Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Planet Princeton op-ed: "Four Wheels Good, Two Wheels Bad?" by Nat B

Please check out the comments thread and consider adding your two bits.

At public meetings lately, there's been a lot of support for bicycling and pedestrian safety improvements, but there's been equally strong resistance. 

A variety of improvements intended to slow traffic and create safer spaces for people on foot and bike have been opposed on grounds that they would, among other things: 
  • Increase traffic hazards and reduce convenience for drivers 
  • Not actually be useful for bike and pedestrian safety 
  • Pose excessive obstacles to resident parking and brush disposal 
  • Reduce access to home services for residents 
  • Jeopardize the health and safety of senior citizens

Saturday, June 27, 2015

2nd annual Princeton Ciclovia is tomorrow afternoon 1-4PM

This family event, to become an annual tradition and celebration of
enjoying a quiet, pastoral road, namely Quaker Road which
will be closed to vehicular traffic for 3 hours, happens tomorrow.

You may say "But ... but ... your poster doesn't say Ciclovia, it says Cyclovia".

We say "Y not come to the event and tell us: it's a nice poster, and a nice event !"

This link goes to a map in case you'd like to try riding a mostly off-road loop
along not only Quaker Road (all of it), but the canal towpath, and a trail in the
Institute woods. It's just a suggestion, but definitely is mostly free of car traffic.



Thursday, June 25, 2015

neighborhood meeting about Prospect Ave is tonight at 7PM

The notice for this meeting is posted below, and can be found with the other
Prospect Ave information on the municipal engineering website (click here to view).

If you're a bicyclist/pedestrian with concerns/opinions/ideas about how Prospect
Avenue should evolve (note - just the section between Harrison and Riverside),
you might consider attending the meeting. In brief, the improvements to be
discussed are curb bump-outs at all intersections, to slow down motorized
traffic, in addition to a shortening of the busy crosswalk at Riverside school.

Or else if you're unable to attend, email your views to us <>,
or reply to this message if you'd like it posted to PBAC's public forum.

PS - the June meeting of the pedestrian/bicyclist advisory meeting will be in the
adjacent room at 400 Witherspoon, starting at 7:30.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

have you driven a Fold (er, I mean "Ford") lately ?

"Alongside Ford's announcement of its Peer-2-Peer Car Sharing scheme 
last night, the company also detailed its latest smartbike — the MoDe:Flex

"The bike is Ford's third such device, and like predecessors, is fitted with a 
motor and battery. The Flex can fold up to be stored inside a car like previous 
models, but where the older MoDe: Me and MoDe: Pro bikes were were smaller 
and designed to be used by commuters who may drive some of the distance to 
work, Ford says the Flex is built for bike enthusiasts. 

"That doesn't mean you'll be getting a high-maintenance road bike with the Flex, 
though: the bigger device can interact with your smartphone, enabling a "no sweat" 
mode that will calculate how much effort you need to put on the pedals to get to your
destination without any serious physical exertion. In addition to advancing human 
laziness, the MoDe:Link app also informs riders of real-time weather, road, and traffic 
conditions up ahead. Most interestingly, Ford says the app comes with an Apple Watch
extension that can somehow detect potholes on the road.

An interesting 49-pager from Sheryl Connelly, corporate futurist at Ford Motor Co.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

a quick interview with the mayor

Dagur Eggertsson is the mayor of Reykjavik, Iceland.     From NYT's Download - Influencers and their interests.

"I'm reading If Mayors Ruled the World, by Benjamin R. Barber. He presents mayors as hands-on and effective as contrasted to leaders of nations who take a lot of time and fail at important things. An example from the U.S. that people probably know is that the U.S. did not commit to the Kyoto resolution working against climate change while hundreds of cities in the U.S. did. So that's a very clear example that people who run cities know what is important and do something while nation-states are failing. Climate change is one of the biggest issues of our time."

"I'm excited to get the new electric Copenhagen Wheel by Superpedestrian, developed at MIT. It's this electric motor that they just put on your bike. I've tried the prototype and it feels like flying. The motor kicks in when you are going uphill so you don't feel it and you just carry on your normal cycling and when you go downhill, it slows you down. It creates its own electricity running on the street and emits zero pollution."

proximity to bike sharing stations can raise the value of your home

Researchers at McGill studied house sales in central Montreal before and
after the Bixi bike sharing system was launched in Montreal in 2009. They found
that a typical home in the central Montreal area they studied had about 12 Bixi stations
nearby, which had increased its value by 2.7% – or $8650 on average.

Read more here and here.

"Bixi has been under attack a lot, but the system has had some positive effects,"
says Ahmed El-Geneidy, lead author and Associate Professor at McGill School of
Urban Planning. "It favours environmentally friendly and healthy habits and now we
know it has significantly increased the value of homes in Montreal. This data shows
people here value bicycle sharing."

It is likely that other cities with similar bike sharing systems, like New York, Toronto,
or Paris, will see similar effects on housing prices. "We expect studies on other cities
will also find a positive impact on house sales," El-Geneidy says.

"Cities that are considering the implementation or expansion of bicycle share systems
must keep in mind that although they require a major investment at the beginning, the
combined benefits from such systems, including an increase in property taxes, might
well outweigh the initial costs."

The amount of the increase in property value would probably vary from one city to another.
"It depends on how much people in a particular city value cycling bike sharing," El-Geneidy
explains.  The quality of the system may also play a role. "Because it was built to showcase
the Bixi model and export it, the network in Montreal is very good. Stations are well spread
both downtown and in residential neighbourhoods where many cyclists live, such as Le Plateau."

Thursday, June 18, 2015

event Saturday: History Bike Tour on the D&R towpath from Kingston to Griggstown and back

Bike tour of D&R Canal to offer historic overview June 20

The Delaware & Raritan Canal Watch will hold a free history tour by bicycle along the
D&R Canal towpath on Saturday, June 20, from Kingston to Griggstown and back.

Cyclists will meet 10 a.m. at the locktender's house in Kingston, located off Route 27 just north of the bridges over the Millstone River and canal, for the 10-mile round-trip ride.

Canal Watch board member Bob Barth will conduct the ride, which will stop at historic canal structures, such as locks, spillways and canal houses. He will explain why the D&R was one of the most successful canals in the United States.

Helmets are required and cyclists are advised to bring water.

The nonprofit D&R Canal Watch helps promote, enhance and preserve the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park.

For further information and weather-related updates, contact Mr. Barth at 201-401-3121 or