Thursday, September 8, 2016

biking event - THE SOURLAND SPECTACULAR - this Saturday


RIDE THE ROAD TO SAVE THE MOUNTAIN. 

A gorgeous rural bike ride on paved roads through the Sourland Mountain region.

The event will offer challenging routes for serious cyclists, as well as shorter 
alternatives for more casual bikers. 

Routes of 26 to 63 miles are planned, all of which include climbing, as the Sourland
Mountain is beautiful, but not flat. 

The routes begin and end at the Otto Kaufman Community Center on Skillman Road
 in Skillman. All parking will be across the street at Montgomery High School. 

Join us September 10, 2016 and help save the Sourlands!

http://www.sourlandspectacular.com/           .... the registration/ticket info is here




Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Comments on Draft Princeton Bike Plan

Last week, the draft Princeton Bike Master Plan was published on the municipal website. Click here if you want to check it out. It's 120 pages + appendices, but there is also a pretty useful 'summary' that you may prefer to look at. It appears that the plan will be considered by the Princeton Planning Board in the fall, but the Engineering Department is currently seeking input from "interested groups, boards, committees, and citizens" by September 1 (!).

As an interested local citizen and member of the 'Complete Streets' committee, I forwarded the comments below (which are strictly my own opinions and not representative of the committee!). I see the plan as a useful start, but not enough to make most normal people feel truly safe getting around town by bike. Feel free to read my thoughts, but more importantly check out the draft plan yourself!! It's important to have a good discussion about the plan because it is likely to guide policy in town for many years.

- Sam Bunting



Comments from Sam Bunting on Draft Princeton Bike Plan, August 30, 2016.

Having read the full 120 pages (and appendices) of the draft Bicycle Masterplan, I am impressed at the effort. On the other hand, I am unenthusiastic about the plan, because it is incompatible with the clearly-stated goals of the community Circulation Element.

 For example, the current exercise could be seen as an attempt to address this Master Plan requirement:
“Implement a network of Bicycle routes for easy access to neighborhoods, recreational areas, schools and shopping areas” (page 44 of the Community Master Plan)

 Furthermore, in line with the concept of ‘Complete Streets’, the Circulation Element calls for:
“a community-wide bicycle system that addresses all levels of bicycle riding ability” (page 56 of the Community Master Plan)

 The draft Bicycle Plan does not provide a network that allows easy access to downtown locations, and it does not reasonably address all levels of bicycle riding ability. Instead, the plan envisages a network that will remain disjointed, and which will include low-quality bicycle facilities at key sections.

 To take just one example, the Hamilton-Wiggins corridor was identified through mapping of ‘desire lines’ (Figure 2.3, Page 27) as one of the most important routes for cycling in Princeton. Despite this, the draft plan envisages ‘enhanced sharrows’ as a bike facility on this corridor. ‘Enhanced sharrows’ are not mentioned in the MUTCD or any current guidebook, but the bigger issue is that the 470 participants in the survey described in Chapter 2 expresseded almost no enthusiasm for sharrows. Over 70% of survey respondents said that they do not feel comfortable riding on roads with sharrows (graph on right-hand side of page 23). The draft plan therefore calls for a treatment on this key route that is unsuitable for a large majority of local bike riders. It is incompatible with the Circulation Element.

 It is easy to find other examples of sub-standard facilities. Lower Witherspoon Street, which was also a key ‘desire line’ for local cyclists, is also targeted for ‘enhanced sharrows’. On Nassau Street, there are a few blocks of high-quality separated bike lanes, but anyone trying to ride east toward Whole Earth Market will have to ‘share the road’ with some of the busiest traffic in town. This is impossible for all but highly-enthusiastic cyclists. Most people will face key routes where easy, direct cycling will continue to be impossible.

 Clearly, the consultants have operated under a number of constraints, but it seems that they have too often prioritized level of service for people who are driving and parking cars over the safe use of bicycles.  This is not consistent with the Circulation Element, which aims to “Reduce the number of single-occupancy vehicles by providing viable alternatives for people to get to work, shop or recreate” (page 44 of the Community Master Plan).

 With a number of improvements, particularly upgrading the planned facilities in central areas where most bike trips happen, the draft bike plan could be made to be consistent with the spirit of the Circulation Element. The opportunities for the town would be very advantageous. First, we could avoid a number of deaths and serious injuries that will inevitably occur over the coming years if the half-baked infrastructure choices in the draft bike plan are implemented. Second, we could return sidewalks to pedestrians and dog-walkers, instead of making sidewalks the only place where the majority of people feel comfortable cycling. And finally, we could make Princeton a truly bike-friendly community, reaping the health and sustainability benefits that would come from a population that is able to easily and safely choose to get around by bike.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

* postponed until Sat Sept 17th * re: "Full Moon Bike Ride" at Lawrence-Hopewell Trail


Tomorrow night's "Full Moon Bike Ride" at LHT has been Postponed 
Due to Expected Heavy Rain and Thunderstorms 
                                                                                    
Ride is rescheduled for Saturday, September 17; rain date September 18.



