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 (Spanish version at 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
( 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.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Beta Bike Lane is now OPEN

For a week starting today, the Wiggins / Hamilton corridor will have bike lanes.

Many thanks to the volunteers who came out to install the temporary bike lane; to Deanna Stockton and Jeffrey Laux from the Engineering Department for guiding us volunteers, and to the Princeton Police Department for keeping us safe during the work. 

Special thanks to Council member Tim Quinn, who spearheaded the effort. 

The installation of the Beta Bike Lane had to be postponed to Sunday because of persistent rains earlier in the weekend. Our forward-looking Mayor, Liz Lempert, was part of the day's "road crew". In this early-morning photo she was mostly looking forward to the time that the road surface would dry. But dry it did, and we set to work.

Photo by Tim Quinn

There was a lot of enthusiasm and joy; people formed teams to lay the tape striping, change the road signage, and paint the bike symbols. The day got warmer. Someone came out with a case of water bottles. (Whoever that was: thank you! it was so welcome).

Photo by Tim Quinn

By 4pm, the work was done. 
The bike lanes will only be here for one week: So let's ride! Bring your friends. (Do wear your helmet). 

Give the town your feedback through the Survey on the Beta Bike Lane at The Spanish version is at

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Bike Corral! and bike month events

A bike corral popped up on Witherspoon Street this week! Find it across from the library; what used to be parking space for a single car is now parking space for ten bikes, a prime demonstration of the efficient use of parking space.

Photo courtesy of Councilman Tim Quinn

But National Bike Month is far from over, and there are lots of area events celebrating it.

The Whole Earth Center celebrates bike riding year round, but in May they practice Random Acts of Community: Each week in May on a randomly chosen day at a randomly chosen corner and time, they give the first 6 bicyclists who ride by a reward package from local businesses worth over $55. Just another reason to ride your bike to town.

May 14-18 is Bike To Work Week, and GMTMA (the Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association) is holding a Log Your Miles challenge for individuals and for teams of coworkers (prizes!) and a photo contest. Details at the GMTMA site.

For members of the Princeton University community: On Bike to Work Day on Friday May 18, at 7-10am, Princeton University Transportation & Parking and GMTMA will hold a Breakfast for Bikers event at Firestone Plaza.

The Princeton Wheels Rodeo, on Saturday May 19, 10am - 1pm, is sponsored by Princeton's Police Department and the Human Services Commission. It's an opportunity for children to learn the rules of the road and how to be a safe cyclist. A new bicycle is among the prizes of the raffle.

Princeton's Beta Bike Lane pilot will be open May 19-29. Bring your helmet and your friends, and come check it out. Want to help build it? Volunteer two hours of your time on the installation!

Enjoy the beautiful month – May the wind be at your back.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Beta Bike Lane Volunteers Needed

By now, you've heard that Princeton will be celebrating National Bike Month with the Beta Bike Lane, a demonstration project that will create two temporary bike lanes on Wiggins/Hamilton between Sylvia Beach Way (the road behind Princeton Public Library) and Walnut Lane.

While this project is endorsed by Mayor Liz Lempert and Princeton Council and is being coordinated with the help of the Princeton Engineering Department  and the Princeton Police Department, implementation of the Beta Bike Lane is a volunteer effort. We need your help installing the temporary materials that will transform Wiggins/Hamilton into a bike-, pedestrian- and motorist-friendly thoroughfare.

Please sign up for a two-hour slot on Friday, May 18, and Saturday, May 19. You can sign up at, where you will find additional information on the implementation plan. Weather contingency plans will be announced closer to the implementation dates.

Beta Bike Lane represents a major step toward making Princeton a more bike-friendly community. For BBL to be a success, we need your help. So join us, meet other bike advocates and earn bragging rights as an early adapter. 

Se necesitan Voluntarios para ayudar en la  "Beta Bike Lane"

Princeton celebra este mes de mayo,  el Mes Nacional de la Bicicleta con la innovación de la "Beta Bike Lane", como proyecto en el que deseamos poder demostrar la creación de  dos carriles temporales para bicicletas de la calle Wiggins / Hamilton entre el camino trasero  de la biblioteca (Sylvia Beach Way) y Walnut Lane.

Si bien este proyecto cuenta con el respaldo de la Alcaldesa Liz Lempert y el Consejo de Princeton y se coordina con la ayuda del Departamento de Ingeniería de Princeton y el Departamento de Policía de Princeton, la creación de la Beta Bike Lane es un esfuerzo voluntario. Necesitamos de su ayuda para instalar los materiales temporales que transformarán a Wiggins / Hamilton en una vía peatonal accesible para ciclistas, peatones y automovilistas.

Inscríbase para un turno de dos horas el viernes 18 de mayo y el sábado 19 de mayo. Puede inscribirse en, donde encontrará información adicional sobre el plan de implementación. Los planes de contingencia climática se anunciarán más cerca de las fechas de implementación.

La Beta Bike Lane representa un gran paso para hacer de Princeton una comunidad más accesible para bicicletas. Para que BBL sea un éxito, necesitamos su ayuda. Así que únase a nosotros, conozca a otros defensores de las bicicletas y disfruta de sus derechos como ciclista.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Beta Bike Lane Princeton

As a first step to implementing our Bicycle Mobility PlanPrinceton is getting ready to install a bike lane pilot on Wiggins St and Hamilton Ave,

The Beta Bike Lane is planned for May 19 to 29, 2018, weather permitting. 
Mark your calendar and tell your friends!

We need volunteers to help install the temporary bike lane markings. If you're interested in helping out for two hours, please save the dates: Friday May 18, 3-7 pm and Saturday May 19, 7-11 am. Details on how to sign up coming soon.

The pilot is located on a major connector where the car-on-bicycle crash rate is high, and would likely have been higher but for the presence of crossing guards on school days. This corridor connects Princeton's middle and high schools to the public library and central downtown area.

On this street, which currently has shared-lane markings ("sharrows"), the Beta Bike Lane will provide an opportunity for bicycle riders to sample a more comfortable biking experience on a busy thoroughfare. It also offers a chance for car drivers, pedestrians and bike riders to experience the benefits of a configuration that minimizes direct competition for space, both on the roadway and on the sidewalk.

Find updates on the Beta Bike Lane at, from PBAC's Email updates or through our Twitter feed 

Or visit us at Communiversity this Sunday, either at the GMTMA table on Nassau Street or when you park your bike at the Bike Valet at HiTOPS.

The Beta Bike Lane is a collaboration with these community partners: