networks: An Advocate's Guide to Getting Bikes on Bridges. To read or download a copy of this report, visit the League of American Bicyclists website.
If you have not already signed the on-line petition for the passage of a three-foot safe passing law in New Jersey, please do so here. And pass the word along to your friends. Moving into the new year, we plan to bring this issue to the attention of all of our state legislators, and we need your help. Sign the petition
NJ BIKE/WALK SUMMIT
The New Jersey Bike/Walk Summit will be held on Saturday, February 26, 2011, in Trenton, NJ. Registration for this event is now open and early registration is encouraged to ensure that you won't be miss the opportunity of attending and networking with your fellow New Jersey bicycling and walking advocates.
Watch this newsletter for coming announcements about the day's program, panels and speakers. There will be no registration at the door, it is pre-registration only. So be sure to reserve your place in the Grand Hall at the Masonic Temple in Trenton for this exciting event.
The New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition's mission is to PROTECT the rights and safety of NJ walkers and bicyclists; PROMOTE bicycling and walking for fun, fitness and transportation; EDUCATE bicyclists, walkers and drivers about our rights and responsibilities; and CONNECT our communities with a smarter transportation system.
To learn more about the NJ Bike and Walk Coalition go to their website - http://njbwc.org/
Friday, December 10, 2010
View Bicyclist fatality Rt 18 and George St. 12/9/10 in a larger map
We at WalkBikeJersey send our condolences to the unnamed victims family.
Thursday, December 09, 2010
And now for the message from the Florida Bicycle Association:
AAA wants trail and bicycle/pedestrian funding cut from transportation funding. Please sign RTC’s petition today!
Our friends at Rails-to-Trails Conservancy are fighting the good fight for trails and bicycle/pedestrian programs, and they need your help! AAA is advocating for the elimination of the Transportation Enhancements (TE) program from the transportation trust fund. Trails and bike/ped get less than 2 cents of every dollar in the fund, but AAA wants that money to go to highways and roads, turning back the clock on 20 years of progress toward a balanced transportation system.
It started with AAA Mid-Atlantic in Delaware. Since then AAA National (Heathrow, FL) has indicated they support Mid-Atlantic’s position. Incidentally, other AAA locations have trails. Take a peek at this video taken last week of AAA Mid-Atlantic headquarters that shows the trail just steps from the AAA building. Go figure! Our friends at YouTube support trails too.
RTC has launched a petition to ask AAA to reconsider their position. More than 30,000 people have signed so far, and supporters-and AAA members-are flooding their regional AAA chapters asking one simple question: Will AAA support critical, established walking and bicycling programs-and the funding source that allows them to thrive-now and into the future?
So far, AAA has yet to provide a satisfactory answer.
With AAA National headquarters right here in Florida (and with the TE-funded Seminole-Wekiva Trail in their front yard), let’s add as many Florida voices as possible to the petition. Let AAA know that we value safe, accessible places to walk and bike, and that modern transportation is about more than just highways!
Subject: Freehold bike study - NEED HELP
Hi,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 atin 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 theto 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 you and your friends could help me by attending themeeting. 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.
Thank you for your support,John F. Newman
View Larger Map of the location of Freehold Borough Hall
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Now comes word (via a friend who is a member of the Central Jersey Bike Club) that Freehold Borough is about to release a bicycle and pedestrian plan funded by a grant from NJDOT. It shouldn't be forgotten that Freehold is home to the most amazing Metz Bicycle Museum, a true gem of cycling history that literally has international importance.
Below you will find the announcement from Freehold Borough Councilman John Newman about the unveiling of the plan at an upcoming council meeting. WalkBikeJersey will be there to give you a report on the results. I hope the report is as good as some of the others WalkBikeJersey has reviewed lately (1,2) and that bicyclists come out and show support for the project.
The announcement reads:
Hi, my name is John Newman, Councilman in Freehold Borough.
Freehold will be unveiling a study from the NJ DOT on bike and pedestrian safety, etc.; part of the study is making the borough bike friendly and linking the borough to its downtown and to outside the borough, including linking the Henry Hudson Trail to the downtown.
However, the mayor and the rest of council need to be shown that their is support for a bike-friendly Freehold Borough, and that there are benefits for the residents and the businesses. Believe it or not, there is some resistance to a bike-friendly town.
