Monday, January 31, 2011

NJ Bike - Ped Advisory Council Meetings for 2011

While we are talking schedules here is the list of New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Council (NJ BPAC) Meetings for 2011.

Wednesday, March 23 (Room 253)
Thursday, June 9 (Room 253)
Thursday, September 8 (Room 261)
Thursday, December 8 (Room 261)

All meetings will be held from 10:00am – Noon at the Edward J Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, 33 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901.

Meeting reminders and agendas will be sent out in advance of each meeting from both the good folks at the Voorhees Transportation Center that host the meetings and from us at WalkBikeJersey.

East Coast Greenway Plans Spring Walks

The East Coast Greenway Alliance is challenging people to walk 100 miles this year along the ECG in NJ. People can walk the miles anywhere along the Greenway but the Alliance is hosting three specific events that you can attend. To sign up click on the corresponding link.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

How is your town handling the needs of pedestrians in all this snow?

So despite being hammered with snow this winter and facing a difficult budget, my hometown of North Brunswick has been paying special attention to the needs of pedestrians this year for the first time.  Bravo!

By the typical nature of plow operations, snow gets piled up extra high at corners right where pedestrians need to cross.  For many, many years huge piles of snow were left on these street corners without any concern as to how pedestrians were to navigate the area.  Local residents, whose responsibility it would be to clear the sidewalk, just couldn't handle clearing a path for peds when heavy dense snow was piled anywhere from 6 to 12 feet high.

However this year, North Brunswick's DPW has been going out and clearing pathways through the massive corner piles with a NEW special piece of equipment.  They are doing so a day or two after the streets have been properly cleared of snow.  It does seem that they are concentrating their efforts in neighborhoods like mine which are in walking distance to schools, which would make sense and is a wise use of limited resources.

The new snow blower to the rescue after last weeks storm.  They've been back since to clear the spoils from the latest storm.
Good old- fashioned shovels work well too.
How are things going along in your town?  Are pedestrians and cyclists left to fend for themselves or are sidewalks and multi-use trails that are popular commuting routes being cleared?  Let us know!

Friday, January 28, 2011

New buses with bike racks gradually coming to NJ TRANSIT north fleet

At this months meeting of the Middlesex County Transportation Coordinating Committee Meeting this past Tuesday, there was a representative from NJ TRANSIT present.  I took the opportunity to ask the representative about the status of the new, low-floor buses entering the North Jersey Region bus fleet owned and operated by NJ TRANSIT.  Earlier this Winter, I had seen one of these new buses with an unoccupied bike rack while visiting family in Nutley, NJ.

Bike on older style NJ TRANSIT bus.  Photo John Boyle, BCGP.
The NJ TRANSIT representative told me that NJ TRANSIT has received some of the long-anticipated new low-floor buses and that those received, are already in service with the bike racks installed.  However, NJ TRANSIT will continue to operating many of their older style buses in the Northern Fleet WITHOUT bike racks installed as the new buses continue to be delivered.  Since an individual bus is not reserved for a single route, and may be used on different routes on different days and times, NJ TRANSIT cannot guarantee that individual routes nor particular scheduled buses will be serviced by the new buses with bike racks.  As such, passengers should not rely on buses having the capability to carry bicycles until all the new buses are received and the old buses retired.

No date was given as to when all the new buses would be received and the old buses retired.

NY/NJ Trail Conference Annual Winter Meeting, Feb 18th

The below come to WalkBikeJersey via the NY/NJ Trail Conference website as is reproduced here for your information.  More information about the meeting can be found on this NY/NJ Trail Conference webpage:

Accessible by walking from Grand Central Terminal, Pennsylvania Station, Port Authority Bus Terminal and all subway lines. To make a donation to the event, please click on donatenow.

  • Please RSVP by February 4 by contacting Joanne Reinhardt, Membership Manager, at

  • Sponsored by New York Hiking Club with special thanks to Robert Ward
    3:00pm: Hikes
    A Hike Through Midtown: "New York Seen and Unseen" Robert Ward, New York Hiking Club, and Pat O'Malley, Urban Trails Conference, will lead. Meeting on the southwest corner of 34th Street & Seventh Avenue.
    Walking the East River: Cy Adler, author of Walking Manhattan's Rim: The Great Saunter, will lead.  Meeting at Staten Island Ferry Terminal, at the foot of the escalators.

