Saturday, December 14, 2013

Here's a Tip...Don't Let Super Bowl Host Committees Make Transportation Decisions

Nothing reflects 1970's urban planning by politicians better than the Meadowlands Sports Complex. Built on top of a damaged but ecologically sensitive wetland, surrounded by water on three sides and virtually locked in by freeways and railroads.

Paterson Plank Road (Route 120) provides the only non-freeway access to the complex, its a classic New Jersey hybrid divided state highway but it is served by multiple bus routes and is within walk/bike distance from several hotels. Furthermore the human scaled residential neighborhoods in East Rutherford and Carlstadt are less than two miles away. A recently completed resurfacing project included new sidewalks from both boroughs, making a non-motorized trip to the complex plausible (if far from ideal). With the upcoming Super Bowl on February 2nd local homeowners are advertising apartments for rent that allow you to walk to the Super Bowl.

New sidewalks and landscaping on Paterson Plank Rd - Google Maps

So how does the NFL feel about walking to the game? Super Bowl Host Committee CEO Al Kelly is quoted in the Star Ledger as saying "There is not a single solitary person, unless they’re a Navy SEAL, who is going to walk to that game and get through that marshland to the stadium and get past State Police," Nice, no wonder the Mayor of East Rutherford is livid about that statement.

So how to get to the game from those towns or anywhere else? Well about 45,000 people are expected to to use express park and ride bus service from 9 different hotels (1000+ buses) adding $51 to the $500 to $2000 game ticket. Another 12,000 are expected to cram onto NJ TRANSIT trains transferring at Secaucus Junction. Given the lower cost and the familiarity that many have with NJ TRANSIT I expect fewer customers on the buses and more on the trains. Either way expect a lot of company and long waits at the bus and rail pick up points after the game.

The economic impact for the Super Bowl will be felt across much of the region but the fact that it will be easier to get to the Super Bowl from New York City than it will be from East Rutherford is a lost opportunity for the state. Considering that billions of transportation dollars have been spent to connect this concrete island with the rest of the world, you would expect that one of the lessons learned is that you need to take planning out of the hands of developers, politicians and host committees and give it back to urban planners. There may be a refresher course on Ground Hog Day.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

But Here Is Some Good Bikes On Transit News

All this angst about no bikes on trains got me thinking about the bike on bus situation at New Jersey Transit. The Southern Division bus fleet has been fully bike accessible since 2001. But north of Trenton and Atlantic City taking your bike on the bus has been a dicey affair and used only by those who know the system well. The NJT Website offers little guidance as to which bus routes have racks - Bicycles are permitted at all times on buses with bike racks on the front or with underfloor luggage compartments on a first-come, first-served basis. Currently half of the NJ TRANSIT bus fleet is "bike friendly". Bicycles can be accommodated on all buses in the NJ TRANSIT Southern Division (generally the area from Princeton/Trenton to Atlantic City and south).

Photo - Trans Options TMA

But since 2010 NJT has been adding new buses with bike racks to the local (exact change) fleet at its Central and Northern Division garages. This trend should continue as older buses are retired, although NJ TRANSIT seems to have a policy of not putting bike racks on articulated buses.

Thanks to this excellent bus roster website we can now get a handle as to which bus routes carry bikes on a reliable basis. In fact as of July 2013 most local buses outside of the Bergen, Hudson, Essex, Union urban core are now bike accessible. The list below shows 64 local bus routes that originate from garages with the older non-bike accessible buses, if your numbered NJ Transit Bus Route is not on this list, then you should be able to take your bike along if the space is available on the bike rack or in the luggage bay.

Bus routes that may not carry bikes:

Newark Metro Intrastate Routes

1 6 13 24 25* 26 27 30 31 37 39 40 44 52 70 76 78 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 89 90 99
Intercity Routes to New York
107 108 120 123 125 126 126 128 153 154 156 158 159
Limited Express Routes
347 348 361 375 378
Bergen County Locals
702 705 707 709 751 752 753 755 756 758 762 772 780
Phillipsburg-Easton, PA Locals
890 891

*GO25 express buses have bike racks

For bus route details visit the bus page at or better yet find your next bus on the MyBusNow real time bus map

Friday, November 29, 2013

Welcome to Blackout Friday Bike On Rail Passengers

Welcome to Day 3 of NJ TRANSIT's Holiday Bike Blackout! If you haven't been turned away or kicked off a half empty late evening train after a long day in the salt mines then your conductors are just not doing their job. But seriously I'm not bitter, because I live in South Jersey, where none of those rules apply.

Bicycle passengers get a reprieve tomorrow, but this punitive policy takes effect again on Sunday. If you're fortunate you may still be able to take it on one of NJ TRANSIT's light rail trains or bike accessible buses. If you are not then I would ask Santa for a folding bicycle.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Action Alert - Attend Rutherford Borough Council Meeting Tomorrow to Support Bike Lanes on Orient Way

The Rutherford Bike Ring Project needs your support!

 On November 13, the Rutherford Borough Council in New Jersey unanimously approved a new road striping plan for the first phase of the Rutherford Bike Ring. In an ironic twist for the bike plan, this first phase of the striping did not include bike lanes or any other Complete Streets design components. Read the full story on the Tri-State Transportation Campaign Blog.

The next Rutherford Borough Council meeting is Tuesday, November 26, 2013 (tomorrow) at 7 pm. (Agenda). If you live, work or bike in Rutherford then please plan to attend and say a few words during the public comment period.