I would very much appreciate it if you could inform your members of the meeting where this plan will be unveiled and ask them to attend and show their support as well as provide comments for improvements.
The meeting is at Freehold Borough Hall, West Main Street, from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. on Monday, December 20 for comments, and a presentation will be made to the mayor and council at the regular meeting at 7:00 p.m.
Please lend your hand to making Freehold Borough bike-friendly for all.
John F. Newman, Freehold Borough
Monday, December 06, 2010
I would have posted this much earlier but the link to the NJDEP Trails Program website didn't work when I first tried to post this a few weeks ago.
Below is a verbatim copy of the DEP November 3rd news release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 3, 2010
Contact: Lawrence Ragonese (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
FEDERAL GRANTS AWARDED FOR 48 NEW JERSEY TRAILS PROJECTS:
DEP NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR 2011 TRAILS FUNDING
(10/P120) TRENTON - More than $800,000 in federal recreational trails grants have been allocated to 48 projects in New Jersey this year, and another $1 million may soon be available for 2011 projects, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.
Applications for the next round of federal grants are now being accepted by the DEP for consideration for funding in 2011 to develop, maintain and improve trails throughout New Jersey. The federal funds, which are administered by the DEP’s Office of Natural Lands Management, can be used to improve access to open space, enhance environmental resources, create urban and suburban corridors and provide additional hiking, biking and horseback riding opportunities.
The deadline to apply to the DEP is Dec. 15. Federal, state, county and local government agencies, and nonprofit groups are eligible for the federal funds.
“Preserving and enhancing our natural resources and open spaces, and providing affordable recreational opportunities for our residents are priorities of the DEP,’’ said Commissioner Bob Martin. “The quality of life in many New Jersey cities and towns is enhanced by the broad network of trails, which connects the fabric of our communities.’’
Trails can provide appreciation and accessibility of open space in rural, urban and suburban areas, as well as enjoyment by persons of all abilities, ages and means who are seeking physical activity and improved fitness as part of a healthy and active lifestyle, said the Commissioner.
In 2011, the DEP expects to award about $1 million in competitive grants for groups that maintain, develop and operate trails. Recipients are required to provide a 20 percent matching share for each project. The funding is contingent upon congressional authorization or an extension of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Surface Transportation Bill.
"These funds are vital to the development and maintenance of a statewide network of trails in New Jersey," said DEP Assistant Commissioner of Natural and Historic Resources Amy Cradic. “The matching grants will provide for greater access to the state's many open spaces while providing alternative transportation corridors, health and fitness opportunities and enhancing the state's vast natural and historic resources.’’
This year, 48 trail projects have received $833,109 in funding from the Federal Highway Administration's Recreational Trails Program. Included are a wide variety of trails projects statewide.
For example, a $25,000 grant was awarded to the nonprofit Student Conservation Association (SCA) to work with the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs on trail maintenance and improvements in various Essex County parks and reservations.
SCA also received $25,000 to work with the Hunterdon County Department of Parks and Recreation to repair and improve trails at Musconetcong Gorge Preserve.
Wawayanda State Park partnered with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Sussex County and Vernon Township to receive $25,000 to develop a parking area to allow access to the popular Appalachian Trail ADA accessible boardwalk over the Pochuck Creek wetlands. Brick Township received $11,200 to develop trailhead facilities and trail rehabilitation on the Airport Tract and Sawmill Bicycle Paths.
In the city of Camden, Cooper's Ferry Development Association is being provided $25,000 to develop the Von Neida Park Greenway Trail that will connect to a larger Camden GreenWay System that links other trails, parks and recreational areas throughout Camden County.
The 48 grant recipients in 2010 were recommended for funding by the New Jersey Trails Council and approved by the Federal Highway Administration.
The Trails Council is comprised of representatives from hiking, mountain biking, motorized trail use, canoeing/kayaking and horseback riding interest groups, as well as several general trail advocates and state government representatives.
