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!