If you can't make it then please send a note or call the borough administrator and tell them to reverse their decision on the bike ring and implement the project according to NJDOT's recommendations.

Call in to the borough office administrator: 201-460-3004
Or send an email to the borough:

The borough of Rutherford adopted a complete streets policy in 2011 and finalized plans to create a bicycle circulation plan known as the bike ring this summer. The key street in the bike ring; 60 foot wide Orient Way was undergoing plans to right size the street for all users. The plan required a public participation process that included several public meetings. But at the last minute Borough Council did an end run on the 2 year planning effort and approved  a new road striping plan for Orient Way that strips out the bike lanes, center turn lane and the high visibility cross walks. The street has now been repaved and re-striping is imminent.

Orient Way Line Striping Proposal

Rutherford Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

Sunday, November 24, 2013

2002 Report on Reforming NJ Bike Ped Traffic Laws Needs a Second Look

We have reported frequently in the past 18 months of the fallout from the decision of the Polzo vs. Essex County case. Namely that bicyclists do not have special protections in shoulders that are not designated as bike lanes and even resulted in a ticket for a cyclist who was struck from behind in Chatham.

But that is not the only problem with Title 39 and the Department of Transportation has long been aware that the state's bike and pedestrian laws need to be updated, and commissioned the Voorhees Transportation Center to publish a document with recommendations for changes. This document which is now 11 years old is still relevant even though the law has been tweaked here and there (e.g. raising the helmet requirement age). It certainly falls within the realm of complete streets policies to fix these outdated laws, recently Philadelphia updated their antiquated bicycle regulations and passed the changes under a "complete streets ordinance".

The document starts off with some legalese but if you skim through it you will find some interesting tidbits, such as that bicycles are not considered vehicles in New Jersey. And that municipalities can waiver the requirement for children to wear helmets in non-motorized areas (as many shore towns with boardwalks do).

Reform of Title 39 is needed and advocates need to find champions in the state legislature who are willing to submit a bill for consideration.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Montclair is named a Silver Level Walk Friendly Community (Yeah!)

Sorry this post is a little late as internet access can be hard to come by in the wilds of Idaho.

The FHWA's Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) located in Chapel Hill, NC has named Montclair a Walk Friendly Community and awarded it a Silver level designation.  Montclair joins New Jersey's only other Walk Friendly Community Hoboken, which was awarded an impressive Gold level two years ago.

According to the PBIC news release:
Montclair is designated as a Silver-level community due to its commitment to enforcing pedestrian laws and safety, outstanding participation in Safe Routes to School programs, and impressive traffic calming projects. The township’s density and transit-oriented design provides a great foundation for promoting walkability!
For more on why Montclair was given this award  take a look at this PBIC webpage explaining the award.  Also take a look at the page explaining Hoboken's Gold award.

Congratulations Montclair on this well deserved award!  Fortunately for New Jersey, Montclair is not so unusual as our state is blessed with many dozens of older "Main Street" communities.  There is really no reason why many more could not win this award if they would only apply.  Let's make New Jersey the Walk Friendly Community leader with more WFC's than any other state in the nation!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tacony Palmyra Bridge Walkway Reopens

The Tacony Palmyra Bridge sidewalk between Burlington County borough of Palmyra and Philadelphia has reopened to bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Repairs on the walkway due to a mechanical failure during a drawbridge opening have been completed.

Unlike the drivers on Route 73, you can once again take in the views on your 20 minute stroll over the bridge.

For more information on the Tacony Palmyra Bridge go to

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Finally a Trip Planner That Includes Taking Your Bike on Transit and Bike Sharing

An open source transit routing app known as Open Trip Planner calculates routes and times for intermodal bike and transit trips and CitiBike Bike Share stations. The code was integrated with local transit information by developers that introduced the NJ/NY/PA/DE site at the Code For Philly hackathon earlier this fall.

Try it out for yourself at I am sure that the developers would love to hear your feedback.

Bike and Transit trip from New Brunswick to Hopewell

Note - "rental bike options" only came up with walking directions in Manhattan. If you are a developer and wish to help improve Open Trip Planner then feel free to contact codeforphilly.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Route 82 Pedestrian Improvements Project Public Meeting in Union

Route 82 (Morris Avenue) Pedestrian Safety Improvements

Public Information Center
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 from 4:00 – 6:30 PM
Union Township Municipal Building
1976 Morris Avenue, Union

Please come at a time that is convenient for you. You will have an opportunity to review
exhibits, ask questions and discuss issues with representatives of the NJDOT and our design

Project Overview
Route 82 (Morris Avenue), from Caldwell Avenue to Lehigh Avenue, has a pedestrian crash rate greater
than the statewide average. As part of the Pedestrian Safe Corridor Program, several specific
measures were proposed to improve deficiencies and remove obstacles that prohibit safe walking
through the 2+ mile corridor. Nine signalized intersections and thirty-six total intersections were
studied and advanced to Concept Development Alternatives.

View Larger Map

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

NJTPA Kicks Off Street Smart NJ Pedestrian Safety Campaign

Street Smart NJ is a public education, awareness and behavioral change campaign being piloted in five New Jersey communities – Hackettstown, Jersey City, Long Beach Island, Newark, and Woodbridge.  The campaign uses outdoor, transit, and online advertising, along with grassroots public awareness efforts and law enforcement to address pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

Street Smart NJ emphasizes educating drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists through mass media.  It complements, but doesn’t replace, other state and local efforts to build safer streets and sidewalks, enforce laws and train better roadway users. In other words Street Smart NJ is part of the "Education E" of the four prong approach to road safety - Education, Engineering, Enforcement and Evaluation.