Those interested in additional grant information, an application form, or who want to read New Jersey’s 2009 Trails Plans Update that offers a vision, goals and strategic actions to guide the state’s trails efforts, should visit www.trails.nj.gov
Following is a list of approved 2010 recreational trail projects, totaling $833,109:
* Atlantic County
Egg Harbor Township PAL, Equestrian Trails and Park: $25,000
* Bergen County
Edgewater Borough, Veterans Field Multi-Use Pathway: $25,000
* Camden County
Camden County Parks Department, Farnham/Cooper River Bikeway: $25,000
Camden Greenways, Inc., New Camden Park Waterfront Trail: $25,000
Camden Greenways, Inc., Stewardship and Volunteer Trail Workshops: $15,000
Cherry Hill Township, Cherry Hill Trails Program: $25,000
Cooper’s Ferry Development Association, Von Neida Park Greenway Trail: $25,000
Gibbsboro Borough, Blueberry Hill to Pole Hill Connector Trail: $25,000
* Essex County
Hilltop Conservancy, Inc., Interpretive Signage: $4,362
Student Conservation Association, Inc., Essex County Trails Crew: $25,000
* Gloucester County
Gloucester County 4-H Association, Monroe Township Nature Preserve: $25,000
* Hudson County
Guttenberg Town, Hudson River Waterfront Walkway: $25,000
* Hunterdon County
Lebanon Township, Trail Improvements: $22,050
Student Conservation Association, Inc., Hunterdon County Trails Crew: $25,000
Voorhees State Park, Trail Maintenance: $8,000
* Mercer County
Lawrence Township, Drexel Woods Trail Improvements: $25,000
Trenton City, Mill Hill Park Accessible Path: $25,000
Washington Crossing State Park, Visitor Center to Nature Center Connector Trail: $23,175
* Middlesex County
Cheesequake State Park, Interactive Kiosks: $4,079
Kingston Greenways Association, Cook Natural Area Trail Improvements: $8,940
Sayreville Borough, Nature Trails: $25,000
* Monmouth County
Allaire State Park, Trailhead Improvements: $1,600
Manasquan Borough, Capital to the Coast Trail Signage: $1,516
Millstone Trailblazers, Inc., Mine Hills Trail Project: $25,000
* Morris County
Mendham Township, Trail Expansion/Maintenance Project: $22,250
Mount Olive Township, Turkey Brook Park Trails: $6,750
Pequannock Township, Mountainside Park Trails: $8,023
* Ocean County
Brick Township, Trailhead Facilities and Trail Rehabilitation: $11,200
New Jersey Forest Fire Service, Pancoast Road Trail: $25,000
New Jersey Natural Lands Trust, Crossley Preserve Trail Restoration: $3,750
* Salem County
Parvin State Park, Parvin Long Trail Improvements: $11,300
* Somerset County
Franklin Township, Middlebush Park Pathway: $25,000
* Sussex County
Heritage and Agriculture Association, Inc., Lusscroft Farm Equine and Hiking Trails: $21,500
Wawayanda State Park, Appalachian Trail Access/Parking: $25,000
* Warren County
Stephens State Park, Musconetcong River Kayaking Trail: $8,500
* Multiple Counties
Belleplain State Forest, (Cape May and Cumberland), Trail System Improvements: $3,093
Bull’s Island Recreation Area, (Hunterdon and Mercer), Maintenance Equipment: $17,600
Bull’s Island Recreation Area, (Hunterdon and Mercer), Maintenance Trailer: $5,000
Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park (Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset), Trails
Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park (Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset), Trails
Maintenance Equipment: $2,800
East Coast Greenway Alliance (Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset and Union), Guide to Bicycling and Walking 2011: $15,000
Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association (Atlantic, Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth, Middlesex, Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Passaic, Sussex and Warren), Park Infrastructure Improvements: $24,998
Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association (Atlantic, Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth, Middlesex, Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Passaic, Sussex and Warren), Trail Tools, Supplies and Training: $24,990
New Jersey Conservation Foundation (Statewide, all counties), New Jersey Trails Inventory: $23,500
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference (Bergen, Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Warren), Managing Invasive Plant Species Along Trails: $7,416
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference (Passaic, Sussex and Warren), Trail Conditions Inventory: $24,200
State Park Service - Central Region, (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris and Somerset) Trail Maintenance Equipment: $12,000
State Park Service - Central Region, (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris and Somerset) Trail Utility Vehicle: $17,200
The trail is proving to be controversial because it uses an old rail bed built on top of a wetland. There is a second proposal if the project is killed that may be equally controversial. That one moves the bike lanes on adjacent West Avenue on to the west side and create a two way cycletrack.
