Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Op-ed: What took Lance so long to speak out about violence against bicyclist?

I've never blogged about Lance Armstrong before. I usually leave that to my friend Jen over at Benepe's Bike Blog. I like him, sure and he's done wonders for cycling in the US but I've always been bothered by his lack of activity in bicycle advocacy.

However, as many of you already know, Lance's latest big foray into the news wasn't about his performance at the Criterium International but rather with his Twitter induced spat with ESPN Sports Radio shock jock, Tony Kornheiser. If you don't already know, you can read all about Lances justifiably angry Twitterings here, and then read about how the two made all buddy, buddy here. Without fail Jen made sure to cover the story too.

"So Lance! What took you so long to speak up?!?!"

This is far from the first time someone has made comments about perpetrating violence against bicyclists for doing nothing else but riding a bike on the road. The League of American Bicyclists even has a special page where they keep track of violent anti-bicyclist media rants since 2008. Appropriately enough it's called "Trash Talk" (they also us it to keep anti-bicycling politicians and columnists honest too). There you can read about Joe Soucheray, a St Paul Pioneer Press columnist who said "GET OFF THE STREET, YOU MORONS!" or about Detroit radio talk show hosts Deminski and Doyle (yeah the same ones that used to be on NJ101.5) who said, "How many of them (their listeners) have seen a bicyclist and would just LOVE to lob something at their heads? ... OH GOD, you just want to go Grand Theft Auto on them. … Just move over." There's even a link there about that infamous Facebook page that came up earlier this year.

Anyway, my point is that this BS has been going on for some time in the media and Lance has been painfully silent about this issue of unprovoked violence against bicyclists for far too long. I’m quite sure Lance has been a victim of these shenanigans while riding. Imagine where his career would have been if he had been shunted off the road by some careless if not purposely malicious driver?

If he loves cycling as much as I believe he does, I’d suggest he become more vocal in making American roads safer for all users. Just imagine if he took to overcoming anti-bicyclist road rage like he has done in his fight to cure cancer.

Hey Lance! I've even got a name for his new cause. You could call it...


NJ Bicycle Coalition Wins $25,000 Matching Startup Grant

Great news for Bicycle Advocacy in New Jersey!

The Alliance for Biking and Walking has awarded the New Jersey Bicycle Coalition (NJBC) a $25,000 matching Startup/Capacity Grant to strengthen their legislative campaign to pass a vulnerable road user law and to ensure New Jersey's recently adopted complete streets policy is implemented. This grant will also help NJBC train new bike education instructors, and utilize current instructors, to establish a statewide adult and child bicycle education program. In addition, NJBC will hire their first executive director to manage these initiatives and take their statewide organization to the next level.

Advocacy Advance Grants assist emerging and expanding organizations with matching grants. $5,000 to $30,000 will be matched dollar for dollar to new funds raised within one year of the grant award. The goal of these grants is to leverage private and public investment and launch campaigns that clearly demonstrate an ability to grow and sustain biking and walking organizations.

These are made possible with generous funding from SRAM, Planet Bike, and Bikes Belong. In addition to these grants, the Alliance works with the League of American Bicyclists with research and technical assistance as part of the Advocacy Advance Partnership.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

LAB Certified Bike Ed Classes being taught in Cherry Hill

The below classes are being taught be retired police officer Frank Plunkett, (LCI# 1794) who I had the pleasure of working with last year on the NJBIKESChOOL pilot program. Spots are still available for both classes.

Traffic Skills 101

Date: April 28, May 5, and May 8
Instructor: Frank Plunkett
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Fee: $50.00

Description: Gives cyclists the confidence they need to ride safely and legally in traffic or on the trail. The course covers bicycle safety checks, fixing a flat, on-bike skills and crash avoidance techniques and includes a student manual. Recommended for adults and children above age fourteen, this fast-paced, nine-hour course prepares cyclists for a full understanding of vehicular cycling. This course includes four hours of classroom instruction and five hours of hands on and on bike instruction including a road ride of under five miles in the Cherry Hill area. Classroom portion will take place on two consecutive Wednesday evenings. Outdoor portion will take place on Saturday, weather permitting. Instructors are certified by the League of American Bicyclists, Equipment Required: Bicycle in good working condition, properly fitted helmet, pad, pen , or pencil.

To register for this course, contact:

Cherry Hill Department of Recreation
Phone: 856-665-6500

Signup required in advance? Yes
Special signup instructions: Questions about the course should be directed to the instructor, Frank Plunkett, LCI #1794 at

Equipment required: Bicycle, helmet, pad, pen or pencil.