While the bestreetsmart.nj website offers safety tips for all road users, the emphasis in the pilot safety campaign is pedestrian safety. More than 1/4 of all fatal traffic crash victims in the state are pedestrians.

The campaign is coordinated by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) and supported by federal and state funds, with funding/in-kind contributions from local partners.

 The Street Smart NJ pedestrian safety pilot campaign is scheduled to run for approximately four weeks in the late fall of 2013 (Hackettstown, Jersey City, Newark, Woodbridge) and in early summer of 2014 (Long Beach Island).

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Op-Ed: No joy in "Mudville" over Montclair and Princeton gaining BFC status.

Can towns without bike lanes really be bicycle friendly? 

The below opinion reflects that only of the author and is not that of others that contribute to WalkBikeJersey. 

By Andrew J. Besold

In years past I've been absolutely ecstatic when some of the first New Jersey towns gained Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) status.  Previous awardies, West Windsor, Hoboken and Ocean City had all made very tangible bicycle safety improvements to their communities often being the first to to bring well design conventional bike lanes, sharrows and bicycle boulevards to New Jersey.

However when I read that the League of American Bicyclists awarded Bronze Level BFC the other week to both New Jersey candidates, Montclair and Princeton (Borough and/or Township??), I nearly coughed up my morning tea.  While these towns are intrinsically easy to bike around, due primarily to their Pre-War modified grid layout and denser suburban form that they were lucky to inherit, last I checked neither town had a bike lane and in both, proper bicycle parking (that actually meets APBP Bicycle Parking Guidelines, a BFC prerequisite) was in limited supply.  I take no joy in saying this but the awarding of BFC status to both of these towns, rings very hollow to me.

Yes, both towns have active bicycle and pedestrian advocacy groups that have made significant inroads within there local governments.  Bike&Walk Montclair in particular is a standout local advocacy group in New Jersey.  And Montclair made state and national news with its first in New Jersey, Complete Streets Policy.  However Montclair Town Hall has been blocked repeatedly in the past by an obstinate county government that will not allow the town to install bike lanes or traffic calming measures on the main roadways that traverse and bisect their community that are under county control.  While this is no fault of Montclair, and accolades need to lauded upon them for trying, the end result has been that properly engineered bike lanes were never installed in Montclair where they are needed most and would provide the maximum benefit.

Princeton Borough is also notable in that it was the first community in New Jersey to install well designed European / West Coast style traffic calming measures and with its use of conventional Sharrows (Ocean City had previously used its own Sharrow design on its Haven Avenue bicycle boulevard).  The traffic calming, while VERY innovative by New Jersey standards, is mostly in one residential neighborhood at the edge of town. However, the sharrows were not at all well thought out and in some places, like Nassau Street (NJ 27), they were improperly installed by being painted in parking stalls (it is not known whether this problem was corrected even though an official from NJDOT said the improper position of the Sharrows would be corrected).  The harsh reality regarding Princeton's sharrows is that where installed, most cyclists still ride on the sidewalk!  At total fail in my opinion that is doing little to encourage proper cycling in Princeton.

Is innovative traffic calming alone enough for a BFC designation? 

By comparison, the City of Philadelphia which has very well design bicycle lanes over most of the city, as much as 200 miles worth by 2007, finally received Bronze BFC Status in 2008 after years of  receiving only "Honorable Mentions."  Like both Montclair and Princeton, Philadelphia too has a grid street network that can aid those wishing to bike around the City.  However it seemed back then that the League of American Bicyclists really wanted to make sure that Philadelphia earned that Bronze BFC Status.  Only in 2012 did Philadelphia move up to Silver Status even though Philly has the highest bicycle commuter mode share out of any large American city.

So the question remains.  Should the League of American Bicyclists have award these communities BFA status even at the modest Bronze level when on the face of these towns, very little infrastructure has been built to aid and encourage cycling?  Would a stranger on a bicycle feel like they are in a community where bicycling is really encouraged?  Do Princeton and Montclair match up to BFCs that earned their Bronze status years ago or even ones that have such status out in the West, where usable, well engineered on-street bicycle amenities, like bike lanes, are commonplace?  Unfortunately, the answer is a big "NO" to all three of these questions.  And unfortunately the awarding of BFC status to these two communities by the League of American Bicyclists does nothing to promote cycling in New Jersey or in the Nation as a whole.

No Bike Infrastructure =  No BFC Status.  Period!  And The League if American Bicyclists should know better.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Tacony Palmyra Bridge Walkway Closed Indefinitely

One of the two bike and pedestrian links between Philadelphia and New Jersey has been severed - at least temporarily. The Burlington County Bridge Commission has closed the pedestrian walkway "until further notice" due to damage resulting from a failed bridge opening on October 10th.

The Bridge Commission's website has no information about this closure. We ask the Commission to, at the least, post updates on the walkway's status online or via its text messaging service.

Earlier this year Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia's highlighted the shortcomings of the region's cross-river transportation system for non-motorized users in the report "Crossover: Bridge Ahead Impassible." The alternative to the 20 minute walk across the bridge (bikes are required to be walked on the bridge) is a 80 - 105 minute three or four vehicle transit ride via SEPTA, PATCO and the RiverLINE that will cost you up to $10. An automobile trip over the bridge costs $2 from NJ to PA only.