    3:15-4:40 pm
    Trails, Hiking and New York City

    A workshop on projects in New York
    City open to all NYC members of the
    Trail Conference
    4:45-6:00 pm
    Open Space Advocacy in 2011

    A workshop with Jan Barry, activist, journalist, poet. Learn more about Jan at
    6:00-7:00 pm
    Food, Drink, Social (Please RSVP!)

    7:00 pm
    Keynote Speaker: Tony Hiss

    Author of In Motion: The Experience of Travel. Learn more about Tony at
    Chris Connolly, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trail Conference, presiding 

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    US 1 under the Parkway - A highway for bike/ped traffic too

    There's another!

    I don't know why I was really all that surprised.  I've said before (to myself) that I see pedestrians and cyclists passing under the Garden State Parkway along northbound US 1 in Edison all the time.  But last night (Sunday, Jan. 23rd) the weather was so brutally cold.  And the conditions behind that guardrail under the Parkway must have been incredibly treacherous from the plowed snow and ice over the past couple of weeks.  Yet despite all the obstacles put before them, these intrepid men and women still push through what has got the be the most undesirable but critical bike and pedestrian corridor I know of anywhere in Central Jersey.  If your on foot or on a bicycle your choices in this area are far and few.

    I pass through this area once or twice a week on my way up to Union County via Rt 1 and the Parkway.  I can honestly say that I see a pedestrian or a bicyclist pushing their way through this choke point on US 1 roughly 1 out of every 6 times I pass by, day or night.  That's really amazing when you think that it takes me about 20 seconds to drive through this point in a car at highway speed.  If my rough observations are correct then that means as many as 30 pedestrians and bicyclists (combined) are passing though this dangerous corridor every hour!

    Pedestrians and cyclists passing through this corridor are so common that one was captured on Google Streetsview as I suspected they might.
    View Larger Map

    So why are so many so many people using this otherwise treacherous corridor? 

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    People for Bikes asks Americans to write Congress

    The following message comes to WalkBikeJersey from Time Blumenthal, Director at People for

    We need you to send a short email today to your U.S. Representative that:
    • Bicycling and walking are essential to our communities.
    • Federal transportation investments that support these activities boost our economy, help individuals and government agencies save money, and directly address key societal challenges such as obesity and road congestion.
    • Biking and walking currently total 12% of the trips that Americans make but cost just 1.5% of our transportation spending. That’s the type of cost effectiveness we need now!

    Bike JC (Jersey City) to hold meeting Feb 1st

    Tip of the hat to NJ Off-Road Biking for originally covering this announcementThe following comes directly from Bike JC's blog:
    Join us at Zeppelin Hall, 8 pm, Tuesday February 1, to talk about 2011 plans, including Ward Tour 2.0, bike lanes, bike racks, and rides. Bike JC is also looking for guest bloggers on bike culture and local bike news as well. Come meet us and tell us what you know!
    Zeppelin Hall is at 297 Grand Street, in Jersey City, near the Jersey Ave light rail stop.
    WalkBikeJersey will try to attend but NJ Transit isn't as affordable as it used to be.

    Note: Zeppelin Hall WILL NOT allow owners of folding bicycles to bring their bicycles into the restaurant.  I know this from firsthand experience.  Zeppellin Hall's policy may complicate my ability to attend.

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    D & R Canal Commission on the block. Why you should care.

    You learn something new everyday.

    Just recently I learned that the Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission has been proposed to be eliminated by NJ DEP Commissioner Bob Martin under the premise that the functions that the Canal Commission performs are replicated in the DEP's State Historic Preservation Office and the Land Use Regulation Program.  That may be so on paper but the Canal Commission has a superb track record of efficiency and since their sole purpose is to protect and maintain the water resource, historic nature of the D&R Canal and the recreation opportunities that the Canal and park provides, it is only natural that the Commission would be able to do a better job at protecting the Canal and maintaining the towpath since that is all they focus on.
    Could beautiful sights like this along the D&R Canal become a thing of the past?

