Tuesday, January 15, 2019

NJ Bike & Walk Summit 2019

The tenth annual NJ Bike & Walk Summit will take place on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at the Mercer County Community College.

This is a great way to learn about bike and walk initiative throughout New Jersey, meet like minded people and forge connections. Previous Summits have been very inspiring events.

Details on the full-day program can be found here.
Raring to go? Here is the direct link for registration.

The Summit is organized by the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The IPCC report, Princeton climate action, and you

This week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a report which has been described as the final call to climate action: in a world that has warmed by 1C now, we are already living extreme weather, wildfires and sunny-day flooding on the coasts, all presenting a danger to people, animals and plants, and already costing us deep in the pocket.

A NYTimes article has a great interactive on how limiting global warming to 1.5C is far preferable over allowing it to rise to 2C. Staying below 1.5C requires cutting our total emissions by about half by 2030, and arriving at net-zero by 2050.

If the task sounds daunting, that's because it is. But we can't sit back and do nothing. Doing nothing doesn't get the mortgage paid. Doing nothing doesn't get us tenure. Doing nothing doesn't raise children we can be proud of.

As you may know, Princeton, which has said that We'reStillIn the Paris climate agreement, is already in the process of formulating a climate action plan. This is spearheaded by Sustainable Princeton, who is hosting a panel discussion on how to get our town's energy to be carbon-free, on Wednesday, October 17, 7-8.30pm; details here.

(Photo by Thegreenj)

And you, dear bicycle rider, are already acting to reduce the carbon footprint of our transportation. Our bikes are the easiest, healthiest, cheapest way to make a real difference. Some of us are showing the way, living car-free in Princeton. Members of the University community are participating in the Revise Your Ride program. Kudos!

Here is an inspiring piece on the patient, sustained work needed for the long-term daunting task of weaning us off fossil fuels. In the context of bicycle riding: we need to keep showing up for the town and committee meetings that have bearing on the building of safe bike infrastructure; they may be boring, but our voice really counts. And of course, keep biking and walking. We're preventing planet-heating emissions, one footstep and one pedal push as a time.

Friday, September 21, 2018

follow-up re: "Climb on a Bike and Wheel Into the Future"

The artwork of Henry Arnold, landscape architect, bike path proponent, can
be viewed on the walls of Small World Coffee this month and next.

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Princeton PBAC <pjpbac@gmail.com>
To: "pjpbac-public@googlegroups.com" <pjpbac-public@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 11, 2015, 7:43:26 AM EDT
Subject: [pjpbac-public forum listserv] 42 years ago - "Climb on a Bike and Wheel Into the Future"

From this version and the original. Credit to Sam B for unearthing this gem.

T O W N     T O P I C S     "Outdoor Living" special supplement - Spring, 1973.

MR. BIKE: Henry Arnold poses symbolically before a map of Princeton's
proposed bike-paths. Mr. Arnold, a landscape architect, has become the town's
foremost proponent of the two-wheeler.

Climb on a Bike and Wheel Into the Future

Bike! By riding a bicycle, you take a dramatic individual stand against damaging the
environment, and besides. . . .

Henry Arnold, the dynamic young landscape architect who has become Mr. Bike in
Princeton, doesn't even own a car. (But he admits he cheats a little: his wife owns one.)

When you cycle, he points out, you release your own frustrations, reap the benefits of
physical exercise and enjoy the pleasant feeling of doing something healthy and healthful
to help the environment.

"The most fun is riding in the rain," smiles Mr. Arnold, "and in hot weather, dressed
lightly, you air-condition yourself as you ride. Also, it's so much quicker for short
distances than a car, especially in Princeton, and you are closer to nature."

"In fact," be continues with a sly smile in his eye. "I have listed 16 ways in which
automobiles can damage the environment. Although I'm not against cars: only
against their USE.

The 16?

— Cars reduce the land to islands, cutting them off with roads. This means fewer
plants and animals.

— Cars bring about changes in the ground water because there is erosion during the
     construction of highways,

— Cars mean highways, and highways generate the need for more highways.

— Cars mean noise pollution.

And so on.

Simultaneous Solution

"Cars and the development patterns are linked," he says seriously, "and this is the
frustration because all problems must really be solved together."

Basically, he thinks, we are faced with a social problem requiring  us to change the
ways we live (bikes, not cars). This means, of course, that change won't come quickly.

Mr Arnold is best known, aside from his advocacy of the bicycle, for saying that all
cars should be removed from Nassau Street.  He also has said, loudly and In public,
that the temporary closing of Palmer Square simply isn't radical enough: if you're
going to do it,  DO IT, with a grand and imaginative plan. Spend a million, he said once,
and the benefit would be reaped ten times over.

Abandoning the city and "escaping" into suburbia is very negative, Mr. Arnold
believes, by destroying the quality of the landscape, reducing the number of
species of plants and animals. We are, in his words, "stealing from the future"
and causing effects that may not truly be felt until the next generation.

Nine Years In Vermont

An ex-paratrooper Mr. Arnold holds his degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He
has studied under lan McHarg, well known In Princeton for his unorthodox environmental
pronouncements, and spent nine years working in Vermont with landscape architect Dan Kiley.

Work on city parks in Singapore, Nigeria and Chicago: on a master plan for the campus
of the University of Vermont and on proposals for permanent housing In the ski area
of Grouse Mountain in Vancouver, are projects which have given Henry Arnold a
broad outlook on the world.

