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).