Kids and Bikes 101

Date: April 7, 14 & 21, 2010 1 hour 6-7 pm each day.
Instructor: Frank Plunkett
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Fee: $20.00

Description: This course is designed for parents of young children. The course provides information on safe riding skills and the most common causes of children's bicycling accidents. This course will also teach parents to perform a bicycle safety check, helmet fitting, and bike sizing. This course is a classroom presentation with hands on activities for Kids and parents during the third one hour session. There are three one hour sessions over three weeks. Instructors are certified by the League of American Bicyclists, Equipment required: Pad, pen or pencil, Kids, bicycles and helmets. Note: Children may attend all sessions however it is recommended that they not attend the first session as this will be a classroom session geared to adults/parents.

To register for this course, contact:

Cherry Hill Department of Recreation
Phone: 856-665-6500

Signup required in advance? Yes
Special signup instructions: Contact Cherry Hill Department of Recreation Questions about the course should be directed to the instructor, Frank Plunkett, LCI #1794 at

Equipment required: Pad, pen or pencil, helmets and bicycles for kids.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Port Authority of NY & NJ Embraces Bicycling

The following statement was forwarded to me and originates from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. It appears to be a internal memo:

*From: * PA Broadcast
*Sent: * Monday, March 29, 2010 12:17 PM
*Subject: * Office of the Executive Director Announcement



*Office of the Executive Director*

*Bulletin #10-05*

March 29, 2010

Bicycling is a rapidly growing mode of transportation and the New York-New Jersey region is facing increased demand for expanded bicycle infrastructure, safer bicycle routes, access to transit connections and secure parking facilities. While we recognize that many Port Authority facilities currently provide some accommodations for bicycle users, we need to prepare more systematically for the growing use of bicycles as a mode of travel within the regional transportation system.

On February 25, 2010, the Board of Commissioners adopted the following policy:

In keeping with its mission to meet the critical transportation needs of the bi-state region, the Port Authority supports bicycling as an important and sustainable mode of travel. It seeks to provide its customers, tenants, visitors and employees with safe and convenient bicycle access and secure bicycle parking at its facilities, wherever
operationally and financially feasible.

The Board also authorized the Executive Director to take the followingsteps to advance the goals of this policy:
  • Integrate improved bicycle access, safe bicycle lanes, and secure bicycle parking and storage into existing Port Authority buildings and facilities, owned or operated by the Port Authority.
  • Ensure that design guidelines for new construction and major renovations include sufficient bicycle access, storage, and related amenities to meet emerging demand.
  • Develop multimodal transit hubs that encourage biking and walking.
  • Remove any unnecessary restrictions on bicycle access, and promote the safe coexistence of motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians at Port Authority facilities.
  • Encourage tenants to expand bicycle access and accommodations.
  • Coordinate bicycle facility improvements and intermodal connections with regional planning organizations, other regional transportation providers, and local governments to promote safe and seamless travel throughout the region.
The Chief Operating Officer, Chief of Capital Planning, and Chief of Real Estate and Development will be responsible for ensuring that the agency takes the preliminary steps necessary to implement this policy and will periodically report to me on the agency’s progress. They will also review interim bicycle master plans and provide final versions for my approval by September 30, 2010. Affected staff will soon receive additional information and guidance from them directly.

I encourage all Port Authority staff to make the most of this opportunity to creatively meet the region’s emerging transportation needs, advance the agency’s environmental commitments and contribute to a more sustainable regional transportation system. We will be able to better serve our customers, foster positive relationships with our communities, and contribute to improved employee health. I look forward to seeing a wide range of plans for meeting these objectives, and to sharing them with the region.

*///Original Signed By///*

Christopher O. Ward

Executive Director

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tour De Montclair - May 16th


TO BE HELD MAY 16, 2010

Bike&Walk Montclair and the Montclair YMCA are thrilled to announce a joint celebration -- the 8th annual Tour de Montclair and the Y’s Healthy Kid Day. This community cycling and recreation event will be held at Brookdale Park on Sunday, May 16, (rain or shine).

The Tour de Montclair drew over 1000 cyclists last year. This year, cyclists of all abilities are invited to ride one of three routes: a short car-free loop within the park, a medium on-road route (about 6 miles) and a more challenging "long route" throughout Montclair (about 14 miles) There will be something for everyone!

The theme of this year's tour, -- "I Bike&Walk Montclair!"-- celebrates the organization's new name and the group's goal -- to encourage people to walk and bike more often. On-site registration for the Tour de Montclair will open at 9:00 AM, The ride will start at 10 AM. Online registration is $12 per person or $30 per family (up to 5 members); On-site registration is $15 per person or $35 per family (up to 5 members) To register online, go to

Montclair YMCA Healthy Kids Day will also be held on May 16 in Brookdale Park, from 11:00-2:00 pm. Participants are encouraged to "Put Play in Your Day" by joining the games and activities led by YMCA staff and volunteers.