    A press release by the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association has this to say about the role the Canal Commission plays in maintaining the recreation opportunities along the D&R Canal:

    NIMBY Attacks on Concept Development Study For Ocean City Trail

    In December we posted an article about a proposal to build a bike route on the south side of Ocean City. The goal of the study is to look at options to extend the Haven Avenue Bicycle Boulevard to the South end of the Island to the shared use path at Corson's Inlet.

    One part of the study is looking at the feasibility and environmental impacts of converting of the abandoned Seashore Line railbed to a shared-use path. The railbed is located on a raised causeway through the wetland area on the bay side of town. The second part of the study will look at options for the best on-road route on one of the three parallel streets - West, Asbury and Central Avenues.

    A group called Friends of the Wetlands (FOTW) is seeking to stop the $87,000 Concept Development study. Earlier this month the group staged a protest of the study. The group is vehemently opposed to the shared use path alternative and are getting the word out through the press. There are unconfirmed reports that the state bike ped office is receiving more than 30 emails a day opposing the study. It is not known if FOTW has ever conducted a similar campaign against the wetland impacts created by the construction of the new Route 52 Causeway.

    Time running out to for your donations to NJBWC to be matched

    The New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition recently announced that time is running out on their Alliance for Biking and Walking matching grant.  As of Monday, January 17th there were only 90 days left were your donations to NJBWC will be matched by funds from the Alliance for Biking and Walking.  The below message is from a recent email from the NJBWC:
    The Alliance for Biking and Walking matching grant, awarded to NJBWC last year, has only 90 days to run before it ends.  Now is the time that we need those of you who have held back on joining the Coalition to go ahead and do so - and make your registrations dollars count double!

    While we, and bicyclists around the state, won a significant victory with the withdrawal of the bicycle registration bill, we must continue to be vigilant.  It is quite likely that other attacks on bicycling and walking will come in the next few months.  From Washington, from Trenton, from...

    Your Coalition (and we want to be sure that you think of it as "your" Coalition) needs your help to continue operations -- your membership dollars and your support. 

    Join us today, either by going to our website or by sending us your check, made out to "NJBC" to NJBC, P.O. Box 843, Mahwah, NJ 07430.  Membership rates are listed on the website.

    Thanks in advance for your support!
    Ed. Note - This blog is not directly affiliated with the NJ Bike and Walk Coalition

    Monday, January 17, 2011

    Was snow and ice a factor in fatal bicycle crash in Berlin, NJ?

    The following was originally written by John Boyle and posted on the Greater Philadelphia Bicycle News. It is reprinted here with the permission of our friends at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.
    The Courier Post reports that an unidentified cyclist was killed in Berlin, Camden County near the intersection of White Horse Pike and Bishop Avenue on at approximately 11 p.m. Thursday January 13th.

    The victim was taken to Cooper University Hospital, where he later died from his injuries.

    It's not known whether the road conditions were a factor in the late night crash but given that it was only about 36 hours after the end of a 6 inch snowfall it is possible that slippery roads narrowed by plowed snow contributed to the crash.

    Streets narrowed by plowed snow were cited in a fatal bicycle car crash in New Haven Connecticut where a 14 year old boy was struck and killed by a hit and run driver. New Haven received 19+ inches of snow in the January 12th storm.

    Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims.

    View PA/NJ Bicycle Crashes 2011-2012 in a larger map

    Friday, January 14, 2011

    Ledger thinks bike license great idea. Takes it further. ;)

    Okay, now that the bicycle registration and license plate idea is dead in the water and we are all breathing a collective sigh of relief, I think it's time to have a good laugh.  Denise Copland and Betty the Bike at NJ Off-Road Biking hooked us up with The Star-Ledger's Brian Donohue take on this. Way too funny! Take a look.

    It was very interesting and refreshing to see just about all of the New Jersey media outlets coming down on our side on this issue.  News 12 New Jersey's morning anchor staff were having a ball with this story quoting Facebook comments that were intelligent, funny and in line with our general feelings on this issue (oddly enough the best ones don't seem to be there anymore). 

