Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bicyclist killed in Tabernacle

This crash report was first posted by our affiliates at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.  Reading the comments in the Phillyburbs article linked to below, it appears that the bicyclist was using a flashlight (possibly handheld) as a headlight.  All should know that New Jersey State Law regarding operating a bicycle at night reads as follows:
39:4-10 Lights on Bicycles
When in use at nighttime every bicycle shall be equipped with: 1) A front headlamp emitting a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front; 2) A rear lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the rear; 3) In addition to the red lamp a red reflector may be mounted on the rear.
According to - 23 Year Old Shawn Patterson was riding his bicycle on Old Indian Mills Road in Tabernacle, NJ when he was hit by a truck making a left onto the road from Route 206 at around 10:55 p.m. Patterson was flown to the Trauma Center at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, where he succumbed to his injuries, police said.

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

As you can see the intersection of the road a vehicle traveling 50 mph on US 206 can almost seamlessly veer left onto the Old Indian Mills Rd.

Our deepest sympathies go out to Shawn's family and friends.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

3 Complete Streets seminars coming in July for locals

NJ Future just reported about how Jersey City and Ridgewood both passed Complete Streets policies recently.  Great news but NJ Future notes that this brings the total number of municipalities with Complete Streets policies up to 12 and counties (Monmouth) up to 1.  When you realize that New Jersey has 566 municipalities and 21 counties, you begin to see that there is a long way to go.

So step in Sustainable Jersey, supported by Shaping NJ (and a host of other organizations), which has scheduled three workshops on Complete Streets for local activists interested in pursuing the policy in their towns. Each workshop will highlight basic policy principles, potential resources and local case studies. The workshops will be held on:
  • July 14 at Stockton College from 1 to 3:30 p.m. (register)
  • July 19 at the West Windsor Municipal Building from 9:30 a.m. to noon (register)
  • July 21 at the Rahway Public Library from 6 to 8 p.m. (register)
And as NJ Future reported in their story about Jersey City and Ridgewood, NJDOT is encouraging towns to adopt their own Complete Streets policies by giving preferential consideration for municipal aid grants to towns that have adopted such policies.  To aid towns even further, NJDOT is also working developing standards for good Complete Street roadway designs for urban, suburban and rural settings.

So make sure you and/or one or more of your local town officials try to attend one of these seminars  and get your own Complete Streets policy in place.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Help Jersey City preserve and create its own High Line

The below comes from the Embankment Preservation Coalition in Jersey City.  For those of you that don't know, the  "Embankment" is the old Harsimus Stem Embankment which is an elevated stone structure that once carried seven tracks of the Pennsylvania Railroad to the Hudson River Waterfront.   

Like the incredibly successful High Line across the Hudson in the once derelict Meatpacking District, the Embankment has the potential to completely transform and improve this part of Jersey City.  If allowed to be turned into a park, the Embankment would become a linchpin in a network of walkable, bikeable greenways within the City of Jersey City, and beyond.  The East Coast Greenway Alliance would even like to use the Embankment as the permanent, off-road route of the East Coast Greenway which would connect to the Meadowlands via the Bergen Arches to the west.

Now the message from the Embankment Preservation Coalition:

Help the Embankment Preservation Coalition win up to $25,000 in the National Trust for Historic Preservation "This Place Matters" Community Challenge. The Trust selected us from 250 entrants to compete with 99 others in the challenge.

Concept: Embankment looking west from Erie & 6th.

Now It's Up to You!

As of this weekend, we rank #10 out of 100 participants.
To bring a prize home, we need your vote!

Just click on
for instructions.

Voting ends June 30.
Anyone with a valid email may vote.
You do not need to be a New Jersey resident.
Please vote and forward to Facebook, Twitter - help us Get out the Vote!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

NY Times features NJ Randonneurs - Longest Day Ride this weekend

On June 3rd, The New York Times ran this nice article about the New Jersey Randonneurs.  Almost unknown to even the most knowledgeable bicycle enthusiast,  randonneuring can probably be best described as the ultra-marathoning of bicycle racing / riding.  Short rides start at 200km (124 miles), with long rides going up to 600km (372 miles)!  For most, the goal is simply finishing the ride within the allotted time window.  Only a select few look to win outright.  Obviously at these distances, rides last for many, many hours with the longer rides even going on for multiple days, usually with minimal breaks.  And as the Times article indicates, rides are not cancelled due to weather and bikes are usually fitted with fenders and are otherwise specially equipped. If this sounds like fun to you, well keep on reading.

Source: NY Times

This weekend also marks New Jersey's most famous long distance ride, The Longest Day.  Held yesterday June 11th (I thought it was next weekend), the name Longest Day ride is a double entendre.  The ride is held close to the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year (on or around June 21) and the route connects the two most distant landmarks in the state.  At 208 miles, the ride starts on High Point in Sussex County and goes all the way to Cape May Light at the southern tip of the state.  This ride is considered the ultimate achievement for many New Jersey cyclists.

Well'p, there is always next year!  If you're looking to put this ultimate notch in your cycling belt, you can start with doing the New Jersey Gran Fondo at the end of August.  You should be able to prove that you are able to ride at least 100 miles before you register for the full length route of the Longest Day.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Federal funding for bike/ped and trail projects in jepordy

This just in from the League of American Bicyclists:

The future of funding for bicycling, walking and trails in America is in serious jeopardy.
Please Take Action Today

As Congress ramps up efforts to pass a national transportation bill, some senators and representatives are pushing to eliminate the dedicated federal programs without which most of our nation's trail, walking and bicycling infrastructure would not exist. These programs currently receive less than two cents of every transportation dollar, yet have tremendous impacts on their communities.