More information on the 2010 Tour de Montclair and the Montclair YMCA's Healthy Kids Day, including details on membership benefits and pre-registration promotions, can be found at Bike&Walk Montclair's new website:

Bike&Walk Montclair was founded in 2002 (as Bike Montclair) with the idea that Montclair could one day become a safe haven for walking and bicycling. Today, a dedicated and growing group of volunteers continues its mission: to create a bicycle-friendly and walkable Montclair through advocacy, education, and encouragement. Through these means, their aim is to improve our health, clean our air, make our streets safer and improve our overall quality of life.

Bike&Walk Montclair eagerly seeks new members from Montclair and surrounding communities.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

NJ TRANSIT Cuts will Gut Bike Racks on Buses in Morris County

Posted by Kendra Arnold on the Morristown Pedal Pushers Blog

Morris County Bike Racks and the Bus: Fun While It Lasted

Do you remember just a month ago when I was all excited about the buses in Morris County getting bike racks?

Under the NJ Transit Service changes it looks like all of these bus routes are discontinued, except for MCM 10, so don’t make any plans to take your bike on the bus, because it’s not coming.

Here’s a list of the MCM bus routes that had bike racks in Morris County,
MCM 1 (Morristown, Cedar Knolls, Hanover, Parsippany, Lake Hiawatha, Montville, Boonton, Lincoln Park, Willowbrook), MCM 3 (Livingston Mall, Short Hills Mall, Chatham, Madison, Morristown, Morris Plains, Greystone Park, Morris County Offices), MCM 10 (Morristown, Morris Plains, Denville, Dover, Wharton, Rockaway Mall), MCM 2 (Morris Plains, Morristown, Parsippany Dover, Randolph/County College), MCM 4 (Dover, Randolph, Chester, Mendham, Morris Township, Morristown, Honeywell), MCM 5 (Morristown, Chester, Schooleys Mtn, Hackettstown, ITC Crossing, Budd Lake, Netcong, Roxbury, Dover, Rockaway Mall), MCM 7 (Milton, Lake Swannanoa, Jefferson, Rockaway Mall, Dover, K-Mart Plaza).

There is a public hearing at Morristown Town Hall on Friday evening, at 5:30 – 8:30. (The monthly Morristown bike ride takes off from town hall at 6:30)
You can also comment online here.

Public Hearings across the state:

Friday 5:30 - 8:30

Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Station
County Road & County Avenue, Secaucus, NJ

Morristown Town Hall – Senior Community Center (3rd Fl.)
200 South Street, Morristown, NJ

Long Branch Middle School – Auditorium
350 Indiana Avenue, Long Branch, NJ

Port Authority Bus Terminal – Times Square Hall (2nd Fl.)
625 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY
Get directions: Transit | Driving

Long Branch Middle School – Auditorium
350 Indiana Avenue, Long Branch, NJ

Saturday From 1-4 PM

East Brunswick Community Arts Center Theater
721 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick, NJ

Atlantic City Rail Terminal – Lobby
One Atlantic City Expressway, Atlantic City, NJ

Bergen County Freeholders – Public Meeting Room (5th Fl.)
One Bergen County Plaza, Hackensack, NJ

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Op-Ed: WWBPA shows how local advocacy is done

I know I recently talked about how well the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance (WWBPA) does local advocacy but I was again VERY impressed by an example of their work.

The WWBPA is advocating that a proposed roundabout at the intersection of Old Bear Brook and Bear Brook Roads be made more bicycle friendly so it is can better suit the needs of all skill levels of cyclists. On their website they have even created a specific webpage highlighting their advocacy efforts on this particular road project in their town. What is most impressive about their advocacy efforts is their correspondence to their mayor and town council which they again have posted on that special webpage. The letters are very professional and show a high degree of political savvy. They even included a diagram of a ideal bicycle "friendlier" roundabout, which I'm dying to know the source of (Yes I know; dangling participle).

View Larger Map - Site of the proposed roundabout.

When many of us left Denville at the end of the NJ Bicycle Summit back in February, we were told to go out and make a difference in our local communities by every one of the national advocate leaders that came and spoke with us that day. Well, if you want to see a superb New Jersey example of how a local advocacy group stumps for bicycle and pedestrian innovation in their own towns, I can't think of a better group to emulate than WWBPA.

I just hope the Bike&Walk Montclair folks don't take too much offense to my saying that (I hear they have a "bike lane fairy").

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Comments Wanted: Moorestown Bicycle Circulation and Safety Plan

As originally report by John and our friends at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia:

Do you live or bike in Moorestown, NJ? NJ DOT's Office of Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs are working on bicycle plan and have posted an interactive map online to gather comments from the public about bicycling in Moorestown.