More info on these proposals can be found on the Bike Ocean City website.
The Bicycle Coalition met with officials of the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) last week to receive details of the plan for the Bicycle Pedestrian Ramp project on the South Walkway of the Bridge as well as the Pearl St project which will offer bicycle and pedestrian improvements from the walkway entrance to the river. Pearl Street is one of three Camden TIGER projects sponsored by the Coopers Ferry Development Association.
Friday, December 03, 2010
Access to diagrams and report courtesy of the Middlesex County Planning Department.
As part of the construction of the bikeway, every street the project impacts will be repaved, intersections will be updated to comply with ADA standards, traffic signals will be redesign and retimed with new hardware if necessary, the median along Albany street will be narrowed and realigned in places, and bicycle racks will be installed in select locations. As this project does much more than simply paint lines on the roadway, $7.1 million has been allocated to fund the construction of the project.
Access to diagrams and report courtesy of the Middlesex County Planning Department.
While this blog has been critical of this project in the past, having looked at the final layout and gaining a better understand what the project entails, makes us feel more comfortable with what the project will give New Brunswick cyclists. While the project regrettably still reroutes cyclists away from the core of New Brunswick’s downtown, it does contain much that will benefit cyclists. The bike lanes along Albany St from Neilson to the train station will aid those living Highland Park reach the station. The bike lane along the length of George St west of Albany is a perfect route for cyclists between parts of the College Ave Campus and downtown. And while Neilson St might not be the most ideal route for cyclists traveling between the College Ave and Cook/Douglas Campuses, the bike lanes along this street will make it easier for cyclists coming from Highland Park to get to the Cook/Douglas Campus as well as some destinations downtown.
Access to diagrams and report courtesy of the Middlesex County Planning Department.
What is also really interesting is that the New Brunswick Bikeway will also have the first modern, on-street, contra-flow bike lanes in New Jersey, at least that WalkBikeJersey is aware of. These lanes would be located on Neilson and Bishop Streets and look fairly well though out. The one area where the contra-flow lane leaves us with some concern is in a small area on Neilson St where cars facing the opposite direction of the contra-flow bike traffic would park between the contra-flow lane and the curb. Despite this minor concern, these contra-flow bike lanes will serve as an example in New Jersey of this type of unique bicycle facility. If they work well here (as I believe they will as contra-flow bike lanes are common in Europe and in some locations in the US) then other places in New Jersey will be more likely to build them in their own towns to better and more conveniently serve cyclists where needed.
Thursday, December 02, 2010
For more, read the article in today's Morristown Green. More details to come as we get them at WalkBikeJersey.
To start the conversation Steve Spindler gave a presentation into how the map is being put together, from what sources the data is being acquired and the financial and physical limitations on the project. Mr. Spindler even honored WalkBikeJersey by featuring our article “What should a statewide bicycle map have?” in his presentation. Better yet he even liked all of the suggestions made in that article (I’m glad someone is paying attention to this blog).
Of all the questions asked by the participants probably the best and most profound was “what should the map tell people and who is the target audience?” This is probably the crux issue that will guide the final design of the map. Understanding that the map brought to the meeting is still a very rough draft, many audience members were still very concerned that the final map might not be at all useful for those wishing to navigate New Jersey's roadways by bicycle. Others noted that the map only gives people the idea that cycling is possible in New Jersey but that to actually navigate by bicycle the map should point people to other resources like county bike maps, local clubs or even other online sources like NJBikeMap.com and MapMyRide. Others said that this might not be such a bad idea as the map might act like tourism aid. Still many felt that the map needs to do both; aid in navigation while promoting the possibilities of bicycling in New Jersey.
Talk also did seem to focus on the relatively small scale of the map and that it might be too small to be useful for bicyclists. However, the discussion did hint that the current two-map layout is not a done deal and that other possible larger scale configurations are possible by either using larger sized maps or by dividing the state into more that two sections.