 This article was republished with permission from the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia's Official Blog.

Monday, October 14, 2013

5 Reasons Why The Pennsauken Transit Center Improves Access and Mobility In New Jersey

This morning NJ TRANSIT's Pennsauken Transit Center opens. This $40 million project mostly paid for with federal ARRA stimulus funds finally makes the long awaited connection between the Trenton to Camden RiverLINE light rail train with the Atlantic City Line that runs between AC and Philadelphia's 30th St Station.

Getting to Atlantic City without transferring to SEPTA or PATCO certainly simplifies trip planning and can save up to a half hour of travel time but the station offers other access and mobility benefits that are less obvious.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hey Max Weinberg - Open Up This Trail

The drummer from the band that glorified drag racing on Route 9 apparently doesn't want bike riders and dog walkers passing below his home on a bluff on Raritan Bay

According to the Asbury Park Press a section of the Henry Hudson Trail between Atlantic Highlands and Highlands has remained closed since it was badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy last October.  Monmouth County Parks was in the process of cleaning up the trail when the NJ DEP put a halt to the work in January. In addition, the threat of a lawsuit from E Street Band/Conan O'Brien drummer Max Weinberg and an Atlantic Highlands Judge claiming that the construction of the trail has led to erosion of their properties during Superstorm Sandy could still force the closure of the trail.

The article goes on to say that the County has come to an agreement with DEP and that the trail will be reopened in mid-November. Thanks go out to trail advocates in Monmouth County who kept the pressure on to make sure that this valuable resource is once again open to the public.

Photo - Denise Vesce - Henry Hudson Trail on Facebook 

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Ocean City Continues to Invest in Bikeways

The Jersey Shore's most bike friendly resort town continues to move forward, according to an August 18th article in the Ocean City Patch. Three projects on the short term improvements list include:

  • A signed bike route on the north end of Ocean City from the Longport Bridge to Battersea Rd.
  • A HAWK signal that will assist bicyclists and pedestrians cross 9th Avenue to allow north end residents and visitors better access to the Route 52 Causeway and the Haven Avenue Bicycle Boulevard
  • Buffered bike lanes or cycletrack on West Avenue on the south end of the city to connect with Haven Ave. This would be completed when Cape May County resurfaces the road.

Recent discussions between City officials and bicycle advocates suggest that buffered bike lanes on each side of West Avenue may be an option. West Ave currently has hybrid bike/parking lanes, which can be problematic during the summer. Buffered bike lanes on West Avenue would require a four lane to three lane road diet.

Possible reconfiguration of West Avenue via

Cycletrack proposal that preserves a 4 lane roadway

Monday, September 30, 2013

New Brunswick to host New Jersey's first Cyclovia this weekend

The below is reproduced from the New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition email released earlier this evening.  It should be noted that having Gil Peñalosa speak at Rutgers the Friday before the event is rather significant as he was instrumental in organizing some of the world's first well organized Cyclovia in Bogotá Columbia when he worked as Parks Commissioner in the late 1990's under his brother Mayor Enrique Peñalosa.

New Brunswick will host one of the state's first Ciclovias (literally "bike ways") through the city on this Sunday, October 6, 2013 from 10 am to 3pm.  This "Open Streets" event will be closed to cars with more than three miles of streets open so residents can walk, push baby strollers, skate, run, bike, use wheelchairs and walkers, rollerblade, dance and utilize the roadways in countless creative and active ways. You can learn more about the Ciclovia here.

Friday Conference at Rutgers on Cycling and Walking

To kick off the Ciclovia weekend, Gil Peñalosa and John Pucher will be giving talks on this Friday afternoon,October 4, from 3 pm to 5:30 pm at Rutgers University's Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy on the topic of "Cycling and Walking for Sustainable, Healthy, and Socially Just Cities." Admission is free, and there will also be a free reception after the event sponsored by the NJBWC. The first 100 registrants for the conference will receive a free, autographed copy of City Cycling, published by MIT Press. Register for the talks here.

The NJBWC is proud to be a leader of this event, along with the City of New Brunswick, New Brunswick Tomorrow, and Johnson & Johnson


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Navigating NJDOT's Public Information Sessions

When if comes to public outreach of transportation projects there is an old joke - There are just two phases of the public involvement  process: Too early and too late.  You attend a public information and suggest putting in bike lanes and you are told, "that's a design detail, so its too early to discuss that". Then several months down the road the final plans for a road project are put out and you ask why bike lanes are not included and the response is "the design has been finalized, its too late".

Engineering drawings can be very hard to read
  Route 38 and S Church St project in Moorestown

The complete streets movement is built on the premise that all road users are considered throughout the project development process. NJ DOT project managers have been for the most part trying to adhere to this process. I haven't seen a major urban/suburban project recently that did not have at least some pedestrian elements. But that doesn't mean that these early designs always hit the mark (especially for bike accommodations) and the public information sessions offer an opportunity to suggest improvements.

Monday, September 23, 2013

2012 Census - NJ Bike and Walk To Work Commuters Remain Stubbornly Low

Nationally 2.8% of the population walks to work.  NJ sits right in the middle of the pack ranked 24th with 3% of workers walking and 3.1% of the female workers walking. It not evenly distribute though - only 8 of 20 Counties (Salem is too small for 1 year ACS samples) exceed the national average with Hudson reporting 8.4% walk to work.