    Thursday, January 13, 2011

    UPDATE: Bicycle Registation Bill Withdrawn!


    Assemblywoman Tucker has withdrawn A3657. Thank You Assemblywoman.

    We recommend that the City of Newark work to reduce pedestrian and bicycle conflicts using engineering, education, enforcement and yes encouragement.

    1. Improve bike infrastructure on the on the street network, the City is taking a bold first step by building the State's first Cycletrack on Mt. Prospect Ave in 2011.
    2. Restrict bikes on sidewalks for bicyclists in areas with significant pedestrian traffic
    3. Implement a media campaign (billboard, TV, radio) example NYC DOT's Look campaign.
    4. Encourage people to walk and bike more often, capitalizing on the momentum of Mayor Corey Booker's "Lets Move! Newark" campaign.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011

    South Orange Maplewood Bicycle Coalition to host local area summit next week

    The NJ Bike and Walk Coalition is reporting that The South Orange Maplewood Bicycle Coalition (SOMbike) is hosting a Bike Summit to be held at the Baird Center, 5 Mead Street, South Orange, on Tuesday, January 18, at 7:30 pm. Representatives from bike groups in Jersey City, Newark, and Montclair, as well as South Orange and Maplewood have committed to coming together to discuss successful efforts to advocate for bike-friendly policies in their towns. Maintenance of an on-line joint calendar of events and a library of policy documents will be discussed, as well as planning rides as a large coalition. Representatives from bike groups in other towns are welcome to attend.

    Unfortunately I will not be able to represent WalkBikeJersey due to a prior commitment but it is likely that SOMbike will have a rundown of the summit on their great Website/Blog.

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    Mandatory Bike Registration Proposed in NJ Legislature

    January 6th by Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker (D)Newark introduced Bill A3657 that if passed, would require all bicycles ridden on public highways or public land in NJ to pay a $10 biennial (24 mo.) registration fee or face a $100 fine for each offense.

    This bill would require bicycles ridden on public highways or lands to be registered with the Motor Vehicle Commission and display license plates (out of state bicycles are exempt). Bicycle registrations would be valid for two years, and the commission could charge up to $10 as an annual registration fee to defray the costs of the program. The bill specifies that if the owner of a bicycle is under 15 years of age, the owners parent or guardian may register it in their stead.

    Under the bill, a person who violates any of the bicycle registration provisions would be subject to a fine up to $100 for each offense. In addition, the bill authorizes the chief administrator to suspend or revoke a bicycle registration for any violation of the laws, rules, or regulations regarding their operation.

    This anti-bicycling bill needs to be defeated, look for more information on taking action in the next few days. In the meantime you can contact your State Assembly Representatives and ask them to oppose A3657.

    Find and Contact your State Legislators.

    Sample text:

    I am opposed to A3657 - mandatory registration of bicycles. Mandatory registration is unpopular with constituents, expensive to manage and and almost impossible to enforce. It may also be a burden to citizens who rely on bicycles for low cost transportation and hurt the bicycle industry in New Jersey. Many locations have repealed mandatory legislation.

    The State Legislature would be wise to look at ways to improve bicycling in our state by introducing legislation that can reduce bicycle crashes through engineering, education and enforcement.

    NJDOT releases new New Jersey Bicycling Manual - Reviewed!

    Review at a glance - 88 out of 100

    NJDOT has released its long anticipated New Jersey Bicycle Manual.  This manual was produced with the assistance of the New Jersey Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Safety Education Sub-Committee with members representing Bike New York, Hohne Consulting, Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, New Jersey Department of Transportation and The RBA Group.  This manual is only available on-line as the general policy within state government is to no longer print certain documents as a means to save precious tax payer dollars.

    Unlike previous NJ Bicycle Manuals, this one is not written for children only.  It presents the information in clear and concise manner for a general audience with diagrams and text that cover nearly all situations a bicyclist would encounter on the streets and multi-use trails.  Overall this is a well produced document however it does have one major omission.  Beyond that oversight, the manual is excellent and pretty much follows the principals of Smart Cycling as developed by the League of American Bicyclists.  There is even a section at the end talking about pedestrians safety and what bicyclists, motorists and pedestrians themselves can do to keep pedestrians safe.