Overall, this workshop was a success. However one did get a feeling that the final product in this first edition might not be what many audience members are looking for, namely an aid to navigation. The potential cause of this seemed to be mostly due to budget, data source, layout, and time limitations in this first project scope. However this does not mean that this first edition map is already destine to disappoint. If the map designers can get a hold of good quality source data from local governments, counties, bicycle clubs and from cyclists themselves, this first edition map could still be a first rate product. Even if it is less than perfect all in attendance were reminded that this is only a first edition and that future editions and online revisions will always allow for improvements at a later date.
If you didn’t attend the first meeting, don’t forget that there will be two more workshop meetings coming next week in Central and South Jersey. From what I overheard, the South Jersey meeting had very few RSVPs at this time and that those working on the project really need to hear from the folks in the south whether they be government officials or local cyclists. If you live in South or Central Jersey please try to attend the next to workshops if you can to help make this the best statewide bicycle map anywhere. Don't forget that all are encouraged to review the draft map on the interactive website, (http://bikemap.com/njbike/) where you are requested to RSVP for the session you plan on attending.
Tuesday, December 7
9:30am to 11:30am
1035 Parkway Ave
Wednesday, December 8
10:00am to 12:00 noon
The George Luciano Family Center
Cumberland County College
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
From a site called Bicycle Radar comes the story "Drivers at fault in majority of cycling accidents".
(Read the story first before continuing here.)
As a cyclist who takes my responsibilities as the operator of a vehicle very seriously, I find the results of this report to be right on the money with the reality I see on the streets here in New Jersey. Even when following the letter of the law to my best abilities, I constantly have issues with motorists. Dangerous passing including passing too close, passing on blind turns and passing on narrow roads with oncoming traffic make up the vast majority of issues I have with motorists. Still, such incidents add up very quickly on a 2 hr, 40 mile ride. It's not uncommon for me to have up to 10 such uncomfortable incidents on a ride of such length on roads with very little traffic. I've even had three incidents in the past 14 months where I followed my LCI training, took the lane and tried to waved off the overtaking vehicle on a blind turn or rise, only to have the vehicle ignore my actions go, for the pass and nearly cause a head-on collision with the on coming car. What else can one do to proactively defend one's self on the road!
For those of you interested in more here's the link the abstract of the original study called "Naturalistic Cycling Study: Identifying risk factors for on-road commuter cyclists."
Tomorrow December 2nd, the Morristown Planning Board will be discussing an addendum to their bicycle plan. This addendum gives some actual proposals for street improvements to aid cyclists and where those improvements should go. A copy of the Morristown Bicycle Plan Addendum can be found here.
My quick, ten minute review of the plan seems to indicate that the consultant has come up with some good ideas to improve cycling around the town. Morristown is full of wide multi-lane roads, many of which seem ridiculously overbuilt for the traffic that they handle and are also engineered for high traffic speeds (Lafeyette and Madison Avenues are perfect emamples). Others are really busy much of the time, like South St and Speedwell Ave and would seem to pose more difficulty to accommodate both cyclists and the high motor-vehicle traffic volume. Oddly enough this addendum seems to find solutions at this time for the narrow roads with higher traffic volumes than the overbuilt ones. This isn't at all bad since the busy roads also happen to be in areas that seem to have more bicycle traffic and/or take local cyclists to places in town that they need or want to go.
I must admit however that I am concerned about the proposed use of "Sharrows" on Speedwell and Sussex Avenues shown on page 43 of the document. The image of the intersection seems to place the Sharrows dab-smack in the door zone of parked cars. If they propose to use "Bicycles May Use Full Lane" signs then the Sharrows should be placed in the center of the lanes or at least out of the doorzone. Still, this might be a detail better clarified in the text and I do again confess to having only spent little more than 10 or 15 minutes reviewing the plan.
What was really interesting was the crash analysis. A high percentage of crashes seemed to have been caused by cyclists riding on the sidewalk and when using the crosswalks. This seems to fully support those who espouse Effective Cycling techniques and who say that riding a bike on the sidewalk is a very dangerous.
Again, if you live in Morristown or in the area, make sure you show your support of the plan but also don't be afraid to bring up your concerns. Just make sure you do so politely and in a way that won't result in a scuttling of the entire proposal since there really seems to be some really, really good stuff in this plan.