Monday, August 8, 2016

event/talk,"Biking Beyond the Gym", Sept 20th @7pm - Whole Earth Center

Note - the event is free. Jointly sponsored by Greater Mercer TMA and by the
Whole Earth Center, 360 Nassau near the corner of Harrison.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Please bring your questions about biking for fun and utility to a free talk at the Princeton Whole Earth Center on Tuesday, September 20 at 7pm. Jointly sponsored by Whole Earth Center and Greater Mercer TMA, we'll discuss the bike, clothing, how and where to best ride safely, and whatever other biking topics people want to talk about!   Please see the attached flyer for more information, and kindly pre-register (for free) at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/biking-beyond-the-gym-commuting-and-shopping-by-bike-tickets-26910425808

 

Please tell your friends who might be interested, and congratulations to the Whole Earth Center for becoming Princeton's first Bicycle Friendly Business! Hope to see you there.

 

Jerry Foster

Transportation Safety Educator

Greater Mercer TMA

http://gmtma.org

Office 609-452-1491 x227







Wednesday, July 27, 2016

event: 3rd Annual "LHT Full Moon Ride" is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 21






3rd Annual LHT Full Moon Ride
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2016
 
LAWRENCE HOPEWELL TRAIL & MERCER COUNTY PARK COMMISSION TO HOST 3rd ANNUAL LHT FULL MOON RIDE
Nighttime bike ride set for Sunday, August 21, at Mercer Meadows

What: LHT FULL MOON BIKE RIDE
When: Sunday, August 21; ride starts at 9:30 pm; arrive early to check in
Where: Start and end at Rosedale Park parking lot off Federal City Road in Mercer Meadows, Hopewell, NJ
Charge: $10 per rider, $20 per family; pre-registration on-line is strongly encouraged
(Hopewell, NJ) – Adults and youngsters aged 12 up are invited to join hundreds of bicyclists expected to participate in a six-mile, late-night ride through the open meadows and dark woods lit by a full moon on Sunday, August 21. That's when the third annual LHT Full Moon Bike Ride will be held at Mercer Meadows.
Sponsored by the Lawrence Hopewell Trail and the Mercer County Park Commission, the ride kicks off at 9:30 pm, but riders should give themselves time to sign in for the event. Pre-registration at the LHT website, www.lhtrail.org, is strongly recommended and will speed up the preliminaries, according to Jay Watson, LHT board member and curator of the Full Moon Ride.
"We hope individuals and families will join us for this late night ride. From 9:30 on, riders will begin the six-mile trek as they arrive," Watson said. "This ride takes cyclists through one of New Jersey's premier open spaces, Mercer Meadows, via the Lawrence Hopewell Trail, which serves as the backbone of an extensive trail system in the park." From a starting gate at Rosedale Lake, riders will head to the Maidenhead Trail, on to the Twin Pines Trail, then back to Rosedale Park, in a ride expected to take about 45 minutes.
"We are very pleased to join with the Lawrence Hopewell Trail for the third year in a row, welcoming bicycling enthusiasts to our 1,600 acre park, which features scenic biking and walking opportunities through meadows and woodlands," said Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes.
"The Mercer County Park Commission is dedicated to providing recreation opportunities and encouraging leisure time activities and preservation of open spaces, among other aims," said Andrew R. Worek, president of the Mercer County Park Commission. "The LHT Full Moon Ride has become a wonderful annual event that brings residents out to see our parks in a different way and certainly at a different time of the day."
At the fun bicycle ride, bike decorating will be encouraged and limited glow sticks will be provided to light up participants' bikes. Cyclists are encouraged to use bicycle headlights for the late night ride, and helmets are required. Local ice cream vendors will be at the event, selling their frozen concoctions.
The participation charge is $10 per cyclist, $20 per family, with funds used to help defray LHT's operating costs and helping fund further trail construction and maintenance. Riders are encouraged to print out the registration form they are asked to complete in advance of the ride. Registration can also be completed the evening of the ride, but those who choose to register on-site should factor in extra time for registration.
Should there be any question about weather impacting the ride, please visit the LHT website on August 21 after 6 pm. The LHT will post information about cancellation, should that be necessary.
About the Lawrence Hopewell Trail
The Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT) is a 22-mile bicycle and pedestrian recreational trail and transportation corridor through public and private lands in Lawrence and Hopewell Townships, Mercer County, N.J. The idea for the LHT grew out of a commitment to improving the quality of life for all who live or work in the region. The LHT supports an active, livable, and sustainable community with alternative forms of transportation to reduce reliance on automobiles. It also promotes health and fitness, recreation, and outdoor education. For more information, please visit www.lhtrail.org.
About Mercer Meadows
The Mercer County Park Commission manages diverse offerings within its more than 10,000 acres of parks, recreational facilities, and open space throughout Mercer County. Mercer Meadows, where the Full Moon Bike Ride will take place, consists of more than 1,600 acres, divided among five separate districts. Miles of mowed and gravel trails provide visitors and their families with scenic walking and biking routes through the meadows and woodland. Fishing is a popular activity at the park's four water bodies. For more information, please visit www.mercercountyparks.org.
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