    Topics covered include the following:
    • Traveling by Bicycle / Purpose of This Manual
    • Selecting, Fitting & Equipping Your Bike
    • Quick Maintenance Checks
    • Off to a Good Start

    Saturday, January 08, 2011

    Brief bicycle news brief: Bicyclist killed in Toms River, more

    I had no intention of doing this post but I came across some important news articles while searching just moments ago.

    Millburn Police seek witnesses in crash involving bicyclist on Old Short Hills Road
    Independent Press • Sunday, December 26, 2010

    Toms River bicyclist dies after collision with car
    The Star-Ledger • Friday, January 7, 2011

    Bike trail construction starts soon (in Camden)
    The Gloucester County Times • Sunday, January 2, 2011

    Washington State to consider a different type of Safe Passing Law

    BikePortland is reporting that the Washington State Legislature is considering a Safe Passing Law that goes beyond the typical "3-foot Passing Law." The bill as it is written so far, would require passing vehicles going less than 35 mph to pass bicyclist by a minimum of 3 feet.  At any speed greater than that, the minimum passing distance would increase to 5 feet.  However in coming up with the current language bicyclists are asked to make some concessions such as requirements to keep right and to use shoulders and bike lanes with some exceptions.

    Portland attorney and cyclist Ray Thomas explains Oregon's "Safe Passing Law"
    in this excellent video with the help of The Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

     Most of these requirements seem reasonable.  However the one thing that has some Washington State cyclist concerned is the language that would require bicyclists to move right if they are not keeping up with the “legal and normal flow” of traffic.  I agree with them and this could be a bargain that they might not want to make in their quest for a safe passing law. BikePortland summarizes the proposed legislation well, so I quote:
    To highlight a few key aspects of the bill, it:
    • Defines a safe passing distance of bicycles by motorists as “three feet lateral separation between the closest part of the motor vehicle and the closest part of the bicycle or pedestrian,” when a motor vehicle is traveling less than 35 m.p.h. and five feet at greater speeds.
    • Mandates “every driver of a motor vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any bicyclist.”
    • Specifies that cyclists traveling on a roadway slower than the “legal and normal flow” of traffic must ride as far right as “judged reasonably safe by the bicyclist.”
    • Specifies that a cyclist traveling slower than the “legal and normal flow” ride in the paved shoulder, or designated bike lane when traffic is present and “such use is reasonably judged safe by the bicyclist.”
    • Provides a partial list of unsafe conditions that may require a cyclist to ride in lane positions other than the far right. The list includes road hazards, the potential to be doored and being passed at “less than a safe distance.”
    • Requires that bicyclists yield to pedestrians when riding on sidewalks, crosswalks, multi-use trail or trails but, does not relieve a pedestrian of the “of the obligation to exercise due care."
    BikePortland also goes into detail about the faults and limitations of Oregon's own safe passing law which on the face of it has some good language, primarily that it requires overtaking drivers to give bicyclists enough clearance that if the cyclist were to fall over, they would not be hit by the car.  This essentially requires drivers to pass by six feet but there are significant limitations to this language (see video above).  Take a closer look for yourself.

    Friday, January 07, 2011

    Take Action - Sierra Club Highlights Anti Environmental Bills

    An Action Alert From The Sierra Club:
    Up on Monday - Four Bills that Attack the Environment and Good Government

    Thursday, January 06, 2011

    Teaneck looking for local input on bike/ped plan

    The following comes to us from good folks at the Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University via their New Jersey Bike Ped Listserv (Go to to sign up. It's open to all interested parties and is a great place for announcements but you won't get spammed emails everyday.)
    All Teaneck residents -- especially bicyclists and pedestrians -- are encouraged to attend the Planning Board Meeting on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 8:00 PM at the Teaneck Municipal Building, 818 Teaneck Road for a presentation regarding the Teaneck Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan Study. The plan was prepared in cooperation with both the Township of Teaneck and Bergen County, with assistance from the New Jersey Department of Transportation - Office of Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs. The goal of the study is to increase the use of bicycle and pedestrian travel in the township, thereby improving personal health, traffic conditions, and the natural environment.