NJ is tied for 29th place for the percentage of workers who travel by bicycle, with 0.4% bike commuters and 0.2% female bike commuters, this actually represented a small but significant gain. However only 3 Counties exceed the national average of  0.64% of bike commuters (Atlantic, Cape May and Mercer). Nationally NJ ranks and only Cape May exceeds the 1% threshold. In fact at 3.3% the rate of bicycle commuters is more the 5 times the national average. Cape May County also has nearly as many female bicycle commuters as men.

Comparison Driving Alone vs Transit, Walking and Biking in NJ's Largest Municipalities (click on image to enlarge)

16 of the 18 NJ municipalities with a population of over 65,000 were also included in the 1 year Census data. When you compare these cities the data shows that the older denser cities tend to have better walk and transit numbers than the growing townships but with the exception of Lakewood the bike to work numbers are miserable across the board. Lakewood, which has a very modest drive alone to work percentage also has a dip in the percentage of transit commuters, which suggests that bike and walk trips are picking up some of the slack.

New York City (1% +25%), Philadelphia (2.3% +28%) and Washington DC (4.1% +28%) have seen dramatic increases in bike commuting in the past year. These big cities have been investing  in bike infrastructure for some time and the results are moving the needle and changing the commute habits of their residents. In 2012 Washington's Capital Bikeshare saw a large jump in daily ridership which may have helped them break the 4% bike commuter mark.

All of this suggests that the implementation of complete streets can offer hope for many communities in New Jersey to mitigate their traffic woes and at the same time get out of the bottom tier of tier of bike and walk trips and help attract and keep younger residents in the state.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Burlington County Cuts The Ribbon On The Delaware River Heritage Trail

The following post is reproduced with permission from the Crossing Paths Blog. The official news source of the Circuit - Greater Philadelphia's regional trail network.

The Burlington County Freeholders will cut the ribbon for the new on road section of the Delaware River Heritage Trail at the DRHT Bordentown Beach Trailhead on Sunday September 8th at 2:30 PM. Bordentown Beach is located at end of W. Park Street in Bordentown City and is adjacent to the Bordentown RiverLINE station.

The new segment stretches from Route 130 in Bordentown Township, through Fieldsboro and Bordentown City and includes new signage, information kiosks, sharrows, sidewalks and bike lanes.

Take a bike ride following the Delaware River Heritage Trail starting from Camden and traveling to scenic waterfronts in towns along the river. Pedal with Maria Tranguch, New Jersey Conservation Foundation's Camden Regional Manager, members of the Rails to Trails Conservancy and WEB (Watershed Education on Bikes) for this on-road bicycle trip for approximately 30 miles. The ride begins at 9AM at NJ Conservation's Camden Office and arrive at sometime before the 2:30 Ribbon Cutting. Cyclists will picnic at the trailhead and will return to Camden by light rail.

Participants must supply their own bike and helmet - this is mandatory. Also, bring your own water, lunch and money for the return train fare ($1.50 for passengers ages 12 & up, credit and debit cards accepted). Since the route is primarily on roads shared with cars and other vehicles, participants should have experience with on-road cycling. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration is $10/per adult. Free for children under 18. You can register for the ride here.

Ribbon Cutting will take place at the DRHT's Bordentown Trailhead

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

It's The Eve of Rosh Hashanah - Don't You Dare Take The Bike On The Train!...Until After Sunset

Just a reminder that NJ TRANSIT's most arcane bike restriction rule is in effect today:

"Bicycles are not permitted on the day before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but are permitted on the holidays themselves."

If you depend on taking your bike on the train to get to work, to school, the doctor or whatever else you have to do, regardless of your religious affiliation you either (a) have a long walk from the station or (b) long bike ride from home or (c) you'll be an hour+ late because you were not aware of the restriction and are surprised by being kicked off the train.

Sorry not Today! 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Commissioner Simpson Reaffirms Commitment To Complete Streets But Route 35 Bike Lanes Still In Limbo

In a stunning Op Ed piece in the Star Ledger. NJ DOT Commissioner James Simpson reaffirms the Christy Administration's commitment to complete streets. The Commissioner goes on to cite pending and recently completed projects, including the proposed road diet of Route 71, which is the Main St for several Monmouth County Beach Communitie and the Department's crown jewel - the Ocean City Causeway, which is already beginning to see a major return on investment. He also talks about the equally important task of bringing counties and municipalities on board with their own complete streets policies, because chances are that when you walk out of your front door you will be on a local street. We agree, when it comes to complete streets NJ DOT is walking the walk.

The Commissioner notes in his editorial that complete strategies are being implemented on Route 35 such as ADA curb ramps, continuous sidewalk and pedestrian countdown signals, however when it comes to bike lanes he becomes more ambiguous.

Incorporating accommodations for bicyclists is more of a challenge because the department is not purchasing land from private property owners to widen Route 35, and it does not have the funding to do so. However, the department and its design teams are creating plans to improve accommodations for bicyclists within the existing right-of-way where feasible, and will be discussing these ideas with local communities in the coming weeks and months.

This is what project managers have been telling Complete Streets advocates since the spring, yet public meetings have been held and comments have been submitted by hundreds of citizens. But in mid August the construction contracts were awarded without provisions for bike lanes. The Commissioner is advising the public that it is too early to expect design plans for bike lanes, but the actions of the DOT suggest that the t's are crossed and the i's are dotted on this project.

