Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Princeton Parking Study meeting 20 November

The consultants on Princeton's Parking Study are to present their key findings on the study as well as their draft recommendations, at a community Open House on Monday, November 20, 2017, 6.30 - 8.30 pm at the Nassau Inn in Palmer Square.

Parking spots and bicycle lanes compete for the precious public space on our streets, especially in the downtown area, which is a popular after-school destination for our children. Please contribute with your advocacy for safe bike and walk infrastructure in our town, while keeping in mind the varied mobility needs of all our neighbors.

The excellent consultants from Nelson Nygaard are expected to present some innovative solutions to our parking issues, but residents know our town better than anyone, so bring to the discussion your creative ideas for optimizing downtown access for everyone!

Since the parking study is funded by a grant to promote the economic vitality of our downtown, you may be interested in using this rather long list of studies that show how bike & walk traffic benefit businesses, from large cities like New York to smaller communities like Oakland, CA.

If you need to catch up on what's happened in the parking study so far, slides from previous parking study presentations (pdf) can be downloaded from Princeton's Parking Study page.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

It's Fall. Helmets on!

Cool weather has finally arrived, and that means things falling from above.

Be extra careful when it's raining, as wet leaves are slippery. If you see bike lanes blocked by leaf piles or brush, you can report it at Access Princeton - yes, it's available as an app, which makes it easy to upload photos.

Princeton is home to a rather large number of osage orange trees. I've been told these were used as meadow separators, back when the Princeton core was surrounded by farmland. Osage orange trees have pretty leaves, fearsome spikes, and heavy fruit. Really heavy fruit that tends to hit the ground with a thud. Public Works does a good job of pruning them back periodically, but of course they keep growing, with their branches hanging over the streets.

Another good reason to wear your helmet!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Re: [PBAC-public] Support Bicycle Mobility Plan at meeting TONIGHT

>    A reminder that the Planning Board meeting is TODAY at 7.30pm
>     (As David Cohen has pointed out, there is no set ending time for the meeting.)

I'd be quite happy to get one single thing out of this way-overblown BMP process:

    I really want the contra-flow bike path on Spring, from Witherspoon to Vandeventer !

My problem:  what I want, instead of standing by itself, is just one of 3 elements embedded
within "The Wiggle". What is The Wiggle ? It's something in San Francisco. Do I think, after
biking around here for 23 years, The Wiggle, as defined, makes much sense ? No. Do I
think there should be some mention of Vandeventer, which is busy and dangerous, in
The Wiggle ? Yes. Do I think they'll be willing to flip around all the stop signs, for example
on Chestnut, to convert Spruce to a Bike Boulevard ? No. So do I think "The Wiggle" will
ever happen ?  No.  But hey, it looks good on paper. But is that what "planning" is all about ?

Meanwhile, I want that contra-flow lane. Obvious.  Even if it has gotten lost amid the verbiage.

"The Wiggle" Provides an alternative route across the downtown parallel 
to Nassau Street and the Hamilton Avenue corridor. Improvements include: 

Quarry Park Path (Harrison Street to Spruce Street) | Improved Shared Use Path 
The existing asphalt path provides a connection between Harrison Street and Spruce Street 
for bicyclists and pedestrians only. The following path improvements should made to provide a 
more comfortable and safe facility: 
- Path should be widened to maintain an 8 to 10-foot cross section where possible to facilitate two-way travel and use by both bicyclists and pedestrians; 
- Low-profile lighting should be installed to allow use of path after sunset. 

Spruce Street/Moore Street/ Park Place (Quarry Park to Spring Street) | Bicycle Boulevard 
The existing low speed, low volume residential street is suitable for bicycle boulevard designation and supportive improvements. Wayfinding is an important element to help cyclists navigate the circuitous nature of the route. Maintains existing LTS 1. 

Spring Street (Vandeventer Street to Witherspoon Street) | Contra-flow Bicycle Lane 
The one-way street is approximately 25 feet wide, providing sufficient width to accommodate a contra-flow bicycle lane without impacting on-street parking and enhancing access into the downtown. Creates LTS 1 facility for westbound bicyclists.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Bike-friendliness survey

PeopleForBikes is a national bicycle advocacy group. They are conducting a community survey on bike riders' experience in their cities and towns. The survey, which asks both how bikeable our town is and how you think it's improving, forms part of their City Ratings report that will be published in spring 2018.

It is rather telling that Jersey City is on their drop-down menu for New Jersey but you have to enter Princeton by hand.

To have your opinion included, please complete the survey by December 8.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

a few recent articles about bike share

Are there swarms of e-bikes in our future ? 

Washington could soon bypass Portland, Ore., as the American city with the highest 
share of bicycle commuters, due in part to growing competition among bike-borrowing
programs, according to census data and cycling enthusiasts. 

Five companies are vying for real estate in the capital's bike-share market, offering GPS-
tracked bikes that lock themselves without a central kiosk. The newest bike-share offering 
— Jump, which arrived last Monday — uses an electric motor to bolster manual pedaling, 
so riders do not have to break a sweat.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Canal Pointe Boulevard has a bike lane

Congratulations to West Windsor for "completing" Canal Pointe Boulevard, which now has a bicycle lane in both directions.

There is now one lane for cars going each way. A left-turn lane at each intersection makes this road much safer: in the former four lane configuration, people making a left turn from the "fast" lane would get rear-ended with depressing regularity. A dedicated left-turn lane will end that.

The bike lane is clearly marked, with a no-parking sign added, to make sure the message gets across.

Together with the new bike lane on Alexander Road, Canal Pointe Boulevard now provides a much safer bike route from Princeton to the MarketFair mall (with the cinema and the Barnes and Noble), Windsor Green (with the Staples) and even West Windsor Plaza (with the Lowe's), if you bike on the sidewalk of the bridge crossing Route 1.

You do need to be super careful at the north end of Canal Pointe Boulevard where it meets Alexander Road: there are no bike lanes for the first 50 yards or so. Maybe one day the bike lanes will be connected and Canal Pointe Boulevard will become a completely Complete Street.

As is, this version of Canal Pointe Boulevard is a vast improvement over the previous version, which had two car lanes each way with no bike lanes and no provision for a safe left turn.