NJ DOT and their consultant Toole Design (who are also working on the Philadelphia Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan) are looking for information about streets and routes you believe are bicycle-friendly, or un-friendly, and areas where you think improvements are needed. The comments will be used in the planning process that is underway to establish a comprehensive bicycle circulation plan for the Township of Moorestown.

You can participate in the planning process by going to the online map located here.

View Larger Map
An unusual bike lane configuration on Haines Dr. in Moorestown

The Bicycle Coalition is a member of the steering committee and yesterday I had a chance to go out with the study team to look at conditions on the ground. A mid-sized (15 sq. mi pop. 20,000) built out township, Moorestown already looks like a leader of bicycle use among its peer communities in the region. The township has several miles of sidepaths and a steering committee member reported that nearly one hundred bikes are parked at the middle school on warmer days and even the high school typically attracts between 20 and 30 bikes. Walking to school? We saw a score of parents walking children from school at Baker Elementary.

But there are many problems, outside of downtown the township is spread out and multi-use paths sometimes end in the middle of nowhere or cross major arterials without any signalized protection or traffic calming. And while some roads have great shoulders others are narrow and busy. Getting to the Moorestown Mall which is on the other side of Route 38 is nearly impossible to get to by bike.

This is another example of NJ DOT's free Bicycle and Pedestrian planning assistance to counties and municipalities. It's only open for local governments that are committed to supporting bicycling and walking. To apply for this you need your county or municipal elected officials to contact NJ DOT's bicycle and pedestrian office.

Andy B here again:
Looks like this might be in response to a couple of incidents that happened in Moorsetown a few years back. It's good to see the town following through on its commitment to cycling it made back then.

Also, Toole Design is an excellent firm out of Washington DC that does nothing but bicycle and pedestrian planning. They definitely give New Jersey's own and equally good, RBA Group a run for their money for quality consulting on bike/ped planning.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sec. LaHood makes major Bike/Ped friendly policy announcement

This is Big!

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, already well liked in the bicycling community and now famous for his table top speech at last weeks National Bicycle Summit, made a major announcement today on his blog. The USDOT will put the needs bicyclists and pedestrians on equal footing with other modes of transportation. "This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized," LaHood announced. To make this happend Sec. LaHood proposes key recommendations for state DOTs and local communities:
  • Treat walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes.
  • Ensure convenient access for people of all ages and abilities.
  • Go beyond minimum design standards.
  • Collect data on walking and biking trips.
  • Set a mode share target for walking and bicycling.
  • Protect sidewalks and shared-use paths the same way roadways are protected (for example, snow removal)
  • Improve nonmotorized facilities during maintenance projects.

This picture © J. Maus of BikePortland. View the BikePortland Flickr stream here.

For more details about the policy see the official USDOT Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation.

Also don't forget to see Ray LaHood's statement on his "Fast Lane" Blog.

Bike League Offers Apology For Bicycle Friendly State Misprint

The American Bicyclist Jan/Feb 2010 edition and current printing of the 2010 Bicycle Friendly America Yearbook incorrectly highlights the 2008 Bicycle Friendly State rankings. You can find the current 2009 rankings here. We apologize for the confusion. Stay tuned for the 2010 state rankings and new Bicycle Friendly State award winners to be announced Bike to Work Week this May!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New Jersey moves up to 9th most Bicycle Friendly State

New Jersey is back up to number nine in the League of American Bicyclists, Bicycle Friendly States rankings. The rankings for 2010 were recently released along with Bicycle Friendly Communities and Businesses in LAB's latest edition of its magazine American Bicyclist (only available in print at the moment). New Jersey once held the number nine spot two years ago in the first Bicycle Friendly States rankings but was pushed down to number ten last year by a then surging Delaware (now ranked at 32).

New Jersey's continued high ranking is clearly due to the strong support by state agencies and NJDOT's recently adopted Complete Streets Policy. Not to be overlooked was also the creation of the New Jersey Bicycle Coalition and the New Jersey Bicycle Summit they helped to organize last month. These factors clearly helped New Jersey stay and advance further into the top ten in 2010. However, New Jersey still does not have any Bicycle Friendly Communities or Businesses and on-street bicycle facilities are still few a far in-between.

Monday, March 01, 2010

NJ Bike Summit News Roundup

The New Jersey Bike Summit at the Denville Municipal Building was a big success. More than 100 people spent the day meeting their peers from around the state. Several blogs and news sites reported on the event.

Jersey Off Bicycle Association Government Liaison Wally Tunison speaks to the attendees of the NJ Bike Summit