He got involved in bicycles in Princeton, he says, because he's had experience "in getting
things done — you must be a practical visionary, and if you haven't had experience, you
don't know how to bypass the obstacles...."

Practical visionary?

"The bicycle," and the sly smile comes into his eye again, "the bicycle is more a step into the
future than a moon vehicle!".

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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Mayor's Bike Ride 2018

Sunday, September 23, starts at 11am:

Mayor Liz Lempert and members of the Princeton Bicycle Advisory Committee will lead a family friendly exploration of portions of Princeton's Bike Network in this annual event. Starting in Community Park South, the moderately paced ride will traverse a mix of paved surfaces and trails that are closed to motor vehicles. We'll take a break in historic Mountain Lakes House before returning to Community Park. The ride is open to experienced cyclists of all ages. Helmets are required.

The Mayor's Ride is co-sponsored by the Princeton Public Library and the Princeton Bicycle Advisory Committee.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Beta Bike Lane survey open till June 8

Thank you to everyone who has made it possible for Princeton's road users to sample a Complete Street on Hamilton Avenue and Wiggins Street: First of all to Tim Quinn for his leadership; to all the volunteers who came out to install the Beta Bike Lane, on an increasingly hot day; the Engineering department for the technical lead; the Recreation department for lending equipment; the Police department for keeping everyone safe while the work was proceeding; and last but by no means least, many thanks to the Department of Public Works who got to clean up and return Hamilton and Wiggins to their original configuration. This was a town-wide team effort.

And now, we need to hear from you (and your friends). Please take the survey at bit.ly/BetaBikeLaneSurvey (Spanish version at bit.ly/EncuestaBetaBikeLane). It is open until June 8, 2018.

And please come to the Council meeting on June 25 to voice your support for permanent bike lanes on that corridor.

Because while we have learned to live with it, the usual road configuration on Hamilton and Wiggins is far from ideal for almost all users, as illustrated in the photos below.

Car drivers have a choice to either (a) crawl behind the bike rider or (b) illegally cross the double yellow line in order to pass the bike rider at the proper distance. Many bike riders don't feel safe sharing the road with cars, so some (c) take to the sidewalk, but are then (d) a danger to pedestrians, especially those with small children.

All these frustrations are alleviated by the creation of two bike lanes. For the duration of the Beta Bike Lane, everyone has their own place: pedestrians on the sidewalk, bike riders on the bike lanes, and cars in the car lanes. It's a Complete Street! 

Photo by Tim Quinn

Yes, 36 parking places had to be removed to make way for the temporary bike lanes. But we need to keep in mind that the downtown area, the subject of the recent parking study, has more than 7,000 parking spaces for cars. Of the public spaces, more than 40% were available during the study period. The town is working on making it easier for drivers to find those open spaces, but the reality is that there is no shortage of parking in Princeton.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

interview with The Donald (re: #BetaBikeLane)

In an interview, the guru of progressive parking policy reflects on his decades 
of research and writing, which transformed how cities look at the curb. 

What's the most emotional topic in transportation? According to Donald Shoup, it's parking. 

"Thinking about parking seems to take place in the reptilian cortex, the most primitive part of the
brain responsible for making snap judgments about flight-or-flight issues, such as how to avoid
being eaten," Shoup writes in the introduction to his new book, Parking and the City (Planner's
Press, Routledge, 2018). "The reptilian cortex is said to govern instinctive behavior involved in 
aggression, territoriality, and ritual display—all important issues in parking."

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Five Ways to Support the #BetaBikeLane

Dear Princeton bicycle riders,

We hope you've had a chance to ride the Beta Bike Lane on Hamilton Avenue and Wiggins Street. It will be there until Wednesday, May 30.

There has been some pushback from a few residents. If you like the bike lane pilot and would like to see permanent bike lanes on this corridor, it is important, indeed crucial, that you show your support.

Here are five ways you can let your voice be heard. We hope you will use as many of them as feels comfortable to you.

1. Social media: use #BetaBikeLane for your tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts. Share posts from the Beta Bike Lane FB page.

2. Complete the survey at bit.ly/BetaBikeLaneSurvey
(bit.ly/EncuestaBetaBikeLane for Spanish version)

3.  Poll your neighbors: If you're part of a neighborhood Email list, Facebook group or Nextdoor community, create a simple poll question: "Do you like the Beta Bike Lane °Yes °No". Share the link with us or use the hashtag, and we'll record the result.

4. Write a Letter To The Editor: In a few pithy paragraphs, tell the town why you love the bike lane pilot. Ask your children to write one!
The following links contain instructions on how to write to the Town Topics, Planet Princeton, the Princeton Packet, and the Trenton Times. It's okay to send your letter to all of them.

5. Come to the Council meeting on June 25 and tell Mayor & Council and your neighbors why you love the bike lanes. If you're shy, you can submit a comment in writing, or get a friend to read it for you. Even if you don't say anything, your presence will make a difference. Bring your kids! (tell them our town hall has great WiFi).

Thank you from the Princeton bike committee.

Hamilton-Wiggins is a corridor with high car-on-bike crash rate (and the rate would likely be higher but for the presence of our excellent crossing guards on school days). The blue line indicates the Beta Bike Lane.