What's disheartening about the whole process is the missed opportunity to create a first class bikeway from Point Pleasant to Island Beach State Park. While there are major challenges on the north end they are not insurmountable and farther south we were able to fit in a protected bike lane using Streetmix for the Lavallette business district without making any changes to the parking configuration (head in angle parking on both sides of the street). Compare it to the cross sections that NJDOT is implementing.

Rendering created at All images from Streetmix come with Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 license.

Clearly, there is available road space along most of the route to add bike lanes without impacting private property or taking existing parking from businesses.We know the leadership at NJDOT and its skilled staff can combine its Complete Street expertise with practical application to find a way to safely accommodate bicyclists along Route 35.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bicyclist killed in rare fatal crash NOT involving a motor vehicle

The blog Cycling International based out of New York City, reported on Sunday that a Queens woman died on Friday after receiving injuries sustained in a crash while descending from Alpine on Henry Hudson Drive.  This roadway is in the New Jersey portion of the Palisades Interstate Park and is a very popular alternative to cycling on much busier 9w.  This would appear to be one of those rare and still tragic circumstances where a cyclist was killed and a motor vehicle WAS NOT involved.  Over the past 6 years that WalkBikeJersey has been publishing we can only recall one other crash in New Jersey where a cyclist died from injuries sustained in a single vehicle crash (internet search returned nothing).  That other crash is remembered as having also involved a high-speed descent in a park.  No matter the cause, the death of a cyclist is always very sad and somber, and the hearts of the entire New Jersey cycling community go out to the family of the fallen.

Follow the link for the complete story in Cycling International.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bicyclist Killed By Motorist On Route 10 in Succasunna

According to a bicyclist was killed on Route 10 west near Main St just before the Route 46 merge in the Succasunna section of Roxbury Township. The article gives few details other than the crash occurred at 11 PM and the motorist was not charged.

We have seen this scenario many times before - a bicyclist killed after dark on a state highway and while there may be many factors the obvious constant is the configuration of Route 10.

  • The speed limit is 50 mph
  • The shoulder ends and becomes a weave lane
  • Commercial driveways galore (poor access management)
  • Sparse street lighting
  • The sidewalk ends abruptly 

Old School Traffic engineers can give you 50 reasons on why this design is a necessity, but not one of them would be to enhance the safety of the non motorized road user. Lets hope that when Route 10 is resurfaced or rehabilitated that DOT employs complete streets solutions.

And here is my final thought - if the victim was killed by a single engine aircraft landing on Route 10 the NTSB would be conducting a year long investigation. Think of the amazing success that NTSB has with airline fatalities and the continuing failure of our highway system to reduce bicycle and pedestrian fatalities.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the victim.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Harvey Cedars Mayor and Residents Fight for "3 iN HC"

2013 seems to be the year that established Ocean and Monmouth Counties at the forefront of the New Jersey's complete streets movement. It has dominated the news on this blog with Routes 72, 35 and 71 proving to be a litmus test of NJ DOT's complete streets policy.

And now many residents in Harvey Cedars want to do the same for Long Beach Boulevard, Last year the borough adopted their own complete streets policy and are backing their new policy with a campaign dubbed 3 in HC which seeks to reduce the number of lanes on the boulevard from 4 lanes to 3.

Unfortunately the tiny borough has faced opposition from the County which maintains Long Beach Boulevard and lacks a complete streets policy. But its the neighboring communities - Barnegat Light and Long Beach Township that have voiced the loudest opposition. You may remember that in 2010 Mayor Mancini of Long Beach Township sought to repeal the stop for pedestrians law saying that such a law wouldn't work on a 5 lane road.

Once again the Asbury Park Press is documenting the complete streets movement on video with highlights from the Ocean County Freeholders meeting, where supporters traveled 30 miles to get pooh poohed by the Freeholders and, you guessed it, Mayor Mancini. Who was proud to tout a petition that opposes reducing lanes on Long Beach Blvd. The petition states among other unfounded arguments that "Any perceived danger to pedestrian and bicyclists is hypothetical.".

Kudos to Harvey Cedars Mayor Oldham and his supporters for their 3 in HC campaign. Long Beach Township may be neighbors with Harvey Cedars but they are at opposite ends of the ideological spectrum when it comes to livable communities. Its clear that complete streets advocates have lots of work to do to win the hearts and minds of Long Beach Island residents and businesses. A resort with poor pedestrian facilities and no public transportation.

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Friday, August 09, 2013

AARP NJ Mobilizes For Complete Streets

Complete Streets has a powerful ally in New Jersey - The 1.3 million state residents who are members of the AARP


Why is AARP interested in promoting complete streets? Because safety and quality of life is part of the AARP's core mission. In NJ between 2009-2011 31% of the pedestrians killed were over age 60 even thought they represent only 19% of the population the numbers for pedestrians over 75 is even more pronounced - 13% of all fatalities and just 6.7% of the population.

In NJ AARP supports NJDOT's complete streets policy by hosting a statewide Complete Streets Task Force which includes a broad spectrum of stakeholders including bicycle pedestrian advocacy groups, transportation management associations, county and private sector planners as well as NJ DOT. AARP is now mobilizing their members to advocate for complete streets policies in their own towns. If you are a member of the AARP and would like to lend your support to the campaign then click here to become a member of AARP's Complete Streets Action Team.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Asbury Park Press Video On Route 35 Bike Lanes

Asbury Park Press reporter Larry Higgs found a lot of supporters for bike lanes on Route 35. Watch the video here or click on the image.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Rt 71 Complete Streets Project Raises Doubts in Asbury Park City Council

While Route 35 remains in limbo with no decision yet on bike lanes another shoreline state highway, Route 71 in Monmouth County is proposed to get a complete streets makeover by reconfiguring the roadway from 4 lanes to 3 lanes with the extra space allotted for bike lanes.

