Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Advocacy works! New Brunswick reworks bike sidewalk ban.

If you've been reading this blog you would know that the City of New Brunswick was looking to reinstate a 118 year old ban on cycling on all sidewalks in the city regardless of the cyclists age.  In our original November 2nd post, we looked at the likely origins of the original 1893 bicycle sidewalk ban, how a new ordinance could be better tweaked and questioned why adults were riding on the sidewalk in the first place.  Well at the November 2nd meeting, I was able to give some feedback to the City Council and was quite impressed at how well received my comments were to the Mayor and Council.

However, when I went to the next Council Meeting on November 16th, I was almost shocked into disbelief.  Not because, the Mayor and Council ignored my suggestions but because they took nearly all of them to heart and rewrote their proposed ordinance to take into account almost all of my feedback.  Way to go New Brunswick!!

Now I can't take total credit for this.  Far from it.  Somewhat unknown to me at the time, students from the Bloustein School of Planning and Public policy, namely those in Walk Bloustein, Bike Bloustein had also been talking to the Mayor, Council and most importantly, Planning Director, Glenn Paterson who was actually drafting the ordinance.

Below are photos of the draft ordinance (no pdf or other text document was made available).  Reading the text you can see that their is great improvement from the first proposal of November 2nd.  However, this is still far from a final draft.  Planning Director, Glenn Paterson shared with me a totally reworked draft that went much further.  I felt that some items in that proposal were redundant with New Jersey state law but others were absolutely superb in that they afforded legal protections from careless motor vehicle drivers not yet provided by New Jersey Title 39, namely protections from left and right hooks, careless doorings, illegal parking and even a 3-foot provision.  Unbelievably good stuff!!

After this, can't wait to see what the City will have drafted for tomorrow's meeting - December 7th at 6:30pm.

November 16th Draft Ordinance - Page 1

November 16th Draft Ordinance - Page 2


Silvia said...

Great job to all!

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