Monday, November 29, 2010
A report in the Gloucester County Times describes the death of a man who according to the article "crashed his bicycle into the open door of a truck parked on the shoulder of Evergreen Avenue in Woodbury Heights.
The victim identified as 57 Year Old George E Schilling Jr was taken to Underwood-Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The crash occurred on Friday November 26th at 6:05PM, well after dark and Police describe the lighting in the area as poor.
Our condolences go out to Mr. Schilling's Family.
View Bicyclists Crashes 2008-2010 NJ and SE PA in a larger map
You can register online, or you can send your check for $45 ($25 for current members of NJBWC), made out to "NJBC", to:
New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition
P.O. Box 843
Mahwah, NJ 07430
The price of admission includes lunch - for more details please see NJBWC's current newsletter.
Friday && 4th, in Lambertville at the old Acme building:
RIDE THE DIVIDE
Plus, Meet-the-Executive-Producer/Cyclist, Mike Dion: at post-film Q & A or at our Chimney Hill Inn Cyclist’s Reception at
An award-winning feature film about the world's toughest mountain bike race, which traverses over 2700 miles along the Continental Divide in the . The film weaves the story of three characters' experiences with immense mountain beauty and small-town culture as they attempt to pedal from to a small, dusty crossing on the Mexican border.
Cycling-related merchandise will be sold at the event: 25% of proceeds after cost will benefit the Young Survival Coalition http://www.youngsurvival.org/, young women facing breast cancer together and 75% will benefit the ACME film program.
Friday, December 3rd
7:00pm Film, Plus Meet-the-Executive Producer,
Mike Dion / post-film Q&A
$10 in advance / $15 at door
Saturday, December 4th
Film, Plus ...
Meet-the-Executive Producer Reception @
Chimney Hill Inn, 207 Goat Hill Road, Lambertville, NJ
9:00pm Film Only
Film & Exec Producer Reception:
$25 in advance / $30 at door
$10 in advance / $15 at door
Exec Producer/Pros Reception Only:
$20 in advance / $25 at door
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
NJ Future's blog Garden State Smart Growth has this great write-up about a proposal for a protected bike lane in Newark's Forest Hill Neighborhood. I snagged the image off their blog of the proposed improvements from the City and Sam Schwartz Engineering to whet your appetite to read and inquire further. Cyclists, take a close look at the proposed intersection improvements. What do you think?
Further down the Northeast Corridor, Jerry Foster at the West Windsor Bike/Ped Alliance writes today about a possible "woonerf" in the proposed transit village at Princeton Junction. Very interesting stuff. If you don't know about woonerfs read Jerry's quick description or follow his links to the more in-depth discussions.
The days of cursing the three flights of stairs on the Ben Franklin Bridge Walkway could soon be over, but we need to your help to make that a reality.
The Delaware River Port Authority will be presenting their 2011 Capital Program at the Wednesday December 1st Board Meeting. DRPA CEO John Mattheussen has been quoted in the Camden Courier Post and the >Philadelphia Inquirer that he will ask the DRPA Board to include $100,000 to begin designing the walkway ramp in time to construct the walkway in 2012.
We do not know if CEO Mattheussen's verbal promise means that the money for design is included in the final budget. We want to make sure that DRPA Board members hear that there is strong public support for starting the design work in 2011. Please come to the Dec. 1 meeting to speak at the public comment period about why you want the walkway design to begin in 2011.
View Larger Map
One Port Center is across from the Camden Children's Garden on the Camden Waterfront.
Monday, November 22, 2010
As for bicycle specific maps that I’ve seen, results seem to be hit or miss. Some of maps are excellent, a number are mediocre but still useful, while others are downright useless for navigating by bike and aren’t worth the paper they are printed on. From decades of map use to travel by bike here in New Jersey, elsewhere around North American and in Europe, I would like to suggest some ideas that I feel are critical in producing a quality New Jersey Bike Map:
- Rate roads for bicycle suitability – This is by far the most important bit of information that a bicycle map can provide but is often not done at all or in a way that I think is incorrect. Many bicycle maps simply list the presence of a shoulder or a bicycle lane to rate the bicycle suitability of a road. Using this as the only or primary criteria in a rating system can make for a bad bicycle map. Without considering other factors, I’ve seen some maps give busy six-lane highways what appear to be a more appealing bicycle suitability ratings than the back roads that I know are fantastic to ride on. Yes, the highway has a shoulder but the little back road only gets 10 cars per hour making the shoulder all but unnecessary for bicycle travel. The most important factor in rating bicycle suitability of a roadway is traffic volume. A road may be narrow, with a 50mph speed limit and no shoulder but if only a handful of cars pass by on a given hour, that road would be far superior for riding than a 25mph arterial with a well engineered bike lanes but heavy and continuous traffic. Knowing if there is a shoulder or bike lane is still useful but that info will always be of secondary importance to a cyclist compared to knowing or conveying traffic volume.