However at least one Councilman in Asbury Park objects to the lane reduction saying that it will hurt business. This is an old argument that gets recycled because some business owners see the addition of bike lanes as a major traffic disruption; a business killer.

But several studies that have been conducted find this not to be true. That extra lane that downtown businesses see as a way to keep traffic flowing faster actually just serves people who are driving through not to the business district. Lowering traffic speeds (without increasing congestion) and increasing local bike access has a neutral or opposite effect (depending on the mode share of bicyclists). Like Atlantic City beach towns that also have a substantial low income population get a fair amount of bike traffic as both recreation and transportation trips are being taken.

Other towns along Route 71 have already approved the complete streets changes, we hope that pro bike forces can prevail in the Dark City (Yeah, I don't know about that pseudonym either). Kudos to NJDOT for adhering to their complete streets policy. If you live in Asbury Park tell Council that you support bike lanes on Route 71.

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Putting the Capital to Coast Trail on the Map

Since 2000 Fred Lockenmeyer has pursued his dream of connecting the Delaware and Raritan Canal in Trenton with the Edgar Felix Bike Path in Manasquan by forging a trail through the rural/suburban swath of Southern Mercer and Monmouth Counties. A trail located in the geographic center of the state that will be known as the Capital to Coast Trail.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

NJTPA TIP and Long Range Plan Up For Public Comment

Earlier this year the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission put up their Long Range Plan, Transportation Improvement Program for New Jersey and Air Quality Conformity Determination up for public comment and the Commission adopted those documents today, which concluded with a picnic in Philadelphia.

Now its the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority's turn: Plan 2040, the NJTPA’s updated Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). The Fiscal Year 2014-2017 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). And the Air Quality Conformity Determination for the RTP and TIP. Copies of the draft documents and more details are available at:

Route 35 Mania Continues With A Listening Tour Kick Off In Seaside Heights

Christie Administration Kicks Off Route 35 Reconstruction “Listening Tour” In Seaside Heights
 First In A Series Of Events Between Department of Transportation Commissioner, Route 35 Project Team and Local Communities

(Seaside Heights) – As the $265 million project rebuilding Route 35 gets underway, New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner James Simpson today kicked off the Christie Administration’s “Listening Tour” to get direct feedback from residents, business owners and local officials.
Commissioner Simpson and DOT project team members gathered today at Seaside Heights Borough Hall and then walked along streets with Mayor Bill Akers, listening to concerns and ideas from business owners and residents along the way.
“Route 35 is the gateway to many Jersey Shore destinations along the Barnegat Peninsula, and the Christie Administration is committed to rebuilding this road as quickly as possible,” said Commissioner Simpson. “We are accelerating this project to accomplish a massive amount of work in a short time frame, and during this process, we want to ensure that the lines of communication between the local communities and our administration remain open. This listening tour will help residents and local officials make sure their concerns are heard.”
The Listening Tour supplements a robust community outreach effort that includes a hotline telephone number, 732-230-7356, and email address, for residents to pose questions or provide suggestions as work progresses.
NJDOT has created a project-specific website that provides information on the proposed construction activity.  The site will be updated as work advances. 

A pre-construction public information center on July 9 in Lavallette was very well attended by hundreds of residents and business owners from the eight Barnegat Peninsula municipalities where Route 35 will be reconstructed (Bay Head, Mantoloking, Brick, Toms River, Lavallette, Seaside Heights, Seaside Borough and Berkeley.

At a groundbreaking event in neighboring Seaside Park on July 2, Governor Chris Christie announced the start of the project to rebuild the roadway that sustained heavy damage during Superstorm Sandy.  At the event, Christie said the Route 35 reconstruction project sends a message that the Jersey Shore is coming back stronger than ever.

The Department has divided the project into three geographical sections and has awarded contracts to three contractors.  Work in all three sections will begin in August.  Construction in the northernmost section will be completed by the summer of 2014, with work in the other two sections completed by the summer of 2015.

The Phone Number and Email Address offer two more avenues to express your desire for bike lanes and complete streets on Route 35. Please use this opportunity to contactl NJDOT today.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Route 35 Followup - Keep Asking For Bike Lanes

Between 2009 and 2011 49 reportable bike crashes occurred on Route 35 with the majority of them resulting in injuries to the bicyclist. The road width of the state highway varies but for most of the central and southern sections the width of the available shoulders is up to 24 feet in each direction (12 feet on each side of the road). Yet at the well attended public meeting held at the Lavallette Elementary school earlier this week engineering drawings show no bike lanes anywhere on  the 12 mile project.

Send an email to Commissioner Simpson

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Action Alert! Voice Your Support For Complete Streets At The Route 35 Public Meeting

NJ DOT will be holding a public information meeting on the Route 35 reconstruction project.

Tuesday July 9
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Lavallette Elementary School Gymnasium
105 Brooklyn Avenue
(corner of Rt. 35 and Brooklyn Ave.)  
Lavallette, NJ 08735

The public meeting handout below gives a "complete streets" assessment of the project. We strongly support the continuous proposed sidewalk Unfortunately the plan calls for "shared shoulder accommodation" meaning that bicyclists could be squeezed into the right lane by parked vehicles. The public should send a message loud and clear that properly marked bike lanes is the best solution (preferably with a buffer). In many area bike lanes can only be put in if back in angle parking is implemented.