Make no mistake: if we lose this battle, communities all around the country will find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to build the bicycling infrastructure they need.
Your Senator is on the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) and has previously made it clear that they support bicycling, walking and trails. Now, as their constituent –you - must encourage them to take the next step as the Committee is currently drafting their version of the next transportation bill.

Please sign on today!
Thank you.

Monday, June 06, 2011

State DOT releases Draft Ocean City Bikeway Plan

The concept study - The Ocean City Rail Trail & Bicycle Boulevard Project was unveiled to the public in late May. The study looked at the feasibility of extending the Haven Avenue bike boulevard OC1 to the south end of the Island and looked at different scenarios including placing a multi-use trail on an abandoned railbed in the wetlands area.

As expected the study showed that a trail along the railbed was possible but would require extensive permitting and wetland mitigation. This may pave the way for the City to examine several on-street bikeway options including the possibility of of installing a two way cycletrack on the west side of West Avenue and/or sharrows on Asbury Avenue with a boardwalk bikeway extending to the south end of the island at Corson's Inlet.

View Ocean City Proposed and Existing Routes in a larger map

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Make A Difference - Comment on the NJ Transportation Improvement Program for the DVRPC Region

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Greater Philadelphia Region and and includes Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Mercer Counties. They have opened the public comment period for the draft New Jersey Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) that will close at 5 p.m., July 5, 2011. The public comment period for the draft Transportation Conformity (with EPA Air Quality Standards) finding will open on June 21, 2011 and close at 5 p.m., July 20, 2011.

The TIP is the regionally agreed-upon list of priority transportation projects, as required by federal law. Transportation conformity is the process that ensures that plans and programs receiving federal aid are consistent with the region's air quality goals. All transportation projects that use federal money that has been allocated for the next 3 years is included in the TIP including bike/ped projects. The DVRPC NJ TIP is a subset of the NJDOT Capital Program

There will be a public meeting and information session on the Draft FY 2012 TIP for NJ and the Draft Transportation Conformity finding between the hours of 4 and 6 p.m. on:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Cherry Hill Library
1100 Kings Highway North
Cherry Hill, NJ

You can click on the map markers to find out project details and submit comments. The 5 Bike/Ped projects included are colored blue.

Some things to note:
  • Bike/Ped projects represent less than $8 Million - a tiny fraction of the total highway spending of $1.1 Billion (plus $800 Million for PATCO and NJ TRANSIT)
  • One highway capacity expansion project (Route 295/42, Missing Moves, Bellmawr) is projected to cost $133 million.
  • Some bike elements may included in some projects such as the Route 45 improvement project in Woodbury.
  • If you are going to make one general comment on all the projects it should be that all projects should conform to New Jersey DOT's complete streets policy.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Time and place set for this Friday's Biergarten Bike Ride

We will be meeting at Newark City Hall and will be promptly leaving by 7:00pm.  

Please try to arrive early so we can leave on time as the 15 mile ride will take at least an hour and a half baring any major mechanical problems. 

The sign of a truly civilized society. An actual bicycle way-finding sign
in Bamberg, Germany showing bicyclists the best way to the biergarten.

Back by popular demand, the first edition of the Biergarten Bike Series will repeat the route (see below) taken during last Septembers very popular and well received first Biergarten Bike Ride.  The Biergarten is at the Deutsche Club of Clark, where I'm a member. On the evening of Friday, June 3rd, the plan is to meet in Newark, at a location and time yet to be determined by the folks at the Brick City Bike Collective. Like last year, the ride is 15 or so miles and will be run at a fun, casual, 3-speed and family friendly pace using mostly quite residential streets.  I would also like to use a portion of the East Coast Greenway as it runs south out of Newark and into Union County.

A scene from one of last summer's biergarten nights at the Deutscher Club of Clark

View Larger Map
Approximate route from Newark to the Deutsche Club of Clark.

Besides having the greatest bier culture in the world, Germany is also host to one of the world's finest bicycle cultures. When I visit Germany I will often go for a ride with with friends and/or family on the country's spectacular bicycle infrastructure. On some evenings our final destination would be the biergarten. As such, this is something fun of German culture that I would love to share.

As for the biergarten itself, German biergartens are fun and family friendly environment so children are welcomed. There will be live music at the event along with German foods and plenty of bier (note - vegetarians will have some but limited options). Last call is at 10pm but festivities typically go longer. At the end of the evening people I will escort people the 3.3 miles to the Rahway Train Station so they can take the train back to Newark (and I back to New Brunswick). People also have the option of taking the train from Westfield on the Raritan Valley Line which is slightly closer at 2.7 miles. Either way you will be going home at night so a proper assortment of front and rear lights are a must if you wish to participate.

Don't miss out on this opportunity for a fun filled ride with New Jersey's largest and most authentic German Biergarten as your final destination. 

And while bikes and bier are some of the greatest things that make life worth living, it should go without saying, but drunk bicycle riding IS DWI and will not be tolerated on the ride back to the train station. There will be police on site to enforce this!

The Summer 2011 Biergartern Bike Ride Series is as follows:
  • Friday, June 3rd
  • Friday, July 22nd
  • Friday, August 26th
  • Friday, September 30th