    The presentation will include an overview of existing conditions, as well as the proposed recommendations for improvements in Teaneck for bicycle and pedestrian travel. Following completion of the study, the Study Task Force hopes that the plan will be adopted by the Planning Board as a component of the Teaneck Township Master Plan. All members of the public are encouraged to attend.

    To obtain more information about the plan, please access the Teaneck Bicycle-Pedestrian plan Facebook page at or contact Steven Wong at

    New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center
    Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center
    Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
    Rutgers University
    33 Livingston Avenue
    New Brunswick, NJ 08901

    Telephone: (732) 932-6812
    Fax: (732) 932-3714

    Wednesday, January 05, 2011

    Rutgers' John Pucher and VT's Ralph Bueler do it yet agian

    I've said it before but when John Pucher speaks, the bike/ped world listens. While his latest work with his protégé Ralph Buehler, now at Virginia Tech, is not revolutionary, it is none-the-less a comprehensive update of the comparative analysis work that Pucher (and now Beuhler) have become famous for. This latest paper titled "Walking and Cycling for Healthy Cities" is a feature article in the UK journal Built Environment. An e-copy of the journal issue can be found here and a free copy of a plain text version of the article from John Pucher's webpage can be found here.

    The abstract of this article is as follows:
    Walking and cycling are the healthiest ways to get around our cities, providing valuable physical activity for people on a daily basis. These forms of active transport also generate indirect public health benefits by reducing the use of automobiles, thus diminishing air, water, and noise pollution and the overall level of traffic danger. This paper provides a broad overview of the role walking and cycling can play in making our cities healthier. First, we summarize the scientific evidence of the health benefits of walking and cycling. Second, we examine variations in walking and cycling levels in Europe, North America, and Australia. Third, we consider the crucial issue of traffic safety. Finally, we describe a range of government policies needed to encourage more walking and cycling: safe and convenient infrastructure such as sidewalks, crosswalks, bike paths and lanes, and intersection crossings; traffic calming of residential neighbourhoods; integration with public transport; land-use policies that foster compact, mixed-use developments; people-friendly urban design; improved traffic education; strict enforcement of traffic regulations; and reductions in motor vehicle speed limits.
    Essentially, much of their work looks to compare the difference countries make in investments in walking, biking, transit, education and polices, and then find corresponding correlations in walking, biking and transit use rates, obesity rates, crash statistics, etc.. Their work in making the argument for investments in walking and biking (and transit and good urban form) is quite compelling.

    An example of Pucher's and Buehler's comparative analysis work from a previous publication. Not surprisingly the USA always has the lowest rates of walking and cycling while being the fattest and most dangerous to walk and bike, amongst many other dubious distinctions.

    Previous WalkBikeJersey articles on New Jersey's and Rutgers' own John Pucher can be found here and here.

    Another Mayor Booker Presents His Active Living Agenda

    In Burlington County, Edgewater Park's new Mayor Darrell J. Booker published his welcome message in the January 2011 edition of the Beverly Bee. The Mayor wished to make health a major priority of during his tenure noting that poor nutrition and that the "lack of access to safe and well maintained parks and recreational space" were barriers for some to healthy living. He went on to say that "We need safe streets, bike lanes, parks and recreational facilities to make physical fitness an achievable goal"

    beverly bee Mayor Booker

    We would love to compile a list of local elected officials in New Jersey who have made active living a part of their agenda. If you know of a link or a quote from a current elected official please send us info in the comments section.