We strongly support the continuous sidewalk on the northbound side as proposed. However we encourage everyone to ask for additional traffic calming measures as well as lowering the speed limits in the densely built up areas that should be considered slow zones. For example in Lavallette the speed limit is 45 mph!

If you are unable to attend the meeting in person then we ask that you send your comments to:

Denise Peck, Regional Manager
New Jersey Department of Transportation
Office of Community Relations
P.O. Box 600, Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
Phone: 609.530.2853; Fax: 609.530.2536

Saturday, June 29, 2013

New Philly Bike Coalition Report Takes A Hard Look At Lower Delaware River Bridges

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia (BCGP) is well aware of the formidable barrier to New Jersey known as the Delaware River. They have collaborated with other organizations to advocate for the design and build of a ramp to replace a 39 step stair tower in Camden and to include a multi-use path on the proposed I-95 Scudder Falls Bridge in Ewing.

The new Report titled "Crossover: Bridge Ahead Impassable" takes a look at bicycle and pedestrian access on 12 bridges along a 60 mile corridor between the Washington Crossing and Commodore Barry Bridges. Only 5 of the 12 allow bicyclists and pedestrians to cross and all of them pose restrictions. 4 require walking your bicycle and while the Ben Franklin Bridge allows you to ride across it is only open during limited hours.

With this report, BCGP shines a new light on lower Delaware River bridges, and how their inaccessibility to pedestrians and bicyclists is stymieing trail networks being built on both sides of the river.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Route 35 and Back-In Angle Parking

As the reconstruction of Route 35 nears time is running short on the final decision to stripe bike lanes along the road where it is feasible. Complete streets advocates have been hearing positive if anecdotal comments from sources within NJDOT that bike lanes along with improved crosswalks and sidewalks are being given serious consideration.

However in places like Lavallette and Seaside Park the installation of bike lanes comes up against a design barrier; Bike lanes are incompatible with standard angle parking. The lack of driver visibility while backing out into traffic poses a crash hazard to bicycles and it is clearly not recommended in engineering manuals.

Angled parking is important to beach communities where parking is at a premium, a block with angled parking increases the capacity for a typical block by 50%. Asking a community to give up 1/3 of its parking spaces by converting to parallel parking is an extremely heavy lift.

But all is not lost! There is a very simple solution to the angled parking conundrum that greatly improves safety for bicyclists, pedestrians and outgoing parked vehicles. It is known as Reverse Angle or Back In Angle parking.

More on back-in angled parking after the jump.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Burlington County Proposes Draconian Cuts to its Open Space Program

This post is reprinted from the Circuit Coalition's Crossing Paths Blog:

Tomorrow on June 12th, the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders will hold a hearing and vote on a reduction of the County's Open Space tax. The current 4 cent tax will be cut to 1.5 cents: a 63% reduction from $20M per year to $7.5M per year. The County claims that a $48 million dollar surplus in th program would be enough to continue build out of the County's Master Plan. While the proposal is a "one year cut", it is uncertain that the 4 cent tax rate would ever be restored due to the fact that it could be seen as a 167% tax hike.

65 miles of the Circuit are in Burlington County. Currently only about 6 miles of trail have been completed including a 3 mile section of the Delaware River Heritage Trail that was completed last month. The Circuit Coalition roughly estimates that it will cost at least $30 million dollars to complete the Circuit in Burlington County.

The Rancocas Greenway is a case in point. The County has spent millions in Open Space Funds acquiring land bordering the Rancocas Creek. Virtually the entire corridor between Delanco and Brendan Byrne State Forest is in Municipal, County or State ownership. The opportunity to build the 25 mile multi-use trail is now.

The public hearing will take place Tomorrow during the regularly scheduled Freeholder's meeting

June 12th - 7PM
Burlington County Offices
49 Rancocas Mount Holly Road
Mount Holly, NJ

The Freeholders are expected to vote on the proposal at the end of the meeting.

Please attend this meeting and ask the Freeholders to preserve the current tax rate and build the 65 miles of Rancocas Greenway, Delaware River Heritage and Kinkora trails. You can also leave a positive comment on the County's Facebook page.

The Bordentown Trailhead for the Delaware River Heritage Trail was completed in Late May.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

This post was originally produced by our friends at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and ran in the Greater Philadelphia Bicycle News on June 4th.  It is used with their permission.

According to and 24 Year Old Andrew Caprizzi of Paramus, NJ was killed Sunday Morning on Route 563 in Woodland Township south of Chatsworth. Andrew was attempting to make a U-Turn when he was struck by a woman driving a vehicle northbound. The driver was treated for her injuries at Deborah Hospital.

Andrew was warming up for the NJ Individual Time Trial Championship, which is held annually on Route 563, a rural two lane road with bike lanes, very few intersections and a speed limit of 50 mph in the heart of the Pine Barrens. Like many amateur time trial events, this race is conducted on open roads.

View PA/NJ Bicycle Crashes 2011-2013 in a larger map

According to his obituary Andrew worked as an Assistant Track Team Coach for Holy Angels School in Demarest, NJ and at the Running Store in Ridgewood, NJ. We are saddened by another tragic death by automobile in our region and our condolences go out to Andrew's family and friends.