Wednesday, May 05, 2010

New Jersey Bicycle Friendly State Survey

The League of American Bicyclists is asking New Jersey bicycle advocates their opinions regarding the bicycle friendliness of out fair state. If you can complete the survey by May 10th at 9am give it a shot at

The survey asks advocates to critique what's good and bad about the state of cycling in New Jersey. Completing the answers had me thinking and since it forced me to articulate what I feel is good and bad here in New Jersey, I figured I'd share my answers with you on the most critical questions.

Q - What is this state’s greatest strength or accomplishment in its efforts to promote bicycling?
The state government has many people working towards advancing the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians. There are 5 dedicated FT persons at NJDOT, 5 FT persons at the Voorhess Transportation Center at Rutgers University and 3 consultant firms under contract with NJDOT consistently including the RBA Group and 2 others.

Also the recent implementation of a state DOT Complete Streets policy. The formation of a New Jersey Bicycle Coalition (Finally!) and our first NJ Bicycle Summit.
Q -
What are its weaknesses in its efforts to support bicycling?
The many layers of NJ government have stifled the construction of on-road bicycle facilities. While NJDOT may "get it" and has passed a Compete Streets policy, they only maintain federal and state highways which are often not the preferred routes of travel by bicyclists in New Jersey. Our county governments maintain and design all county roads while our individual municipalities do all local roads. Unfortunately almost all of NJ's county and most municipal governments are still totally clueless about meeting the needs of cyclists and as a result on-road bicycle facilities like bicycle lanes are nearly nonexistent.
Q - What should this state focus on in order to better serve cyclists?
Requiring all state funded, local roadway projects to meet NJDOT's Complete Streets policy guidelines.

Moving forward on modernizing our state's vehicle code to include more favorable and clearer language on the proper operation of a bicycle. Also we need to work on a "Vulnerable Users" bill to protect road users not surrounded by 2 tons of armored steel.

That's my 2 cents. What do you think?

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