    Tuesday, January 04, 2011

    Passaic County wants your feedback about possible Morris Canal Greenway

    According to an article in The Record newspaper, the Passaic County Planning department will be holding a series of five open house meetings starting next week in an effort to get the public's input about a possible multiuse trail for bicyclists and pedestrians along the old Morris Canal. There will be a meeting in each one of the towns that the canal route runs. Those meetings are as follows:
    • Clifton - Wednesday, January 5th, at 7pm, Clifton City Hall, 900 Clifton Ave
    • Paterson - Wednesday, January 12th, at 6:30pm, Paterson Free Public Library, 250 Broadway
    • Pompton Lakes - Thursday, January 13th, at 7pm, Borough Hall, 25 Lenox Ave
    • Little Falls & Woodland Park - Tuesday, January 25th, Little Falls Civic Center, Warren Street
    • Wayne - Wednesday, January 26th, at 6:30pm,Wayne Public Library, 461 Valley Road

    More information about the history of the Morris Canal and the Greenway planning process can be found here and here respectively.

    Bergen County Prosecutor calls hit & run pedestrian crash "vehicular homicide"

    In an interview on NJN News on Monday, January 3rd, the Bergen County Prosecutor, John Molinelli is calling the hit-and-run crash that killed Dr. Paul Kudowitz "vehicular homicide." According to the report, Dr. Kudowitz was crossing Broad Avenue at 5:30 on December 24th as he was walking home from a Friday night prayer service at his daughters house for the Jewish sabbath.  Police found parts from the vehicle that hit Dr. Kudowitz and are looking for a mid 1990's Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban or extended cab truck that is either white or cream in color.

    It is interesting to note that the Prosecutor is talking vehicular homicide at this moment without even knowing much about the driver.  Usually the only time this charge is used in a fatal pedestrian or bicycle crash is when the driver is drunk, otherwise impaired or in the act of committing a crime.  The NJN report says that Broad Ave were Dr. Kudowitz was struck and killed, is marked at only 25mph but that drivers routinely speed on this roadway.  This would seem to indicate that the prosecutor may be taking the likely speed of the vehicle into account in considering such a charge (pedestrians hit at 25mph are very likely to survive a crash).  Undoubtedly the driver will also be charged with hit-and-run along with any other charges.

    All too often in the past, drivers who speed and kill pedestrians, are usually not even charged with anything or are given a slap on the wrist when they are charged with "failing to yield to a pedestrian," which is a couple of points and a few hundred dollar fine.  This is truly a cheap price to pay for taking a life.  In hit-and-run situations, if there is no other criminality, the driver will usually just be facing the hit-and-run charges with the minor "failing to yield to a pedestrian" charge.  While hit-and-run is a serious crime, it is secondary to the primary offense.  If the driver stops, they usually weren't charged with anything in the past, even if they were speeding.  It seems as if attitudes are changing, at least when pedestrians are rundown by motorists.

    To see the NJN News report for yourself follow this link, click on "Monday" and advance to time stamp 14min 15sec.  The link will only be good for a week as there are no longterm online archives for NJN News and there is no way to directly embed the video here.

    Christmas comes to Second Life Bikes in Asbury Park

    It shouldn’t come as such a surprise that even Santa looked exceptionally fit. Every couple moments Santa had to lift his big black belt to keep his red pants from coming down due to the lack of a belly. That’s what happens when Santa rides a bike.

    Skinny Santa with Rodd Secrist's mom Lori, handing out food.
    The Spirit of Christmas came early to Second Life Bikes in Asbury Park on the Thursday before Christmas, and dozens of local kids were the beneficiaries of some of the best bicycle love found in New Jersey. Bike lights and locks were given to the older children and the younger kids were the lucky recipients of great bikes with plenty of life left in them. All the while everyone was well fed with dozens of pizzas, a six foot sub sandwich and great cookies and snacks. And while Kerri Martin, Second Life’s founder was definitely the master of ceremonies, she was far from the only source of the charity and joy found that day. For this holiday party, Kerri and her band of volunteer elves had some help.

    Monday, January 03, 2011

    Tri State Transportation Campaign Seeks A South Jersey Advocate

    The Tri-State Transportation Campaign seeks a dynamic and effective advocate to advance sustainable transportation policies in southern New Jersey.

    The Tri-State Transportation Campaign conducts advocacy to promote a more balanced and equitable transportation system in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. We were formed in 1994 by the region’s major environmental and planning organizations to reduce the impacts of car dependency and sprawl development. Since our founding, we have stopped wasteful road expansion projects and won millions more in funding for mass transit, bicycle, and pedestrian projects.