- Keep it large-scale – Maps that include a very large geographic area are said to be small-scale. Such small-scale maps can make visualizing details difficult, again such as small back roads that cyclists seek out due to their low traffic volumes and superior scenery. To me a scale of 1:63,360 or 1 inch = 1 mile would be ideal. 1:100,000 would be acceptable (1cm = 1km) but anything beyond 1:126,720 (1 inch = 2 miles) and you start to lose the granular detail that cyclists need. If the scale is too small the map can end up becoming useless now matter how accurate and well presented the information on it. This would likely require the creation of more than two maps but I think this could be the difference of creating just a good map to an excellent one. For example Delaware’s useful bike map divides the state into three sections, one for each county, and Delaware is smaller than New Jersey.
- Quality Cartography – I’ve gotten spoiled from my days traveling in Europe because the maps you buy over there are true works of art. These maps are mostly hand drawn (or so they seem) and the iconography and detail they use allow for an amazing amount of information to be clearly and concisely conveyed to the map user. As a traveler of non-motorized means one will quickly appreciate the detail and information a good map can convey, particularly as the light of day begins to fade while traveling on unfamiliar roads with many miles still to go.
- Label all roads (at least the through streets) – One of the greatest shortcomings of some bicycle maps that I’ve used was the failure to label small roads. Experience has taught me to seek out the small roads and residential back streets to avoid the high traffic volumes on arterials. While it is useful to indicate that the labeled arterial street is unsuited for bicycle travel, it would be nice to have the local side streets comprehensively labeled to help navigate around that arterial.
- Show topography by some graphic means – A bicycle map doesn’t need topographic lines but some sort of shading to show terrain relief is just about an absolute necessity. I also like the system that many European maps use to show the grade of a climb. Chevrons are pointed uphill with a number of chevrons used to indicate steepness in grade percentage (> = 5 to 9%, >> = 10 to 14%, >>> more than 15%). Also reference elevations of significant mountains like High Point, Bearfort, Jenny Jump, the Sourland Mountains and even Apple Pie Hill in the Pine Barrens should be given, just to name a few.
- Include and indicate unpaved roads – From the draft I looked at on-line last week, many of the gravel and dirt roads in Hunterdon County are shown on the map. This is good since these roads, by nature have very little motor vehicle traffic and are very useful to cyclists. However the map should somehow indicate that these roads are unpaved so unsuspecting roadies aren’t caught off guard. On the flip side, some significant sand roads in the Pine Barrens were omitted even though there were no other roads in that area on the map that would be competing for space. In the same vein, it would be nice to indicate graphically if multi-use pathways are paved with asphalt or some unpaved surface.
- Locate camping icons directly where the campsites are located – For example, from the draft I’ve seen, camping is indicated in Stokes State Forest but the icon is just placed randomly in the green area indicating the state forest. Stokes State Forest is rather large, at least a dozen miles across or more in some parts. Having an accurate idea where the THREE campgrounds are actually located throughout the forest would allow for bicycle tourists to more accurately estimate travel distance and time. Also it would be nice to include county (Morris and Monmouth, maybe others) campgrounds as well as private ones (mostly located in South Jersey).
- Include all NJ TRANSIT train stations and major bus terminals.
- Finally, do not forget that some of the users of this map will be tourists from out of state or even out of the country. Do not assume they know anything about New Jersey and that they outcome of their trip may be entirely dependent on the information provided on the map. I’ve been there on a road far away from home, relying on the map to get me safely to my destination so I know how important an accurate map can be.