    The South Jersey Advocate is a new position. Responsibilities of the advocate will include:

    · Conducting outreach about sustainable transportation policies with southern NJ elected and agency officials, civic leaders, businesses, non-profits.

    · Conducting walking tours and outreach with civic leaders, municipal officials, and local residents in southern NJ with a goal of fixing dangerous roadway conditions.

    · Serving as a liason for environmental, smart growth, transit and bicycle advocates in southern New Jersey and the Greater Philadelphia area.

    · Conducting media outreach regarding TSTC reports and positions.

    · Writing and reading testimony for sustainable transportation policies at agency and committee hearings.

    · Organizing meetings with various stakeholders and events such as conferences, symposiums, workshops, etc.

    · Frequent travel throughout New Jersey and to our Manhattan office.

    Location of the position is flexible, but is likely to be located in Camden, Gloucester, Burlington, or Ocean counties. TSTC is headquarted in Midtown Manhattan and maintains an office in Trenton, NJ and Albany, NY.

    B.A. in political science, environmental policy, urban planning or related field required. Community organizing experience a plus. Three years of work experience preferred. The person must have a passion for environmental issues, be politically savvy, energetic, highly motivated and have excellent analytical, research and writing skills. New Jersey residency and media experience strongly preferred.

    Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience. The Tri-State Transportation Campaign offers full health insurance, TransitChek, 3 weeks paid vacation, a retirement plan, and bike parking. Women and people of color encouraged to apply.

    To apply, email resume and cover letter by January 17, 2011 to Veronica Vanterpool, Associate Director, Tri-State Transportation Campaign at No phone calls please.

    Revisit (correction) on AAA's stance on Bike/Ped funding.

    I was reviewing this blog and the features of Blogger in detail today and realized that a number of comments by AAA staff regarding the Wednesday, September 22, 2010 post titled "AAA Pushes to Cut Bike & Ped Funding. Speak Up Now!" were ID'd as Spam by Blogger without my knowledge until Jan, 3rd 2011.

    In the interest of fairness to those at AAA and others who took the time to express their views on this topic, I felt it was only proper to revisit this issue now.  The post with all its comments can be seen by following the above link.

    Our apologies go out to those that took the time to express their concerns in the comments section of this blog, only to have them not show up.  Again, those of us at WalkBikeJersey were totally unaware that these comments were treated as spam by Blogger until just a few moments before this posting.

    Sunday, January 02, 2011

    NJDOT video of proposed Rt 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridge now shows barrier protected walkway

    Last June, WalkBikeJersey broke the story about the initial proposal for Rt 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridge to Long Beach Island having less then desirable bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The NJDOT website for the project still says that the proposed bicycle and pedestrian improvements will include a six foot wide sidewalk and a bicycle lanes that will be as little as 5 feet wide in places.

    Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridge

    View Larger Map

    However, a video for the project on the same NJDOT website now shows the proposed bridge having a protected pedestrian walkway (multiuse path?) that appears to be nearly the same width as one motor vehicle lane.

    Video screengrabs of the proposed Rt 72 Bridge clearly show a barrier protected
    walkway on the main western span. Source: NJDOT / Parsons Brinkerhoff

    WalkBikeJersey has been monitoring this project since it will be the first major bridge replacement by NJDOT since it adopted a Complete Streets Policy last year. If the video is to be believed and actually shows a revised proposal for the bike/ped amenities, this is indeed welcomed news and clearly has NJDOT starting 2011 on a welcomed note.

    Still, this edition of the video is relatively new as an older version of the video of this project did not clearly show a protected walkway. It also only shows the larger western span (the Manahawkin Bay Bridge is actually a series of 3 bridges) and does not show the eastern 2 spans where bicyclists are proposed to be accommodated by 5 foot wide bicycle lanes. Also not shown are the approaches to the bridge on either side which can make or break the usability of the facility for more cautious non-motorized users.

    Stay tuned the WalkBikeJersey for continuing updates on this project.

    The RT 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridge video can be seen in its entirety on the NJDOT website here.